Jim Rollins is one of the few men I take to bed who can keep me up all night.
Well, it's true. His chapter endings are such cliff-hangers, I can't let go of my anxiety. But then, what can you expect from this best selling author of SEVEN pulse racing thrillers? Oh, and then he's also a best selling fantasy author of THREE different series under the name of James Clemens! And then of course, he also has a Ph.D in veterinary medicine, his undergraduate work focused on evolutionary biology-he's an amateur spelunker and a certified scuba diver. Other than that, he's just your ordinary regular guy. Yeah. Right. A super human dynamo is more like it. Lest you think me gaga, be sure to pick up his newest - BLACK ORDER - out June 27th and see for yourself.
Now, come meet Jim Rollins and discover why he is the newest member of my secret loves club. p.s. I have six now, and room for one more.
EE: Sean Connery called me last night, and after swearing me to secrecy (HA!), he told me that George Lucas has read all of your best sellers and is planning on offering you zillions to stop writing because you've already covered many of the plots he had on the back burner. And, he's terrified Steven Spielberg will get to you first. So, Jim, daaahhhling, wasup?
JR: Yes, I've had to run electronic surveillance sweeps to make sure my home is not bugged. And I didn't fall for that trick of sending Harrison Ford to my doorstep. He said he was just coming over to borrow a cup of sugar, but I knew he was really a Spielberg/Lucas mole. And that new stud earring Harrison is now sporting...plainly a sophisticated camera. Amateurs!
Oh, and here I thought Connery was letting me in for a scoop! You knew all the time! But then, I'd not expect less from you.
EE: So, Jim - isn't it true your hobby as a caver is really a cover up for the work you're doing for N.S.A.'s search for Atlantis?
JR: Just between you and me...who the heck caves for fun?!? The mud, the claustrophobia, the cold. Of course, thre is more to it than a mere 'hobby'! And that Atlantis rumor was merely a cover story to hide the real truth. I discovered the moldering bones of Jules Verne clutching a strange map, and I'm still following those clues. Unfortunately, last year, I transposed two Latin verbs in one of Verne's codes and ended up in Dan Brown's basement. But now I'm back on track.
Dan Brown's basement??? Ohhh....hope he didn't see you. Where you able to take a peek at what he's working on next? He hasn't read any of your books, has he? Just kidding.
EE: I understand you're a movie buff, Jim - and that 'Way of the Vampire' and 'Season of the Hunted' are your favorites. Any others you think we might enjoy?
JR: I would like to take this opportunity to make a personal plea to Hollywood. Can we PLEASE have more movies based on video games? This is a trend that is barely tapped. I think Christian Slater was robbed of an Oscar for his performance in 'Alone in the Dark'. And where is the long-awaited Ms. Pacman movie? We've been clammoring for it for decades! And c'mon, 'Tetris: The Movie' practically writes itself!
So, so true! Tell you what - I will personally call Ron Howard today and pass along your brilliant suggestions. And if he doesn't bite, I'll just tell him that Tom Hanks is on the other line ready to call you himself.
EE: Back to the book biz for a minute: What best selling book do you wish you'd written?
JR: Without a doubt ...The Old Testament....and of course, its sequel, The New Testament. Just think of the royalties, and all those movie deals! Mel Gibson alone would owe me a small fortune.
Brilliant choice! The drama, the setting, the cast! Oh, yes! It's all there.
EE: We've all got a bad habit or two. Or, maybe three? How about you, Jim?
JR: Answering interview questions. I really have to break this habit.
Aww, but you're so darn much fun!
EE: Okay, I'll lighten up on you then if you hate these things. How's this? Give us a hint of what would be a perfect day.
JR: I've always thought it would be cool to live one of those apocalyptic days...you know, with flesh eating zombies. I would then have a really good excuse not to go to the gym.
Flesh eating zombies?? Ewwww. Wouldn't the end of the world be a better choice?
EE: Let's try the 'lighten up' thing again, okay? Who would you love to do a book tour with?
JR: Only you, El...can I call you "El"? Think of the lonely road together, the whispers across late candle-lit dinners, debating the works of Proust, shakespeare, and Lemony Snicket...then the occasional longing glance out of the corner of the eye, the sudden smile, the laughter that hides something more. Where might it lead? More than just the New York Times bestseller list?
OHHHHHH....HELP! I'M MELTING FASTER THAN THE WAX ON THE CANDLES AND IT'S NOT HOT FLASHES! DARLING! OF COURSE YOU CAN CALL ME 'EL'....JUST CALL ME!
