ROBERT JAMES GLIDER
The book shown on the left is by Robert James Glider. Click on the cover to order.
Douglas Cobb did this interview with author Robert James Glider on December 10, 2009.
What follows is my interview with the author Robert James Glider, whose exciting debut mystery/thriller novel, Golden Conspiracy, I wrote a review of elsewhere at this site. It's a book about the modern-day treasure hunters Jacsen (Jac) Kidd, the eleventh-generation descendant of the infamous pirate Captain Kidd, and his friend and source of monetary backing, the world renowned chef who has his own television show, Pericles (Peri) Schmoond.
First off, Robert, could you please tell me what are some of your literary influences and favorite authors?
I think James Michener was my biggest literary influence. His descriptions of Hawaii, etc made me dream and want to visit, and know more about the history of the places he wrote about. Other authors that helped to shape my dreams are Shakespere, Hemingway, Jane Austen, Dickens, Poe, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Faulkner. Modern authors I read regularly are: Robert K. Tanenbaum, Clive Cusseler, David Balducci, Jonathan Kellerman, and many others. I read at least a book a week.
Though Golden Conspiracy is set primarily in the near future, November-December of 2010, its roots go back to a far more distant November, that of the year 1503. A Spanish conquistador has made his way to the island of Molokai, having circumnavigated the cape of South America years before Magellan, whom history credits with being the first person to do so. I like it that this interview is coincidently timed near Thanksgiving, as your novel's first chapter is set in Malibu, California, on Thanksgiving Day, 2010.
What gave you the initial idea that a Spanish ship laden with gold could make it all the way to Molokai? You seem to have done a lot of research for this novel, and make the idea appear to be plausible. You mention in your Forward that there really was a ship like the Solitario, and that you also read about the name of the Santa Ynez, another ship important to your plot, during your research. Did the Solitario actually burn off the coast of Florida, or is that something you made up for the story?
The Spanish were the world’s best sailors of the time, and if they could sail across the stormy Atlantic, it seemed to me they could venture around South America and cross the Pacific.
I’m not sure if it was the Solitario, but it is reported in a legend I found during research that a ship laden with gold did sink in the Georgia Straits.
I suggest in the review I wrote of Golden Conspiracy that Jacsen Kidd reminds me as a sort of cross between Disney's Jack Sparrow from their Pirates of the Carribean movies, and James Bond. He also has similarities(to me, anyway) with Indiana Jones, in that they're both treasure hunters.
Did you have anyone in mind that you based this character on?
Yes, I did a lot of research on the escapades of Captain Kidd. I could not find any lineal descendants, so I created Jac and the baggage he carries about his ancestor being unfairly executed. In a later novel, Jac and Peri will explore this mystery.
Here's a couple of questions about Jac's partner in his treasure hunting adventures, Pericles (Peri) Schmoond.
First, why did you give him the rather unique and somewhat humorous name you chose? Also, he's a pretty cool character (though in a different way than Jac is), and every treasure hunter (except perhaps extremely wealthy ones) needs backers, but why did you chose to make Peri a famous chef? Do you also share an interest in the culinary world?
I guess I was influenced by the Roman and Greek myths and tragedies for Pericles aka Peri. Yes, I love to cook and create. I don’t do dishes or clean!
Jac's love interest in Golden Conspiracy is a beautiful lady named Nicole (Nikkie) Thomas.
How does Jac meet her, and what is it that eventually convinces her to tell Jac the truth about herself?
Jac meets her in the Hilton Hotel bar on Oahu. She has been sent by her boss, an antiquities collector who has been looking for this fabled treasure all his life. She was duped into believing that her boss only wanted information, and wasn’t capable of murder. She finds him dead, and tells Jac of her mission.
Much of the first part of the novel is set on Molokai. How much time did you spend on the island doing research fro the book? Did you stay at some of the motels you mention in it, like the Kapalua Bay resort on Maui? Did you eat/drink at some of the places you have Jac and Peri doing the same at, like Roy's Kahuna Grill?
I made three trips to Molokai. I stayed at the Kapalua resort on Maui, and ferried over on one trip. I also stayed on Molokai at the Hotel Molokai. Yes, Roy’s Kahuna Grill is on Maui, and has spectacular food. It was used in a key scene in the book.
Who is Garth Moska, and why does he have a grudge against Jac and want the treasure? Why did you decide to call him Garth - do you like the country music singer, Garth Brooks, or maybe just thought it'd be a funny name for an ex-KGB assassin to have?
In the book, Jac foils a robbery at sea of gold coins, and has a life or death struggle with Moska. While they are fighting, the ship has been set with charges and blows up sending both men into the sea. But, neither knows the other survived. Moska finds out Jac is alive, and since he has never lost during his infamous career in the KGB, he vows revenge.
In order to discover the truth about the Spaniard who meet his ultimate fate in Molokai, leaving behind a map (of sorts) for Jac to find, Jac has to explore a lava tube.
Have you also explored lava tubes? The writing seems as if you've had experiences doing it, anyway, so if you haven't, you still do a good job making it seem like you have.
I did explore lava tubes on the island of Kauai. Oh, and I climbed the waterfall in handholds that were gouged out over nine hundred years ago, and jumped where Jac jumps in the book.
You also have Jac and Peri traveling to Cozumel and Brazil, to where they think the treasure might be, off Brazil's coast, at Fernando de Noronha.
What leads the duo there, and have you also traveled to these places?
Jac and Peri are led to Fernando de Norhona by the clues they find on Molokai. “The finger of God pointing to the sky,” is a description that Darwin wrote in his voyage of the HMS Beagle on his journey along the coast of South America. It closely matches the breastplate medallion riddle. This was a classic Ahh Haa discovered by Jac’s father. And, yes, I have traveled to these places.
Now, on to the last question. I know that your follow-up novel to this one, your debut, is titled Golden Legacy, because to give us a taste of it, you've included the first chapter at the conclusion of Golden Conspiracy.
Could you please give us a further idea of what it'll be about, and let our readers know when they might expect to see it at the book stores? I'm looking forward to it with great anticipation--if it's as good or better than your debut, it should be a very good read!
My wife believes it to be better than Golden Conspiracy! It is about two female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and, of course, a purported treasure they secreted somewhere on a Caribbean islet when they were stranded by their captain, the dandy pirate, Calico Jack Rackham. These characters actually lived. This book is filled with unexpected twists, turns and surprises as Jac and Peri become immersed in the mystery. There is a flashback excerpt on my blog at www.robertjamesglider.com/blog
I and the entire staff at BestSellers World would like to once again give our thanks to Robert James Glider for agreeing to do this review! It's a great time of the year to think about the thanks we owe, in general, to everyone important in our lives, so we also would like to convey our thanks to our fabulous readers, who make doing the reviews at this site a pleasure, and help to spread the word about some of today's best authors and literature!
OUR FIRST REVIEW OF GOLDEN CONSPIRACY
OUR SECOND REVIEW OF GOLDLEN CONSPIRACY