QUESTION: You’re the best-selling author of The Collectibles Series, and we hear Book 3, The Conciliators, is due out this September. For those who have yet to read the series, could you tell us a little about it, what makes it unique—and how early readers have responded to it?
JAMES KAUFMAN: The Collectible Series starts with Book I, The Collectibles, a story of Joe Hart and Preston Wilson—two strong men from different worlds, one touched by tragedy the other by greed—who have been brought together by a promise that changes six lives forever.
In The Concealers, Book II of the series, readers meet Katherine Kelly, a budding journalist, driven to find the truth. As she investigates bank fraud in Long Island, she discovers Preston Wilson is her father, only to realize he is also being drawn into her investigation. Too soon she learns the agony and price of the truth she seeks.
In my new book, The Conciliators, Preston Wilson’s life is once again imploding—this time as headline news, bylined by Katherine Kelly. Under fire, thanks to the financial shenanigans of a longtime friend, the CEO finds himself in trouble with the FBI, the Russian mafia, and his creditors. If he doesn’t come up with a plan—and quickly—he could lose everything and find himself, his wife, and his shareholders in prison. Inspired by Joe Hart’s life lessons, Preston sets a new course, vowing to fight for what matters most: his family, his friends, and the Collectibles.
The Collectibles series has reached over 100,000 readers worldwide and received numerous awards including the Nautilus Award for Fiction. While classified as thrillers, at their heart, this series is about relationships and recognizing the intrinsic worth in others. What I’ve especially appreciated are the many book clubs meetings and Skype talks as well as e-mails I have received from readers over the last four years telling me how much these books have meant to them.
QUESTION: What is the craziest way an idea for one of your books ever came about?
KAUFMAN: When I wake up, I’m thinking about characters—what they say and how they interact. When I take a shower, the best ideas come into my head.
KAUFMAN: As far as movies, it’d have to be Shining Through, Blind Side, and Pay It Forward. When it comes to books: The Killer Angels, Gods and Generals, and The Churchill Factor. And my favorite songs are Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good and Amazing Grace.
QUESTION: Let’s talk about The Conciliators: tell us something about this book that you’ve never shared with anyone else before.
KAUFMAN: I write about what I know and have drawn on all of my life experiences. However, in the extensive researching for my books there have been a series of serendipitous events that helps shaped particular characters. For example, I happened to sit next to a Secret Service agent during a long flight across the country—one who ultimately inspired one of the key characters in The Conciliators.
BONUS QUESTION: Let’s talk about you—tell us something about you that you’ve never shared with readers before.
KAUFMAN: I am an avid amateur photographer. I have enjoyed taking pictures of people and scenes all over the world.
The Conciliators, Book 3 in award-winning Collectibles Trilogy, goes on sale September 8th.
— Jeanne Devlin