I was recently interviewed for an Indiana Jones fan magazine – they never give up on Indy – and while reading over the copy I noticed my answer to one question provided a nice capsule of the start of both mine and Trish’s writing career. It also contained a powerful synchronicity that played a major role that triggered the publication of Trish’s first novel. Oddly enough it involves the first episode of Miami Vice. Here’s my comments.
Indymag: I assume in the late ‘80s both Trish and yourself were working toward publishing books. Tell us about this period and the development of your first novel Crystal Skull?
Rob: After we quit our jobs, we began writing magazine articles. We were selling them, but the pay was low and slow. After four to five months we were broke. We both took part-time jobs. I think that was 1984-85. I worked at a weekly newspaper and Trish taught English as a second language at night at Fort Lauderdale High School. After about a year, she sold her first novel, In Shadow. I’d read the manuscript after we met and suggested a few changes. She made them and it sold on the twenty-fifth submission. The novel was about two Miami detectives, one white, one black, and they were investigating a case involving designer drugs and murder. The editor who bought it read it after watching the premiere of Miami Vice. The coincidence of the novel and TV show was so uncanny that he bought the book. He was the same editor who a couple of years later assigned us to write The Making of Miami Vice, which was a lot of fun.
After Miami Vice, I started getting assignments to adapt scripts into novels. After two such novels for a television series called Private Eye by Anthony Yerkovich,—the creator of Miami Vice—I got the opportunity to adapt the script of The Last Crusade. I was also working on my first novel, Crystal Skull, a metaphysical/archaeological mystery about the reunion of two ancient crystal skulls. I wrote three drafts before my agent submitted the novel for publication. The first editor who read it bought it.