Readers ask great questions about the process of writing and about my books. Here are some of your most frequently asked questions.
  • Q. Is starting a new book difficult for you?
    A. No, that's the best part. Nothing is more exciting and challenging than bringing to life for the fir ... Read More
  • Q. Can you describe your typical writing day?
    A. I do have certain code that I attempt to stick to: write every day, read every day. I am fairly regi ... Read More
  • Q. How do you handle a writer's block?
    A. The wry answer: With two books a year to complete, I don't have time for writer's block. But more se ... Read More
  • Q. Why is the price of the Kindle editions of your books so high?
    A. The price of ebooks is one of the most controversial matters to hit publishing in years. Recently th ... Read More
  • Q. How would you describe your larger philosophy of writing?
    A. My goal when I set out to write is not to examine the human condition or explore the trials and trib ... Read More
  • Q. Do you have a recurring detail that appears in your books?
    A. One of the recurring themes in my novels is the exploration of how advancing technology affects us. ... Read More
  • Q. How do you use Sympathy Builders?
    A. (1) Have the character demonstrate exceptional skill at his/her profession or some other task. (2) H ... Read More
  • Q. How do you approach a new novel?
    A. I start with the three main tent poles to the story: the historical mystery, the science behind the ... Read More
  • Q. How much research do you do for a novel?
    A. I love to research — love it to a fault! So I try to restrict my research to a set period of t ... Read More
  • Q. Do you need a set level of comfort from your research before you begin to write, or do you do research as you go?
    A. When I do my initial research — and this all applies mostly to the thrillers — I’l ... Read More
  • Q. There are a lot of scientific facts in your books. How much are you interested in those topics? How do you research all of that?
    A. As a veterinarian, my schooling concentrated on the sciences. I’m fascinated by all aspects an ... Read More
  • Q. Have you had any special adventures when researching your books?
    A. I went to Cambodia to research the ruins of Angkor Wat and tried fried tarantula. I’m not sure ... Read More
  • Q. How do you view the element of suspense in your work? As a practical question, how do you structure it and manage it in your plot?
    A. Suspense is the true heart of all good adventures, the proverbial cliff hanger. You take your charac ... Read More
  • Q. How do you choose the names of your characters?
    A. It does take some thought. I often take half a book before I even discover my main character's real ... Read More
  • Q. What character from your writing stays with you the most?
    A. Depends on the day. But most often it is not past characters that influence me, but the current ones ... Read More
  • Q. Has a character from your writing ever influenced your real life in a surprising way?
    A. I can't say any specific character changed my life, but by exploring the human condition of various ... Read More
  • Q. Have you ever put yourself into a story?
    A. I think there is a part of me in every character I create — good and bad. That’s one of ... Read More
  • Q. You explore isolated parts of the earth - desert, Amazon, ocean, etc. Why set your adventures there?
    A. From a practical standpoint, these remote locations are perfect places to stage some pretty wild adv ... Read More
  • Q. Have you ever put a friend or real person in your books?
    A. Anyone who has heard the stories about what I did to my brothers and sisters should know better than ... Read More
  • Q. How do you go about the writing process?
    A. The actual writing process — the routine – is very left brain. Perhaps this goes back to ... Read More
  • Q. Where do you write? Do you have an "inner sanctum" or cabin in the woods, or do you write anywhere and everywhere? Do you have any rituals involved in the writing process?
    A. I do about 70 percent of my writing in my office, but sometimes I get a bit stir-crazy being cooped ... Read More
  • Q. What about procrastination?
    A. The worst and most insidious procrastination for me is research. I’ll be looking for some bit ... Read More
  • Q. How long does it take to write a novel?
    A. I spend 90 days researching and constructing the story. This is a very intense, immersive period. T ... Read More
  • Q. Some authors say that the plot tends to free itself and that they are sometimes astonished by this. Does that ring a bell?
    A. Definitely. Some authors outline to a great degree. I know where my story starts, I know where it en ... Read More
  • Q. Is there a difference in the way you approach the novel writing now as opposed to your earlier books?
    A. Definitely. My first novel was Subterranean. The first draft was 640 pages long. Once we were done e ... Read More
  • Q. You use two pseudonyms - James Rollins for your adventure/scientific thrillers and James Clemens for fantasy. Why did you choose to publish under pseudonyms, and why two different names?
    A. The pennames came about because my real last name is too hard to pronounce. Since word-of-mouth sel ... Read More
  • Q. What happened to the James Clemens fantasies - the Banned and the Banished series and the Godslayer Chronicles. Will there be a follow-up to Shadowfall and Hinterland?
    A. I have more plans for the Godslayer books. The working title for Book Three is God-Sword. Besides co ... Read More
  • Q. How do you write thrillers AND fantasies?
    A. I tried writing both simultaneously, but it was a disaster. I basically switch from thriller to fan ... Read More
  • Q. You've written some astonishing, adventurous, and extremely fast-paced thrillers. They have ingredients of mystery-thrillers, action-thrillers, adventure-books, and spy fiction. What do you call it?
    A. I generally classify the books as scientific thrillers or adventure thrillers. I’m always loo ... Read More
  • Q. "Sigma Force" is a covert operation unit. Have you ever thought of writing spy fiction?
    A. I'd love to write spy fiction one day. But presently my plate is very full. There are a score of gen ... Read More
  • Q. Does writing a series get easier with each new novel, or harder?
    A. I find writing a series to be harder. Sure, you have a cast of characters that you don’t have ... Read More
  • Q. Sometimes I feel like I know these characters.
    A. I firmly believe it’s important that the characters be real and the subject matter be relevant ... Read More
  • Q. What was the idea behind your books when you started writing? What was your goal and your influences?
    A. My main goal is to entertain, but I think the best entertainment also strives to make us think and t ... Read More
  • Q. What prompted you to select the type of fiction that you did as you became a novelist?
    A. I think most novelists write what interests them ... which was a quandary for  me, as my readin ... Read More
  • Q. Do you deliberately construct some of your stories within the narrative tradition of the lost world adventure?
    A. I did indeed construction Excavation in the tradition of lost world/lost race adventure as found in ... Read More
  • Q. I'm not going to ask you where you get your ideas, but where do you get your inspiration?
    A. I don’t actually have one wellspring of inspiration. Though I’m most often inspired whil ... Read More
  • Q. How do you come with new ideas for a new book? What's giving you the "kick in the head" to say: that will be the general topic?
    A. Ideas come from various sources. Sometimes they arise from a bit of history that ends in a question ... Read More
  • Q. It has been a tradition with Indiana Jones to have novelizations come out with the movies. Why do you think the books are essential companions to the films?
    A. There's the old adage: The book was better than the movie. And I think that mostly arises from the f ... Read More
  • Q. You are an adventurous guy yourself. You love spelunking deep into caves and you are diving enthusiast. How much of your own personality goes into your books?
    A. Oh, I wager that there’s a bit of me in all my characters: good and bad. It’s hard to ... Read More
  • Q. Do you base some of the adventures on own experiences and research right at the location?
    A. Many times. I’m often out having fun and something strange will happen or a great idea will p ... Read More
  • Q. So how were you chosen to write the novelization to Indy 4?
    A. Well, over the years, my books have been critically compared to Indiana Jones – I think mostly due ... Read More
  • Q. Who inspired you - and why?
    A. All writers start out as readers. My inspiration to read came from my parents. They loved to read ... Read More
  • Q. Why was it important for you to write this book?
    A. I would've written this in my own blood if they'd asked me to. I'm a huge Indy fan. In fact, I remem ... Read More
  • Q. Can you tell us a little about The Seventh Plague, your latest Sigma thriller? What’s it about?
    A. The story starts when an archaeologist—who vanished along with a survey team into the Egyptian des ... Read More
  • Q. What was it like to pen the character of Indiana Jones?
    A. It was somewhat intimidating to step into Indy's shoes, smash on that fedora, and grab that bullwhip ... Read More
  • Q. What writers and/or novels and films influenced the direction of your work?
    A. I have been asked this question many times at signings, conferences, etc. And initially I would shru ... Read More
  • Q. Do you have any favorite authors?
