The author has done two sit-down Q&A sessions with his son,
Roswell Camp, who asks questions sent in by fans on Facebook. Each session
is about forty minutes long, but broken into four parts due to YouTube upload
Below are the videos (and you can view them on YouTube in a
larger window, if you wish to see them in High-Definition), along with the
questions that are asked of the author in each segment. The answers (and the
banter) is completely unscripted, and the only edits were to remove long
silences (or in once case, to redo a part when someone in the background
dropped a bunch of pots and pans).
Interview 1, Part 1
I'd be very interested to hear about his character development. Where does
he see Lucas going? Is Virgil going to 'take the mantel'? Or is it going to be
Letty? Are Shrake and Jenkins just made up characters, or are they real guys he
I would like to know how Lucas began... where did the first idea come
from? Who does he picture in his head when he writes about Lucas... Del...
How long did you stare blankly at the keyboard before saying, "screw it!"
and naming Lucas' friend Del Capslock?
A few years back, Lucas got a gift of a digital music player and 100 free
songs. He saw it as a challenge and filled it with the 100 Best Rock Songs of
All Time. Was that something you shared with Lucas? Did it happen to you first?
What other subplots and interests have you shared with him over the years?
Lucas has appeared to mellow out in the last few books. He doesn't have as
active a part in the actual capture / killing of the bad guys. I know he's
getting older, but why did he have to lose his edge? Will he get it back in
future books. He's at his best when he's super-involved in the action.
Will Lucas ever figure out who Kidd really is? Will he finally understand
that 'mental bump' he gets when around Kidd?
Interview 1, Part 2
I'm curious as to Lucas's nun friend... I know they are fast friends, but
could you expand on how that friendship formed? Also, are you going to bring
her back? Haven't seen her in a long time.
If you are going to talk about the characters and their quirks, I would
like to know about Lucas's fear of flying. I think that the situations that you
put him into where he has to fly and your commentary about his fear is funny
because I feel the exact same thing.
I miss Clara Rinker and have never quite gotten over the fact that I cried
when a hit-woman died. Was she intentionally developed as a sympathetic
character? If so, what was the motivation behind making a character who was one
of the 'bad guys' so likable? If not, at what point did you realize that some
readers would be rooting for her?
I would love to know how much time is spent in research. Is it less now
that Lucas is such an established character? And where and how does research
begin? After the entire plotline is thought out, or as the book is written.
I'd be interested to know if he ever suffers from writers' block
and if so, how he gets past it (which he clearly must)!
Interview 1, Part 3
When did you know you wanted to become a writer? Who inspired you to
What is your experience with police work? Do you have friends in the
business, personal experience in the business, etc.?
The criminals in the Prey series: How do you come up with their M.O.'s?
Are they based on real crimes, are they created to serve the larger plot that
you design first, do they just come to mind late at night?
I see many authors post saying they don't make much money. One lady puts
out 3 or 4 books a year but she claims not to make a lot of money. Is this
possible? If so, why would you have writing as your sole source of income?
Interview 1, Part 4
What was your first book, published or unpublished, and what do you think
about it now?
I remember reading someplace that you were once a reporter for the Pioneer
Press. Is that what influenced you to become a writer, or have you always had
the desire to write?
Interview 2, Part 1
Letty is a great character. Can we expect any future books based on
Which authors do you read as soon as they come out?
Are you a muskie fisherman? If so, what's your favorite lake?
As Lucas has evolved over time, have you ever regretted something from an
earlier book you had him do or say? Are there parts of his personality that
How did you come up with the idea of the name Weather?
Technology has changed much over the years. Have you found it a challenge
to incorporate new technology for Lucas in his crime solving abilities since
the launch of the Prey series?
Interview 2, Part 2
Why do so many of the characters' children seem to go missing over the
years? Sarah is rarely mentioned; Marcy's new husband and baby made an
appearance and were then forgotten; and more recently, Cheryl took off for El
Paso apparently without a thought to their new baby.
Would you consider writing a book with another author? I always thought it
would be great if Lucas came up to Aurora to help Cork O'Conner.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
If you could live life either as Lucas or Flowers, who would you choose
If Lucas becomes a US Marshal, will Del get to work with Virgil as to
Jenkins and Shrake?
Interview 2, Part 3
I kind of miss the early days when Lucas was involved in game development.
Any chance of him getting back into that?
How do you feel your writing has changed between the first Prey novel and
your most recent Prey novel?
As a middle school teacher, I very much appreciate the effort that best
selling authors have given to YA novels. How does your process differ when
writing for younger readers?
Interview 2, Part 4
Would you consider killing Lucas when you feel the Prey series is
What clicked in your head to start writing, and what goes on in your brain
to come up with the characters?
What are the pros and cons of collaborating with friends on the Flowers
novels versus the more solitary approach to writing the Prey novels?
I'm still upset that you killed off Marcy! Why, oh why?
Interview 3, Part 1
For a scene where characters are located in different places (like
buildings), shooting at each other, and you need to describe all that, do you
draw a sketch of it first?
Several books have included Letty but nothing about his first daughter,
Sarah. Will she ever show up again?
Why didn't you stick with real cities and counties in the UP of Michigan
when writing "Gathering Prey"? Aside from Sault Ste. Marie, Munising, and
Traverse City, all the other places were fictionalized. Why?
I'd like to know about the science fiction book. I know you said you wrote
one that wasn't very good. Why science fiction?
Interview 3, Part 2
Do you prefer to write in the perspective of Lucas or the criminal(s)?
Davenport and Weather are quite well off financially. Yet, there has not
been a trip to Europe or Asia, or anywhere outside of North America yet. Will
he / they travel and maybe get involved in some sort of a mess?
I really enjoyed the short story "Rhymes With Prey" which you co-authored
with Jeffrey Deaver. Any chance of you teaming up with Deaver (or, say, Lee
Child) for a longer piece?
I cheer when Lucas "pushes the line" a bit, breaking into a suspect's
house or beating one up. I cheer because we KNOW that Lucas is the good guy,
and we know who the bad guy is. And we know that he will do the right thing.
But when I see some of the same kinds of procedures in the news, I feel a bit
ashamed. Would you like to comment on the recent police abuse charges? Can our
literature and our police procedure shows that show the good guys crossing the
line be a factor in how we react to these cases?
Interview 3, Part 3
If you were starting your novel writing career nowadays would you pursue
traditional print publication, self-publishing, or a hybrid approach, and
Will Shrake and Jenkins ever get their own book? They deserve it and are
so much more than just the muscle for the BCA.
Do you use a computer to type your out your novels or an old-school
Throughout many of the Prey novels, Lucas hints at knowing what it's like
to have a history of depression, though the references are often cryptic, it
seems to me. This interests me as a registered therapist; were your references
to depression deliberately vague, and if so, why?
Interview 3, Part 4
Do you still experience joy in writing for Lucas, or is it becoming harder
Uncaged and now Gathering Prey have centered around teen/young adult
homelessness and runaways. Has something led to this interest?
Which of your Lucas/ Virgil books would you say deviated the most from the
usual "accepted" formulas?
Why dont you like the Beatles?
Webmaster @ JohnSandford . org 10 February 2017
The Prey series, the Virgil Flowers series,
the Kidd series, The Singular Menace, The Night Crew, Dead
Watch, The Eye and the Heart: The Watercolors of John Stuart Ingle,
and Plastic Surgery: The Kindest Cut are copyrighted by John Sandford.
All excerpts are used with permission.