How does one write an intro for this extraordinary lady?  What can I say about this world wide best seller, the co-founder of International Thriller Writers, whose new book – THE LAST SPYMASTER – is already breaking sound barriers around bookstores – that hasn’t already been said – time and again – and more eloquently?

Try this on for size – and this is just about THE LAST SPYMASTER!

"Lynds is a kick-ass thriller writer!" – The Observer

"Today’s finest espionage writer unleashes an instant classic." – Lee Child

"Fascinating characters, nerve tingling pace..cements Lynds reputation as one of the premier espionage authors of our time." – Vince Flynn

I mean, who the hell can beat that?  Not moi.

But all that is about Gayle Lynds-the writer.  What about Gayle Lynds – the woman?  Okay, here is where it gets tough.  I could be effusive as hell.  I could offer up a ton of superlatives.  And they’d all be true.  Because I know them to be.  Many of you who know what Gayle’s been through these past months, will understand when I use one word to describe her.  It’s a word that instantly comes to mind when I think of Gayle.  Indomitable.

The Observer calls her writing ‘kick-ass’.  Wait until you see her sense of humor!

EE:  There are some frightening rumors going around that you and David Morrell co-founded International Thriller Writers as a ruse to recruit some of the best minds in crime fiction as covers N.S.A. agents.  Say it isn’t so, Gayle.  I mean, when would all these phenoms have time to write?

GL:  Well, I must admit your intel is somewhat accurate.  As the last spymaster says in the book that was named for him, use the BAR code.  No!  Not that kind of bar.  The clandestine kind –Befriend, Assess, Recruit!  Well, a little fine scotch never hurt either.

But…but…I LIKE that kind of bar.  If you change your M.O., I’d be glad to play barmaid.

EE:  Gayle Lynds watchers have notified me you’ve been spotted on three occasions sipping lattes at Starbucks in Santa Barbara with two men wearing trench coats and dark glasses.  Friends, Gayle?  Maybe Hollywood studio heads in disguise?  But then, do movie folk talk into their Rolex watches these days?

GL:  Honey, those Rolexes came off a street corner in southeast L.A.  Do not look too closely, or the watchbands will disintegrate, the glass faces will drop like corpses, and the spooks – er – studio heads – will have to turn in their government credit cards.  I hate to see grown men cry.  It’s just pitiful!

I do too, but then – wouldn’t that be a Kodak moment?

EE:  Isn’t it true that Julia Robets threw a hissy fit when she found out that Angelica Houston got the role she wanted in THE HADES FACTOR – the mini-series that aired on CBS recently – the one adapted from the book you wrote with Robert Ludlum?  I mean, come on, Gayle – you can share here.  It’s okay. Sort of.  I mean, Julia and I haven’t spoken in weeks.  Actually, she hung up on me when I told her…well, nevermind.

GL:  It’s that darn pimple she has on the end of her nose that has made her a tad cranky these days.  Oops.  Didn’t you know?  The poor woman is really human.  Well, when you ring her up, please do NOT tell her that I revealed the Secret of the Giant Zit.  Pul-lease!

Hey, if it was anyone but you – I’d just run and tell the little princess.  But my lips are sealed.  Zip.  Can I get top clearance now?

EE:  Rumor aound Mysteryville – er – Thrillerville – is thatthe names of the winners of the first "Thriller" Award being presented at Thrillerfest (June 29th-July 2nd in Scottsdale, Arizona-hows that for a plug?) are under close guard at Price Waterhouse.  Were these extreme measures taken after Otto Penzler threatened to boycott the convention because no cozy writers were nominated?

GL:  I know what you mean.  Otto really adores cozies.  Until recently, he was in bed a lot with cozy…books.  And they just adore him back.  But I do wish he’d quit going on and on about how much he loves them.  You’d think he’d be a little more sensitive to the rest of us, especially the guy writers.  Otto doesn’t mean to be sexist.  He just can’t help preferring to knock back shots with female authors, praising more of their novels, point out that they generally write better than men, and saying sensitively that of course men shouldn’t take it personally because they can’t help it that they’re not as good.  As in all things, genitals are destiny.  Otto is not only passionae but logical.  When I grow up, I want to be Otto!