    A. I always hate this question even though I ask it of fellow authors. My reading habits are wide and f ... Read More
  • Q. Is it actually possible for people to mummify themselves while still alive?
    A. Shockingly it is. Sokushinbutsu—or Buddhas in the flesh—can be found in Japan, where the practit ... Read More
  • Q. Take us through the process: reading the script, adapting it into a novel.
    A. It was an absolute blast! I first read the script back in the late spring of 2007. At that time, sec ... Read More
  • Q. Back to those ten plagues from the Bible…could they really happen again?
    A. This novel deals with an alternate timeline for the events featured in the Book of Exodus—the stor ... Read More
  • Q. Can you tell us what this latest Sigma thriller is about?
    A. The story begins when twin sisters, both geneticists, are attacked on two different continents: one ... Read More
  • Q. Explain how Harrison Ford's portrayal can be translated into words and how readers will recognize the Indy from the films.
    A. Harrison Ford brings much more to the character than just his dialogue and actions: the way he shift ... Read More
  • Q. What did you do to celebrate your first book being published?
    A. I had a huge party with friends and family. But you'll have to ask them about it. For some reason, a ... Read More
  • Q. Blood Infernal" is the final book in your trilogy. Can you give us a little sneak into what might happen?
    A. James: Each of the first two books ended with some fairly dramatic climatic battle scenes, where the ... Read More
  • Q. I've read that you are an avid scuba diver and enjoy spelunking. Do any of your experiences find their way into your novels?
    A. Oh, I think each and every one of my novels has some character either heading underwater or undergro ... Read More
  • Q. Speaking of those plagues, you also tie this book to the current crisis involving the spread of the Zika virus. What does Zika have to do with your story?
    A. The Zika virus originated in a monkey in Uganda, yet it’s grown into a tragic disease spreading ar ... Read More
  • Q. Why is Indy not only a perfect hero for the screen but also a character who comes alive on the page?
    A. For me, Indiana Jones is the everyman hero. He doesn't have any super powers, nor does he have any c ... Read More
  • Q. Your novels are known for their scientific accuracy, for their ripped-from-the-headlines topics. Can you tell us more about this exploration into the roots of human intelligence?
    A. It starts with an anthropological mystery. For the past two hundred thousand years, human brains had ... Read More
  • Q. As I understand, a part of what you examine is how we share DNA with Neanderthals, how we once interbred with this other tribe.
    A. We do indeed carry Neanderthal genes. In fact, roughly 2-4% of our genome comes from this unusual an ... Read More
  • Q. Explain the romantic angle of the story and Marion Ravenwood's relationship with Indy.
    A. Who didn't fall in love with Marion Ravenwood from the opening scene in the Raven Saloon in Nepal, w ... Read More
  • Q. Looking over the series, what challenges did you face that you were able to overcome?
    A. Rebecca: Working on an epic scale was new for me—so setting up the character arcs across multiple ... Read More
  • Q. We know you have retired from full-time veterinary work. When did you decide that you were successful enough as a writer to safely move from one career to the other?
    A. It was a gradual process. I sold my veterinary practice after selling my first two thrillers, b ... Read More
  • Q. Your novel also features “electric bacteria.” Those can’t possibly be real, can they?
    A. They are very real. They’ve only recently been identified, but over a dozen different specimens ha ... Read More
  • Q. Did you find yourself inventing a lot of backstory to what has happened to Marion since we last saw her in Raiders?
    A. Some of it was hinted at in the script, but I was allowed to expand on it during scenes from Marion' ... Read More
  • Q. During this adventure, you also raise concerns about climate change. How does that play out in your book?
    A. While I don’t intend my novel to be a diatribe about climate change, it’s hard to deny that the ... Read More
  • Q. How difficult was it when you first started out trying to make sure both of your "voices" came through in the books?
    A. James: To be honest, it took a while. There were several early drafts of the opening chapters—whi ... Read More
  • Q. What are the most memorable locations you've visited researching your novels?
    A. Ah, as I mentioned before: to write is to travel! I’ve been lucky to dive the Great Barrier Reef t ... Read More
  • Q. What's your favorite curse word?
    A. Please! This is a G-rated Q&A! How about this: I was once stuck down in a cave for several ho ... Read More
  • Q. You traveled to China for some background research. Can you tell us how that played a role in THE BONE LABYRINTH?
    A. I spent three weeks in China researching this story and learned how wonderful the people are there, ... Read More
  • Q. It seems every month we’re hearing about Chinese hackers committing acts of espionage here in the United States. Does this element appear in your novel?
    A. Definitely. The Chinese government’s pervasive system of hacking, espionage, and infiltration play ... Read More
  • Q. Tell us about Mutt?
    A. After Indy, Mutt was the one of the best characters to write. A motorcycle-driving, prep-school drop ... Read More
  • Q. Where are the Hardcover Editions?
    A. All of my books have been released as a hardcover edition. Most are still in print, thought increasi ... Read More
  • Q. Women enjoy reading your novels, do you attribute this to your stories or to the fact that so few contemporary novelists writing adventure fiction feature notable female characters?
    A. I think the role of women in popular fiction is rapidly evolving. We’re seeing a whole new slew of ... Read More
  • Q. You also look at a unique way of combating climate change, something called geo-engineering. What’s that?
    A. These are massive projects, basically Hail Mary passes to save the planet. Most climate scientists b ... Read More
  • Q. An element of this story does sound like it was ripped from the headlines, specifically about Chinese scientists genetically modifying human embryos.
    A. It’s a concern I tackle in this novel. Some believe that genetically modifying embryos could eradi ... Read More
  • Q. In your previous novels, you've written strong, well-educated, and adventurous female characters. Is it easier to write male or female characters?
    A. When I first created Ashley, my heroine in SUBTERRANEAN, I purposefully wanted to create a female ve ... Read More
  • Q. Most of your novels have a special geographical setting, for example the jungle in Amazonia or the North Pole in Ice Hunt. Nature itself seems to be one of your main characters. Do you agree?
    A. I certainly do. All story is tied to setting. Characters rise out of their landscape, whether it’s ... Read More
  • Q. The project featured in your book is tied to something actually up in the Arctic already.
    A. It does. It ties to an Air Force installation called HAARP, which is an elaborate antenna array shoo ... Read More
  • Q. We also meet some lethal villains: How do you handle them?
    A. Ah, the sword-wielding Irina Spalko and her icy bodyguard Colonel Dovchenko. The pair are part of an ... Read More
  • Q. When trying to create a world that lies 'between the shadow and the light', what was something that you wanted to make sure the reader could relate to?
    A. James: The main characters of Erin and Jordan come from an entirely approachable place. While they ... Read More
  • Q. Your books read like movies. Are any of your novels going to be made into blockbuster movies or TV series?
    A. I wish! Hollywood has optioned many of the books, both for film and a television miniseries. But not ... Read More
  • Q. As usual, you also fold some intriguing history into your novel, like featuring Mark Twain and his friendships with other historical figures, like the inventor Nicola Tesla.
    A. I’ve always found it fascinating that so many bigger-than-life historical figures not only knew ea ... Read More
  • Q. Did you research any aspects of the story: The red scare, the Russian government's obsession with the supernatural and psychic powers?
    A. It was actually a weird bit of serendipity. Even before being approached for this project, I had alr ... Read More
  • Q. How long did it take you to write Subterranean?
    A. From idea to completed manuscript, it took eleven months. ... Read More
  • Q. Speaking of scientific experimentation and research, THE BONE LABYRINTH introduces a character like no other, a young gorilla who had been genetically modified in a very unique way. Can you discuss how this character came about?
    A. As a veterinarian, I love to fold in animals in unique ways into my stories. The character of Baako ... Read More
  • Q. What do YOU want to see made into a movie and would you want to be involved with adaptation, casting, etc.?
    A. I would love to see Amazonia made into a movie, mostly just because of all the strange animals in th ... Read More
  • Q. Writing from the perspective of MILITARY WAR DOGS
    A. The first recorded use of war dogs go back to 4000 BC, to the Egyptians who used them in battle. But ... Read More
  • Q. Your descriptions of nature in Ice Hunt are phenomenally vivid. One almost feels the chill wind blowing while reading your book. Have you ever been there?