EE: Whew! I'm not sure if I can go on here. Pardon me for a moment whilst I fan my face. Okay, I'm fine now. I can do this. Other than writing two series (!), what do you consider your biggest challenge?
JR: It has to be my role as an international man of mystery. It gets so tiring doing all those quick changes in disguise: the modeling clay, the fake teeth, the tinted contact lenses. The dry cleaning bill alone ate through my last royalty check. But at least the world is a much safer place.
The hell with the world, where shall we meet?
EE: Sorry about that. Okay, back to the interview. Which writers would be on your ideal convention panel?
JR: Anyone who really hates me. Panels should be like reality television...bitter rivalries, back-stabbing, finger-pointing, alliances, betrayals. A panel is not a panel without a really good fistfight...or at least one person out of the room in tears. Even if it's me.
We could sell tickets to that. Let's talk, okay? In fact, now that I've got Ron Howard slobbering over you, we might even strike a deal with him to film it. Think of the possibilites! Syndication even. Reruns! We'd have that private island you've been lusting over.
EE: Oh, my head is spinning with deals, but on to the next question. Is it really true you listen to Led Zepplin when you write your thrillers - and that's why your chapters always end as cliff hangers? I mean, your pacing is heart racing! Play fair with us, Jim! We really need to know this kind of stuff so we can copy you.
JR: Led Zepplin?...not any longer, El (can I still call you, El?). My current rave is mash-ups, where a DJ mixes two different musical styles together. What I'm listening to right now is a mash-up of Barbra Streisand's 'Funny Girl' and the Sex Pistol's 'Anarchy in the UK'. In fact, I think Johnny Rotten and Barbra should tour together. Think of them: the lonely road, the whispers across late candle-lit meals, debating the works of Proust, Shakespeare...where might THAT lead?
But...but ...wasn't that our romantic evening? Sigh. I knew it was too good to be true. Oh, well...into each life some rain must fall.
EE: One of my sources tells me your neighbors are up in arms about your fans hanging around your front door lately. Dogs, cats and all manner of animals who were once your patients when you were a vet - miss you so much they can't stay away. How have you managed to handle this, Jim?
JR: Oh, I have an open invitation to spay or neuter anything that lands on my doorstep. So I guess I owe Harrison Ford an apology. He really should not have come knocking when I had a scalpel in hand.
Oh, crimey! Does Callista know? Man, is she in for a surprise. But - my lips are sealed. She won't hear it from me. Unless, of course, our candle-lit dinner is off.
EE: Okay, back to the writing life again. Who is your favorite dead author - and why should Ophra select him next?
JR: I'd say Jules Verne. Mostly to see if he'd hop up and down on Oprah's couch like Tom Cruise.
Wasn't he the biggest jerk? I think Verne would at least do it with more elan.
EE: Which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at ThrillerFest?
JR: Any writer who is willing to buy a guy a drink. That's my favorite sort of writer.
Really? So, uh...Jim...I'll have a Gentleman Jack and soda, what are you having?
EE: Before the hot flashes start again, we'd all like to know what is your favorite retreat?
JR: Without a doubt: the retreat of the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. I have the entire battle done in a diorama in my basement, each figure carefully crafted out of stale marshmllo Peep left over from last Easter. Oh, wait, is that the 'retreat' you mean?
Uh, actually, no. But, if it works for you....we'll go with it.
EE: And last, but not the least - what is your secret energy source? You not only write two best selling series, but took on the mantle of Chief Award Judge (overseeing a gaggle of committees) for International Thriller Writers first 'Thriller' award. I mean, come clean with us, Jim. I'm worn out by three in the afternoon. Whatever you're using, want some!
JR: It's a combination of cold fusion and again those stale marshmallow Peeps (they do come in handy...even if they are the creation of demonic forces).
Oh, well...thanks, but I think I'll pass, okay?
AND - many, many thanks to Jim for being On The Bubble! By now you've surely gotten an idea why I just love this guy!
P.S. Next Saturday - On The Bubble is taking the day off. I'll be at ThrillerFest in Phoenix, and since I won't be here to 'interact' and miss all the fun, I've invited Kris Montee of P.J. Parrish fame to step in and regale you. This is one funny, savvy and absolutely delightful lady - and you won't want to miss what she has to say! But - I'll be back on June 24th with Laura Lippman On The Bubble.
I've got a great line up coming your way - but if there is a favorite author you'd like me to include on my victim list - give me an email and let me know. I'll track her/him down and grill the hell out of 'em. No one escapes Evil E.