For more about Cotton Malone, click here to read his Dossier.
- How can I contact Steve and does he read his e-mail?
- Is there any order Steve’s books should be read in?
- When will we see Steve’s next book?
- How have Steve’s books ranked on the bestseller lists?
- How best can I keep up with what’s happening with Steve’s books?
- How many books does Steve have in print?
- Are Steve’s books sold in other languages?
- How can I find out if Steve’s novels are published in my language?
- When is the next book signing event?
- How many books may I bring to a book signing?
- Why hasn’t Steve visited my city?
- How do I book Steve for an event?
- Have any awards or recognitions come Steve’s way?
- May I send Steve a book to be signed?
- Where can I find a list of Steve’s novels in chronological order?
- Will Steve read my manuscript and give me his opinion?
- Is Steve a member of any writing associations or other orgnizations?
- I have a book that’s missing or repeating pages, what do I do?
- What writers does Steve like to read?
- Where did Cotton Malone originate?
- How did Steve get into writing?
- Does Steve have any advice for aspiring writers?
- Where does Steve get his ideas?
- I have a great story idea for Steve. Will he consider writing it?
- How does Steve do his research?
- Can Steve suggest a good agent/good publisher?
- What is History Matters?
- Have any of Steve’s book been optioned for film?
1. How can I contact Steve and does he read his e-mail? If you have a specific question or comment for Steve, click on Contact. Steve does read every e-mail, but staff responds. Occasionally, though, he answers some himself.
2. Is there any order Steve’s books should be read in? His first three novels, The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Third Secret are stand-alone stories, as is The Columbus Affair. The Cotton Malone series begins with The Templar Legacy and continues with The Alexandria Link, The Venetian Betrayal, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Paris Vendetta, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Jefferson Key, The King’s Deception, The Lincoln Myth, The Patriot Threat and The 14th Colony. Though that is the stated order of the series, and if read in that order there will be things familiar, the stories are constructed so that a reader can start the series at the end, the beginning, or anywhere in between and not be disappointed. Steve also has four e-book original stories, The Balkan Escape, The Devil’s Gold, The Admiral’s Mark, and The Tudor Plot. He also contributed material to the highly successful anthologies Thriller, First Thrills and FaceOff.
3. When will we see Steve’s next book? His next novel will be The Lost Order, a Cotton Malone adventure, coming April 4, 2017.
4. How have Steve’s books ranked on the bestseller lists? His first two, The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy, were both national bestsellers. His next novel, The Third Secret, became an instant bestseller, debuting at #13 on The New York Times hardcover list and climbing to #5 on the Times paperback list. His fourth, The Templar Legacy, entered at #4 on The New York Times list and spent 8 weeks in the top 10. It also climbed into the top 10 on the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Booksense bestseller lists. The Alexandria Link debuted on The New York Times hardcover list at #2. The Venetian Betrayal became an instant New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. The Charlemagne Pursuit opened in the top 10 on both The New York Times and Publishers Weekly lists. It also was a USA Today bestseller and was selected as one of the 5 Best Thrillers for 2008 by Library Journal. The Paris Vendetta, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Jefferson Key, The Columbus Affair, The King’s Deception, The Lincoln Myth, The Patriot Threat and The 14th Colony were all New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers.
5. How best can I keep up with what’s happening with Steve’s books? The website itself is excellent, but we also offer a newsletter that is send out periodically that contains the latest and greatest news. Click here to sign up.
6. How many books does Steve have in print? There are 21,000,000 copies worldwide.
7. Are Steve’s books sold in other languages? Rights to his novels have been sold in 51 countries and 40 languages.
8. How can I find out if Steve’s novels are published in my language? Steve is published in 51 countries and 40 languages around the world. A complete listing can be found in INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS. (If you are a publisher and would like to inquire about rights to Steve’s novels, please contact Maja Nikolic at Writer’s House).
9. When is the next book signing event? Check out the Events page, everything is listed there.
10. How many books may I bring to a book signing? Steve does not limit the number of books he’ll sign. However, some bookstores have policies about what you can bring to their store, so always check with the store first. As a courtesy to the store holding the book signing, we ask that you purchase at least one of Steve’s novels from that store.