    A. I have been to Alaska and its vast parks and tundras, but I’ve never ventured out into the ice fie ... Read More
  • Q. Besides Mark Twain, you even have Donald Trump’s uncle connected to Tesla’s story. Was that true?
    A. Yes, and it ties into a great mystery surrounding Nikola Tesla. Tesla was a visionary genius, and la ... Read More
  • Q. In Ice Hunt an experimental American submarine comes across an abandoned Soviet polar station encased in an iceberg – with a horrible mystery inside. Page by page many scientific details emerge. How much research did it take?
    A. I spend about three to four months researching a book: reading, interviewing, taking notes, travelin ... Read More
  • Q. Moving past the science in the story, your books are also renowned for shining a light on historical mysteries and unusual historical figures. Can you share an example from THE BONE LABYRINTH?
    A. Sure. I was raised Roman Catholic, so feature a Catholic priest in this book who is fascinated (as a ... Read More
  • Q. The story is full of colorful secondary characters such as Mac and Oxley. How did you bring a voice to them in the book?
    A. That is one of the things that make each Indy movie so unique. Besides the central MacGuffin – the ... Read More
  • Q. What book would make the best movie?
    A. You wily readers — you always ask me that! That's a tough question. I live and breathe my char ... Read More
  • Q. What can you tell us about the Crystal Skull?
    A. I've always been fascinated by the mythology surrounding the Crystal Skulls, especially the Mitchell ... Read More
  • Q. Where did you get the idea for Subterranean, your first novel?
    A. Both the idea and the outline for this first work came from one kernel: “I’m going to take five ... Read More
  • Q. Which character surprised both of you in having a larger voice throughout the series than you originally thought they would?
    A. James: That’s an easy one (and I know Rebecca would agree): Elizabeth Bathory. She was so delic ... Read More
  • Q. You mention scuba diving and archaeology as two of your interests? Were you able to indulge your passion for these activities while researching/writing Deep Fathom?
    A. I always considered writing as a way to write-off trips. For DEEP FATHOM, I went diving on the Great ... Read More
  • Q. Your novel addresses a new form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder called “moral injury.” What is different about this condition?
    A. Moral injury is a shade of PTSD that is still poorly understood. It relates to the shattering of mor ... Read More
  • Q. Can I request an appearance?
    A. Much as I'd love to visit every city and town in the country and beyond, I usually only tour when I ... Read More
  • Q. Can we expect a bit of a geography lesson in the book through the different countries visited by Indy on his adventure?
    A. Of course! I always loved that part of the earlier movies where you see the plane coursing across a ... Read More
  • Q. Did you start off thinking this would be a trilogy or did the story become larger when you wrote "The Blood Gospel"?
    A. Rebecca: It was set up as a trilogy, and I think we fulfilled all the promises we made to the reader ... Read More
  • Q. How did you come up with the story?
    A. After writing SUBTERRANEAN, where I indulged my interest in caving, I always wanted to do something ... Read More
  • Q. If this were made into a movie, who would you want to star?
    A. I personally hate playing that game. Even after ten years, I still have a firm picture in my head of ... Read More
  • Q. There’s another true-life Catholic priest who plays a role in this book.
    A. Indeed. Father Carlos Crespi. He was a monk who ran a remote missionary in Ecuador for fifty years, ... Read More
  • Q. Your stories always have a ripped-from-the-headlines accuracy, broaching subjects of importance to your readers. In War Hawk, you shine a spotlight on the current status of drone warfare being waged by the U.S. military. Why this subject and why now?
    A. One only has to read the newspaper to understand and appreciate how prevalent the use of drones has ... Read More
  • Q. Your stories are known for featuring animals in prominent roles. Is that the case with The Seventh Plague?
    A. As a veterinarian, I love to fold animals into my story, and this book is no exception. I feature a ... Read More
  • Q. But the connection to the moon in this story goes beyond Neil Armstrong.
    A. It does. In this story, you will learn how truly strange the lunar satellite is. For example, have y ... Read More
  • Q. Can you explain to readers how the short story "Blood Brothers" fits into the entire trilogy?
    A. James: Rebecca and I actually wrote two short stories connected to this series. “City of Screams ... Read More
  • Q. Finally, as I understand it, this book is also very personal for you. Would you care to go into it?
    A. I dedicated this book to my mother and father, who both recently passed away from complications seco ... Read More
  • Q. How long did it take you to write?
    A. From initial research to completed manuscript, it took a solid year. ... Read More
  • Q. Ice Hunt, like your other novels, is action, action, action. Page by page you take the reader on a roller coaster ride. How do you relax and release tension after a day full of writing? Or don’t you? Are your heroes always with you?
    A. While I’m in the depths of writing a book, the characters all inhabit my waking world. They are se ... Read More
  • Q. The story takes place in 1957. How is that era reflected in the story?
    A. As with the geographical setting, the world view of the time is as much a character in the book as I ... Read More
  • Q. What have you learned in the years since you wrote this first book? How is your writing different? What truisms did you know then that have proven true again and again as you write other books?
    A. Since the first book, I’ve always written to entertain: to get the blood flowing, the heart pumpin ... Read More
  • Q. Why are you not coming to my city?
    A. Tours are planned by my publicist at HarperCollins, who considers many factors in deciding which cit ... Read More
  • Q. You also raise the chilling question about the changing status of who will control these future drones. How likely is the scenario you describe in your novel?
    A. As with the advancements in drone warfare, the modern battlefield is changing in a disturbing way. W ... Read More
  • Q. Among the conservationists, I’ve heard the term “rewilding” of endangered species. What does that mean?
    A. This is reintroduction of keystone species into an environment. Such as the reintroduction of wolves ... Read More
  • Q. Are we past the point of no return now? If not, what can be done? What should be done?
    A. Scientific American estimates we have about 1-2 generations to turn this around. Failing that, we ... Read More
  • Q. Christian is such an interesting and dynamic character, is that why you chose to write a prequel, BLOOD BROTHERS, about this character? How did this character come to life for you both?
    A. Jim: Christian is first mentioned in passing in THE BLOOD GOSPEL. Even in that brief reference in t ... Read More
  • Q. Did you face any challenges with writing the second book, INNOCENT BLOOD, that you didn’t face with the debut in the series, THE BLOOD GOSPEL?
    A. Jim: During the creation of the first book, it was all about world building, creating this landscape ... Read More
  • Q. EXCAVATION works very well within the category of the traditional lost world/lost race adventure as found in H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs--a narrative tradition that extends back historically to the classic scientific romances of Jules Verne in the nineteenth century-- but then you've added your own highly inventive variant to this category of fiction (the conclusion of your novel, for example, offers a wild ride indeed not found in the work of Verne, Haggard, or Burroughs). How did you decide to write EXCAVATION, and did you deliberately construct your story within the narrative tradition of the lost world adventure?
    A. I did indeed construct EXCAVATION specifically as a lost world novel. My editor even classified my b ... Read More
  • Q. First of all, why Ubar? Where does your fascination for the Atlantis of the Sands come from?
    A. Being an armchair archaeologist, I'm always fascinated by bits of history that end in a question mar ... Read More
  • Q. Have you ever visited The Arabian Peninsula? If so, what were your impressions?
    A. I have, and I desperately want to go back. The landscape is so striking and varied, from its lush ga ... Read More
  • Q. How different is it from the past 5 extinctions?
    A. All of the past extinctions have been caused by natural catastrophes: But it was the third that w ... Read More
  • Q. How do you choose your subjects? Do you have an idea of the era or to pic you want to explore and then come up with a plot and characters, or is it the other way around?
    A. I have a cardboard file box at home where I toss articles and handwritten notes that I collect from ... Read More
  • Q. How much of you is in the character of Painter Crowe?
    A. There are parts of me in all the characters – good and bad. I also borrow traits from friends and ... Read More
  • Q. In an article published by The Telegraph (UK) few days ago, a fellow suspense writer (Patricia Cornwell) claims she has uncovered one of history’s best-kept secrets: the true identity of Jack The Ripper. Is there an unresolved mystery that you would like to investigate together?
