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Interview with author Eric Van Lustbader

Today, I'd like to welcome author Eric Van Lustbader to My Book Retreat. You can read my review of his latest book in the Jack McClure series, Father Night here.

Q. Welcome to My Book Retreat! I've enjoyed all of the books in the Jack McClure series. How did you come up with the idea for that series?

I wanted to write about a situation I've had in my life for years -- being a surrogate father to a young girl coming of age. I wanted the man to be somewhat like me, so I had him be dyslexic -- a bit more than I am, but, you know, this is fiction.

Q. You were given the opportunity to continue the Jason Bourne series after Robert Ludlum's death. What was it like to pick up someone else's characters and continue their stories?

Well, Bob and I were very good friends, who shared a lot of views on writing thrillers and creating characters. We met in 1980, when both The Ninja and The Bourne Identity were on the NY Times Bestseller list together. Since then, I had become a kind of expert on Jason Bourne, so that by the time the estate asked me, I knew the character inside and out. It was very easy for me to take over the Bourne novels. Now everyone in them, apart from Bourne, are my creations.

Q. What are you working on now?

I just finished The Bourne Retribution, the most high-octane Bourne novel I've written. Beloved Enemies, the fifth Jack McClure novel, out next year, will wrap up the series for the foreseeable future. Next up, either a new Bravo novel or a new stand-alone with an entirely new protagonist. I have great plot lines for both.

Q. I'm looking forward to reading Beloved Enemies next year! What are your strategies for making characters seem real so the reader connects with them?

I put a lot of myself into them, also bits and pieces of people I meet or know. I am meticulous about not making characters one-dimensional -- there's good and bad in everyone.

Q. What sorts of relationships and experiences do you most like to explore in your writing?

The relationship between men and women, because it's so powerful, complex and, ultimately, mysterious.

Q. What genres and authors do you most enjoy reading?

I write contemporary thrillers and I'm constantly reading non-fiction for research, so for fun I read more literary novels by Jennifer Egan, Rose Tremain, Amitav Ghosh, Roberto Bolano, Heidi Julavits.

Q. What do you enjoy doing when you're not reading?

I'm a total music hound, so listening to music, traveling, being with my wife in romantic settings.

Thank you so much for visiting My Book Retreat. I'm looking forward to reading the conclusion of the Jack McClure series next year!

Check out my reviews of Eric Van Lustbader's Jack McClure series:

First Daughter
Last Snow
Blood Trust
Father Night

Visit the Eric Van Lustbader on his website, Facebook and Twitter


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