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Robert Liparulo Interview

by Rel Mollet

"I got into writing not for the business, but for the stories." -- Robert Liparulo


Bob Liparulo has taken the book world by storm since the release of his first thriller, Comes A Horseman followed by Germ and Deadfall. Bob's books are high on adrenaline and will have particular appeal to men who are after a quality read. Personally, I have enjoyed everyone of Bob's books so they work for women as well!

Bob's foray into Young Adult fiction with the recent release of his Dreamhouse Kings series is a boon for teens everywhere.

On top of being a great writer, Bob is a really nice bloke as well! I hope you enjoy getting to know a little more of the man behind the books.

**From now until February 15th, you could enter to win a HUGE Robert Liparulo Prize Pack! Includes 6 signed books! Head over to Rel's blog, Relz Reviewz for all the details and more fun stuff from Bob.**

Over to you, Bob:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

When I was 15, I took a job as a telemarketer (yeah, one of them). I had to choose a "phone name." I became "Scott Redford." I always liked that name. A friend of mine, whom I've known most my life, thinks I should be "Max Blade." Ha! I think I'll make a character out of that one. He also thinks I should wear a sombrero like the one Kurt Russell wore in The Thing, so I don't know. I feel more like a "Ben" or "Nick."

Your first pet's name?

My own pet, my first pet, was a Russian Blue cat named Shadow. Got her when I was 12 and she stayed with me until I was 36. Oldest cat I ever heard of. She was a great companion.

Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?

Eddie Allison. We still talk, but not often enough.

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

Six shooter in a plastic holster. I was a HUGE Clint Eastwood fan, and imagined myself as the man with no name from the Spaghetti Westerns. Used to grease the holster with peanut butter. I was the fasted draw in my neighborhood.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible)

Pictures of my family. They would encourage me to survive and find a way home. 'Course, maybe a gun, too, if the island had wild animals or drug runners tended to stop by.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

It's a tie between Daiquiri Ice and Chocolate-Peanut Butter (guess you can tell I like peanut butter)

The American penchant for strange ice cream flavours never ceases to amaze me!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A novelist. From the fifth grade, I wrote an article about the Concorde's first flight. It stopped in the Azores Islands, where I lived, and I wrote a piece that my teacher sent in to an Air Force publication. They published it, without knowing my age. I got a check and was hooked on writing. I quickly decided that I'd wanted to focus on telling stories.

DeadlockIf you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd go back to the Azores. It's a magical place, midway between the States and Europe in the Atlantic.

Favourite book?

I like the British spelling. :) My favorite book is "I Am Legend." It became my favorite when I was 12 or 13, way before the movie! Second place: Jaws. Then Lord of the Rings.

Favourite movie?

Jaws. I interviewed Steven Spielberg once and almost had a heart attack. I love everything about that movie. I have a one-sheet poster with all the cast and crew signatures.

Heroes, Bones, Lost or The Brady Bunch?

Ohhh...tough one. Lost, first; then The Brady Bunch. The first season of Heroes was cool, but what happened to it? Have never seen Bones.

What? No Bones - I don't understand what that means! Fans will know what I mean - LOL!

Captain Jack Sparrow, Indiana Jones or Jason Bourne?

Even tougher one. All of them, depending on mood. Jason Bourne when I write, Indiana Jones when I'm having fun, Jack Sparrow when I'm having too much fun.

You aren't the only one who can't choose between them - LOL!Deadfall

Baseball, basketball or gridiron? (I'd put cricket in there but don't like my chances!)

Soccer, first (football to non-Americans). My son plays in the kids' league, and we have season tickets to the Colorado Rapids. Next, American football, but I never pass up an opportunity to see the Rockies (baseball). Went to the World Series last year (the games in Denver). I like shooting hoops, but hate watching basketball. I had a cricket once, but it escaped.

It's soccer to us Aussies, too. Football is Australian Rules all the way!

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

St. Marks Square, Venice. Love the pigeons, the whole atmosphere of the place.

I wasn't such a fan of the pigeons but I'm with you on the atmosphere :)

Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (Ayers Rock) or Sydney Harbour Bridge?

