• NZ Booklovers

Interview: Matthew Reilly talks about Three Secret Cities

Matthew Reilly is the internationally bestselling author of the Scarecrow novels: Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and the novella Hell Island; the Jack West novels: Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors and The Four Legendary Kingdoms; and the standalone novels Contest, Temple, Hover Car Racer, The Tournament, Troll Mountain and The Great Zoo of China. His books are published in over 20 languages, with worldwide sales of over 7 million copies. Matthew talks to NZ Booklovers.

Tell us a little about your novel?

This is the fifth novel in the Jack West Jr series, which started with SEVEN ANCIENT WONDERS. In THE THREE SECRET CITIES, our gutsy hero Jack West Jr must find three lost cities of legend while is being hunted by the shadowy powers that secretly rule the world.

What inspired you to write this book?

This series is all about large-scale high adventure. I have long been fascinated by the mysterious ancient sites around our planet (for example, the pyramids and Stonehenge) and also the myths that have endured for thousands of years (like those of Hercules or Medusa). I wanted to write a tale that looked at these places and myths and gave them real-world explanations…while also giving readers breakneck-paced action and adventure!

What research was involved?

I read a lot of history books — often just for fun — and, when I can, I travel to the remote ancient places that I feature in my novels. In THE THREE SECRET CITIES, there are major action scenes in New York, Venice and London, all of which I have visited. Iceland also features and I was disappointed I wasn’t able to get there. Maybe sometime in the future.

New Zealand actually features briefly, when some nasty characters venture to Wellington. I’ve been to NZ many times, including Wellington, and every trip is always, in some way, research for the future.

(One of Jack’s loyal band of soldiers is a skilled NZAF pilot nicknamed "Sky Monster"; he had a major role in the previous novel in this series, THE FOUR LEGENDARY KINGDOMS).

What was your routine or process when writing this book?

I work mainly in the mornings. That seems to be when my brain is at its best!

If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include.

The theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark! And "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the lead characters?

Any of the Chrises currently ruling Hollywood: Hemsworth, Evans, Pine or Pratt!

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed delving into history and mythology. I just love all that stuff!

What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?

I went and played golf in San Francisco (I live in Los Angeles)!

What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

I very much enjoyed ENDYMION by Dan Simmons. It’s a sequel to his two HYPERION books; a very large scale sci-fi novel that is simply a titanic effort in imagination.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

I have just finished a book for young-adults that involves time-travel! It has lots of twists and turns, a real mind-bender. I’m prepping that book for release in 2019, so I’m busy, busy, busy.