Interview with Gabriel Farago, Author of The Lost Symphony

01 Dec 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, The Lost Symphony?

A murdered tsarina. A lost musical masterpiece. A stolen Russian icon. Can Jack honor a promise made a long time ago, and solve an age-old mystery?

When acclaimed Australian journalist and author Jack Rogan inherits an old music box with a curious letter hidden inside, he decides to investigate. As he delves deeper into a murky past of secrets and violence, he soon discovers that he’s not the only one interested in solving the puzzle. Frieda Malenkova, a ruthless art dealer, and Victor Sokolov, a Russian billionaire with a dark past, will stop at nothing to achieve their deep desires and foil Jack’s valiant struggle to uncover the truth. Joining forces with Mademoiselle Darrieux, a flamboyant Paris socialite, and Claude Dupree, a retired French police officer, Jack enters a dangerous world of unbridled ambition, murder and greed that threatens to destroy him. On a perilous journey that takes him deep into Russia, Jack follows a tortuous path of discovery, disappointment and betrayal that brings him face to face with his destiny. Will Jack unravel the hidden clues left behind by a desperate empress? Can he save the precious legacy of a genius before it’s too late, and return a holy icon revered by generations to where it belongs?

The Lost Symphony – book 6 in the Jack Rogan Mysteries – was an ambitious project, and I look forward with great anticipation to the feedback from my readers.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I love language and literature. Expressing yourself through writing is a wonderful, intellectual adventure. I was introduced to reading, especially the classics, at a young age by my grandfather, and I was hooked. Tolstoy’s War and Peace was one of my favorites, and I thought, perhaps one day … I can write something like that! Well, I’m still trying, but we must never stop dreaming!

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Tolstoy’s War and Peace; Duma’s The Three Musketeers; Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific; Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express; Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls; Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

If I could have a ‘literary seance’ I would ask Alexandre Dumas and Agatha Christie to join the show. I would ask them about the best way to portray characters. To me, characters are the lifeblood of a good book, in my case a nail-biting thriller. Characters bring the storyline to life and are the most important tool an author can use to make a book a page-turner. If my seance should turn out to be a little ambitious, I would ask a fellow author, James Patterson, to the show, and ask him the same questions.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The intellectual challenge, and the adventure of it all. I always strive for elusive perfection in my writing, but alas, I suspect it will forever remain just that; elusive!

What is a typical day like for you?

Once I start writing a book, I have a relentless routine. I write every day, usually late at night – always while listening to music – and review what I’ve written the day before in the morning. I exercise a lot during the day. This involves long walks in the rainforest below our house in the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney. I live on the edge of a World Heritage National Park, which helps. I am a keen gardener, and work in our large garden during the day, thinking about my characters and the storyline. Once I return to my attic, I write all this down, and after dinner, the actual writing begins. There’s little time for sleep. But sleep is such a waste of time, isn’t it?

What scene from The Lost Symphony was your favorite to write?

This is a hard one, because the book is complex, and a big read of more than 500 pages. That said, on reflection, perhaps chapter 5 – The Seance St Petersburg: December 1894 -would be a good choice.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yes. The best is yet to come!

Gabriel Farago is the author of the new book The Lost Symphony.

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