THE SEVEN: Robert McCammon

Continuing my interview series called THE SEVEN, in which I invite some of my favorite authors to answer seven questions about their most recent projects, today’s guest surely needs no introduction. Robert McCammon is one of the reasons I’m a writer today. From the apocalyptic SWAN SONG, and the epic coming of age novels MYSTERY WALK and BOY’S LIFE to the more recent thriller and love letter to rock-and-roll, THE FIVE (read my review here) and the Matthew Corbett series (SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD, THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM, and MISTER SLAUGHTER), McCammon has penned many of the books that not only defined my love for the genre and solidified my desire to be a storyteller, but also proved instructional in how to make a story transcend its genre label. I am far from the only fan who rejoiced when he began publishing again after a decade-long hiatus, and I am pleased to see that he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

* * *

Q. What is your most recent release?

A. My most recent release is THE PROVIDENCE RIDER, which is a mystery/suspense/thriller set in Colonial America in the 1700s. The book moves from New York to Pendulum Island in the Bahamas.

Q. What inspired the project?

A. The project is the 4th book of a planned series of ten. It centers around my young detective hero, Matthew Corbett, and his on-going battle with the “enigmatic emperor of crime”, Professor Fell.

Q. What is the primary theme you’ve chosen to explore with this project?

A. In this particular book, the theme involves the chain of predators, and how Matthew is required to disguise himself as a predator to do the bidding of Professor Fell, yet remain true to himself. Professor Fell threatens to blow up New York if Matthew doesn’t find out for him who has betrayed him regarding a new weapon Fell has created and is selling to the enemies of England.

Q. Of everything you’ve written to date, which project has been the most difficult for you?

A. Hmmm…STINGER was difficult to finish up because it was set in 24 hours and everybody had to be where they needed to be at the end of that time. MISTER SLAUGHTER–one of the Matthew series books–was difficult in places, just in terms of where the story would go next since I had a lot of choices.

I’d say STINGER because of that time element. I remember having to rewrite large parts of it to make sure the ending would work out.

Q. Which title would you suggest as a good introduction for newcomers to your work, and why?

A. I would say BOY’S LIFE, since it seems to appeal to so many different age groups.

Q. What are your thoughts on the burgeoning digital market?

A. It’s interesting to watch it develop. I think it has a long way to go. There’s much confusion in it right now, it seems. Of course I do like a bound book. I like the way it feels and smells. I like the weight of ideas I can feel in holding a book. But there’s a lot of promise and potential in the digital market, just have to wait and see how it develops.

Q. What’s next for you?

A. I’m finishing a novella for Subterranean Press and then on to a big horror/science fiction book. Next up in the Matthew series is THE RIVER OF SOULS, which I’m working on also. So there’s a lot going on, and a lot ahead!

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Find out all the latest news from this author at Robert and

Post a comment below to be in with a chance to win a deluxe hardcover edition of THE PROVIDENCE RIDER, the fourth book in the Matthew Corbett series, generously donated by Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press


36 thoughts on “THE SEVEN: Robert McCammon

  1. To me, Robert McCammon is the best writer of all time. I’ve been reading and collecting his books since I stumbled upon Baal on the late 70s. Far better than King, Mr. McCammons horror is absolutely fantastic and I love his new works also.I am glad to see he is going back to his horror roots tho – that’s where he shines. 🙂

  2. Ashamed to say I have not read any McCammon. Been thinking about jumping in and now I know to start with Boys Life.

  3. I have followed Mr. McCammon a very long time. Swan Song is still a huge favorite after all these years. I also love the Matthew Corbett series and am deliriously happy that there will be ten books in this series. I know when we reach that mark, I will be unconsolably sad if that is, indeed, the end of the series.

  4. The Great Mr. McCammon has been my favorite author since I first read “They Thirst” when it first came out. I’m so glad he’s back and have enjoyed the Matthew Corbett series so much.

  5. For me, the journey with Mister McCammon began with the filmversion of NIGHTCRAWLERS
    in the German Twilight Zone. From that moment on I was hooked…

  6. Really good interview! He is a fantastic writer that I recently started getting way into. This series of interviews is stellar! Keep it up!

  7. STINGER may just be the best B-movie horror flick ever put to print…I’m excited to hear a “big horror/science fiction book” will follow on its heels someday soon.

  8. A master storyteller at the height of his powers. Blessed to know and love his work. Sending much love from Ireland.

  9. Nice interview. Have not read anything by McCammon yet, but do have a couple of his books (Swan Song and Mystery Walk) that I will eventually get to reading

  10. Another Irish man here (Belfast). I was directed to this interview via McCammon’s website email, I read most of his books in my teens and can’t wait for another sci-fi/horror novel from him. Never heard of your books, Kealan, will keep an eye out for them…

  11. Nice interview! I just finished The Providence Rider and very much enjoyed it.
    I had no idea that it was planned to be a series of 10. I’m psyched knowing that I will have good books to read for years to come!

  12. “Mine” was one of the most intense experiences I have had in my life without being in actual mortal danger. I had to go on walks after each chapter just to calm down.

  13. McCammon is the first author that I read and is why I so love reading today! Robert, you’ll never know what your words have meant to me over the years! Much love to you my friend!!!

  14. Kealan,

    I really look forward to these little interviews. Thank you. And McCammon was another good choice. Swan Song in one of a few books I’ve read a few times. Holds up well.

  15. Wow! There are a ton of replies to this interview. McCammon is one of my all time favorites and Boys Life, Swan Song, and The Five (these are in no particular order ) are awesome books.

  16. Robert McCammon has been my favorite author since first reading Swan Song. I have read every book of his that I could get my hands on (sometimes 2 or 3 times) and have been eagerly awaiting “The Providence Rider”. Payday will be coming around soon and I will be picking up a copy. Thanks for keeping us entertained with your brilliant stories.

  17. My favorite thing to do whenever I am in a new city is to find the local used book store and head straight for the horror section to see if they have any Robert. McCammon books! I love to find one that has been out of print! I have purchased and loaned out so many copies of Boy’s Life that I finally put it on my Nook so no one can accidentally “keep it”! It’s OK though. If I’ve introduced this fabulous writer to friends and colleges I consider it educating people on how an author should write! LOVE HIS BOOKS!

  18. I’m reading Baal now. I know he apparently hates it, but I want to see the evolution of his style. I haven’t read any others yet. But I have Wolf’s Hour, Stinger, Swan Song, and Boy’s Life on the shelf.

  19. Nice Interview! Love McCammon. Just finished Speaks the Nightbird, and am reading the remaining 2 Matthew Corbett novels so I can be ready for The Providence Rider.

  20. Big McCammon fan here. Just finished, ‘The Five,’ which I found incredibly touching and moving.

    Have read the first two Corbett books and look forward to reading the next two.

    Thanks for the interview and the contest.



  21. Kealan stated in the introduction of this interview that Robert McCammon is “one of the reasons why (he is a) writer”. I can relate to this in my own way because McCammon is one of the reasons why I started reading horror years ago. I am so happy that he’s writing again on a regular basis. He’s continually one of the clearest voices and most interesting writers in the horror genre’.

    Tim Slauter

  22. Been a McCammon fan for years started with the Swan Song and just snowballed from their. Was very disappointed when I ran out of bookes years ago really excited to hear he’s writing again. Just got Swan Song to read again before I start with his new books Charlie Dopking

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