CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2020 – Interview with Lou Berney

With just one week to go before the winner of the 2020 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award is announced, we interviewed Lou Berney and asked him about his shortlisted book, November Road.

How does it feel to be on the shortlist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger?

It’s a huge honor to be on the shortlist with so many talented writers – and so many talented writers shortlisted in the past.

If you could summarise ‘November Road’ in ten words, what would you say?

A man running for his life gets dangerously distracted.

What’s your writing process – do you jump straight in, or plan and plot first and in which ways has lock-down affected your writing process, if at all?

I plan a lot, start drafting, go back and throw out the original plan, plan again, draft again, repeat. The lockdown hasn’t really changed my writing process much. I’m able to speak dialogue aloud at home instead of mumbling it in the coffee shop where I used to write.

Which thriller writers do you most admire?

There are lots of them, but a few in particular are Meg Gardiner, S.A. Cosby, Adrian McKinty, Megan Abbott, Daniel Palmer, Sheena Kamal.

What makes a killer thriller?

It doesn’t ask you politely to turn the page – it forces you to do it.

04 November Road

This was the last of the six interviews with the shortlisted authors. Next week, on 22 October, the winner of the 2020 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award will be announced, we wish all six authors the best of luck!

Photograph of Lou Berney by Lou Berney