ROBERT CRAIS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Table of Contents
1. I just discovered RC’s work. Should I start reading the Elvis Cole series with the first book, or does it matter?
2. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike were in Vietnam, so they must be getting pretty creaky. How old are they?
3. Why doesn’t Elvis Cole have a cell phone?
4. Did Robert publish the following novels: THE DEVIL'S CANTINA, HAGAKURE, and JUNGLELAND?
5. Will any of Robert's books be made into movies?
6. Can I get an autographed photo of Robert?
7. Can I send my books to Robert to have them inscribed?
8. Does Robert read his email?
9. I have a terrific idea for a story! Would Robert like to write it?
10. In what order were the Elvis Cole novels published?
11. Have Elvis Cole and Harry Bosch appeared in each other’s novels?
12. Okay, RC, I’ve read all the Elvis Cole novels, and one thing is bugging me—where on earth did you get the title to your first book, THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT, and what does it mean?

I just discovered RC’s work. Should I start reading the Elvis Cole series with the first book, or does it matter?

We asked RC for his opinion on this. Here is his answer in his own words:

     “At this writing, the Elvis Cole series now includes ten novels, and, altogether, I have published thirteen books. My readership has grown dramatically over the last several books, and continues to grow. Thankfully, new readers are coming to me all the time, and, inevitably, many want to start with my first book. I understand this, but part of me always cringes because my books and their nature has changed over the course of the ten Cole novels. When a new reader asks me which book they should start with, or whether or not they should begin at the beginning with THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT, I always suggest they begin with L. A. REQUIEM, or even one of the standalones like DEMOLITION ANGEL or THE TWO MINUTE RULE. It isn’t that I feel the earlier books aren’t as ‘good’ as my more recent efforts—I am intensely proud of those early novels—but my newer books are richer, broader in scope, and way more complex in their structure, so I believe them to be more representative of the work I am doing today.”

Back to Top

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike were in Vietnam, so they must be getting pretty creaky. How old are they?

We get this question all the time so we asked RC. Here is The Man's answer: "Funny you should ask. When I wrote the first Elvis Cole novel way back in the day, Elvis and Joe were a few years older than me. Who knew they would be around all these books later and become so popular? I didn't! So a funny thing happened as the years passed and the number of books grew. Elvis and Joe didn't age as quickly as me! Man, I wish I knew their secret! These days, Elvis and Joe are a lot younger than me. I slowed their aging for a simple reason. I love Elvis and Joe as tough, physical men who can take on dangerous bad guys head on, straight up, and toe-to-toe. I love writing (and reading!) the thrilling, high-speed action sequences and live-or-die shootouts where my guys risk everything for clients and each other and I know my readers also enjoy this aspect of my novels. If Elvis and Joe aged in "real time," they wouldn't be able to do these things. So I had to make a choice. Slow their aging, cut the action, or pretend a couple of old codgers were action heroes. I went with option #1. I hope you agree I made the right choice."

Back to Top

Why doesn’t Elvis Cole have a cell phone?

We get this question a couple of times every week from new readers who have started reading the series at the beginning (see FAQ #1 above!), but haven’t yet reached the later books. Once more, we went to RC for the definitive answer.

     “I wrote THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT twenty years ago. I began making notes about Elvis Cole and Joe Pike late in 1985 when I was living in a cabin in the San Bernadino Mountains at Lake Arrowhead, California, and finished TMR in the summer of ’86. Hey, nobody had cell phones back then! Check out reruns of shows like MIAMI VICE—Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) was using a clunky old car phone the size of a shoe box!
     Later, I held off giving Elvis a cell phone as long as possible because I enjoyed writing the scenes where he was forced to use a pay phone. Inevitably, the pay phone scenes evolved into more than the phone call—Elvis would always encounter a minor but colorful character with whom he would have to interact. Sometimes I would play these scenes for humor, other times these moments would be used to illustrate a deeper side to Elvis’s nature. (IE, the North Hollywood Station scene in TMR where Elvis intimidates the young man into getting off the phone, after which Elvis feels guilty about it.) I enjoyed these scenes, and I think my readers did, too, but now those opportunities are lost.”

Back to Top

Did Robert publish the following novels: THE DEVIL'S CANTINA, HAGAKURE, and JUNGLELAND?

No. Even though these titles often show up on Amazon.com and in catalogs, no books by Robert were published with these titles. Robert often has a 'working title' for a manuscript, and most often that title changes several times before Robert selects the 'real title' for publication. THE DEVIL'S CANTINA was once the title for L. A. REQUIEM; HAGAKURE was the working title for STALKING THE ANGEL; and JUNGLELAND was the working title for FREE FALL.

