N. Lombardi Jr., author of the recently released "Justice Gone" stoppoed by to have a chat. For those of you who haven't met him, N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Visit his goodreads page:
What inspired you to write?
I never intended to be an author, but intermittent events in my life spurred me to write and now I've reached the point of no return. The first time was 30 years ago, and it was a catharsis for a broken heart. This novel was finally published in 2014 as Journey Towards a Falling Sun, a romance adventure set in Kenya.
I began my second novel, The Plain of Jars, in 1998, and worked on it for 15 years while working as a groundwater geologist in various countries. I had no intention of writing again, but when I visited Laos and learned about the secret war the US waged against that small country (without an official declaration of war) and discovered that more bombs were dumped on that country than all the munitions dropped in World War II, I felt I just had to write about it. The novel was published as my first, in 2013.
My latest novel is Justice Gone, and was inspired by a true event, the fatal beating of a homeless man in a small Californian town. This was such an extreme case, and one which did not include any racial elements, that it exposed the utter abuse of authority in which an outraged public reaction was inevitable.
What are you working on writing now?
I am working on another Tessa Thorpe mystery, this one being much more of a psychological thriller, and a lot scarier. There is also quite a bit more of criminal psychiatry in the story. The title is Woman in the Shadow and should be out in the middle of 2020.
Forest, country, beach or city?
I live in the countryside of Cambodia, in the south, where we have mountains, beach, a river/estuary, rice paddies, and forest, i.e. we have everything and I love it all. No city though, but it's a 10-minute drive to a pleasant, pretty town
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?
I've lived in over 10 countries on 4 continents, so vacation for me is to stay at home and relax, and if you refer to the previous question, I think you'll understand that.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
That's an easy question, and I'm sure I'm one of amny who would say Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. Every time I see it, I cry.
Name three people you admire, and give reasons.
Smedley Butler, who was a United States Marine Corps major general in the early 20th century, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. But he eventually became a vociferous anti-war activist, writing a book called War is a Racket. He also saved President Roosevelt and the country from a fascist coupe d'etat in 1935, an event that few people know about.
Oprah Winfrey, a person who came from the absolute bottom and rose to the absolute top by matter of sheer will and conviction, and through her own power and remarkable effort. Her campaign to bring literacy and stoke an interest in reading books are unmatched.
Oskar Schindler, someone ordinary who did the extraordinary, put his life on the line to save people he did not know from a group that he did not belong to. A truly selfless act, but why did he do it? Schindler would never comment on what he did. I admire his reticence.
What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
I feel like I've been stranded in The Land of the Giants. Everything is stacked against the Indie author. The latest development, that Goodreads now charges authors 120- 540 dollars to conduct a giveaway on their site, something that was once free, as it should be, suggests a conspiracy to push struggling authors out of the way of the Big 5 publishing houses.
Goodreads Book links
The Plain of Jars
Journey Towards a Falling Sun
Thanks for chatting with us, Mr. Lombarid! Got a question for the author? Leave it in the comments!