Skip to main content

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Brian Freeman is a bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Jonathan Stride and Frost Easton series. His Audible original, The Deep, Deep Snow, landed on the New York Times Audio bestseller list. His debut novel, Immoral, won the Macavity Award and was a finalist for the Dagger, Edgar, Anthony, and Barry awards for Best First Novel. His stand-alone novel Spilled Blood won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the International Thriller Writers Awards and his novel The Burying Place was a finalist for the same award and is currently in development to be a series with AMC. Universal Pictures has landed the rights to the Brian Freeman novel Infinite, with Fast & Furious scribe Chris Morgan and Head of Development Ainsley Davies producing. Freeman lives in Minnesota with his wife.

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman

In this post, Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own and much more!

****

Creative Writing 101

Creative Writing 101 combines teaching the key elements of storytelling with developing the protagonist. Once you understand who this character is and how to make sure you’ve included the key story elements, you are well on your way to writing that book you have been squelching.

Click to continue.
****

Name: Brian Freeman
Literary agent: Deborah Schneider (Gelfman Schneider)
Book title: Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery
Publisher: Putnam Books
Release date: July 27, 2021
Genre: Thriller
Elevator pitch for the book: One of the most iconic heroes in thriller writing, Jason Bourne, faces off against a mysterious assassin–and his own past.
Previous titles by the author: Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Evolution
Full list of standalone novels and other series here:
https://bfreemanbooks.com/books/brian-freeman-books-in-order/

The Bourne Treachery: A Jason Bourne Novel by Brian Freeman

The Bourne Treachery: A Jason Bourne Novel by Brian Freeman

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

What prompted you to write this book?

I grew up reading Robert Ludlum books. His first Jason Bourne novel, The Bourne Identity, has long been one of my all-time favorite thrillers. So, it was an extraordinary honor to be chosen to “re-boot” the Jason Bourne series for a new generation. In The Bourne Treachery (and my first Bourne book, The Bourne Evolution), I’ve been trying to resurrect the qualities that make Bourne such an enduring hero, while also bringing him into the modern world.

(6 Tips to Create Suspense in a Thriller Novel)

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

From concept to publication took about a year and a half. And yes, the essence of the story did evolve quite a lot from my initial pitch. That’s true in most of my books because I like to give my imagination free rein when I’m putting words on paper. It’s one thing to think about the story in theory, but once the plot and characters come alive on the page, they usually take me in new directions. That’s what keeps the books fresh and exciting.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

It’s a special challenge stepping into the shoes of another writer’s characters—particularly a giant of the genre like Ludlum. For me, the second book was actually harder than the first. I saw my first Bourne novel, The Bourne Evolution, as a kind of tribute to Ludlum and his hero—but in The Bourne Treachery, I had to take over the series myself and begin moving the character forward. That’s a very different creative responsibility. I had to give myself “permission” to take Bourne in new directions, and once I did that, the whole book flowed more easily.

(5 Tips for Creating a Believable and Captivating Psychological Thriller)

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

There are always surprises—even to me! I like to begin with a rough outline—like a road map of where I’m going—but I don’t tie my hands too much in the individual scenes. Right up to the end, I was deciding exactly how to resolve the stories of the key characters, to give the book maximum dramatic impact. I hope readers love the way this one ends!

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

Jason Bourne is one of the most beloved heroes in the thriller genre—not because he’s a super-hero, but because he’s human. He’s fractured; he struggles with who he really is. We can all relate to that. So, in this book, I’d like readers to rediscover why they’ve enjoyed Bourne stories for nearly four decades. And I want them to read it and say, “This feels like it could have been written by Ludlum himself.”

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

I always tell aspiring writers to remember that 100 percent of unwritten books have never been published! Often we’re our worst enemy, and we psyche ourselves out. The key is to keep writing and keep shouting down those voices in your head that say you won’t make it.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. And now we're on Day 30.

Rae Meadows: On a Personal Passion Inspiring Literary Fiction

Rae Meadows: On a Personal Passion Inspiring Literary Fiction

Award-winning author Rae Meadows discusses how her lifelong love of gymnastics helped inspire her new literary novel, Winterland.

The Fae

The Fae

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character discovers that there are fae in their backyard.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Day 29 features our fifth (and final) Two-for-Tuesday prompt.

From Script

A Twist on the Holiday Romantic Comedy (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, acclaimed filmmaker Charles Shyer shares with Script his twist on the holiday romantic comedy in his new film The Noel Diary, and more.

Sugar House Review Market Spotlight quote

Sugar House Review: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Sugar House Review, a nonprofit poetry publication based out of Utah.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

For the 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Day 28 is remix time.

Brian Lee Durfee: On Finishing a Fantasy Trilogy

Brian Lee Durfee: On Finishing a Fantasy Trilogy

Artist and author Brian Lee Durfee discusses what it felt like to write the final sentence in his Five Warrior Angels trilogy with his novel, The Lonesome Crown.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 5 WDU Courses, our Short Short Story Competition, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce 5 WDU courses, our short short story competition deadline, and more!