I’m a huge, HUGE fan of the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (that’s him on the right), and Lincoln was kind enough to stop by and chat a bit about the newest installment, Blue Labyrinth (out tomorrow), and more! Please give him a warm welcome!
Blue Labyrinth, the 14th book in the Pendergast series, just came out, and I can’t wait to dive in! Pendergast is one of my favorite literary characters, and 14 books in, the series is still going strong. How do you keep the series fresh this many books in?
Having two authors at work helps. We’ve managed to build up such a rich universe around Pendergast, both in terms of his acquaintances and his own backstory, that when it comes times to plot a new novel, we’re spoiled for choice. Of course, we’re very careful nevertheless to choose the best ideas we can come up with.
What can we expect from this installment? How do you think Pendergast has changed the most since the first book?
In many ways Blue Labyrinth is the capstone of all that has come before. We reach back all the way to Relic in order to tell this story. (We’re told no previous experience with Pendergast is necessary to enjoy the book, though.)
Over the series I think Pendergast has become more human. He’s less remote, more vulnerable—and hence, we hope, more realistic.
Did you do any particular research for Blue Labyrinth?
Yes, but to go into detail would probably give away too many spoilers!
How does your collaboration work? Will you give us a bit of an idea of your writing process, and how it has evolved over the years?
We brainstorm a long series of upcoming chapters. Then we take turns writing the chapters and revising those written by the other. These days we each tend to “champion” certain characters, or sequences, or even a particular storyline. That way we can each focus on a different thread of the novel, keep things as seamless as possible.
When did you realize you had a hit on your hands with the Pendergast series?
I think it was with Cabinet of Curiosities. We got great feedback from booksellers. Things really came together on that story, and the book seemed to generate a lot of buzz.
What are a few of your favorite books or authors? What are you currently reading?
In addition to nineteenth century English literature, which we both enjoy, I also like modern thrillers by Michael Crichton and Dennis Lehane. I’m presently readying The Martian, by Andy Weir.
You’re both extremely gracious about interacting with readers and fans. What’s your favorite part of hearing from readers?
We owe everything to our readers and fans! We love getting feedback about our books, both positive and negative, because that’s really the best way for us to grow as writers.
What’s next for each of you?
My next solo book featuring ‘enigmalogist’ Jeremy Logan, The Forgotten Room, will be published by Doubleday next spring. And we’re already hard at work on the next Pendergast novel following Blue Labyrinth.
Keep up with Doug and Linc: Website
About BLUE LABYRINTH:
A long-buried family secret has come back to haunt Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast.
It begins with murder. One of Pendergast’s most implacable, most feared enemies is found on his doorstep, dead. Pendergast has no idea who is responsible for the killing, or why the body was brought to his home. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect crime, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased.
The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California’s Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his own family’s sinister past. But Pendergast learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history: he is being stalked by a subtle killer bent on vengeance over an ancient transgression. And he soon becomes caught in a wickedly clever plot, which leaves him stricken in mind and body, and propels him toward a reckoning beyond anything he could ever have imagined….