Guest Blogger: Eric Van Lustbader
I wrote THE NINJA in 1980 and it became an immediate worldwide sensation, ultimately spending twenty-four weeks on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list. The book was picked up by 20th Century Fox to be made into a film. Five more novels featuring the protagonist, Nicholas Linnear, followed. But then something odd happened. Japan, which had been so much in the news during those years that elements of the federal government approached me to write what amounted to a propaganda novel about the dangers of the Japanese, fell into a three decade economic slump. And on the film front, though mine was never made – for a variety of reasons – many very poor ninja films came and went, cheapening the genre.
Everyone’s attention turned to the Middle East and then China and now Russia. Japan became a backwater. If there’s anything that thrillers thrive on it’s current events. My interests, like others, turned to the frightening new jihadist elements facing the world. Still, since I went live on Twitter and Facebook, I have been constantly inundated with fans asking two things: 1. When would the Nick books be available in e-book format? and 2. When was I going to writer another Nick novel? Clearly, he’s been missed by an entire generation of readers for whom he has been a unique and iconic hero.
It took me some time to get the rights back to the first three Nick books, and also to my first fantasy series, The Sunset Warrior. It took another two years for my agent to vet all the e-book publishers for just the right situation. THE NINJA and Nicholas Linnear have always been very close to my heart, and I didn’t want to make a mistake heading into the brave new world of e-books. Finally, we found what we were looking for in Open Road, a company led by seasoned veterans who loved books and their authors, and young people who know the Internet and social media inside and out.
The result is that the first three Nicholas Linnear novels, THE NINJA, THE MIKO, WHITE NINJA will be available as e-books for the first time on March 25 through Open Road, along with the first three novels in the seminal Sunset Warrior Cycle. A funny thing happened on the way to this publication. I became so excited by the plans Open Road was making and the idea of Nicholas Linnear being introduced to a whole new generation of readers that I decided to complete his resurrection. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a short story – the first new Nick adventure in over thirty years. And, lo and behold, I discovered that I missed him as much as my legions of readers all around the world did. So I am thrilled to tell you that “The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear” will be out exclusively in e-book form sometime in the next few months.
After a long time in hibernation it feels so good to dust Nick off, shake him up, and place him in contemporary settings. And the fact that he’s half-British, half-, well, we never did find out Cheong’s origin, so Nick could be half Chinese, Malay, who knows? – makes this particular resurrection easier than I had imagined. Now it will be up to you, dear readers, to decide if I write more Nick stories, or possibly a new novel. Please let me know in your Comments below what you think and how you see the new Nick stories evolving.
Eric Van Lustbader is the author of many New York Times bestselling thrillers, including FIRST DAUGHTER, LAST SNOW and BLOOD TRUST. Lustbader was chosen by Robert Ludlum’s estate to continue the Jason Bourne series, and his Bourne novels include THE BOURNE LEGACY and THE BOURNE BETRAYAL. He and his wife live in New York City and on the South Fork of Long Island.