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"The Lincoln Conspiracy," by Timothy O'Brien

The Lincoln Conspiracy, Timothy O'Brien
Random House, Vincent Laforet

Jeff Glor talks to Timothy O'Brien about, "The Lincoln Conspiracy."

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Timothy O'Brien: I've been a longtime Lincoln buff -- since I was 10 years-old or so -- and have always loved strongly plotted and engrossing thrillers and mysteries. So writing The Lincoln Conspiracy was a way to wed both of those interests. This is the first in a series and I hope the entire series can capture the social arc of the early industrial years because so much was set in motion around politics, wealth, women, and African-Americans, all of which we're still living with today. It's a great tableau for storytelling, an opportunity to immerse readers in a pivotal, transformative era, and the setting for a novel that hinges on intrigue, riddles, and murder.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

TO: How long all of the research took! I often spent hours looking into the provenance of guns or early police practices. I also think you have to think hard and work hard to make your characters authentic and three-dimensional. I hope that Temple McFadden, the detective at the center of the plot, feels compelling and authentic to readers.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

TO: Making movies or running a vineyard in Napa.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

TO: "Mission to Paris" by Alan Furst and "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

JG: What's next for you?

TO: I'm back in the saddle with Temple McFadden again. The saga continues. All six books in the series will revolve around confrontations between Temple and a very wily puppet-master in what amounts to a Holmes-Moriarty face-off that transforms both men.

For more on "The Lincoln Conspiracy," visit the Random House website.

Jeff Glor

Jeff Glor has reported all over the world for CBS News since 2007. He was named anchor of the "CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor" in 2017.

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