domenica 19 giugno 2011

An interview with Kent Harrington

Thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed these interesting questions. Just so your readers know, I was in Italy last year for the first time in my life and I felt like I’d gone home. Really it’s true.

Hi Kent. Thanks for accepting my interview and welcome on Liberidiscrivere. Tell us something about you. Who is Kent Harrington? Strengths and weaknesses.

Kent Harrington, the man was born in San Francisco and beyond that is a complete mystery to me, and I’m the one who knows him the best! I’ve got only one real strength and that’s a profound stubbornness. But without it I could never have succeeded in ever finishing a novel, or, for that matter, having any kind of career in the arts. You have to be stubborn and somewhat indifferent to any outcome as an artist—certainly you must be indifferent to criticism or you’ll never get anywhere. So you could say that – up to a point – you have to give a shit and at the same time not give a shit. Those are contradictory ideas, I know, but the world of the artist is a confusing one filled with contradictions, tensions and impossible mazes—it’s a special kind of insanity. Weaknesses. Oh god I have so many. But I consider them, oddly, strengths too. Because through battling my weaknesses I’ve run head long into my humanity. We are all imperfect and fail constantly. You just hope you don’t fail at the big things in life. There was a very famous bullfighter who was once asked what he did to stay in shape and he said “I drink and smoke cigars. How can I ever be stronger than the bull?!”

Tell us something about your background, your studies, your childhood.

I was sent to a military school when I was very young, nine years old. It changed me. I was never the same because once you are cast out from the family at such a young age and into that dog-eat-dog environment that is an all-boy’s school, you can never go back. I never was able to view my parents any longer as protectors, or as “parents”. It’s not that I didn’t love them, it was that once you are left to fend for yourself, with no one to call for help, you either are crushed by the experience, or you learn to survive. In that school survival meant learning how to physically fight. I learned how to fight so that the other boys respected me enough not to pick on me. The boys that didn’t learn that important lesson were crushed spiritually and it was devastating. In many ways I’m glad that I was left to fend for myself as a child because it made me much stronger later in life. I went on to University and got a degree in Spanish literature. I was never happier than as a university student. There is nothing I like better than studying something. Maybe that’s why I chose to be a writer because the novel always turns you into a student. No one can master the novel! No one. For me Heaven will be a university campus with lots of old books, cappuccino, and conversation.

What made you start writing crime fiction?

I stared writing crime fiction because I was intrigued by Jim Thompson’s work. I had not read much, if any, American crime fiction as a student. It was not the kind of reading that was allowed at my school. I wasn’t exposed to pulp fiction until I was in my twenties in fact. I grew up with heavier fare at the school as parents expected their children to be exposed to the classics so pulp fiction was actually confiscated! Anyway, when I came across Thompson, after I was well out of university, I was transfixed because I had not read anything like him. And for whatever reason I felt I understood him, why he’d chosen the style he had. I also wanted to try writing in a more Hemingway style and less of the DH Lawrence style which I’d been trying in earlier work. What I didn’t understand was that it was the Noir sensitivity that was really what was attracting me to Thompson. Anyway, I decided to try a crime novel and it turned out to be my first published novel: Dark Ride. It was a minor success. I was very lucky; it allowed me get my start in the novel business.

In interviews you cite Hemingway, Fitzgerald, D.H. Lawrence, Greene, Faulkner, Orwell as a writing influence. Is it true?

Yes it’s very true. All of them had a profound influence on me. I regret now that they have fallen out of favour, at least in this country. We have less style now in popular fiction in America than we used to. I owe those writers a great deal, as they truly made me the person I am today. People who say art isn’t important have never read a great novel. It can change you.

Can you tell us a little about your debut novel, Dark Ride?