Hells, bells!  I laughed so damn hard while I typed that – I can’t think of anything to say!

EE:  I’ve been told you had a secret lunch meeting with John Le Carre when you were in Bristol for Left Coast Crime recently – and Le Carre had decided your new book – THE LAST SPYMASTER – is just too delicious for him to compete with and he’s planning on retiring.  So, Gayle – how was the fish & chips?

GL:  Yummy.  Mmmmmm. 

Is that standard issue spook talk?

EE:  Okay, enough of the nitty gritty.  Tell us which writers you would love to moderate on a panel?

GL:  Fiction writers, of course!  Bankers, lawyers, and most especially…politicians!

They do have a way with words! And so damn creative!

EE:  Your legion of fans have asked me to pose this very important question:  and be truthfull here, okay?  You’re having a dinner party with your ideal guests – who would they be – and what will you serve?

GL:  Oh, goodie.  Just my cup of cyanide.  I want Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, Tony Blair…every head of state.  And I’m gonna serve Truth Serum!

Ah, my kind of party!  If you’re short on dishes, let me know.  I’ve got tons and tons.  I’ll even deliver them.  And I can help serve too.  Hell, I can drop food on people better than most.

EE:  All my victims, er, guests, are asked what their Walter Mitty dream is.  Tell us yours – 50,000 words or less.

GL:  To have my next book written.  Ah, sweet dream!

Aw, hell, Gayle.  That’s a no-brainer.  I’ll bet you’ve got three going as we speak.

EE:  When you want to spoil yourself, what do you do, or what do you buy?

GL:  I swear by aerobic shopping.  The thing is, you’ve got tomove so fast that you don’t buy anything.  Besides, 100 pair of shoes is enough, don’t you think?

Imelda didn’t think so.  But hey – can I tell Julia?  Ohhh, I’ll be that will really frost her!  And wait until she hears she ain’t invited to your dinner party!  I’ll call her when I’m done here,okay?

EE:  Is it true you’re a closet opera singer? And that your life long dream is to play Carmen at La Scala?

GL:  Heck, no.  Where do these rumors start???  My life-long dream is to WRITE Carmen!  Well, there’s a teensy-tiny problem with that – I’ve forgotten how to read music.  Did I mention that I really was probably destined to write fiction?  I love being paid to lie for a living.

Lie for a living?  Yeah, right.  It’s okay-Hayden hasn’t been totally confirmed yet.  Besides, he’s not monitoring me.  Well, not yet, anyway.

EE:  Is Oliver Stone still bugging you to ghost that children’s book he can’t find an agent for?

GL:  Sigh.  Ollie is such a drag.  So much whining!  He’s never been the same snce he did Richard Nixon.

No!  Him too?  And all this time I thought…well, never mind. 

EE:  What about the buzz that Dan Brown feels a sudden urge for legitimacy and wants to do a book tour with you so readers will take him seriously?

GL:  That buzz is bad.  The man’s legitimate.  I’ve seen his birth certificate.  It lists both his mommy and daddy.

Hmmmm. Okay.  If you say so.  I know your sources are impeccable

EE:  Which book do you wish you’d written?

GL:  The Bible.  Man, talk about buzz.

No kidding!  I’d love to know what the print run on that is every year!

EE:  Let’s clear the air on this one: Did you really teach Tom Clancy how to write thrillers?

GL:  What?  What?  Tom writes THRILLERS??!!

That’s what his book jackets say.  You mean they’re not?  Damn!  I want my money back.

EE:  And finally,Gayle – would you stop being such a soft-hearted, generous, warm and wonderful gal whose esy smile welcomes all that she meets?  It’s just not the right image for a take-no-prisoner thriller writer!

GL:  Honey, you’re looking into the muzzle of my AK-47.  SMILE when you say that!

For you, dear Gayle – there will always be a smile.


  1. Rob Gregory Browne

    LOL. Great interview.

    I’ll put my two cents in here about Gayle with the word I think describes her: classy.

