From the Secret Blog Prison — James Rollins and Bloodline!

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Last fall, Holmes and I devolved into serial interviewers, targeting best selling authors. Our first victim guest at our secret blog prison hideout was New York Times Best Selling Author and Heckuva Guy James Rollins*. Dr. Rollins was a stellar interviewee, not once complaining about the handcuffs or the fact that his parachute got tangled when we pushed him out of the plane over his house. (James Rollins and New Characters for Sigma Force)

During that interview, my dog, Daisy, showed her astute doggie intuition and hit on just the right questions to pull some exclusive info from this author/veterinarian. She asked about war dogs. Here is an excerpt.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Hi Dr. Rollins. *lick, lick, wag, wag* It’s so nice to meet you. I love meeting writers who get it. Writers who understand that dog readership is a driving force in today’s market. Would you please explain the benefits of having animals in books?

As a veterinarian, I simply enjoy folding them into the story.  I knew from third-grade that I wanted to be a vet, and though I only do volunteer work with my vet degree, that passion still runs strong.  So animals keep creeping in on silent paws into my books.  Also, I think an animal is a great way to personalize and characterize the men and women in a story.  Are they a cat person or a dog person?  Can they ride a horse?  What type of dog or cat do they have?  These details can really make a significant difference in how a reader views a character.

I know they certainly matter to me and to my pet human.

There’s been lots of news about Cairo, the war dog who took down Bin Laden. (Sincere thanks to Cairo’s pilots and assistants.) War dogs are really hot, the way they sky dive and save their pet humans from bombs. Have you ever considered adding a war dog to the Sigma Force team?

In fact, that’s coming up in my very next book:  Tucker Wayne and his canine partner, Kane.  They are an incredible team.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

On June 26, we finally got to see Kane and his pet human, Tucker Wayne in Bloodline, the eighth novel in the Sigma Force series. To celebrate this event, we tracked Dr. Rollins on his Bloodline Tour and approached him on the street outside of a bookstore to interrogate chat with him about this exciting new release.

When he first saw us coming toward him, he dodged into a nearby pet store. We found him crouched behind a large open glass container full of Belgian Malinois puppies, and, once we proved we didn’t have any blindfolds on us or black helicopters hovering outside, he agreed to answer a few questions.

Dr. Rollins, will Tucker and Kane be a natural addition to the Sigma Force team in Bloodline, or will they have issues to settle to blend in?

From a professional standpoint, Tucker’s training as an army ranger and his partnership with his military working dog, Kane, create a formidable search-and-rescue team—the perfect recruit for Sigma.  But Tucker is disillusioned and bitter and not a team player.  With Kane at his side, he’s a bit of a lone wolf.  His trust needs to be won—but can Sigma earn it?  That’s answered with in the pages of Bloodline

When you spoke with Daisy, you told her Sigma Force will go up against The Guild in Bloodline, and only one group will be left standing. Does this mean Bloodline is the close of the Sigma Force series?

Nope.  This book exposes the true puppet masters of the Guild and dramatizes the final, fiery confrontation between this shadowy organization and Sigma. But as this story ends, a new thread begins that will carry the story of Sigma into the future. 

Would you please tell our readers a bit about Bloodline?

The president’s pregnant daughter is kidnapped by Somali pirates, and it’s up to Sigma and its newest recruits–Tucker and Kane–to rescue her from the mountainous jungles.  But her kidnapping masks a greater threat–one tied to her unborn child, a baby who may hold the key to the secret of immortality.

About this time, a Vietnamese woman who seemed well-acquainted with Dr. Rollins showed up. As she passed the puppies and pushed her way between us and our target friend, I noticed the outline of a Sig Sauer in her belt holster under her shirt. In light of this new development, we wished Dr. Rollins all the best and left him to resume his Bloodline Tour.

Our sincere thanks to James Rollins. We were honored to have another opportunity to speak with him. You can find Bloodline at his web site, James Rollins Bloodline, or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Do you like the idea of a war dog and his pet human in a thriller?