As I said I was intrigued by the Noir sensibility. It is a very “sudden” style. Things are seemingly blunt and exposed yet somehow you come to see that it’s just the opposite. In fact it’s through this blunt style that you are introduced to a very complex way of projecting things about society’s other hidden face, the secrets about American life if you will. Ours has always been a society of secrets and double dealing and obviously lawlessness. I mean look at the history of our march West. Why do we feel the need to own so many guns in America? In Dark Ride I wanted to write about a character that was driven crazy by middle class expectations, and the underlying culture of success that dominates here. In the US-- I don’t know about Italy-- if someone wears a suit and has clean hands then they really do get respect. It’s the most amazing thing to witness. If you want to really hide your criminal intentions in America, wear a suit and you will go a long long way. Dark Ride is also about the importance of sexual expression as a language of the human psyche. In other words, sexual expression—as in the case of sadomasochism I write about in the novel -- is extremely articulate about what the larger culture is concerned with. I felt that the culture of success in America is linked to the idea of dominance and aggression and that Jimmy’s inability to be successful made it logical for him to fall under the spell of a woman who was overtly interested in the domination/submission sexual dynamic of sadomasochism. In other words, if you can’t be dominate in the larger world—where you are perceived as a “failure”-- perhaps you can play at being dominant in the bedroom and vice versa? There are cases of very powerful men who pay so they can play the submissive role sexually. Anyway Dark Ride is my American family portrait shot in black and white, and with a double exposure.

Red jungle evokes a richly rewarding literary tradition and especially draws comparisons to the work of Graham Greene, particularly The Heart of the Matter and The Quiet American. Was this a goal?

Red Jungle was my return to the other writing style that I am very attracted to and which I grew up with and which I enjoy; it’s a more literary style say of Graham Greene. ( I like to oscillate between the two diametrically opposed styles.) It’s that “literary” style that I think can add so much to a popular thriller. In other words, the two are not mutually exclusive in my view. In fact there is, I believe, a real plus to the literary style of someone like Graham Greene when you are writing about place. Place is an important part of Red Jungle. And although it was easy for me to write about my mother’s country on one level – I spoke Spanish before I spoke English-- I knew I had to get across that sense of Place through language. If I failed to do that then I felt the novel would fail because it would only be interesting if the reader was really brought to Guatemala-- that special locale. Anyway, that’s what I thought and that’s what I tried to do. If there is a comparison-- and there has been between my political thriller work and Green’s-- it’s because I like to use Greene’s sense of objectivity. Nobody really comes out smelling good in Greene’s world. He reduces politics to the actions of individuals, and that’s what literature is supposed to do. No one gets a free pass. I think I have the same attitude. For example in The Comedians, truly a work of genius, Green captures modern Haiti. He absolutely defines the problems of its colonial status and relation to the US and France over the years. In a way it’s scientific, almost brutal, but sometimes scientists, whether political or medical, have to face the hard truths in order to come up with cures. Good novels help us translate the complexity of the modern world into something understandable. And hopefully we come away more educated. I highly recommend Greene’s The Comedians to everyone. It is a great work of art, and a useful tool in understanding Haiti to this day. That is a remarkable achievement for a novel that’s over 40 years old!

Let’s talk about Día de los Muertos released in Italy with Meridiano Zero. What’s Día de los muertos’s publishing history?

It was published in the US by DMP (Dennis McMillan Publications one of the great and now rightfully famous small crime fiction publishers in the US.) in 1997. I had had trouble placing the book with larger mainstream publishers at the time despite the success of Dark Ride. They viewed Dia De Los Muertos as simply too outré. I’ve never understood that opinion. It was strange to me. However DMP read it and called me back quickly and said they would publish it and damn the torpedoes. They had a hit with it and the book is now considered a noir classic. The original edition sometimes sell for more than they it originally. Funny! Of course I’m proud of the book’s popularity. It was later published By Capra Books, who published Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller and others, in 2004 in trade paper. It’s been published in several countries around the world including in Italy by Meridiano Zero as you said. It’s about to be published by Diversion Books in eBook format this summer in the US. The book has never gone out of print in over 10 years. It always makes me realize that you should never give up on a book just because someone says it’s too much, too shocking.

Can you tell us a little about the writing of the book? What was the most laborious part during the writing?

