Q & A with Robert Crais

After a long wait for readers, Robert Crais released The Promise last November. I pounced on it like it was the last piece of bacon post-apocalypse. It’s billed as an Elvis and Joe novel but also includes LAPD officer Scott James and his K-9 partner Maggie from Crais’s previous book, Suspect (read my Promise review for Shelf Awareness here).

Crais went on tour right before the holidays, and will appear tomorrow (Saturday) at the Santa Monica Public Library at 3 p.m., as part of the library’s 125th anniversary celebration. But first, he was kind enough to fill out my questionnaire about his adventures and provide glimpses of his life on the road.

Most unexpected experience:

The Promise debuted at #1 on the NY Times e-book list. In November. When dreadnoughts like King, Albom, and Grisham are plowing the pre-Christmas waves. I expected to be swamped.

Freakiest:

An enormous, 50-foot statue on the road from Cincinnati to Dayton. I asked my driver, “What’s this?” He said, “Touchdown Jesus. We call it Touchdown Jesus because of how the arms were raised like he’s signaling a TD.” I studied the statue, and didn’t see it. “His arms aren’t raised. They’re spread to the sides.” He nodded. “This is the second Touchdown Jesus. The first was struck by lightning and destroyed. They changed the arms when they built the new one, but he’ll always be Touchdown Jesus to me.”

TD Jesus

Most suspenseful:

The car service hired to drive me from Vero Beach to Jacksonville flaked at the last second. It’s a three-hour drive, and I had to be in Jacksonville for a couple of live radio interviews, so the publicists really had to scramble. They found a replacement, but there was just no way we were going to make it. Too many miles and not enough time. But this new driver? This cat was Han Solo. We blasted up the highway like the Millennium Falcon. I had to, ah, close my eyes a couple of times, but we made it.

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Most fun with TSA:

The TSA were great. Three different agents recognized my name, and asked about Elvis and Joe. What’s not to love?

Best meal eaten:

Flounder and fried green tomatoes at The Olde Pink House in Savannah. I’m drooling as I remember.

flounder

Most surreal moment:

The bar in the basement of the Olde Pink House. Ghosts.

Most beautiful sight:

I was in New York City when Paris was hit by the terror attacks. The next day, I happened upon Washington Square Park, which was filled with people. I don’t know how many, maybe a few thousand. Here were all these people, Americans, some of whom were waving French flags, who had come together in this spontaneous show of support for France. I found it moving and beautiful. I still do.

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Favorite activity between signings:

Flying. No calls, no email, and I’m on to another event.

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Favorite souvenir:

Fans brought so many wonderful gifts. Little stuffed German shepherds. Cookies to represent Elvis and Joe and Maggie. I loved them all.

maggie cookies

All photos: Robert Crais. To stalk his snaps, follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    January 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

    You two need to get your own show. Always great questions and answers when the both of you get together, and I’ve seen the “live” and electronic versions of this. So I know what I’m talking about. 😉

    • Reply
      Paulette
      January 8, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Yes, Robert! I have photographic evidence of the delightful PCN and Robert Crais in action!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 8, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Uh-oh, you saw the leaked videos, le0?

  • Reply
    Paulette
    January 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

    What a fantastic Q & A! Robert Crais never disappoints. Congratulations to him on the #1 slot. Now, I simply must see that Touchdown Jesus. Oh, and eat at The Olde Pink House. Congratulations to all on a smashingly successful tour!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 8, 2016 at 11:23 am

      It was great seeing you at Vroman’s, Paulette!

  • Reply
    Eirego
    January 8, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I’d like to know more about the ghosts in the Olde Pink House, have a taste of that flounder RC mentions, and chew on some those cookies.

    Good job getting Crais to give us some on the road insight.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 8, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I’d like to chew on Elvis—er, Elvis cookies.

      We do need more info about the ghosts, don’t we? Maybe they tried to steal Crais’s flounder.

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