In October 2004 Anthony Rainone interviewed James Lee Burke for January Magazine.
One exchange from the Q & A:
Read the entire interview.
Why do you set your books in Montana and Louisiana? Why are those locales important to you?
They're both great places to write about, because their story -- the microcosm -- really reflects a much larger population, really reflects national issues. As Dave Robicheaux says, wars are fought in places nobody cares about. And the national issues that are probably most critical, most important, the war over them is being waged in places like Montana and Louisiana. And those issues are resources, energies and extracted industries. That's what it's all about. From Iraq to Afghanistan to the offshore oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico, that's what it's all about -- energy. There's no question about the flag we're operating under today -- it's energy. A massive need for it. You see, in Montana, extracted industries are trying to get into wilderness areas. That's the big issue. They're trying to drill right now on the edges of Glacier National Park. If they get in there, say good-bye to it, man, it's gone. No matter what they say, it's gone. It's like the discovery of gold by [General George Armstrong] Custer's expedition of 1873. The dye was cast as soon as gold was discovered on Indian lands.
The Page 69 Test: The Tin Roof Blowdown.