    A. Jim: I always love dabbling into historical mysteries, those pieces of the past that end in a questi ... Read More
  • Q. In Sandstorm you combine elements of myths with science. What issues are you most passionate about? Legends of the past or new technologies?
    A. Both. Technology all by itself is not that interesting. What I find fascinating about new technology ... Read More
  • Q. In THE BONE LABYRINTH, you also reveal that there is a code buried in our DNA, one that will shock readers.
    A. No, it will blow their minds—because it’s all true and verifiable. It’s a single prime number ... Read More
  • Q. In the INNOCENT BLOOD and its prequel, THE BLOOD GOSPEL, you introduced elements of a ‘mystical and otherworldly’ nature: religion, Scriptures, apocrypha, angelology. Has anything in your research completely shocked you and changed the way you thought about religion or spirituality?
    A. Rebecca: I was surprised by how easy it was to create the Sanguinist/strigoi mythology by using refe ... Read More
  • Q. In the past, how close did we come to seeing all life end on this planet?
    A. That Permian extinction knocked out 90% of the world’s species on land and in the seas went extinc ... Read More
  • Q. INNOCENT BLOOD is a terrific blend of supernatural, mystery, and thriller. Which one of these aspects did you develop first in the genesis of the book?
    A. Rebecca: All of them at once, I think. We had already created the supernatural world and the charact ... Read More
  • Q. I’ve also heard that those in preservationist camp are looking at resurrecting ancient species that have gone extinct. How close it that to reality?
    A. So close, they’ve coined a term for it: DE-Extinction. Researchers could take the intact genome o ... Read More
  • Q. Jake Ransom's Fate
    A. Jake's fate (ie., publication date) is still up in the air. Whenever I get some concrete details--o ... Read More
  • Q. Quick answers to rapid-fire reader questions:
    A. Q: Protective weapon of choice (we hope not a bull whip): A: My charming personality (okay, I'm d ... Read More
  • Q. Speaking of keeping your novel timely, in The Eye of God, the threat of a life-altering barrage of meteors plays a significant role in the story. Were you writing this when the explosion of Chelyabinsk meteor over Russia took place?
    A. I was—and it certainly added that timely quality to the novel. It’s a prime example of the unpre ... Read More
  • Q. The mass market edition of Sandstorm had an amazing cover. How did they do that?
    A. My publishers deserve credit for breaking barriers with the mass market editions of my books. With m ... Read More
  • Q. The news is full of reports that we’re currently experiencing a mass extinction. Are we truly in one? How bad is it?
    A. The consensus among experts is that we are indeed on the brink of the next great mass extinction, on ... Read More
  • Q. There are various schools of thought about how to deal with this current mass extinction. What’s the current assessment among scientists from these different camps?
    A. On one side there are the conservationists or preservationists, what some refer to as “old-school ... Read More
  • Q. This other camp—the synthetic biologists—what is their strategy to thwart this mass extinction? I’ve heard they believe they can engineer our way out of this extinction. Could that happen?
    A. Considering the fact that the cost of lab equipment and materials has been plummeting for years. Wha ... Read More
  • Q. War Hawk also looks at a new generation of battlefield, one that could change the face of war forever. How likely is this scenario?
    A. We’re already there. It’s being waged by ISIS in the Middle East, by Russia in Ukraine, and by C ... Read More
  • Q. What steps did you do to take Deep Fathom from an idea into a novel?
    A. I usually start with a “what if?” idea. In the case of Deep Fathom, “what if an ancient power ... Read More
  • Q. What was the biggest challenge in further developing the characters that appeared in THE BLOOD GOSPEL, for the second book in the Sanguines series, INNOCENT BLOOD?
    A. Rebecca: I answered this one early, didn’t I? Sorry about that. The characters had some intense ex ... Read More
  • Q. What was your main source of inspiration? Maybe The Road to Ubar by Nicholas Clapp?
    A. Exactly. The Road to Ubar tells the story of that amateur archaeologist and how he discovered the bu ... Read More
  • Q. What's causing it and why?
    A. The last 5 extinctions were caused by natural causes, like massive volcanic eruptions or asteroid st ... Read More
  • Q. What's next for both of you?
    A. James: I’m currently finishing up my next Sigma Force novel (The Bone Labyrinth), which explores ... Read More
  • Q. What’s in store for readers in the next book in the Order of the Sanguines series?
    A. Rebecca: I don’t want to give too much away, but the forces unleashed at the end of INNOCENT BLOOD ... Read More
  • Q. When did you begin writing Deep Fathom?
    A. I began the initial research back in 1999, then wrote the novel in the latter half of 99 and finishe ... Read More
  • Q. You now have co-authored two books in the Order of the Sanguines series, how did you decide to join forces? How do two prolific minds work together during the writing process?
    A. Jim: The seed for this series came during a trip to a museum in Los Angeles, where I found myself st ... Read More
  • Q. Your first book is coming out in hardback now. Looking back, is there anything about the story you'd like to change?
    A. I don’t think so. The story was told in the manner it needed to be told. Okay, maybe one small cha ... Read More
  • Q. And I see you decided to make Dr. Lorna Polk a woman. Actually, you have a huge female following. How are you able to get inside the mind of a woman so well and what made you want to write from the point of view of a woman for this book?
    A. When I was in veterinary school, half of the class was composed of women. Since then, that percentag ... Read More
  • Q. And it’s not just Genghis Khan, but you also bring up the history of Attila the Hun, another great conqueror.
    A. I was fascinated that both of these men died and were buried with great wealth—yet their treasure- ... Read More
  • Q. And what are some of these new sciences behind immortality?
    A. I’ve discovered that there are actually two competing schools of study when it comes to the search ... Read More
  • Q. Another aspect of your thrillers that appeal to women is the romantic themes throughout your series. Does Lorna have a romantic interest?
    A. She does. Jack Menard is an elite member of the Border Patrol. And like Lorna’s family, he has roo ... Read More
  • Q. Another concept that you include in ALTAR OF EDEN is the idea of a higher, collective intelligence. Do you believe in the notion that animals can think together? Do you believe this type of intelligence already exists?
    A. Something is definitely going on, something beyond our current understanding. One of the scientific ... Read More
  • Q. Are any of the characters or situations in Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx inspired by real-life people or events?
    A. I don’t think any writers spin story and character out of thin air. We draw upon people we know, u ... Read More
  • Q. As a man of science with deeply-rooted spiritual beliefs, how did you grapple with the faith vs. science controversy that is woven into the very core of this novel?
    A. I was raised Roman Catholic and attended Catholic school until my high school years. While fundament ... Read More
  • Q. As a man of science with deeply-rooted spiritual beliefs, how did you grapple with the faith vs. science controversy that is woven into the very core of this novel?
    A. Going back to the time of Galileo, science and religion seem to be at odds, drawing lines in the san ... Read More
  • Q. As a reader, it’s a huge treat to re-connect with the Sigma Force team, all of whom are such beloved characters. As an author, is it a similar experience for you to write about them? Do you feel like you’re visiting with dear friends?
    A. Definitely. I’ve been living and breathing these characters for going on a decade. We’ve seen th ... Read More
  • Q. As a veterinarian, how do you feel about the genetic experimentation that is one of the foundations of ALTAR OF EDEN’s plot?
    A. As with the case at ACRES, innovative research into genetics can be of great benefit, holding the po ... Read More
  • Q. As with all of your books, history is only half the story. You love raising interesting bits of science. In The Eye of God, you introduce the concept of “biohacking,” of people altering their bodies in strange ways. A new member of Sigma has magnets embedded under his fingertips to add to his “senses.” Is this really something that’s going on?
    A. It is indeed. Over a thousand people have had rare-earth magnets implanted at the edges of their fin ... Read More
  • Q. Black Order is partially set in Germany and Map of Bones starts in Cologne. You sound familiar with these places and you seem to know Cologne quite well. Have you ever been there?
    A. Yes. I was an exchange student in Germany during high school. I spent a summer in southern Germany ( ... Read More
  • Q. Breakneck thrillers are traditionally snapped up by male readers - but you have a huge female following. Women have been gobbling up your every word since your publishing debut a decade ago. In one man's humble opinion - what's the appeal?
