NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For this week’s summer Beach Reads segment, WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack spoke with novelist and former CNN journalist Kitty Pilgrim.
Her sophomore effort is called “The Stolen Chalice.” It’s a fast-paced thriller set in New York’s City’s international arts scene. Farnack read it in just two days.
LISTEN: Farnack With Pilgrim
PF: Many people remember you, probably, from CNN where you were an award-winning correspondent and anchor as well and now, you’re writing novels. Was it hard to make the transition, first of all, to writing books?
KP: You know it really wasn’t because I was writing this book while I was at CNN at night, to relax. You know how it is, you’re in gear and you can’t slow down, so I sort of put myself in a luxurious fantasy world for about an hour every day just to kind of unwind and that turned into a novel.
PF: Tell me about “The Stolen Chalice”‘s premise. What’s the story?
KP: Ancient Egyptian objects, and they’re stolen. One of these is a beautiful Egyptian cup that’s been made into a medieval chalice. It’s based on a real artifact in the National Gallery in Washington, called the Chalice of the Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis. I saw it, fell in love with it and wrote the book around this chalice. And my protagonist John Sinclair, the archeologist, and Cordelia Stapleton, the oceanographer, are on this big art chase around the world to find the stolen objects. They stumble across a terrorist plot – a weapon of mass destruction that’s going to weaponize bubonic plague.
PF: You couldn’t resist, could you?
KP: It was great. It’s a romantic thriller, but it’s a thriller.
PF: Obviously you’re focusing on the story and getting the facts right in the story. Did you have in mind who your reader was going to be and where they would be reading this.
KP: Yes. I wrote very short chapters with the intention that people were commuting or busy with their children. So every time you put the book down you’re not stopping in the middle of action. This book will take you away to a glamorous fantasy world and that’s my reader.
PF: Well that sounds wonderful. Good luck with the book and I’ll be downloading it.
KP: All right, thank you.
Next week, we’ve got another thriller on tap – “Black List” by New York Times number one best-selling author Brad Thor.
What’s on your summer reading list? Share your selections below.