I wish I could say that Dia De Los Muertos was hard to write, but that’s not true. (Unlike Red Jungle that was difficult.) Dia De Los Muertos poured out of me. I can honestly say that I felt the presence of Hemingway, John Huston and Jim Thompson in the room while I worked. I know that sounds crazy, but some mornings, I swear to you, I felt them there with me giving me advice and cheering me on. (It was very funny and ironic that after publishing the book, John Huston’s son called me on the phone and wanted to make it into a film!) It was wonderful to feel their presence. I hope that happens one or two more times in my life.

Have other works inspired you in the writing of this novel? Was Jim Thompson an influence?

I wanted to do a novel that took place in just one day – twenty-four hours. I knew that, but there is no novel that inspired me in that regard. What happened was this: I had gone down to the bullfights in Tijuana a lot, mostly by myself. Anyway, one day I was having lunch in this place that was a crazy place; it had outdoor seating and all kinds of different people came there: movie stars from LA down for the bullfights, gangsters, Marines, tourists. Just a real mixture of types, and I saw Vincent Calhoun come in. And then I started seeing him other places around town, and that was my inspiration. To me Calhoun exists. He’s a real man. I saw him one Sunday.

Could you tell us a little about your protagonist, Vincent Calhoun?

Vincent Calhoun is a composite of all the tough guys I’ve actually known, and I’ve known some. The thing that makes Calhoun interesting I think is that he doesn’t give a shit. He really doesn’t. He could die or not die in a gunfight. He’s dangerous because he really doesn’t care if he lives or dies. I was working in East Oakland prior to writing Dia De Los Muertos and there was a lot of violence. I’d been working in the worst part of the a hyper-ghetto for several years in fact. I’d almost been killed in a crossfire and I’d kind of lost my mind and didn’t really care anymore if I lived or died as long as I got paid. I just gave up caring. And I think that’s what I infused Calhoun with, my own don’t-give-a-shit attitude. If I died I died. I had that attitude in Guatemala too when I wrote Red Jungle. Thank God I don’t have to live that way now. But it was very real back then and I think it’s what makes some of my novels breath: I’ve been in some crazy places. Unless you’ve really been out on the edge and looked down, then you can’t come back and write about it. Or if you do, I think people know that you’re just “making things up”. There is a lot of Vincent Calhoun I didn’t have to make up, believe me. That’s why he’s real to me, and always will be.

It’s a noir set on the border in the city of Tijuana. Is the Latin world a source of inspiration? Have you read James Elroy’s Tijuana Mon Amour?

Yes the Latin world is a source of inspiration to me. I’ve got that in my blood and I enjoy translating the Latin sensibility to the outside world. I think my thought processess are Latin ones. I have never read Elroy’s Tijuana Mon amour but would like to. I’m going to add it to my must read pile!

I'd like to talk about the day to day process of being a writer. Would you describe a typical working day for you?

I get up very early in the morning and review what I’d done the day before and then dive in. By 11:30 I’m through. I can’t write well after about 12 noon. I leave my desk and go exercise: run, lift weights do something non cerebral. Sometimes, when the book is almost finished, I’ll take a peek at what I’ve done in the late afternoon in preparation for the next day. I don’t work on the weekends, normally. I can’t drink when I’m working. I wish I could, but I can’t. So I don’t. I have to do all my drinking and partying when I’m not working on a book..

Do you write short stories or only novels?

I do write short stories and enjoy them. I would like to write a short story collection before I leave the party.

Who are your favorite living authors?

Le Carre is one name on a very long list.

What's the last book you read?

V.S. Naipaul “An Area Of Darkness”

Do you ever get writer’s block and what do you do when that happens?

Yes, of course. My cure is to keep going to work and facing the page. If it really gets bad I take two or three days off, or work in another part of the book reviewing earlier chapters. I know it will pass and don’t let it freak me out.

Dark ride, The American boys, Red Jungles, The good physician. Do you know if Meridiano Zero translates them into Italian?

I know Meridiano Zero is going to publish Red Jungle soon I hope they do them all!