    A. For decades, the male action hero has dominated the domain of adventure thrillers. The role of women ... Read More
  • Q. Can you tell us about your research into military dogs?
    A. Research has always been an important element in my novels and even more so in Bloodline. The first ... Read More
  • Q. Christian is such an interesting and dynamic character, is that why you chose to write a prequel, BLOOD BROTHERS, about this character? How did this character come to life for you both?
    A. Jim - Christian is first mentioned in passing in THE BLOOD GOSPEL. Even in that brief reference in t ... Read More
  • Q. Craziest stunt?
    A. Swimming with sharks. Stupid, stupid, stupid. ... Read More
  • Q. Did you face any challenges in writing an adventure with such strong fantasy elements, as opposed to a story set only in the “real world”?
    A. One of the dangers of fantasy writing is not letting the “magic” of your world overrun your char ... Read More
  • Q. Did you face any challenges with writing the second book, INNOCENT BLOOD, that you didn’t face with the debut in the series, THE BLOOD GOSPEL?
    A. Jim - During the creation of the first book, it was all about world building, creating this landscap ... Read More
  • Q. Did you face any unexpected challenges when fitting Sigma Force characters and a thrilling plotline into a shorter format?
    A. It was a daunting task. I think my mind is too wired to think of “story” in a longer format. To ... Read More
  • Q. Do you anticipate any debates arising in response to the controversial theories of Evolution andCreationism (and your personal take on Intelligent Design) set forth in Black Order?
    A. I heard rumblings from several colleagues in the field of evolutionary biology (one of my studies in ... Read More
  • Q. Do you begin writing a new series with a roadmap for all future books in your head, or do you improvise from book to book?
    A. I definitely have an overarching plot line to the series. I know how it all ends, and I have outline ... Read More
  • Q. Do you have a favorite Sigma Force character, one whose point of view you especially enjoy writing?
    A. I enjoy writing them all. Each has their own unique flare: Gray’s intensity, Kowalski’s humor, M ... Read More
  • Q. Do you plan to write more Sigma Force short stories?
    A. In one word: yes. To tell more would ruin the fun. ... Read More
  • Q. Does Sigma Force really exist?
    A. Sigma Force is an ultra-secret cadre of ex-Special Forces soldiers recruited into DARPA (the R&D arm ... Read More
  • Q. Favorite sidekick of all time?
    A. My golden retriever, Penny. ... Read More
  • Q. First, how did this book get started?
    A. Jim - The story came about after I viewed a museum exhibit featuring the work of Rembrandt. I was s ... Read More
  • Q. Have you faced any unexpected challenges in writing your first middle-grade series?
    A. Challenges? Sure. This series is for an entirely new audience and requires some streamlining of plot ... Read More
  • Q. How did you decide who writes what sections?
    A. Jim - It’s one of the best things about collaboration: we each bring a unique skill set to the ta ... Read More
  • Q. How did you develop the villain of the Jake Ransom series, the menacing Skull King?
    A. I wanted someone mysterious, powerful, and strangely connected to our young hero. So I have Kalverum ... Read More
  • Q. How did you invent the Atlantean alphabet that appears in clues throughout the book?
    A. I’ve always enjoyed fantasy books where a foreign/ancient language comes to life and plays a vital ... Read More
  • Q. How did you learn of this?
    A. Despite the Vatican's code of silence on this matter, painstaking research by David Alvarez resulted ... Read More
  • Q. How did you research the dinosaurs that appear in Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx? Are they all real dinosaurs?
    A. All the dinosaurs referenced in the novel were indeed real--though that doesn’t mean I didn’t cr ... Read More
  • Q. How did you stumble across the mystery of Marco Polo's journey from Kublai Khan's palace in China home to Italy that is so central to the plot of this novel?
    A. I actually stumbled upon this mystery while doing research for my earlier novel, Map of Bones. While ... Read More
  • Q. How did you work together on the book?
    A. Rebecca - Jim had a lot of stuff already in place—a long outline, the first 150 pages or so, and a ... Read More
  • Q. How did your background as a veterinarian help you develop the unusual creatures in Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. Ah, as a lover of all creatures great and small, I’ve had so much fun creating the fantastical ani ... Read More
  • Q. How do you approach character differently?
    A. Rebecca - Jim is much meaner to them physically. So, once we’ve beaten the crap out of some charac ... Read More
  • Q. How do you collaborate?
    A. Rebecca - Writing a book is a very intimate process. It’s not all “which word goes here” or ... Read More
  • Q. How do you feel about snakes?
    A. With a little ketchup, they aren't bad. ... Read More
  • Q. How do you relate so well to a middle grade audience?
    A. Whatever music you liked in high school is the music you like the rest of your life. I think the sam ... Read More
  • Q. How does writing for a younger reader differ from writing for adults? Did you face any challenges writing in this new tone?
    A. The story here is more linear, but is otherwise not much different. I don't think it serves to write ... Read More
  • Q. How may scientists respond to the concept of prayer-influenced evolution?
    A. I hope with an open mind. When it comes to scientific progress, debate is healthy for the generation ... Read More
  • Q. How much do you draw from your own experiences when writing your characters? Have you ever taken Tae Kwon Do lessons like Jake, or fencing lessons like Kady?
    A. I’ve taken fencing lessons, but not Tae Kwon Do. That said, next to my veterinary clinic was a Kar ... Read More
  • Q. How much research did you do to prepare to write this adventure?
    A. Similar to my adult novels, I love to weave real world facts into the fantastical. This novel – wh ... Read More
  • Q. How would you define a heroic character? What unique traits make a hero in your eyes?
    A. While I certainly enjoy a bit of magic and strange science (which you'll see in this story), I also ... Read More
  • Q. I understand you got back recently from the Persian Gulf as part of a USO tour.
    A. I did. It was a great honor to be invited to participate in Operation Thriller. I got a chance to vi ... Read More
  • Q. If a fan of Da Vinci Code picked up your novel, what similarities and differences should the reader expect?
    A. Any thriller involving religious history and mysteries is going to be compared and contrasted with D ... Read More
  • Q. In ALTAR OF EDEN you delve into the concept of private military contracts with a scientific research company called Ironcreek Industries who are experimenting with some pretty scary things. There has to be some sort of regulation for this type of experimentation, RIGHT?
    A. While there might be some regulation for labs within the United States, once you cross the borders i ... Read More
  • Q. In an article published by The Telegraph (UK), fellow suspense writer Patricia Cornwell claims she has uncovered one of history’s best-kept secrets: the true identity of Jack The Ripper. Is there an unresolved mystery that you would like to investigate together?
    A. Jim - I always love dabbling into historical mysteries, those pieces of the past that end in a quest ... Read More
  • Q. In BLOODLINE, you also delve into the morality behind the quest to live forever. Should morality have a place in scientific discovery?
    A. How can it not? Scientific exploration regularly tests society’s moral compass. Is human cloning g ... Read More
  • Q. In BLOODLINE, you also raise the issue of children being used as soldiers, a hot-button topic also raised by the current manhunt for the African warlord Joseph Kony. Why bring such a sensitive issue up in a mainstream thriller?
    A. I believe a novel is made stronger if it touches upon the reality of our world. It’s a tragedy tha ... Read More
  • Q. In BLOODLINE, you also shine a light on a disturbing and secretive marketplace, one functioning right under our noses. Can you tell us about that?
    A. Everyone has heard about the black market, that world of clandestine negotiations and illegal transa ... Read More
  • Q. In BLOODLINE, you introduce two new characters, Tucker and Kane, a pair unlike any seen before. Tell us about them, and why you decided to write about them?
    A. First of all, I wanted to honor these unique American heroes. Tucker Wayne is a former captain with ... Read More
  • Q. In INNOCENT BLOOD and its prequel, THE BLOOD GOSPEL, you introduced elements of a ‘mystical and otherworldly’ nature: religion, Scriptures, apocrypha, angelology. Has anything in your research completely shocked you and changed the way you thought about religion or spirituality?
    A. Rebecca - I was surprised by how easy it was to create the Sanguinist/strigoi mythology by using ref ... Read More
  • Q. In layman's terms, describe your theory of Darwinism vs. Quantum evolution.