Great Barrier Reef, without question (see back to the Jaws answer). I'm a scuba diver, and would love to dive there. I like the water a lot, so Ayers Rock doesn't interest me very much. Here in the States, I'd much rather go to the beach than the red rocks of Arizona. Sydney would be cool from a cultural aspect.

GermWhat's your most fervent prayer?

That my children, my family, are protected and safe.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favorites) and what does it mean to you?

Ecclesiastes 12:13--"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." To me, this says it all. Everyone seems to ask, "What's the meaning of life." There it is.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

From a practical point of view, I'd have to say my parents. My mother is a wonderful storyteller. She can make a trip to the grocery store sound interesting. My father is a man of principles. I learned honesty from him. Intellectually, creatively, I'd say it's a tie between Winston Churchill (one of the bravest, intelligent men who ever lived) and Michelangelo (wow).

You sure pull out the big guns!

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Well, I just read the nonfiction manuscript of a firefighter friend of mine, so I'm feeling a little insufficient in that department. But I'll say first, becoming a parent and committing to rearing children to love God and be good people, to love them unconditionally, and provide for them. Next, deciding to become a writer. It's not an easy gig. It takes a lot of perseverance and believing in your talent, day after day, year after year.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?Comes A Horseman

Accidentally--really!--walking into the girls' locker room. Bad enough, doing that, but the girl I had JUST asked out was in there, dressed, but barely. Everyone thought I'd done it on purpose. They mentioned it in the yearbook.

Where did you go on your first date with your wife?

A restaurant called The Squadron. It was made to look like a World War II flier's hangout (not a hangar or a French farm, but something between those two). There were old planes outside and plane parts hanging on the walls. It was near the old Stapleton Airport in Denver (both the restaurant and the airport has since been torn down), so you could watch the planes land and take off. You could put on headphones and listen to the tower. We went there a lot.

Ask each of your kids one thing they think is great about their Dad and share it with us, please!

Melanie (20) - "You do cool things, like go to rock concerts and try new things, like snowboarding and longboarding."

Matthew (19) - "You feed me." (I pushed him for more.) "You love God and 'get' the music I like. You stand for what you believe in, but aren't too judgmental." (I got outta there while I was ahead.)

GatekeepersAnthony (11) - "That you're a writer" (he wants to be a writer, and he gets a kick from his classmates having read and loved the Dreamhouse Kings books)

Isabella (2) - she just gave me a hug

Thanks guys for sharing these thing about your dad ~ nice!

The Dreamhouse Kings Series:~

Why YA fiction after successful adult thrillers?

Quite a few book clubs of young readers (seventh through eleventh grade) read my adult books and I received a lot of wonderful letters from many of them. I had the privilege of speaking to a dozen or so of these groups/classes. I loved that they were so passionate about STORY. Their minds are so fertile, so imaginative. They wanted to know about the characters and storylines, as opposed to many of the adults I've spoken to, who cared more about getting an agent, the hours I work . . . the business side of writing. I got into writing not for the business, but for the stories, so these kids touched my heart in a big way. I started thinking about writing for that age group. That reminded me of a story I literally dreamed up when I was eleven: The Dreamhouse Kings. About that time, my publisher "happened" to ask if I ever thought about writing YA's. Yee-haw!

Very cool!

Describe each of your main characters with one wordTimescape

Xander (15) - adventurous

David (12) - me

Toria (9) - glue

Gee "definitely not a Gertrude" (Mom) - loving

Ed (Dad) - pillar

How did you choose their names?

They're names I like. Also, I know people with their names, whose personality traits (in some cases, their physical features) match the characters'.

Tell us about your plans for readers to influence the storylines of books 3 & 4 with your Dream the Scene contest.

The story revolves around the King family and the weird house they move into. In that house, they discover a hallway of doors, which lead to different place in time. The mother gets kidnapped into one of these "worlds" and the Kings have to find her, all while being threatened by people in those worlds and in their own. We're hold ing a "Dream the Scene" contest at http://dreamhousekings.com/, in which readers can send in where they think King family should go to look for their mom, and what they find there. If I select your entry, I'll write it into one of the subsequent books. You get credit for the scene and an iPod Nano. It's pretty fun.

Great questions! Thank you!

Lots of fun, Bob ~ thank you!

Rel MolletRel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".