*James Rollins is the author of eight Sigma Force novels, the Jake Ransom YA series, and the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. He is known for high adventure drawn from his extensive and accurate knowledge of science, technology, and history. He is also a veterinarian who regularly contributes his time to his local clinic to spay and neuter animals.

24 comments on “From the Secret Blog Prison — James Rollins and Bloodline!

  1. I adore James and Bloodline sounds fantastic!! 🙂

  2. susielindau says:

    I am looking forward to meeting him!

  3. Okay, you guys are going to hate me forever but I have to admit, I am totally not a pet person. We have not had luck with dogs. Or cats. Or even fish. That said, I think James’ books are fabulous. So I’m willing to give this a whirl.


    I need to know, does the dog talk?

    Rita Mae Brown has a whole series featuring talking cats. I just can’t do it. So as long as the dog is not a talking dog, I am pretty sure I’ll be fine. 😉

  4. amyshojai says:

    I just got the book, too, and can’t wait to read it and see how the dog character interacts. Renee, I am a HUGE dog and cat person–and I just can’t do the “talking pet” stuff, either. There are some great novels out there, though, that do animal viewpoint in a brilliant way and that’s what I’m expecting in Bloodlines.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I have to say one of my all time favorite books, Watership Down, is hundreds of pages of talking animals, and it’s done so well that I don’t even notice they are animals while at the same time never forgetting it. However, I agree that it has to be brilliant or it just doesn’t work.

      • KM Huber says:

        I, too, love Watership Down. Agree with you and Amy that “it has to be brilliant.” As another reader noted, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” does animal very well. Speaking of, that Parker sounds like a generous lad in his own right. How’s the brushing?


  5. mliddle says:

    Do I like the idea of a war dog in a thriller? Without a doubt! I am a huge animal person – always have been. I have been adopted by several cats & 2 dogs from adoption centers. Right now, my family is small with 2 cats.
    I had an awesome companion, Akea who was a white sheperd mix. We were together for 13 years. She would have been excellent in a thriller bk. 11 years ago when we lived in Indiana, I went out for the evening & did not arrive home until late. The next morning my neighbor told me what a great guard dog I had. I must not have closed the door properly the night before, & the wind was quite gusty & blew open the door. Akea didn’t come out but apperently started barking & my neighbor came to check on things. Akea wouldn’t let him in the house, or my other neighbor. They thought I was still inside Y something had happened to me (my car was there- a friend had picked me up). They called the police. Meanwhile my neighbor startedd throwing dog biscuits

    • mliddle says:

      (The above posted accidently posted w/out me finishing or proofing my comment! The. “Y” above is supposed to be “&.”)
      As my neighbor throws dog biscuits into my apt to get Akea to move away from the door, the cops arrive & finally manage to coax Akea (with enough cookies & watchful eyes on her) to let them come in & search the apt. Of course I’m not there! I told my neighbor that I wondered why that morning Akea was looking under the furniture & coming out w/little dog treats! She always was protective of me. However, if Akea saw that I let the person in or was friendly w/someone, then she would trust my lead and like them too.
      I think Rollins or anyone could have built a great dog character around Akea!

  6. EllieAnn says:

    This book sounds fantastic! Another successful interrogation . . .uh, I mean interview. =)

  7. Running from Hell with El says:

    Loving the dog talk and the Sig Sauer would have had me bolting for the exit as well, lol. The plot, especially with the promise of immortality, sounds fab! I’m off to share this on Facebook and Twitter now!!

  8. Hi Piper.

    Great interview. I had been wondering if Bloodline would be the end of the road for the Sigma series, so that’s one question answered.

    There’s been plenty of books written from an animals POV (Wind in the Willows, Watership Down etc) but I can’t think of a thriller that uses that POV, so this should be interesting.


  9. Go Jules Go says:

    Wonderful interview – how COOL, and no restraining order yet! 😉 I’ve read two books so far from the perspective of a dog, and they were both fabulous (“The Art of Racing in the Rain” and “A Dog’s Purpose”). All dogs, all the time, that’s what I say. Bring it on!

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