    A. From my research into both sides of the debate, I came across a unique theory: one advocating how th ... Read More
  • Q. In one of the most eye-opening plotlines within THE DOOMSDAY KEY, you explain how some genetically modified crops are invading natural crops and changing their molecular structure. What are the ramifications of this phenomenon?
    A. It's one of the greatest environmental risks with GM crops. Pollen migration and genetic contaminati ... Read More
  • Q. In perhaps the most terrifying plotline within The Last Oracle, you reference the decaying radioactive tomb of Chernobyl, the new Sarcophagus being created to encase the wreckage, and lethally toxic lakes of nuclear waste scattered throughout Russia,some of which lie on top of geographic fault lines. You talk of the possibility of one earthquake tearing the land apart, unleashing a toxic tidal flow, which would flood the Arctic Circle and poison the world. It's all true, isn't it?
    A. As frightening as that all sounds, it's all true. The toxic legacy of the Cold War is still with us ... Read More
  • Q. In THE DEVIL COLONY you have created one of your most complex and depraved villains to date. He has a unique disease that almost makes him a scientific exploration himself. Where did his character stem from?
    A. Rafael Saint Germaine came about because this story centers on old family secrets—and by old, I me ... Read More
  • Q. In THE DOOMSDAY KEY you talk about a very secretive and elite organization, The Club of Rome, whose major concern is human overpopulation. Does this organization really exist? And are their theories about overpopulation something we should be taking more seriously?
    A. The Club of Rome is a real organization, a global think tank of scientists, politicians, economists, ... Read More
  • Q. In The Eye of God, you also deal with a comet that is set to fly past our planet this coming November. Why pick this upcoming true celestial event to base you book upon?
    A. I love making my books feel real and “of the moment.” I was also fascinated to learn that the co ... Read More
  • Q. In The Eye of God, you also speculate on the state of reality, raising the question about what’s real and what’s not, specifically that we might all be living in a hologram. You also broach the possibility of there being multiple universes. Could any of that be true?
    A. According to the physicists I visited with at Fermilab outside of Chicago, the answer is likely YES. ... Read More
  • Q. In The Eye of God, you have a strange series of relics: incantation skulls, books bound in human skin, and models of boats made of human bones. Where do you come up with such macabre items?
    A. They’re actually all real. Archeologists have uncovered more than two thousand Jewish incantation ... Read More
  • Q. In The Eye of God, you take your readers to some exciting and exotic locales: Macau, Mongolia, North Korea. What drew you to set parts of the book in those locations?
    A. I personally love to travel to remote corners of the world, to explore those lost edges or seldom tr ... Read More
  • Q. In The Last Oracle, scientists around the globe are working to engineer the next Buddha, Jesus or Mohammed. Can a great prophet, a person whose touch and thought changes the world, be created by man?
    A. I believe we are not far off from this possibility (if we're not already there). The new frontier of ... Read More
  • Q. In this era of new enemies, why...Nazis?
    A. This came about from an article about developing quantum computers. Only lately - in the past decade ... Read More
  • Q. In your Author's Note: Truth or Fiction, at the end of Black Order, you question, "Where are we headed?" So...where are we headed?
    A. I don't think progress can ever be truly stopped - it is as inexorable as evolution itself. As I men ... Read More
  • Q. In your author's notes, you write that the JASONS, a global think tank of scientists, truly exist. How were you able to delve into the shuttered world of this secret organization?
    A. The JASONS formed during the Cold War to offer advice and counsel to the Department of Justice. They ... Read More
  • Q. INNOCENT BLOOD is a terrific blend of supernatural, mystery, and thriller. Which one of these aspects did you develop first in the genesis of the book?
    A. Rebecca - All of them at once, I think. We had already created the supernatural world and the charac ... Read More
  • Q. Is it hard to collaborate living so far apart? Does distance ever come into play?
    A. Jim - Distance is a challenge, especially now that Rebecca is in Germany and almost on an opposite d ... Read More
  • Q. Is Map of Bones the genesis of a genre, a new kind of thriller? What sets this book apart from the works of your literary counterparts, such as Brown, Crichton, and Carr?
    A. I think you've tapped the perfect trio of writers to illustrate my goal. Michael Crichton is a maste ... Read More
  • Q. Is Map of Bones the religious man's answer to The Da Vinci Code?
    A. Map of Bones was my attempt to tell a historical thriller set against a backdrop of mythology, Catho ... Read More
  • Q. I’m sure many fans of the SIGMA series are panicking, wondering when they are going to see Gray Pierce, Painter Crowe and the rest of SIGMA again. Why don’t you quell their fears, when can we see the next SIGMA?
    A. It comes out next summer (July 2010). In that book, a major storyline that has been building over th ... Read More
  • Q. Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx draws on Ancient Egyptian history and myth. Where does your interest in Ancient Egypt come from?
    A. There are three peoples that have always interested me: the Mayans, the Egyptians, and the Vikings. ... Read More
  • Q. Lastly, based on these multiple universes and the fact that the seat of human consciousness remains a mystery—in The Eye of God, you offer a glimpse as to what happens after you die. Do you believe it to be true?
    A. I don’t know if belief is the correct word—but I hope it is. It’s an intriguing supposition th ... Read More
  • Q. Many of your concepts are pulled from the news, or from scientific journals-what was the based-upon-fact genesis of THE DOOMSDAY KEY?
    A. Whenever I start a novel, I'm always looking for two things: a bit of science that makes me go "what ... Read More
  • Q. Map of Bones is laced with items of interest about holy relics. How did you research the origin of items, and what importance do they hold to believers?
    A. Raised a Roman Catholic, I was well versed in the trials and tortures of the many saints throughout ... Read More
  • Q. Marco Polo once said, "I have not told half of what I saw." Would James Rollins say the same?
    A. While my books may cover a breadth of topics, there is always so much more left unsaid. As I mention ... Read More
  • Q. Much of the book is set at ACRES, the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species. What is this center for? You say it’s not open to the public, but have you visited? If not, where did your ideas for this center come from?
    A. ACRES is a real facility associated with the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. The research building is lo ... Read More
  • Q. Now to the last and most pressing question: How close are we to achieving immortality?
    A. That’s a good question—and the answer is the most startling revelation I discovered while resear ... Read More
  • Q. One of the major consequences of overpopulation is food shortage and mass starvation. As a solution many companies have begun to develop genetically modified food that would greatly increase the food supply. What drew your attention to this subject and how real a threat is mass starvation?
    A. As I mentioned above, the threat is real and it's as current as today's headlines. The world's popul ... Read More
  • Q. One of the true scientific gems you include in ALTAR OF EDEN is the idea of “genetic throwbacks.” What exactly is a genetic throwback and is it possible for my next kitten to be born with saber-tooth fangs?
    A. The scientific term for “genetic throwback” is atavism. It’s a real phenomenon where a genetic ... Read More
  • Q. Other women also play a large role in BLOODLINE. How are you able to write from the point of view of women so well?
    A. I have three sisters who make sure I get those details correct, but also during my USO tour to Iraq ... Read More
  • Q. Protective weapon of choice (we hope not a bull whip)?
    A. My charming personality (okay, I'm doomed). ... Read More
  • Q. Readers love the scientific gems you sprinkle through your books. For instance, in The Judas Strain you write, "Did you know Saxitoxin, from bacteria in certain shellfish, has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction?" Where do you get this stuff?
    A. I am a voracious reader. Not only do I read across a wide gamut of fiction genres, I am passionate a ... Read More
  • Q. Readers love the scientific gems you sprinkle through your books. What was the most interesting scientific topic to research for THE DOOMSDAY KEY-something so good that you just had to put it in the book?
    A. That's simple. In fact, I open the book with this fact. During the years from 2006 to 2008, one-thir ... Read More
  • Q. Since your book was written by a man and a woman, do you ever get into arguments about whether a woman (or a man) would or wouldn’t say something?
    A. Rebecca - Not really. I used to make a note of it and go ask my husband, but he always agreed with J ... Read More
  • Q. So scientists around the world are working to engineer perfect crops that aren't affected by Mother Nature. Can humans really create what nature has already done so perfectly?
