James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell discuss collaborating for the first time,
the reality of vampires and the science behind strigoi
How did you two meet?
Rebecca: I used to live in Hawaii, and Jim was my instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat where I was
workshopping a thriller. My first novel, A Trace of Smoke, had been accepted for publication a few weeks before
and he kindly agreed to give me my first blurb. It was so good, I printed and hung it above my writing desk until it
got covered in gecko poop. Then I took it down. Sorry about the poop, Jim.
The Blood Gospel is a bit of a deviation from the books that both of you are traditionally known for. What
inspired the idea for this book?
James: This book came about from viewing Rembrandt’s painting of the Raising of Lazarus. It struck me strange
how scared everyone looked, and this started me down a road of reflection about early Catholicism, vampirism,
and a story began to unfold. I knew this could be a huge, ground-breaking new mythology, a story so epic in scope
that I knew I didn’t want to tackle this alone.
Rebecca: Jim called to ask me if I was interested in collaborating on a project. The premise and the world were so
intriguing and controversial, I said yes immediately.
Both of you are well known authors in your own right, how did you learn to collaborate?
Rebecca: We went back and forth a lot while trying to decide what would be fun and interesting for both of us.
Since we’re two people, more ideas come out and the books end up going in a direction I don’t think either of us
would have found on our own. Luckily, he’s very open and easy to work with and has never once said “that’s the
stupidest idea ever,” because I think you need to feel safe to throw out any idea at the beginning and see what
James: It’s one of the best things about collaboration: we each bring a unique skill set to the table. Scenes where I
know I perhaps am more deft (i.e. action), I handle. Likewise, Becky’s skill at characterization and atmospheric
historical descriptions, I let her run with it. That said, then we each take each other’s work and tweak it in new and
surprising ways that neither of us could have done alone.
Could vampires have been or be real?
Rebecca: Our series plays with the idea that vampires are and always have been a myth, but the myth is based on
some truth—that strigoi have always existed within and without the Church and their bloody crimes have formed
the basis of the vampire myth.
James: It was interesting how many of the Church’s trappings (hooded robes, crosses, celibate priests, and the rite
of turning wine into Christ’s blood) could be directly folded into the vampire mythology. It makes you wonder if
the Church isn’t keeping something secret about a mythology that has existed for millennia.
Can fans expect to find elements of science in this series?
Jim: With a scientific background in biology, I wanted to instill into the mythology how vampirism might be
possible, how such creatures could live among us, how they could survive without beating hearts, why silver would
be toxic to them. The goal of this book was to explore the line between faith and science, so that meant exploring a
scientific and historical rationalization for the existence of vampires.
# # #
JAMES ROLLINS REBECCA CANTRELL
Will appear together to promote
THE BLOOD GOSPEL
At the following venues:
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
BARNES & NOBLE
(1256 Galleria BLVD, Roseville, CA 95678)
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
(4014 N Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251)
Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 6:00 PM
MURDER BY THE BOOK
(2342 Bissonnet ST, Houston, TX 77005)
Friday, January 11, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
(7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111)
Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
(51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925)
“Irresistible…The Da Vinci Code meets vampires.”—Booklist
“Pure genius.”—Suspense magazine
“Fans of the authors will not be disappointed, and those who lapped up The Da Vinci Code will be clamoring for more in this series.”—Library Journal, starred review
“Good escapist reading in the Dan Brown vein. And these writers can write.”—Kirkus Review
“Fast-paced action, an intriguing plot and compelling characters make this novel tough to put down. In their collaborative efforts Rollins and Cantrell have created a novel that brings out the best in their individual storytelling talents. Their story seamlessly blends modem-day technology with historical intrigue and other worldly phenomena. The highly original plot combines gripping world-could-end drama with characters who are complex, fascinating and personable.”—Romantic Times Book Review