The Freemason and the Reporter: A Bestselling Writing Duo

The Freemason and the reporter: a bestselling writing duo

Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne met in high school in Toulouse, France. While their schoolmates were playing rugby, they shared a fascination with novels recounting enigmatic Templar knights, esoteric secrets, alchemy and Rennes-le-Château, where the Holy Grail was said to be hidden in the depths of the Cathar citadel. The two young men would wander the streets of Toulouse together, exploring that city so full of history and marked by the Cathars. They would haunt libraries in search of spell books, and adventure out to Montségur and Rennes-le-Château in search of lost treasures.

Jacques went on to study literary authors. Eric, on the other hand, preferred commercial fiction, eating up science fiction, mysteries, and fantasy. Jacques couldn’t understand Eric’s passion for James Bond and graphic novels.

After that period living a mix of dreams and reality, both took to the straight and narrow, getting jobs, starting families. They closed the old manuscripts, forgot the Templars, and put out the alchemical fires. Jacques started a new life as a literary critic, while Eric specialized in genetics, and went on to journalism. Jacques moved back to the Lot—a region on southwestern France—and became a Freemason, and began his long path of initiation. Eric moved to Paris.

In the 1990s, Jacques progressed along his path as a Freemason, while Eric took on more investigations into public health scandals, despoilment during Nazi occupation, and sects. Ultimately, he ended up investigating the Freemasons. He and his life-long friend Jacques, the Freemason, ended up facing off, and this confrontation would change their lives.

Eric wrote his first mystery in 2004. It was a flop, but he was hooked on writing. Then one evening, at Jacques’s home in the Lot, after sharing a good bottle of Cahors wine, and yet another argument over freemasonry, they came up with an idea: What if they were to write a mystery with a cop hero who was proud to be a Freemason?

The idea was to demystify freemasonry. They needed a believable plot, so they took inspiration from the true story of Freemason archives that were stolen by the Nazis during World War II, to be returned 50 years later. The story led them back to the fascination for esoteric mysteries they had shared as teenagers.

To the author’s great surprise, Shadow Ritual became an international bestseller when it was first published in French, selling 250,000 copies and being translated into seventeen languages. Now it will come out in English. Look for it in March 2015.

They have since written several more titles in the series, which has sold 2 million copies. The most recent title released in France—Le Règne des Illuminati—topped the French bestseller lists all summer.