11. Why hasn’t Steve visited my city? Steve would love to visit every city where he has a fan, but it takes him every bit of 12 months to research and write each novel. He still tours extensively (10 – 12 cities) when a new book is released. He also travels with his History Matters foundation to many places across the country. To see where Steve will be soon click on the Events page.
12. How do I book Steve for an event? You can contact either Meryl Moss Media or Hector DeJean at St. Martins Publishing. Click on the Media page for their contact information. Another way is to send an e-mail directly to Steve through the Contact page.
13. Have any awards or recognitions come Steve’s way? Before being published Steve twice won the annual fiction contest of State Bar of Georgia. In June 2005, he was selected by the Georgia Writer’s Association (based on The Romanov Prophecy) as its Author of the Year. Then, in October 2005, the Amelia Book Island Festival bestowed on him their first Stellar Award. The Charlemagne Pursuit was selected as one of the 5 Best Thrillers for 2008 by Library Journal. In 2010 the Amelia Island Book Festival made him their first Literary Leader. In March, 2011, Steve received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award from the University of Scranton. During 2012 and 2013, the American Library Association chose Steve as their national spokesperson for Preservation Week. For 2013, several awards came Steve’s way. The first was the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, given by Poets & Writers each year. Next, International Thriller Writers gave Steve its coveted Silver Bullet award. Both of these were in recognition of Steve’s work for historic preservation. The final honor was the 2013 Human Writes Award bestowed by The Anne Frank Center to a writer “whose body of work explores relationships and the ideas and ideals that have become synonymous with Anne Frank.” In 2015, Steve was named Author of the Year by the Cobb Library Foundation (the Carol and Jim Ney Literary Award). A 2010 NPR survey named The Templar Legacy one of the top 100 thrillers ever written. Suspense magazine named The Lincoln Myth one of its Best Books for 2014. The Patriot Threat was chosen by the Audio Publishers Association (its Audie Award) as the best Thriller/Suspense audio production of 2015.
14. May I send Steve a book to be signed? If you would like your books signed, send an e-mail though the Contact page. We will respond and tell you where to send them. You will need to include return postage with your books. Steve will be glad to sign and/or personalize them, whichever you prefer. Starting about six months before a new book comes out, we offer a program where you can pre-order personalized editions that can be shipped worldwide. The link will be available on the book synopsis page.
15. Where can I find a list of Steve’s novels in chronological order? The Cotton Malone series is laid out in reverse order on the Books page, but here’s the sequence: The Templar Legacy (2006), The Alexandria Link (2007), The Venetian Betrayal (2007), The Charlemagne Pursuit (2008), The Paris Vendetta (2009), The Emperor’s Tomb (2010), The Jefferson Key (2011), The King’s Deception (2013), The Lincoln Myth (2014), The Patriot Threat (2015), and The 14th Colony (2016). The remaining books are Stand Alone Novels: The Amber Room (2003), The Romanov Prophecy (2004), The Third Secret (2005), and The Columbus Affair (2012).
16. Will Steve read my manuscript and give me his opinion? Unfortunately, no. For legal reasons it’s simply not possible. But, if you can, try and attend one of his History Matters writing workshops where you’ll get the next best thing.
17. Is Steve a member of any writing associations or other orgnizations? In November 2006 Steve was elected to the Board of Directors of International Thriller Writers. A year later he was chosen as one of ITW’s co-presidents, a position he held until October 2010. He remains a member of International Thriller Writers, currently serving on the Board of Directors once again. In 2011 Steve was asked to join the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board, a position he continues to hold.
18. I have a book that’s missing or repeating pages, what do I do? Just take the book back to the store from which you bought it. They will gladly exchange the defective book for a new, good copy. You do not need a receipt to exchange a misprinted book.
19. What writers does Steve like to read? He’s a thriller junkie. For Steve, David Morrell is the best living craftsman today. He learned much about novel writing from reading David’s work. Steve was also a Dan Brown fan long before The DaVinci Code. Clive Cussler is another of his favorites-the undisputed master of ‘high concept.’ Other writers Steve enjoys include, Robert Ludlum, James Rollins, Frederick Forsyth, Steve Martini, Ken Follett, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Kay Penman, David Hewson, Lee Child, and David Baldacci.