What is your relationship like with your readers? How can readers get in touch with you?

Well I don’t blog or that kind of thing because I’m always busy working on a novel or a script or something. But I hope that people will join me on Face book which does make me feel connected when I see fans friending my author’s site. It’s a good feeling seeing those faces, because being a novelist is a lonely occupation, let’s face it. And of course they can contact me via my web site. I do read the emails that come through the web site, and when I can, I respond to them. Please feel free to write me via

Do you enjoy touring for literary promotion? Tell to our Italian readers something of amusing about these meetings.

The funniest one was with my first book Dark Ride I was scheduled to appear in a Barnes & Noble in a mall in California and I went and they had not been told anything about me and weren’t expecting me. They put me out by the magazines sitting at a little card table with no books. A man came up to me and told me to please move as he wanted to get to the Penthouse Magazines and I was blocking him. I felt two inches tall and since then have always been afraid when I walk into a bookstore for any kind of appearance, that they will not have been told! And I will be put out, all alone, by the magazines again!

Will you come to Italy again to introduce your novels?

I hope so! As I truly love Italy. I hope someone very rich invites me. Someone with a great hotel who says they’ll pay my restaurant and bar bills too! Call me ( smile)

Finally, the inevitable question: what are you working on now?

I’m working on a new crime novel called FRIENDS OF OURS and some of the story is set in Italy!

martedì 14 giugno 2011

An Interview with James Rollins

    Hi Jim. Thanks for accepting my interview and welcome on Liberidiscrivere. Tell us something about you. Who is James Rollins pen name of Jim Czajkowski? Strengths and weaknesses.

    “James Rollins” is a writer of thrillers, but as the penname implies, I do wear a few hats. I’m also “James Clemens,” a fantasy writer. And “James Czajkowski,” the veterinarian. With so many names, sometimes it’s hard to keep it all straight.

    Tell us something about your background, your studies, your childhood.

    First of all, I blame my mother for my writing career. She read while I was growing up, so I read. And that’s where all the insanity started. Sure, I was interested in animals and science and knew since third grade that I would be a veterinarian--but I also loved to read. And reading was like throwing gasoline on the fire of an overactive imagination. Growing up with three brothers and three sisters, I was the “storyteller” of the family (what my mother called “The Liar”). So fiction writing was in my blood from a very young age. But I never considered writing as a real career. I thought you had to have some literary pedigree to be a successful author, the son of Hemingway or Fitzgerald. So instead I turned to my other passion for a career: veterinary medicine. But I made one mistake. I continued to read—and that little twisted corner of my imagination never fully died away and I began dabbling with writing again in my mid-thirties. First, I wrote a bunch of short stories that are safely buried in my backyard—then my first novel, which actually sold.

    What jobs have you held in the past?

    Prior to becoming a veterinarian and author, I’ve waited tables, spun pizzas in the air, washed dishes. I’ve worked at a pet store, a department store, and a grocery story. I also taught chemistry at a university. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? What about when it comes to fiction? As mentioned above, I’ve always loved spinning stories. But it was only when I was in high school that I actually tried my handing at writing those stories down. In college, though, I set that all aside to concentrate on my veterinary studies. After college, I wrote some nonfiction articles about veterinary medicine, which whet my appetite to want to write fiction. And one day I decided to do just that.

    Tell us something about your debut. Your road to publication. Have you received many refuses?

    Certainly I’ve had my share of rejections: first for all those short stories, then for my first novel. That manuscript was rejected by 50 different agents before one finally agreed to represent it. That book eventually went into a bidding war among two publishers and sold. Even the movie rights got sold. I’m glad at least ONE agent liked the book.

    Is it true that Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum and Wilbur Smith are your influence?

    Definitely. I still read Cussler and Smith, and I miss Robert Ludlum. But I have to mention that Michael Crichton was also a huge influence. Who are your favourite living authors? I love Stephen King, Dan Simmons, George R.R. Martin, Steve Berry, Nevada Barr…oh, the list goes on and on.

