Thursday, March 09, 2006

Robert Crais On Elvis Cole, Joe Pike and His Next Novel

Best-selling author Robert Crais and fledgling novelist George Shuman presented A Hard-Boiled Look at the Crime Novel Wednesday in Washington, D.C. as part of a Smithsonian Associates’ program.

Here are the highlights from Crais, creator of the Elvis Cole novels:

  • His first exposure to the American detective novel was at age 15. Attracted by the “hot chick on the cover,” he picked up a paperback copy of Raymond Chandler’s Little Sister. “It was like falling down the rabbit hole.”

  • Crais won’t allow his best-selling Elvis Cole series to be filmed by Hollywood. “The Elvis Cole books are special to me. They’re my life’s work.” Crais views his readers as collaborators, who have an image of Cole and sidekick Joe Pike in their mind. “I don’t want that to be lost.”

  • Joe Pike will be featured prominently in Crais’ next novel. In the original draft of Crais’ first book, The Monkey’s Raincoat, Pike was supposed to have died. “But I couldn’t do it.”

  • The Louisiana-born writer is okay with selling his one-offs to Hollywood. Asked about his experience as a screen writer on the movie version of Hostage, Crais said, “The check cleared.” Crais wrote the original screen play, but didn’t receive screen writing credit as the work was taken over by others. “It taught me the lesson of non-involvement.”

  • On writers who say their characters tell them the course of a story. “The day my characters start talking to me, I’ll go on medication.”

  • Elvis Cole’s sweetheart Lucy Chenier attracts a lot of hate mail.

  • Expect Max Holman, bank robber turned good guy in Crais' new novel The Two Minute Rule to appear in a future book, perhaps alongside Elvis Cole. "I will definitely write about Max Holman again."

  • Why no hyphen in The Two Minute Rule? "We tried it. I didn't like the hyphen."
More on Crais and Shuman to follow . . .

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed "The Watchman". I hope that Mr Crais will do another "Joe Pike" novel. I would like to see Carol Starkey return and possible team up with Pike. Are Lucy and Elvis going to get back together?