Back to Top

Will any of Robert's books be made into movies?

SUSPECT is currently being developed as a feature motion picture by producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson for Fox 2000.

HOSTAGE, starring Bruce Willis, was released in 2005 by Miramax films.

The movie rights for DEMOLITION ANGEL were purchased by producer Laurence Mark (AS GOOD AS IT GETS, JERRY MAGUIRE) but the project has stalled in the dark deep hole of Hollywood development. If this changes, we'll update the news.

Although Robert has received numerous offers from Hollywood to buy the screen rights to the Elvis Cole novels, these novels and characters are not for sale.

Back to Top

Can I get an autographed photo of Robert?

Unfortunately, no. If we're in a position to offer photos of Robert or bookplates in the future, we'll announce it on the site.

Back to Top

Can I send my books to Robert to have them inscribed?

Robert loves to personalize his books, and did sign books and bookplates through the mail for years, but the number of requests has risen to a level where he's had to discontinue the practice. Robert regrets this, as he truly enjoys interacting with his readers and appreciates the compliment of an autograph request, but we'd much rather have him writing new novels. We hope you agree.

Back to Top

Does Robert read his email?

Our policy is to cull Robert's email of rude commentary, business propositions, and other inappropriate correspondence. All other email is read and answered by Robert, but please be patient.

Back to Top

I have a terrific idea for a story! Would Robert like to write it?

Due to legal reasons, as well as the unfortunate fact that Robert doesn't have enough time to write many of his own ideas, he cannot read, consider, or comment upon any unsolicited material. We are under strict orders from the lawyer to cull all such requests and we do not forward them to Robert. Although many of you have wonderful literary ideas, please do not send stories, notions, ideas, concepts, or anything of this sort. We  return all such submissions unread. Robert  wishes all of you who may be aspiring writers the best of luck with your writing endeavors.

Back to Top

In what order were the Elvis Cole novels published?

Robert doesn't believe that the books need to be read in order, but if you're curious:

Elvis Cole novels

THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT (1987)
STALKING THE ANGEL (1989)
LULLABY TOWN (1992)
FREE FALL (1993)
VOODOO RIVER (1995)
SUNSET EXPRESS (1996)
INDIGO SLAM (1997)
L. A. REQUIEM (1999)
THE LAST DETECTIVE (2003)
THE FORGOTTEN MAN (2005)
THE WATCHMAN (2007)
CHASING DARKNESS (2008)
THE FIRST RULE (2010)
THE SENTRY (2011)
TAKEN (2012)


non-Elvis Cole novels

DEMOLITION ANGEL (2000)
HOSTAGE (2001)
THE TWO MINUTE RULE (2006)
SUSPECT (2013)

Back to Top


Have Elvis Cole and Harry Bosch appeared in each other’s novels?

Yes. Elvis Cole made an un-named appearance in Michael Connelly’s novel, LOST LIGHT. Harry Bosch made a similar, un-named appearance in RC’s THE LAST DETECTIVE. RC and MC are friends, and thought this would be a fun way to acknowledge each other’s work.

Back to Top


Okay, RC, I’ve read all the Elvis Cole novels, and one thing is bugging me—where on earth did you get the title to your first book, THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT, and what does it mean?

Again, we went to the source and asked RC to explain:

     “The title. I get asked this a lot. The title comes from the Basho haiku quoted at the beginning of the novel:

Winter downpour;
Even the monkey needs a raincoat.


Basho was a retired samurai who became a poet. I read this stuff because, well, I read this stuff. And think about it. A winter downpour is a storm. In Japanese haiku poetry, a ‘monkey’ represents a man, or the soul of a man (‘man’ being non-gender specific.) A raincoat is something with which you protect yourself. So here was my thinking: If Ellen Lang was the ‘monkey,’ and her ‘storm’ was the hell she was going to live through in this book, then her ‘raincoat’ would be Elvis Cole. Therefore, Elvis Cole was ‘the monkey’s raincoat.’
Just a little writerly-type poetry at work...”

Back to Top 


SIGN UP!
Get the latest information on Robert, his work and upcoming appearances, by signing up for our mailing list! Simply click here,  fill in your e-mail address and click on the button below to begin the process.


   
Contents of this web site are copyright 2010 by Robert Crais.
Photo of Robert Crais by Greg Gorman
Website designed and maintained by Dovetail Studio