    You are the author of bestselling fantasy and action-packed adventure-thrillers. Could you tell us something about your books? Which one is your favourite?

    It’s hard to pick a favorite, but that first book (which was rejected by so many agents) holds a special place in my heart. That book was published in the US under the title Subterranean. Though that book was published as a thriller, it also features telepathic marsupial creatures living under Antarctica…so even in my adventure thrillers, there is a bit of fantasy. All in all, I love to blend weird science and historical mysteries together.

    In 2007, you were hired to write the novelization of the script for the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skul. Tell us something about this experience.

    First of all, I’m a huge Indy fan. In fact, I remember seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time. There was a sneak preview of that movie, and I had to be the first to see that movie. I’m just sort of that sort of movie geek (and proudly so!). BUT I had also booked a white-water rafting trip for that same day. I remember paddling really, really fast to make sure I was out of that river in time to make the movie. I didn’t quite make it. I had to go straight from the river to the theater. So I watched Raiders with soaking wet sneakers and damp clothes…and all in all, it’s not a bad way of watching Raiders, added a little something to the viewing. As to writing the novelization, I found it an interesting and fascinating challenge. It was both involving and liberating: deconstructing the script, creating internal monologue, expanding some scenes, contracting others, and inventing brand new scenes. The studio gave me a fairly free hand. And all in all, I was able to add about a dozen entirely new scenes that aren’t in the script or movie. So I had a blast, getting to wear Indy’s hat and crack his whip (if only in my own imagination).

    Could you tell us something about The SIGMA Force series?

    SIGMA Force is my ongoing series featuring a group of former Special Forces soldiers who are retrained in various scientific disciplines and sent out into the world to investigate global threats. They’re basically “scientists with guns,” who get into all sorts of trouble.

    Why did you decide to write Altar of Eden, your last book published in Italy by Editrice Nord ?

    I always wanted to merge my love for animals with my passion for writing. Altar of Eden offered me that chance. It’s what I call the first “veterinary thriller.” .

    How long did the process of writing the Altar of Eden take?

    Like most of my novels, I spend about 3 months researching and crafting the general plot, then it takes about 7 months to write it and another month to polish it.

    Have other works inspired you in the writing of this novel?

    The biggest inspiration can be found at the very beginning of that novel. I use a quote from H.G. Wells, from his novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau. Altar of Eden is my homage to that great and frightening story of animal research gone amok.

    Could you tell us something about the plot of this book without revealing the final?

    Sure. It feature a veterinarian, who stumbles upon an exotic-animal smuggling ring, only to discover that something is horribly wrong with these animals, that they’ve been experimented upon at the genetic level. She must discover why this was done and how to stop them before a horror is unleashed that will threaten all of mankind.

    Could you tell us a little about your protagonists?

    The veterinarian is Dr. Lorna Polk. She works for a research facility outside New Orleans that is attempting to save endangered species. When she’s called in by the border patrol to help investigate a shipwrecked trawler, she must team up with Jack Menard, a border patrol agent who shares a dark history with her. The story is full of adventure, suspense, and explores the redemptive power of love.

    When will your next book be released in Italy?

    My next instalment of my children’s series (Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx) will be out Summer 2012. And the next Sigma book (The Devil Colony) will be released around the same time…if not sooner. I haven’t heard the exact release date yet.

    I'd like to talk about the day to day process of being a writer. Would you describe a typical working day for you?

    My writing routing is pretty much the same everyday: I write 4-5 pages in the morning, take a lunch break, and write another 1-2 pages and edit in the afternoon. The rest of the time (1-2 hours a day) is spent on the business side of writing: answering mail, etc. They are generally very full days. I’ll do that Monday through Friday—and I take the weekend off.

    Your books have been translated for publication in several country. Is this exciting?

    Yes, I’m thrilled. An author’s goal is to get his books read as widely as possible. To know the stories are now being read in over thirty countries is both gratifying and humbling.

    You are a critically acclaimed author. Have you received bad reviews?

