Tricia: I’ve written a handful of books set in the World War II, and I’ve always been intrigued about how the Nazis stole art. When I was in
I heard about the salt
mines that many art pieces were hidden in. I also read a book Rescuing Da
Vinci that intrigued me. That’s why
Mike and I started the book with an action scene involving a train in Austria Paris being loaded up with priceless art that was
purchased or stolen in .
I was amazed by how that happened and I knew readers would be too. France
Mike: From there, it was a matter of piecing together a plausible plot that involved Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring’s desire to steal the Mona Lisa following the Allies’ liberation of
in August 1944. We believe we have more
than succeeded, and there are a lot of unexpected surprises along the way. Paris
Did you find it easy to work together on it?
Tricia: The best way to work together was for Mike to write the first draft and then I came in behind and edited, added bits and pieces of scenes, and offered suggestions. He usually set me free on the “romantic” parts.
Mike: That’s what worked best for us. Thank goodness for Track Changes in Word.
That was a great invention loved by many authors. How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Tricia: Mike and I collaborated on a previous World War II novel, The Swiss Courier and we both like the same type of research, although Mike comes up with the zinger plot twists.
Mike: Although Chasing Mona Lisa has several of the same characters that appeared in The Swiss Courier, Tricia and I decided to make it a stand-alone novel.
What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Tricia: Mike and I both have other books, other projects, and other deadlines that we do on our own, so it’s hard to coordinate our time.
Mike: There are never enough hours in the day.
What are you reading right now?
Tricia: I'm currently reading Kisses from Katie by Katie J. Davis and A Stranger's Gift (pre-release to write an endorsement) by Pulitzer Prize Winner Tom Hallman, Jr.
Mike: I just finished Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly. I was surprised how good it was, but he didn’t write it. His collaborator Martin Dugard undoubtedly authored the book.
How did you choose your characters’ names?
Tricia: I can claim choose Colette! I love that name. Mike did the rest.
Would you want to work on another book together?
Tricia: Sure, but we need Chasing Mona Lisa to do well.
Mike: So tell all your friends. This starving artist will appreciate it.
What do you want to tell us about the book?
Tricia: The action never stops. Every chapter moves toward a cliffhanger. We don’t want anyone to catch his or her breath. Oh, yes, the research is pretty fun too!
Mike: It’s wonderful how all the plot threads . . . and there are a bunch of them . . . all come together. We haven’t had anyone guess the ending yet, so there are plot twists galore.
Sounds like a book I’ll love. I’ll have to try to guess the ending. I love it when I’m totally surprised, but that doesn’t happen too often. Please give us the first page of the book.
Here is the A Note to the Reader (but the beginning of the first chapter follows).
The world-renowned Musée du Louvre, in
started as a fortress when construction began in 1190. In the fourteenth
century, Charles V converted the fortress into a residential chateau, and
from the 1660s until 1682, Louis XIV, the Sun King, transformed the Louvre
into the grandest palace in Paris, France Europe. Within its
walls today, 35,000 irreplaceable pieces of art are exhibited, including the
three most notable—the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory at Samothrace.
The Mona Lisa, or as she is called in French, La Joconde, greets visitors from behind a climate-controlled enclosure fronted by bulletproof glass. Over 500 years old, the portrait of the most famous woman in the world—Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a Florentine silk merchant—measures only twenty-one inches wide by thirty inches tall. It is said that her eyes follow—perhaps even haunt—viewers. Her folded hands look smooth, and her smile, forever enigmatic. From the moment the Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci finished this masterpiece in 1519 a few years before his death, no portrait has elicited more scrutiny, study, and even parody in the history of art.
Until the Libération of
Chapter 1 (first page)
Dressed in soiled blue overalls and pushing a dented trash can, the solitary figure shuffled past two German sentries stationed at the Gare de l’Est’s archway entrance.
The brim of a felt hat covered Bernard Rousseau’s downturned eyes, averting the soldiers’ cold glare. No one will bother you if you avoid eye contact while performing a menial job. Cradling that thought, he moved past the guards into the gilded entrance arcade.
Gare de l’Est, one of six train stations in
and the main terminus for rail traffic to and from , was moderately busy this
summer afternoon. In stark contract to the pall of oppression in the streets, a
festive spirit hung in the air underneath the iron trusses of the train shed
where clusters of German officers—flanked by smiling wives and jubilant
children—arrived on holiday. Sweating porters toted their luggage, struggling
to keep up within the grand structure dominated by decorative columns. Germany
Readers: Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer @mikeyorkey!Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world - the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!
One passionate protector will receive:
- iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
- Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
- Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
- Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
- Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock?) and lots of giveaways.
Thank you, Tricia and Mike, for the interesting peek into your writing partnership and your book.
Readers, you can win a copy of the book here on this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
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The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
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