I wasn’t sure what my intro for Gregg Hurwitz was gonna be. See, along with Dave Montgomery, Paul Guyot, James Lincoln Warren and Jim Rollins, I adore this guy. In fact, they’re all part of my pack of secret loves. Now, when you get to my age, it’s okay to say things like that. I could just tell you that Gregg (which you already know) is the critically acclaimed #1 LA Times best selling author of FIVE blockbuster thrilllers. I’d name them all for you, but you should really mosey over to his website and check them out. You could buy one or two as well – because when Gregg writes a book – he lives it. He joined a cult for THE PROGRAM. For THE KILL CLAUSE, he learned how to pick locks. In MINUTES TO BURN, he went all the way to the Galapago’s for research! I mean, the guy does live his thrillers! And did you know he’s recently signed a deal with ESPN to write and produce a historical drama about a soccer team? Well, why not? Hell, how do you think he broke his wrist, his collarbone and a rib? Playing soccer? Yep – you got it.
So, come on along and join in the funny side of Gregg:
EE: One of my sources tells me you turned to writing when you discovered you couldn’t make it as a polka accordionist and the bitterness still lingers. How can we help you overcome this?
GH: I was actually quite a noted polka accordionist, thank you very much.
Oh, well then I’d better get rid of that source, huh? Don’t you just hate rumormongers?
EE: So, Gregg – while there are some who know you’re considered a noted Shakespearian scholar, I have it on good authority that you’re secretely compiling proof that Shakespeare was really the illegitimate son of Edward VI, a sibling of Elizabeth I and that MI 5 is pressuring you to abandon this long-held quest. Can you address this now?
GH: I’m one of the old-fashioned few who stick intrepidly to the belief that Shakespeare was actually, well, Shakespeare.
Okay, okay…we get the drift. Mum’s the word, right? (Not THAT Mum-just a figure of speech, okay?)
EE: Let’s turn to the writing life for a moment. Which writers would be on your ideal panel at ThrillerFest?
GH: Thomas Harris, John Le Carre, William Shakespeare (Macbeth as perfect mob thriller), and William Faulkner (corn cob scene in Sanctuary).
Thomas Harris???? Make it a morning panel, okay? I’d like to be able to keep my lunch down.
EE: I’m almost afraid to ask about book tours now, but who would you just love to tour with?
GH: Well, probably the same authors I hang out with – Bob Crais, Will Staeger, Chris Rice, Chris Mooney. I’ve really enjoyed even overlaps with T. Jefferson Parker a lot – he’s a graceful, gracious guy.
Whew! You had me worried there for a minute. I was afraid you were gonna include Harris again.
EE: What best sellingbook do you wish you’d written?
GH: Red Dragon
Thomas Harris again??? Gregg! You’re beginning to scare ME.
EE: Here’s a burning question that, I must admit, rankles many of your peers. Have you considered making a plea to the women who attend your panels to stop looking at you as a sex object and simply concentrate on your formidable talent? I mean, really, Gregg – someone is going to get hurt with all those hotel room keys being thrown at you!
GH: It’s the rotten fruit that’s hurtful.
Oh, listen to this guy, will you? See why he’s one of my secret loves?
EE: Okay, let’s go with the Walter Mitty standard. Surely you have one besides being a best seller.
GH: Most of my daydreams involve entangling myself in some plot. I tend to dream about why things can go interestingly bad.
Hmmmm. I knew there was a short cut to being a best seller. Wish I’d thought of that.
EE: Here’s an easy one – tell us your favorite movie and TV show. Just pretend Lee Goldberg isn’t listening.
GH: Sunset Boulevard and 24
I’ll bring the popcorn.
EE: What would you consider a perfect day?
GH: Write for seven-eight solid hours, get in a workout, wrestle with my kids, gourmet dinner, see a movie, wrestle with my wife, then do some reading.
I just love a dedicated man!
EE: Talk around law enforcement is that many of the surveillance tools Tim Rackley uses in your thrillers are now being manufactured on the quiet exclusively for LAPD and certain U.S. Marshall honcho’s who are claiming first rights. Any comments?
GH: I learn the surveillance and tactical techniques in the field, by following experts gracious enough to let me pepper them with questions. So while many of Tim’s techniques are used by the Service, many are tricks I’ve picked up on the range from Navy SEALSs, or tagging along with, say, FBI agents or former spies.
Clever way you skirted around this one too. Okay, you get a pass.
EE: My more reliable sources (!) tell me that Joe Esterhazy is bristling over the rumors that Sharon Stone wants you to script her next movie, but Michael Douglas and Oliver Stone are working behind the scenes to get you off the project.
GH: Michael and Oliver can be so petty. Does Joe Esterhaus know you’re referring to him as Joe Esterhazy? You’d better watch out or you’ll wind up with a pissed-off Showgirl at your front door.
Ha,ha, ha! I spelled his name wrong on purpose! He lurks here at On The Bubble, didn’t you know that? I’m not afraid of a Showgirl! I WANT JOE to come looking for me so I can pitch him. Hey, you didn’t give me the moniker of Evil E for nuttin’ now, did you?
