Last Tuesday, Robert Crais’ 17th Elvis Cole novel, The Wanted, hit bookstores. It’s Crais first book since his 2015 bestseller, The Promise, and already readers are raving about his latest work. I really enjoyed it too, and was excited when Crais agreed to go on the record with us as part of our Five Questions segment.
Read the brief Q&A below, which includes Crais breaking down the first moment and scene from The Wanted he knew he wanted to capture in the book, and a fun announcement about his next book.
TRBS: The world just seems right when Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are back in bookstores. How did you come up with the plot for your latest novel, The Wanted?
Crais: “Elvis Cole gave me the idea. I’m a character writer. The plots come later, and grow from the characters, and situations the characters are in. With The Wanted, I was thinking about Elvis Cole, and saw him alone in his A-frame with his cat. It was night. His house was dark, and filled with shadows. His expression was melancholy. Then the line came to me, the one line, “I don’t have kids. I have a cat.” This was all I had. I knew nothing else about the book you now know as The Wanted, but this image, and the emotional weight of Elvis’s statement rocked me. I knew I had a story I wanted to tell.”
TRBS: What is your writing process like? Do you write every day – and you outline your books or just sit down and crank them out?
Crais: “I’m a blue-collar writer. I roll up my sleeves, I get to work. I create characters and scenes, I research, I toss aside stuff, and little by little I shape a story I like, and write it. Every day. Day in, day out, every day. I rewrite. I revise. I’m not one of these ‘crank’m out’ people.”
TRBS: Who is more fun to write, Elvis or Joe?
Crais: “They’re both fun. If they weren’t fun to write, I wouldn’t write them.”
TRBS: Who are some of the authors you enjoy reading, and what books are currently on your TBR list?
TRBS: Lastly, what’s next for you? Will you take some time off now that The Wanted is finally hitting bookstores, or will you get right to work on your next project?
Crais: I’m touring and doing promotional gigs for THE WANTED. When the dust settles, I’m diving back into the next book, which I started a few weeks ago. It’s a Pike book. Pike is the lead character and Elvis will be the co-star, like The Watchman and The First Rule.
Special thanks to the legendary Robert Crais for taking part in this interview, I think I speak for all readers when I say I cannot wait to see what Pike and Elvis do next!