ERIC VAN LUSTBADER
Is this your first visit to the UAE and Sharjah?
Yes, and I’m quite excited about it. I’m extremely
impressed with the degree of concern and interest in
the UAE in educating their children and encouraging
reading to enable them to understand their history and
the history of the world, writing to express themselves,
and inculcating in them a love of literature.
These are qualities that will enrich their lives year
What are you hoping to gain from the experience?
I’m very much looking forward to getting to know
Sharjah, its beauty, its history, its people, and, especially,
I’m also eager to meet fellow authors from all over
the world and exchange ideas with them.
You’ve been writing novels starring your late friend
Robert Ludlum’s character Jason Bourne for over
10 years. Have you enjoyed mixing these assignments
with your own projects?
I have, indeed. I wouldn’t be writing the Bourne books
unless I loved to do it. I feel very honored that I was
the first and only writer considered for the task. I’m
convinced that Bob is pleased, too.
Has the casting of Matt Damon influenced your
perception of, and portrayal of, Bourne?
Yes and no. When I first took up the Bourne baton
I was very much aware that though Bob had legions of
fans all over the world, many many readers would be
coming to these new books because they had seen Matt
and the films.
I felt it best to meld the literary character Bob
created with the one on screen. It was a tricky business.
I didn’t want the movie viewers to read the books
and say, “Who is this? He doesn’t seem like Bourne.”
On the other hand, I didn’t want the older fans to feel
that Bourne had changed into someone they didn’t
recognize. Judging by the fan mail I’ve gotten,
I seem to have succeeded in a big way, mainly because
I have kept the essence of Jason Bourne entirely intact,
while enriching his character.
You recently brought back Nicholas Linnear for a
couple of ebook stories. How have you enjoyed this
Nicholas Linnear was my first love. He’s the character
Bob and I spoke about when we first met. He’d fallen in
love with Nick also.
I got the idea to do a series of short stories that could
be read independently, but when read in sequence
would reveal something vitally important in Nick’s past,
and set him on a whole new path.
It was wonderful to welcome him home; once I
started writing about him again I realized how much I’d
Are there likely to be further full length Ninja novels?
You know, that’s up to my publishers, I’m sorry to say.
The marketplace determines all, doesn’t it? Even for me.
Having said that, I’d love to write a new Nicholas
novel to follow the big reveal that will come with the
last story in the sequence I’m currently writing. It’s a
bit frustrating, though. Writing two novels a year,
I don’t get as much time to write about him as I’d like.
Consequently, the stories aren’t being written as fast
as I’d like.
Fans must have many requests concerning favourite
characters and series. How do you balance their
demands with what you want to write?
I listen to all reasonable requests, but to be honest, I’m
the writer here, so I proceed where my heart and mind
take me, and for the last 40 years my fans have been
very happy to go along for the ride with me.
Eric Van Lustbader was born and raised in Greenwich Village, NY. He is the author of
more than 35 best-selling novels, including The Ninja, a N. Y. Times bestseller for 24
weeks, in which he introduced Nicholas Linnear, an enduring modern fiction hero.
Spanning 40 years, Van Lustbader’s novels have been translated into over
20 languages, and are so popular world wide that they command entire sections
of bookstores from Bangkok to Dublin.
In 2004, Van Lustbader was chosen by the estate of the late Robert Ludlum to
continue the Jason Bourne novels. He has written 10 Bourne novels; the latest is
The Bourne Enigma, published July, 2016.
He is also the author of Any Minute Now (August, 2016), and the sequel to
international best-seller The Testament, titled The Fallen, the first novel in a
planned trilogy, will appear in 2017.