Eric Van Lustbader: An Interview on The Jason Bourne Series

Eric Van Lustbader: An Interview on The Jason Bourne Series

Hi Eric, thanks for speaking with us. So for those who don’t already know, how did you come to continue the Jason Bourne series after Robert Ludlum’s passing?

Bob Ludlum and I shared agents, which is how we met. We hit it off right away. I was a fan of his ‘The Bourne Identity‘ and he was a fan of my ‘The Ninja‘. We would have a lot of fun discussing plot devices, character development and conspiracy theories – an obsession we shared. When the executor of Bob’s estate came up with the idea of reviving the Jason Bourne series (Bob wrote three Bourne novels) he naturally thought of me. The idea appealed to me right away because I knew Jason Bourne inside and out and was told I could do pretty much whatever I wanted with the character as long as he stayed true to Bob’s original vision. The next morning, I’d come up with a plot idea that everyone loved, and we were off to the races.

Did you find it difficult or daunting to step into Ludlum’s legacy?

Not at all. Bob and I were good friends. We spoke about our respective heroes, especially Bourne and Nicholas Linnear. From the very first word, I have found it a genuine pleasure and exceptionally easy to write about a character I love as much as my own creations.

You’ve written ten Bourne novels since your first one, The Bourne Legacy, in 2004. Which one was your favourite to write?

Usually, it’s the last one I’ve written. I love especially the Bourne novels which feature Sara, the Mossad agent. Retribution, where Bourne thinks she’s dead, comes immediately to mind; it’s such an emotional experience for him. I also am partial to Betrayal. My wife came up with that title. But I must say that Enigma is very special because of how prescient the plot is and also because of the characters it introduces going forward.

Which scene or passage in the newest book was the most fun to write?

That’s an easy one. The very tense sequence in Cairo, where Bourne is inside one of the pyramids.

What books are you reading at the moment?

John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, believe it or not. And a fascinating novel called Smoke, by Dan Vyleta. I often read more than one novel at once, no idea why.

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