James Rollins Biography & Facts
James Paul Czajkowski (born August 20, 1961), better known by his pen name of James Rollins, is an American veterinarian and writer of action-adventure/thriller, mystery, and techno-thriller novels who gave up his veterinary practice in Sacramento, California to be a full-time author. Rollins' experiences and expertise as an amateur spelunker and a certified scuba diver have provided content for some of his novels, which are often set in underground or underwater locations. Under the pen name James Clemens, he has also published fantasy novels, such as Wit'ch Fire, Wit'ch Storm, Wit'ch War, Wit'ch Gate, Wit'ch Star, Shadowfall (2005), and Hinterland (2006).
Rollins was born in Chicago. His father worked for Libby's canning plant, his mother was a housewife and mother of seven, and he lived what he likened to a Brady Bunch lifestyle.He attended Parkway South Junior High School and then graduated from Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri, in 1979. His undergraduate work focused on evolutionary biology. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1985 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine (D. V. M). Soon afterward, he moved to Sacramento, California, where he established his veterinary practice, licensed July 24, 1985.In an August 16, 2012 interview, he told SLM's Jeannette Cooperman:
For 20 years my paycheck was coming from my veterinary degree and my writing was my hobby, and I thought it would be really cool to flip that around. Veterinary medicine is much harder. It's a 14-, 16-, 18-hour-a-day job. I owned my own practice, had 24 employees. I couldn’t get away, that was the biggest thing. In the 10 years I ran my own practice, I had three weeks of vacation total. I started writing during my lunch hour at the clinic—dogs barking, cats meowing—so now I can write anywhere.
Now, he's flipped that equation: "Once a week I spend about eight hours spaying and neutering trapped feral cats for the Sacramento Council of Cats. All I do with my veterinary degree now is remove genitalia."
Rollins found the authors of the Doc Savage series inspirational as a youth and acquired an extensive collection of the popular 1930s and 1940s pulp magazine stories. Rollins was fascinated by stories of the exploits of Howard Carter and his discovery of the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, King Tutankhamun (King Tut); this true-life tale later inspired Rollins' novel Excavation, in which the main character, archaeologist Henry Conklin, and his nephew Sam discover a lost Inca city in the mountains of the Andean jungle that contains a treasure—and a curse. He also enjoyed L. Frank Baum's Oz series, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan novels, and C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. Additionally, he was inspired by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, whose works he used as a springboard for creating similar contemporary novels filled with what he refers to as "the three M's of fiction: magic, mayhem, and monsters".
Czajkowski sold his first novel, Witch Fire (1999), under the pen name James Clemens, through Terry Brooks' publisher. Brooks had been one of the judges for a writing contest at the Maui Writers' Conference in Maui, Hawaii, in which James had entered a manuscript he had recently completed.
Beneath the ice at the bottom of the Earth is a magnificent subterranean labyrinth, a place of breathtaking wonders—and terrors beyond imagining. A team of specialists, led by archaeologist Ashley Carter, has been hand-picked to explore this secret place and to uncover the riches it holds. But they are not the first to venture here—and those they follow did not return. There are mysteries here older than humanity and revelations that could change the world. But there are also things that should not be disturbed—and a devastating truth that could doom Ashley and the expedition: they are not alone. The caverns are inhabited by an entire subterranean ecosystem of primitive mammals—some intelligent, others savage, all beyond the reach of today's knowledge.
In Peru, low in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years. Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond imagining could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown. But where this perilous journey ends—in the cold, shrouded heart of a breathtaking necropolis—something else is waiting for Sam Conklin and his exploratory party. A thing created by Man, yet not humanly possible. Something wondrous...something terrifying...a mysterious metal known only as el Sangre del Diablo (or Devil's Blood), known only to the most ancient of Incas and a secret sect of Dominican friars who have already killed and died to protect its secrets.
Four years ago, all contact with a U.S. medical-scientific expedition in the wilderness of the Amazon basin suddenly ceased; the 30-man team was declared lost and likely dead. Now, one of its members staggers into a Christian mission but dies within hours. He carries identification: he is Gerald Clark, ex-Special Forces. Two years before the expedition, while in Iraq, the CIA operative's left arm was amputated at the shoulder. Photographs of the corpse and fingerprints reveal that the arm has grown back perfectly. Unable to comprehend this inexplicable event, the United States CIA establishes a special team to return to this impenetrable secret world of unforeseen perils and to follow the dead man's trail. On arrival, they enlist Nathan Rand, the son of the lost researchers' team leader. A mysterious plague, that threatens the Earth's entire population, leads back to Gerald Clark. This means the lost expedition's destination, which holds the key to the cure, must be discovered at any cost. But the nightmare that awaits Rand and his team of scientists and seasoned U.S. Army Rangers dwarfs any danger they may have anticipated.
Ice Hunt (2003)
After an Alaskan game warden rescues a man from a crashed plane and saves him from subsequent attack by foreign soldiers, his ex-wife's piloting skills take them all to the man's intended destination, a US research base on the Arctic ice, set up following the discovery by advanced ice-penetrating sonar of a derelict Russian scientific base buried within a massive iceberg, Ice Station Grendel, where the personnel all died decades earlier. A Russian submarine carrying the son of the station's former commander also approaches, ostensibly to retrieve the bodies found by the Americans. Both sides know the station contains vastly important scientific secrets, worth fighting for, but neither side knows quite how the other will fight, or how Grendel.... Discover the James Rollins popular books. Find the top 100 most popular James Rollins books.