Our guest today is the incomparable James Rollins! He’s the #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages, and his Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets-and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight. Just take a look at the cover below for his next, The Demon Crown, (video below) and you get an idea of how exciting his thrillers can be. In addition to this novel, he’s also just released a short story The Ghost Ship (video below) and those of you writing a manuscript, be sure to check out the Writing Tips on his webpage: www.jamesrollins.com. He’s on tour, and in Chicago December 10th 5:00 pm to sign with our own Jamie Freveletti at Volumes, 1474 N. Milwaukee. Click here for more info and see you there!
Rogues: Which is harder to write — your novel’s first sentence, or the last?
I always know the first line of a novel and the last before I set pen to paper on a novel, but which is easier? As I’m a sequential writer—one incapable of skipping a scene to write a later one—I’d have to say the firstline is easier, simply because it comes first in line.
Rogues: What’s your favorite word?
Apparently (because Steve Berry notes it every time I use it) the word “sluice/sluiced.” After finishing a recent novel, I did a global search for this word and realized I failed to use it. So I added it to my acknowledgment page, just to make sure Mr. Berry was happy.
Rogues: Where do you like to write?
I mostly write in my home library. The best writing days in the library are those dark stormy days with a fire burning in the hearth…so, of course, I’m tempted to write a novel one day that opens with those fateful words: “It was a dark and stormy night…”
Rogues: What do you do when you need to take a break from writing?
I take my dogs somewhere, as Duncan and Echo are forever patient when I write, curled on the library rug or at my feet. I’ll take them chasing balls on the beach or a hike through the woods.
Rogues: If you could have lived in a different time period, what would it be?
The near future. It’s the science fiction buff in me that wants to know what’s around the bend. Plus I could get the lotto numbers in advance.
Rogues: What’s your favorite drink?
Non-alcoholic drink: Sugar-free Rockstar Punched (a can is next to my elbow as I write this)
Alcoholic drink: bourbon with a single cube of ice (or a sipping Tequila with flan)
Rogues: When you were ten years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Veterinarian. Knew it then, know it now. This writing business is simply a hobby.
Rogues: Do you have a literary hero? A teacher, mentor, family member, author who
Mark Twain. He dabbled in all manner of genres, while deftly blending social commentary, humor, suspense, and action. I even stole his real name for a pseudonym of mine (“James Clemens”). Figured he wasn’t using it, so I might as well steal it.
Rogues: Describe your very first car.
1971 Pontiac Firebird. It had over a 100,000 miles on it when I bought it. It was cherry red with a black vinyl roof. To this day, any combination of red and black sets my heart aflutter: shirt, shoes, doesn’t matter. And yes, I still own a little red and black sports car today.
Rogues: Do you write what you know or what you want to know?
If I only wrote what I know, all my books would be about sick or injured animals. No, I write what I wish I could do and who I wish I could be: archaeologist, anthropologist, cave explorer, marine biologist, Indiana Jones, Buck Rogers. I read to escape…and write for the exact same reason.