Get Up Close And Personal With Three Men Of Mystery: Hurwitz, O’Brien and Rollins


Panel moderator and RT Editor Stephanie Klose with authors Gregg Hurwitz, Kevin O'Brien and James Rollins

Have you ever wondered what it was like to crawl inside the dark and twisted mind of a mystery and thriller author? These authors craft terrifying stories complete with grisly murders, horrific kidnappings and a slew of truly desperate characters. Today RT convention attendees got a chance to find out exactly what it’s like to be Gregg Hurwitz, Kevin O’Brien and James Rollins. These authors chatted about one of their all-time favorite scary authors, how they were inspired to write, and of course — what’s coming next!

Some of our favorite moments of the event  took place as the authors were chatting together and bonding over their shared love of Hitchcock. (And it’s no surprise that the conversation moved at a fast and furious pace, considering the quick minds of all three authors.) 

For example, when all three authors were answering the question “Why do they write mysteries?” Hurwitz said that he has been writing tales of suspense since he was in 3rd grade, saying he wrote things like ‘Billy, Julie and the missing treasure’ and used to illustrate them with crayons. To this, Rollins replied that it was reading that really inspired him to write. He says, “I looked at Billy, Julie and the missing treasure and thought this guy’s a hack, I could write better!”

But we were also surprised by some of the facts that these authors shared with the audience. 

O’Brien talked titles, revealing the tidbit that his editor picks out all of his book names and the first few were all rhyming, but recently they’ve all been a one-word title. 

Rollins gave us a bit of insight into his sources of inspiration saying that he likes to base his stories off of an interesting scientific discovery or little-known historical fact. (Such as the fact that on the US dollar bill, the group of arrows clutched in the eagle’s talon is actually symbolic of the original 13 colonies and are the result of a conversation that Benjamin Franklin had with an important Native American.) 

And O’Brien shared that once while getting his chakras aligned on a whim, the woman told him that he had an angry little man trying to crawl inside of the author through cracks in his feet, to which he had to answer, “Did anyone tell you I write mysteries?”

And they each dropped a hint about what readers can expect from their next release:

Gregg Hurwitz's The Survivor opens with a guy on the ledge of a Santa Monica bank building, looking out at the ocean and you realize that he's about to commit suicide when he hears gun shots in the bank behind him. It turns out that there’s a heist going on and one of the robbers has put down his guy so the guy on the ledge ducks back inside the building, picks it up and …  well, you’ll have to read the book. 

Kevin O’Brien’s upcoming thriller, Not the Killer Inside, is about a kid who is hypnotized at a party and he somehow channels a serial killer who is picking on families at the Seattle World’s Fair staying in the newly constructed hotels. (O’Brien even chatted with Eric Larson, the author of the very popular true crime novel The Devil in the White City which was inspired by the same serial killer to get the other author’s “okay” before writing the new mystery tale.)

And finally, James Rollins’ Bloodline answers the question “are there immortals walking around right now?”

You can learn more about these three authors and many more by checking out the RT Everything Mystery Page. And for more from the 2012 RT Booklovers Convention, be sure to check back later today!

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