    A. We'd like to think so. But there continue to be concerns about what mankind will create in the name ... Read More
  • Q. Speaking of characters, Gray Pierce's unwanted sidekick Fiona developed into an engaging character in Black Order. Will we see more of her in future Sigma novels?
    A. If you recall, one of the main characters in Black Order is Lisa Cummings, who you first met in Deep ... Read More
  • Q. Speaking of Genghis Khan, you raise an interesting fact about genetics and this Mongol warlord.
    A. Genghis Khan was a fascinating and bloody figure, who conquered most of the known world at the time, ... Read More
  • Q. Tell us more about what sparked your fascination with autism and the manipulation of savant talents?
    A. Rain Man-like talent still baffles scientists and has challenged our conception of human mental abil ... Read More
  • Q. That's the "fact" side of your story. What about the "fantastical"?
    A. In this story, science and magic blend into a world of prehistoric creatures, ancient peoples, and a ... Read More
  • Q. The climax of THE DOOMSDAY KEY takes place at "The Doomsday Vault." What is this vault for and does it really exist?
    A. The vault-more formally known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault-truly does exist. It's basically a N ... Read More
  • Q. THE DEVIL COLONY explores the surreptitious link between the Book of Mormon, the lost tribes of Israel and Native Americans and how those three groups tie to the founding of America. What was the starting point of this high-concept plot?
    A. It started with an argument. I have several friends who are Mormons, and at a dinner, I overheard a ... Read More
  • Q. THE DEVIL COLONY is filled with information about the Book of Mormon; how did you research this topic and what drew you to this sometimes mysterious religion?
    A. I’ve always been fascinated with those moments in time where religion and history merge, where man ... Read More
  • Q. THE DOOMSDAY KEY is laced with information about ancient symbols; how did you research the origin of symbols-in particular the Celtic Cross, and what importance do they hold?
    A. In this novel, I explore the manner in which symbols change and transmute over time, borrowed from o ... Read More
  • Q. The Judas Strain explores a mysterious link between the Catholic Church of Marco Polo's day and the ancient ruins of Khmer temples at Angkor Wat. What inspired this plot?
    A. It all started from a seed of a mystery. As I relate at the beginning of the novel, Marco Polo spent ... Read More
  • Q. The Sigma Force novels offer fast-paced action adventure to the reader. How did you come up with your very own mixture of military-action, adventure, and mystery?
    A. I think it goes back to my pulp roots. Those old scientific adventures blended mystery, cutting-edge ... Read More
  • Q. The Skeleton Key follows the adventures of Seichan alone, as she is separated from the rest of Sigma Force. Why did you decide to feature Seichan’s point of view?
    A. I always wanted to feature her in a solo adventure. Being a loner, she was perfectly suited for her ... Read More
  • Q. There are some pretty fantastic settings in THE DEVIL COLONY, all pretty much right here in the good ol’ US of A. Was it nice to be able to set a book mainly in America? Were you able to visit the stunning locations in the book, such as the Arizona desert and the Rocky Mountains?
    A. I had a great fun researching this novel set in my own backyard (so to speak). For the past decade, ... Read More
  • Q. There's a lot of violence in the Sigma books. Please don't get me wrong here, that is something that draws the reader to the books, but is the violence justified?
    A. It's hard to write adventure without some violence. And yes, sometimes it does take fire to fight a ... Read More
  • Q. There's a tongue-in-cheek warning within the pages of The Judas Strain, "Keep in mind...we still don't know for sure what killed the dinosaurs." It feels as if you are giving a gentle warning to the world at large to watch their backs...
    A. I make another statement in the novel. To paraphrase, if we push Nature, Nature pushes back. We've o ... Read More
  • Q. This book launched a new series, based upon the SIGMA Force introduced inSandstorm:. Why the move to linked novels from your compellingly readable stand-alone thrillers of the past?
    A. For years, readers have contacted me and asked questions about various cast members from my earlier ... Read More
  • Q. This novel traces the Romani, known as Gypsies from Delphi, into the Indian Continent and across the world. Do the members of this nomadic tribe truly hold the key to long-buried secrets?
    A. Considering the origin of the Romani people has only recently been determined by linguistics, I wage ... Read More
  • Q. Thomas Jefferson—while he never appears in this story—plays a significant role. Why Thomas Jefferson? What intrigues you about him?
    A. Everyone knows Thomas Jefferson as the architect of the Declaration of Independence. Volumes have be ... Read More
  • Q. To what lengths would you go to rescue your favorite hat?
    A. I'd let it go. It would just give me another reason to go shopping. ... Read More
  • Q. Truth or Supposition: the Vatican employs an elite cadre of spies around the globe?
    A. That would be true. Like any government, the Vatican does indeed maintain a sophisticated intelligen ... Read More
  • Q. What amazing adventures did you undertake in researching/mapping the plot of THE DOOMSDAY KEY?
    A. I love to travel, and I've been to many of the locales depicted in this novel: from excavating the l ... Read More
  • Q. What did you find most interesting or surprising to learn as you mapped out the plot to The Skeleton Key?
    A. I think it was how fragile those catacombs are. A cave-in back in 1961 swallowed up an entire Parisi ... Read More
  • Q. What did you find most interesting/surprising to learn while you mapped out the plot elements of Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow?
    A. During my research, I discovered the Mayas were the first to use the cocoa bean to make chocolate. A ... Read More
  • Q. What discovery did you find most interesting or surprising as you mapped out the plot to Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. It was the introduction of a tiny winged creature--half dragon, half snake--called a wisling. He app ... Read More
  • Q. What do you do when you disagree?
    A. Rebecca - This is going to sound weird, but we haven’t really disagreed on much about the book. Or ... Read More
  • Q. What do you do when you get stuck?
    A. Rebecca - For The Blood Gospel, I got stuck less than usual, because Jim can often fix the points wh ... Read More
  • Q. What do you find most exciting about a sense of adventure?
    A. The story started because of a Cabinet of Curiosities that I began putting together from my own jour ... Read More
  • Q. What else is on the horizon for James Rollins?
    A. Always another book or two or three. In the spring of 2010, the second novel in my kid’s series de ... Read More
  • Q. What future adventures do you have planned for Jake and Kady?
    A. In future installments, Jake and Kady will continue to piece together clues to their parents' fate, ... Read More
  • Q. What in your SIGMA Force novels do you think has the deepest resonance with readers: the cutting edge scientific details, the breakneck adventure, or the threads of modern and ancient faith and/or spiritual beliefs woven throughout?
    A. I hope all three. History raises many unanswered mysteries, questions into where we came from, who w ... Read More
  • Q. What kind of research or travel did you do for Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. While I wish I could say I took a jaunt into the prehistoric past to research this novel, I did do e ... Read More
  • Q. What kind of research or travel did you do for Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx?
    A. While I wish I could say I took a jaunt into the prehistoric past to research this novel, I did do e ... Read More
  • Q. What other mythologies have influenced the Jake Ransom series?
    A. It’s hard to explore a set of “lost ancient civilizations” without acknowledging the Greeks an ... Read More
  • Q. What specifically attracts you to the fantasy/adventure genre? Are these the types of novels you enjoyed growing up?
    A. I grew up reading Hardy Boys and Danny Dunn's scientific adventures. I loved the old serial pulp nov ... Read More
  • Q. What triggered the concept for Map of Bones? Do the Bones of the Magi really exist?
    A. The bones or relics of the Biblical Magi are indeed housed in a golden reliquary inside the cathedra ... Read More
  • Q. What triggered the concept for the world of Pangaea, a prehistoric land inhabited by lost ancient cultures?
    A. I wanted to create a fantasy world where all manner of ancient civilizations were forced to work tog ... Read More
  • Q. What was the biggest challenge in further developing the characters that appeared in THE BLOOD GOSPEL, for the second book in the Sanguines series, INNOCENT BLOOD?
    A. Rebecca - I answered this one early, didn’t I? Sorry about that. The characters had some intense e ... Read More
  • Q. What you'd do in the face of someone trying to remove your still-beating heart?
    A. Run really, really fast. ... Read More
  • Q. What's next for James Rollins?