20. Where did Cotton Malone originate? He was born in Copenhagen while Steve was sitting at a café in Højbro Plads, a popular Danish square. That’s why Cotton owns a bookshop there. Steve wanted a character with government ties and a background that would make Malone, if threatened, formidable. But he also wanted him to be human, with flaws. Since Steve also loves rare books, it was natural that Cotton would too, so Malone became a Justice Department operative, turned bookseller, who manages, from time to time, to find trouble. Steve also gave him an eidetic memory, since, well, who wouldn’t like one of those? At the same time, Cotton is clearly a man in conflict. His marriage has failed; he maintains a difficult relationship with his teenage son; and he’s lousy with women.
21. How did Steve get into writing? He made the decision to write a novel in 1990. It was something Steve thought about for years, but finally decided to act on. That first attempt was long and awful. The second and third attempts weren’t much better. It wasn’t until the fourth try that he began to appreciate the reality that writing novels is hard. Steve kept writing for 12 years and produced 8 manuscripts. Each one was a learning experience and, as he wrote, Steve studied the craft. His education was one of trial and error. He attended a writing workshop once a week for 6 years, where the participants would tear apart everything he wrote. Then he’d go home and put it all back together again, hopefully a little better than before. Between the workshop, the writers’ group, and writing everyday Steve taught himself the craft. Not until six years into the process was he fortunate to land an agent. She kept him around for 7 years until May 2002, when Ballantine Books finally bought The Amber Room. During those years five different manuscripts were submitted to New York publishers, each one was rejected, 85 rejections all total, until eventually, on the 86th attempt, the right-editor-at-the-right-time-with-the-right-story was found. Like Steve says, ‘he may or may not know much about writing, but he’s an expert on rejection.’
22. Does Steve have any advice for aspiring writers? The best advice is the simplest. Write what you love. And do it everyday. There’s only way to learn how to write and that’s to write.
23. Where does Steve get his ideas? They come in the strangest places and at the oddest of times. The Amber Room was born while listening to the Discovery channel. The Romanov Prophecy appeared during a tour of the Kremlin. The Alexandria Link was suggested by the host at a book event. The Jefferson Key was something he noticed long ago in law school. The Lincoln Myth was formulated during a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, and The Patriot Threat was conceived while researching The Lincoln Myth. Finding interesting things from the past and linking them with relevant events in the present is a challenge—one that’s becoming harder and harder—but luckily Steve has solid ideas for his next few books.
24. I have a great story idea for Steve. Will he consider writing it? Sorry, Steve does not accept or read story ideas from others. Luckily, he has quite a few stashed away in his ‘idea folder’ to keep him busy for the years ahead.
25. How does Steve do his research? He utilizes a lot of second-hand volumes, visiting old book shops around the world. Most of his materials are bought at the Chamblin Bookmine in Jacksonville, Florida. Steve utilizes around 200-300 sources for each novel. When done, he trades the books in for credit and starts again for the next novel. Sometimes on site research is necessary to fully develop the story. He flew to Russia for The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy and to Rome for The Third Secret. Time in France was necessary for The Templar Legacy. A visit to the abbey at Belem, in Portugal, helped complete The Alexandria Link. Trips to Venice for The Venetian Betrayal and Germany for The Charlemagne Pursuit were also productive. For The Paris Vendetta Steve spent four days in the city of lights. To create The Jefferson Key, Steve visited Virginia, North Carolina, Washington D.C., and New York City. The Columbus Affair required a few days in both Prague and Jamaica, where he discovered an interesting link between those two locales. For The King’s Deception, Steve made two trips to London and its surrounding communities. The Patriot Threat involved trips to Venice, Croatia and four times to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
26. Can Steve suggest a good agent/good publisher? Writers Market and The Guide to Literary Agents (from Writer’s Digest) are the two best resources to find either.
27. What is History Matters? It’s a foundation Steve and his wife, Elizabeth, started to aid communities in raising funds for historic preservation. To find out more check out the History Matters pages.
28. Have any of Steve’s book been optioned for film? As yet, though there has been a lot of interest, none of Steve’s books have been bought for television or movies. Hopefully, that will change one day and Cotton will come to life on a screen.