Robert Greer

Robert Greer

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
June 14, 2006

Q.    How did you come about the situation surrounding the Star 1 unit in Song Ve Valley, North Vietnam?

A.    RESURRECTING LANGSTON BLUE is of course a work of fiction but some of the story uses real places, events, and times in order to finally complete the Vietnam war story that had been rolling around in my head for years. Carmen Nguyen, who appeared in my previous medical thriller novel, HEAT SHOCK, gave me that opportunity by virtue of the fact that fictionally, she is the daughter of an American soldier who had served in Vietnam in the Song Ve Valley.

Q.    How did you come about the idea that involved Celeste Deepstream, CJ and Mavis?

A.    Celeste Deepstream is a recurring character in the CJ Floyd mystery series. She serves as a foil and flashpoint for CJ much as Morriarty serves the same purpose for Sir Arthur Connan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Although she has all the physical and intellectual traits of a Hollywood “central casting heroine,” including exquisite beauty and Beta Kappa caliber level intellect, she is an evil person to the core. She is constantly a thorn in CJ’s side and she has no qualms about going after not only CJ, but Mavis, in order to extract revenge for what she believes to be CJ’s involvement in the death of her brother.

Q.    How did you come about Ginny Kearnes and Owen Brashears’ characters?

A.    These two characters are fictionalized versions of some newspaper people that I happen to know. I majored in journalism and chemistry in college and ran across a whole slew of interesting journalism types. These two characters are just composites.

Q.   How did you come about Langston Blue’s character?

A.    Langston Blue is a character who I wanted to come off as a naďve caring human being who has a few intellectual deficits. Blue is a slightly childish person who is cast into the throws of war and never looses his moral principals. He is not based on anyone I know, he is a fully imagined character.

Q.    How did you come about the title RESURRECTING LANGSTON BLUE?

A.    The title RESURRECTING LANGSTON BLUE came about because of the fact that Langston Blue, who triggers the stories action, has been hiding in the West Virginia hills for 35 years. The term resurrecting has to do largely with his reappearance into the larger world.

Q.   What is CJ Floyd’s middle name?

A.    CJ Floyd’s full name is Calvin James Floyd.

Q.   Are you really going to allow CJ to quit the bail bondsman business?

A.   I hate to give too much away about the new novel, but CJ will quit the bail bonding business and become an antiques dealer as foreshadowed at the end of LANGSTON BLUE. Whether or not he remains an antiques dealer without returning to the mean streets he knows is the real question. You’ll have to see with the next novel.

Q.   How did you come about Flora Jean and Mavis’s characters?

A.    Flora Jean Benson is a powerful African-American female character who is directly off the streets of East St. Louis, a true “sista.” She is a product of a broken home and her mother was a prostitute. She is a former marine. I wanted to show her as a woman with integrity and strength, someone who has been above all else, a survivor. I also wanted to define her as someone who is tested psychologically when she falls in love, not simply with an officer while she is an enlisted person in the marines, but a man who is white.

Mavis was formulated to represent the kind of woman that CJ Floyd would probably except for circumstance never encounter in life. She is educated, entrepreneural, well bred, successful and monied. She is the absolute opposite of CJ in so many respects. I wanted to be able to intertwine the two in a love affair that shows that love is able to cross social bounderies.

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    Yes, I just finished my latest novel, THE FOURTH PERSPECTIVE, which will come out in October. It deals with the antiquarian rare book trade, greed and murder set against the history of the building of the famous transcontinental railroad.

Q.   What message would you like readers to receive from reading RESURRECTING LANGSTON BLUE?

A.    The message I wanted to try to impart to the reader is that everyone has a cross to bear and that no one can ever outrun their past.