    A. This winter, I'll be coming out with the first of a series of stand-alone novels, something independ ... Read More
  • Q. What’s in store for readers in the next book in the Order of the Sanguines series?
    A. Rebecca - I don’t want to give too much away, but the forces unleashed at the end of INNOCENT BLOO ... Read More
  • Q. What’s next for James Rollins?
    A. I’m currently working on the third book in my middle-school series, featuring boy-explorer, Jake R ... Read More
  • Q. Where did the story of ALTAR OF EDEN originate?
    A. It started with lunch. I was having a conversation with my editor at HarperCollins. She asked me a q ... Read More
  • Q. Which character's voice did you find easiest to capture? Do you see pieces of yourself in this character? Why do you think you were able to relate so well to this specific character?
    A. I love writing Jake. He is who I was as a kid: ever curious, impatient, slightly geeky but knowing i ... Read More
  • Q. Why are scientists - and why is society - so obsessed with the idea of a master race (as with the Sonnekönige or "super men" profiled in Black Order)?
    A. I think this goes back to the debate about evolution. We don't understand it fully - and what we don ... Read More
  • Q. Why did you decide to write a Sigma Force short story? How does writing a short story vs. a novel differ?
    A. A couple of years ago, I wrote a Sigma short story, titled Kowalski’s in Love It appeared in an an ... Read More
  • Q. Will any of Jake’s companions from Pangaea, such as Pindor the Roman or Bach’uuk the Neanderthal, return for future adventures?
    A. Of course! Along with Marika, they are Jake’s best friends. They are bound together by strange mag ... Read More
  • Q. Will you still crave adventure in your AARP years?
    A. No doubt. Though maybe I'll skip the fried tarantulas. (I heard they're high in cholesterol.) ... Read More
  • Q. With two authors at work, how do you manage the sex scenes?
    A. Rebecca - Because he blushes too much, which is damn funny to watch if not particularly productive, ... Read More
  • Q. Within the pages of The Judas Strain, you write of "evolution running in reverse, the oceans devolving into primordial seas," and the impending extinction of marine life. In this, we can see your love for creatures great and small, shining through. Do you find you pull a great deal from your experiences/leanings as a veterinarian in your writings?
    A. As a veterinarian and a human being, I certainly have a strong belief that the stewardship of this w ... Read More
  • Q. Without giving away any secrets, will Seichan—and the answers she finds in The Skeleton Key—have a major part to play in the upcoming Sigma Force novel The Devil Colony?
    A. Indeed. What she discovers in Paris is vital to the plot of the The Devil Colony. It will begin to e ... Read More
  • Q. Without giving away any secrets—what do future books have in store for Jake and Kady?
    A. As I mentioned above--and will be no great secret to those who finish Jake Ransom and the Howling Sp ... Read More
  • Q. You also raise another historical mystery in The Eye of God, one concerning the apostle, St. Thomas, how this apostle may have traveled to China. You also reveal a possible connection between the Chinese language and Biblical stories. How much of all that is true?
    A. It’s fairly accepted that St. Thomas traveled to India, but there remains some intriguing speculat ... Read More
  • Q. You are known for your extensive and intensive research. What amazing adventures did you undertake in researching/mapping the plot of ALTAR OF EDEN?
    A. For the first time as an author, I got to follow the old adage: to write what you know. Of course, t ... Read More
  • Q. You are not only a bestselling author, but also a veterinarian. Do these two professions influence each other?
    A. Although I’ve stepped away from the clinic I started and ran for two decades, I will never abandon ... Read More
  • Q. You now have co-authored two books in the Order of the Sanguines series, how did you decide to join forces? How do two prolific minds work together during the writing process?
    A. Jim - The seed for this series came during a trip to a museum in Los Angeles, where I found myself s ... Read More
  • Q. You open your new novel with a terrifying reference to the prophecies of the popes which loosely predicts that the current pope, Benedict, is the next to the last pope and that the next pope will oversee the world's end. Can you tell us a little bit more about these prophecies?
    A. During the twelfth century, an Irish Catholic priest named Saint Malachy had a doomsday vision while ... Read More
  • Q. You quote the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "But what is known with fair certainty: the next great pandemic will arise again out of the East." SARS, the Avian Flu - even the bubonic plague - all arose from Asia. What is your conjecture as to what will come next? Are global agencies already working out preventative measures to ensure the hypothetical pandemics will not become real worldwide crises?
    A. I don't think we'll ever be fully prepared for what comes next, and I don't think we can. When it co ... Read More
  • Q. You seem to be the Indiana Jones of the genre. What amazing adventures did you undertake in researching/mapping the plot of The Last Oracle?
    A. I finally succumbed and accepted an invitation to go diving with sharks. Suffice it to say, I still ... Read More
  • Q. You very gently tread into an area that borders on the taboo: scientific experimentation with children.
    A. Human experimentation has often been cloaked in the "greater good," where the "ends justify the mean ... Read More
  • Q. You write in your author’s note that the apocalyptic cult, the Order of the Solar Temple, really existed. How did you stumble across this in your research, and what made you decide to feature it in a short story?
    A. I wish I could say there was some mysterious connection, but it was basically Google. I researched v ... Read More
  • Q. You're a former veterinarian and you have a pretty great sense of humor...your books tend to feature a spooky critter, whether it's a man-eating squid, toothy grendels, flesh-eating swarms of frogs . What killer creature (or exceptional animal) did you mastermind for THE DOOMSDAY KEY?
    A. As a veterinarian, I always love sprinkling a few unique animals into my stories. In this particular ... Read More
  • Q. You're known for your own personal adventures that you undertake in researching your novels: tell us your amazing stories behind this book?
    A. This novel required doing a bit of traveling, back to Italy again but also to the jungles of Cambodi ... Read More
  • Q. You've dedicated much of your career to the health, healing and well-being of animals. How do you, as a veterinarian, feel about the genetic experimentation that is one of the foundations of Black Order's plot?
    A. Well, with my background as a veterinarian and animal advocate, that's probably not difficult to gue ... Read More
  • Q. Your books often include high-concept scientific theory. While not wanting to spill any secrets about the plot of THE DEVIL COLONY, what are some of the breaking-news scientific concepts laced through the pages of this book?
    A. The science in this novel addresses the next big leap in scientific research and industry. It can be ... Read More
  • Q. Your books often weave high-concept scientific theory within the pages of your novels. While not wanting to spill any secrets about the plot of Map of Bones, can you give us the scoop on some of the breaking-news scientific concepts in the book?
    A. Ah, a peak behind the curtain. Suffice it to say that the science behind this story is not fiction, ... Read More
  • Q. Your books tend to feature man-eating squid, toothy grendels, flesh-eating swarms of frogs, and more. What killer creature (or exceptional animal) did you mastermind for The Last Oracle?
    A. In this book, a group of children are on the run from a menagerie of genetically enhanced beasts, bu ... Read More
  • Q. Your novels always delve into the cutting edge of science. What is the scientific basis behind BLOODLINE?
    A. The root of this book came from a recent article in Time magazine. The cover declared: 2045, the Ye ... Read More
  • Q. Your SIGMA series has been incredibly popular. In fact, the most recent entry, THE DOOMS DAY KEY, hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. What drew you to write a stand-alone thriller now?
    A. After writing six Sigma novels, I was ready to tackle an independent story, one free of baggage and ... Read More
  • Q. Your SIGMA series is set across the globe and finds your characters in far flung locales such as Antarctica, Tibet and Africa. Most of ALTAR OF EDEN is set in New Orleans. Why did you choose to center most of the story in one locale? And why New Orleans?
    A. I love New Orleans. I’ve visited the city at least a dozen times—both before and after Katrina. ... Read More
  • Q. You’re a busy guy, do you ever sleep?
    A. Sleep? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Tell me more. ... Read More
  • Q. You’re also a veterinarian. How did your profession help you shape the relationship between man and dog?
    A. After three decades of working with dogs myself, I knew that I wanted to portray these stalwart war ... Read More
  • Q. You’ve said that the character Jake is a lot like your younger self. Is Kady based on a real person?
    A. I grew up with three sisters. Kady is a combination of all three. But don’t tell them I said that, ... Read More
×