    Of course. I don’t think any single book can appeal to every reader. There will always be those readers or reviewers who are not going to like your book. My goal is to write the most exciting and sincere novel that I can and put it out there. Some will like it; others won’t.

    Do you write short stories or only novels?

    I still do write a few short stories. I’ve had stories published in anthologies edited by James Patterson, George R.R. Martin, and R.L. Stine. And I just wrote a story that is coming available in e-book format that ties into the next Sigma novel. It’s a great diversion to be able to write a shorter story every now and then.

    Any movie projects from your books?

    Yes, the late great Dino De Laurentiis read my books during a trip to Italy. He read them in Italian and loved them enough to call me and invite me to his home in Hollywood. From that meeting, I ended up selling his company the film rights to the Sigma series.

    What are you reading at the moment?

    Actually I’m reading my way through the Hugo nominees (the best science fiction novels). I do that every year. I’m currently reading Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold.

    Do you enjoy touring for literary promotion? Tell to our Italian readers something of amusing about these meetings.

    I do. I even did a tour in Italy a couple of years ago. And I’ve certainly had my share of amusing experiences on the road: people showing up in costumes, another time someone came to a signing with a boa constrictor around his neck…and once I even fielded a proposal for marriage (which I declined since I had never met this person before).

    You have a very intense fan base. What is your relationship like with your readers? How can readers get in touch with you?

    I have a great time chatting with people online. My website has a “contact James” button for sending me email, but I’m also very active on Facebook and Twitter. So if you want to know what I’m doing most days, just follow me on Twitter or join me on Facebook.

    Finally, the inevitable question: what are you working on now?

    I’m polishing up the next volume of my kid’s series, featuring time-traveling boy-archaeologist, Jake Ransom, and working on the next big Sigma adventure. I’m also working on a secret project that I’m not yet allowed to talk about. How’s that for ending on a mystery?

    sabato 4 giugno 2011

    Interview with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

    Hi Mr Preston and Mr Child. Thanks for accepting my interview and welcome on Liberidiscrivere. Tell us something about you. Strengths and weaknesses.

    Doug: I do most of the work and Linc just sits around giving advice.
    Linc: Not true! Actually, we both live 300 miles apart so we write our books together using mostly the telephone and, of course, the internet.
    Doug: We each have our own areas of expertise. Mine is in archaeology, history, mathematics and physics, while Linc is the expert in computers, codebreaking, food, wine, and the finer things in life.

    Tell us something about your background, your studies, your childhood.

    Doug: I grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley, outside of Boston.
    Linc: And I grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Westport, Connecticut. We have that in common. Doug, I understand, was a quasi-criminal growing up, in trouble all the time, while I obeyed the law.
    Doug: We’re still like that. Linc’s the find, upstanding, law abiding citizen while I am a bit of an outlaw.

    When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

    Doug: When I was eight, I wrote a book with a friend called Animal Valley.
    Linc: And I also started writing seriously around the same age.

    What about when it comes to fiction? Do you read other contemporary writers?

    Doug: I love the books of Michael Crichton, Nelson DeMille, Ruth Rendell, as well as many of the 19th century English classics such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Dickens.

    Linc: Add Dennis Lehane to that list, along with H.P. Lovecraft and M.R. James.

    Tell us something about your debut. Your road to publication. Have you received many refuses?

    Our first novel, Relic, was turned down by five or six publishers. It gave us great satisfaction when it was a huge bestseller, and then Paramount made a film of it.

    You have written many crime novels and a number of other novels. Which one is your favourite?

    I think we both agree that The Cabinet of Curiosities may be our best novel.

    Yours crime novels about special agent Pendergast have been translated into many languages. Is this exciting?

    Very much so. In fact we get many, many emails from our Italian readers, who love Pendergast. Since Doug reads and writes Italian he answers all those emails. It gives him language practice.

    Could you tell us a little about your main protagonist, Aloysius X. L. Pendergast?

    He is unique, a 19th century gentleman trapped in a corrupt 21st century world. But his principles are unbending, his mind is as bright as a flame. He realizes he cuts quite an eccentric figure, but he doesn’t care. He is extremely impatient with people, but the one thing he cannot abide is stupid, unbending bureaucracy.