EE: The word on Rodeo Drive is that Jennifer Anniston has been bugging the hell out of you o play Dray, the Rack’s wife, on the big screen. Please, Gregg – tell us this isn’t so! She is so NOT Andrea!
GH: I have a hard time answering the question of who I see for Tim, but when we were kicking around casting ideas for Dray, I have to say Marie Bello topped my list.
Oh, yeah! She’d be perfect! Sexy, tough and compassionate all at once. But about Rack – uh, how about if we find a cozy table at ThrillerFest and throw around a few names? I’ve been getting calls from Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe about talking to you, and I tell ‘ya, Gregg, they can’t seem to get the time difference right and I need my sleep.
EE: Okay, another easy one. Which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at the inaugural ThrillerFest convention in Phoenix in a few weeks?
GH: Depends on how cozy.
Well, darling – we could scope the place and decide, hmmmm?
EE: Not including myself in this, you understand – but most people have a bad habit or two. What do you think yours are?
GH: Mine are innumerable, but impatience tops the list.
We really need to talk – I finally overcame that with an ancient secret potion from Scotland.
EE: Best selling writers – such as yourself – seem to be targets for fantastical rumors. The latest is that you’re taking a year off from writing to take the family to Tahiti to find the lost works of Gaugin. Surely you must know that Rack-Trackers are assembling now to form protest marches at ThrillerFest.
GH: I’m taking the year off to go to Tahiti – true – but it’s to find the lost works of Patrick Nagel.
Oh, isn’t he the clever one? He thinks he’s throwing us off the track here! But okay, Gregg – if you say so. Tell you what – if you find anything – I’ll put you onto an art dealer I know. He’s honest too. Muhahahahaha.
“Patrick Nagel” :: snerk :: Okay, what’s a young sprite like Gregg know about an artist whose popularity peaked 20 years ago? Oh, wait, I forgot — scholar boy!
See you both in Phoenix!
Gregg’s got good taste in serial killers, at least. I’ll be in the corner of the bar at Tfest to catch up.
Another well done interview, E. I look forward to getting even more insights in Phoenix.
Aha,MaryElizabeth! He didn’t fool you either, huh! You and I will get to the bottom of this in Phoenix. Nagel – yeah, sure.
Hey, Louise-I’ll be right there with you. Safety in numbers, right? I’ll bring my red wig just in case.
Insights, J.T.? With thriller writers? This is a scary bunch. Be afraid.
All right, you mentioned that Gregg visited the Galapagos to do research for MINUTES TO BURN, but that’s only half of the dedication he brought to his research for that particular novel. As you probably know, the heroine of the book, Navy SEAL Cameron Kates, is pregnant.
I happen to know that Gregg actually got himself pregnant so that when he wrote about Cameron’s morning sickness, there would be the ring of verisimilitude. (Robin, by the way, knows all about this word, and also all about morning sickness, but I don’t think Gregg asked her about it.)
Not to mention all the biker tattoos he got on 90% of his body for TROUBLE SHOOTER. (I’ve also heard that he’s using his experience in having them all removed by laser for his next opus, except that the laser will also be able to knock out trauma physicians in low earth orbit.)
verisimilitude… Yes, I do know this word, JLW. You taught me well. Trying to use it in a sentence, however, is a whole ‘nother ballgame. As for that whole morning sickness thing, I so don’t ever want to go there again. There are advantages to growing old, and that’s one I’m taking all the way to the bank. Funny thing, though, I don’t recall Gregg and I discussing that in any of our conversations, and I’m pretty sure the word verisimilitude never cropped up either…
Well, JLW & Robin – it’s quite clear that Gregg has been holding out on us. And I’m puttin’ a hit on some of my spies as well. I’m mortified to think Gregg’s pregnancy wasn’t noted in the dossier. But I can always count on you -#1 to set the record straight. I owe ‘ya.
Uh, Robin? I didn’t feel verisimiltude when I was pregnant either. We must be the lucky ones, eh? Good genes, and all that.
I have to make an appearance here to say that, as a Writer’s Guild member, I’m very attentive to appropriate credit designations. And seeing what my wife went through during pregnancy, I’m not about to ask for above-the-line credit. Tattoos and mind control cults, sure, but pregnancy? In more ways than one, I don’t have the stomach for it.
Well,hell, Gregg! You can at least have opening credit as executive producer,no?
Glad to hear that Gregg, since I was about to ask how you managed to keep your figure during your, er, um, delicate condition.
Great interview, both of you! I was cracking up (Mom – send ice packs – chair landed on screwed up ankle when Gracie here fell out of it).
PATRICK NAGEL???! OK – I’m sorry…A) he’s not an artist – illustrator is maybe even a stretch. B) yes, I’m an (art) elitist bitch.
So Mom…you mean you really weren’t in labor for with any of us for 48 days? As for morning sickness, all I can say as that I’m glad I’m your youngest. 😉
YOU’RE glad you’re my youngest? Ha! Not half as happy as me.
I still think the Nagel thing is a smoke screen.
Uh…that’s a good thing, right?
What? That you’re my youngest, or the Nagel is a smoke screen?
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