    Gayle is one of the classiest women I’ve met.

    She not only gave me a fantastic blurb for the first book, she spent time with me on the phone, giving me career advice that I immediately acted on.

    You could not ask for a more generous soul.

  2. David J. Montgomery

    Not only is Gayle Lynds classy, she writes a damn good book. Nobody does the modern update of the classic Cold War thriller like she does — and her new book (The Last Spymaster) is terrific. If you used to enjoy reading Ludlum, Le Carre and those guys, read Lynds now.

  3. Louise Ure

    I want a seat at that Truth Serum dinner!

    And Elaine, since I’ve never met Gayle except through her books and your interview, would you do a formal introduction at Thrillerfest?

  4. Elaine

    Classy? Oh, yes! The personification!

    Hot Zowie! I’m #6?? I’m ‘so there’ as my grandson would say.

    And Louise-it would be my honor and pleasure to introduce you to Gayle! Maybe we can convince her to let us go to that dinner?

  5. JLW

    Elaine, you’re supposed to say, “I am not a number! I am a free woman!” in a voice as close to Patrick McGoohan’s as you can get as you run away from the bouncing, undulating Rover.

    Gayle then laughs diabolically.

    Why do I have to explain everything?

    Forget all about that “classy” stuff. Gayle is scary. Really scary. Someday she could rule the entire Earth, not just “The Village” of Santa Barbara, and then we’ll all be sorry. That charming and witty exterior masks a black heart of ambition. Also, she’s pretty tall.

    Go ahead and laugh. You’ll see.

  6. Elaine

    But, JLW! I AM A FREE WOMAN! I just wanna be #6 too! Look at all the fun McGoohan had. And the village was so quaint. I thought I could open a Starbucks there and pretend to be programmed and then slip my secret potion into #2’s lattes. You know Gayle loves ’em. I mean, I could work my way up the ladder and help her rule the world. Of course, I’d have to take care of you…er…#1..first.

  7. Ambellina Nevaeh

    They gave me thirty-two stitches in my side today when I visited the ER. Then the little nurse told me to go home and lie down, and to keep myself from rereading this article, especially the Otto bit or she’d have to stick me again. So, here I am, back in the waiting room with my laptop open and a beach towel tied about my middle. The nurse is giving me dirty looks, but to hell with her, she won’t burst this bubble!

  8. vito

    Well this was pure fun,and I also would love to be @ that last supper dinner party. Im sorry I missed out on last week because i’m kind of a gossip whore. I’ll have to be more on top of things.

  9. Elaine

    Ambelina! Ohmygosh! 32 stitches and you’re still reading this? I don’t want the specifics (I faint at the sight of blood)-but please skip over the Otto part,okay and take care!

    Oh,Vito!We love gossip whores here. I’ll ask Gayle if you can attend too! But come back, huh? I’ve got a line up you won’t want to miss.

  10. kaflinn

    Wait a second…I thought I was Number 6, damnit! (and all bias not aside as I am most definitely prejuidiced…Mom’s Number 1). And that reminds me..are we still getting Dad that jazzy blue blazer with the white piping for his birthday? I’ve just gotten the final part for the remote-control giant bouncing ball. A little assembly work, some duct tape and crazy glue, and we’ll be all set.

    Great interview, seriously, you are both a riot!

    As for the last supper…I’d kill to be in the audience, the dishwasher, on the clean up crew (removal of dead bodies however, will cost you extra), and I nominate Wes Clark as moderator.

  11. Elaine

    Cornelia! Visits to On The Bubble are at your own risk. I am not responsible for your keyboard-anyway,it’s all Gayle’s fault. But don’t remind her – just take note of her last answer. The, uh – AK-47?

  12. Pari

    Elaine,I wish I’d been around on Saturday to respond to this. I just love these interviews and how your respondees trust and admire you enough to play along.

    Thank you so much for the laughs.

  13. Elaine

    Great to have you back home safe and sound. Pari! As far as my ‘respondees’ go – they are a crazy bunch, no? But ya’ gotta love them. God help me, but I do.


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