    Why did you decide to write Relic?

    Most of our novels are partly or mainly set in New York City, often in and around the American Museum of Natural History. The story of how we came to write about the Museum is a curious one. I had been writing a column in the magazine Natural History, published by the Museum, where I worked. An editor from St. Martin's Press, who had been reading my pieces, called me up and asked if I wanted to write a history of the Museum. I said yes -- and that became my first book, Dinosaurs in the Attic. After the book was published, I gave the editor a tour of the Museum -- at midnight. I showed him all the best places in the Museum to which I had access--the dinosaur bone storage room, the collection of 30,000 rats in jars of alcohol, the whale eyeball collection, the preserved mastodon stomach with its last meal inside, and a lot of other unusual things. We ended up in the Hall of Late Dinosaurs around 2:00 a.m., with only the emergency lights on, the great black skeletons looming in the darkness around us--and the editor turned to me and said: "Doug, this is the scariest damn building in the world. Let's write a thriller set in here." And that was the birth of Relic, which was, of course, a huge bestseller and eventually a number one box office hit movie. That editor was Lincoln Child. We both discovered we shared the same kind of sick, twisted view of the world. That was how our long and fruitful collaboration began.

    How long did the process of writing the Relic take?

    About two to three years. We were both working on other books.

    Cemetery Dance is another your books translated in Italian. Could you tell us something about the plot of this book without revealing the final?

    A New York City journalist is savagely assaulted in his own apartment—by a killer whom eyewitnesses swear died two weeks before… Now his wife will stop at nothing to learn the truth. Evidence points to a reclusive cult given to dark ritual, animal sacrifice—and, rumor has it, reanimating the dead. But the more she learns, the more she grows endangered—until her life is threatened in an unthinkable way…

    …What secrets lie buried in the ancient church deep within Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park?

    I'd like to talk about the day to day process of being a writer. Would you describe a typical working day for you?

    I work like anyone else, about eight hours a day. I get to work around eight and knock off at around four or five. I often work early mornings Saturday too.

    Any movie projects from your books?

    Quite a few. Gideon’s Sword is being made into an entire series of films by Paramount. The Monster of Florence is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Riptide is being made into a movie by 20th Century Fox. And we have other books under option.

    Who are your favourite living authors?

    David Morrell, Steve Berry, James Rollins, Gayle Lynds, Mario Spezi.

    What are you reading at the moment?

    Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (Doug)
    Au Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans (Linc, in French)

    Do you enjoy touring for literary promotion? Tell to our Italian readers something of amusing about these meetings.

    We enjoy touring together. We often get into arguments about who should write the sex scenes in our books. We each think the other’s sex scenes are pathetic and we both feel sorry for each other’s wives as a result.

    What role does the Internet play in writing, researching, and marketing your books? How about e-publishing? Where do you see that heading?

    The internet for us is essential, since we live so far apart. It has made research much easier. Now, instead of spending a week researching one fact, we can get the information in ten minutes. Google Street View even tells us what specific places look like. As for ebooks, there is a big change coming. Even though we are both partial to old-fashioned paper books, we welcome the change.

    What changes have you noticed in the world of fiction in the time you've been writing?

    Of course many authors have come and gone, and tastes have changed. Too many young people are not reading these days, spending most of their time on the computer. But there will always be room for good books, and there will always be readers. Of that we are convinced.

    What is your relationship like with your readers? How can readers get in touch with you?

    We love interacting with our readers. We each have personal facebook pages as well as a fan page, which we post on almost every day. Italian readers are welcome to post in Italian – we have many Italian friends. Doug will answer their posts in Italian. Come and visit us at Be sure to “like” the page, so that our comments wills show up on your newsfeed.

    Finally, the inevitable question: what are you working on now?

    Our next Pendergast novel, Cold Vengeance, which will be published in the US in August. And Doug is working on The Monster of Florence, which will be a film starring George Clooney.