Friday, 6 June 2008

Getting to know Robert Liparulo & open giveaway

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.

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.

If 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. J 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!

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.

What'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?

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.)

Anthony (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 word

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, 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!

Giveaway ~ two signed copies to win!

Bob has generously offered two signed copies of House of Dark Shadows for me to give away!

To enter post a comment, with contact details, before midnight on Friday 13th June, 2008 telling me your favourite thriller, either book or movie! This giveaway is open to all my readers.

Relz Reviewz Extras:~

Visit Bob's website

Sign up to be part of the Dreamhouse Kings Team

Enter the Dream the Scene contest

Buy Bob's books at Amazon or Koorong

Check back soon for reviews of the Dreamhouse Kings books


kamewh said...

The Amityville Horror has to be my favorite! Thank you for the giveaway!

ReadingRobin said...

Ohhh I saw saw the real Amityville Horro house and it was a creepy as in the movie. I think they tore it down because there was so many people driving by and coming at Halloween. Imagine owning a horror movie set house.

Toystory said...

I like all the "prey" books -- and I really was amazed at 1408 -- somehow I wasn't prepared for that.

Davo said...

Very hard to pull apart, I could say Germ, but that might be to close to the interview! Guess one of my all time fav movies is 'Christine' Speilberg classic. Very hard to give just one. Please enter me!

Tracy said...

Thanks for a great interview, Robert and Rel.

I must confess, I'm not a big fan of thrillers. Maybe it's because I do my reading at 11pm and don't want to stay awake petrified of what might be out there in the dark! Despite scaring me silly and being a little out there, 'Three' by Ted Dekker is as close as I have come to a thriller in recent years.

Ausjenny said...

Please dont enter me and im not a big thriller fan either but i loved Broken Angel

great interview and yes what is it with the ice cream flavours (where are the chocolate, strawberry etc)
thanks Rel and robert.

Nicole said...

Love Daiquiri Ice ice cream!

Robert Liparulo is one the most genuine people, one of the best thriller writers, and just the greatest friend a person could hope to know.

He has a great voice, and this series is going to be an exciting one for the YA set, but no doubt adults will enjoy it, too.

(I have a copy and I live in the States, so don't count me, Rel.)

Nicole said...

P.S. Favorite thriller: Comes A Horseman, Germ's a close second

windycindy said...

I think Robert is fantastic! I find his books very interesting. The cover of "The Watcher in the Woods" is amazing. Before we lived in this house, we lived in a very old two story home. Our house could have been the setting for this book! The hall of portals sounds quite intriguing. I would love to see what they family has to go through to find their mother. Please enter me in your delightful drawing. Much appreciated, Cindi

Chloe-Anne =) said...

I'm not really much of a thriller fan but this book sounds really good so i would love it if you could put my name in please =D

Dizza said...

Haven't watched or read any thrillers that I know of...(mum and dad aren't at the stage of letting me do so yet!) Please enter me for the book, it sounds great!

Melissa said...

My favorites recently are the series by Brandilyn Collins, creepy!

parcelhome at comcast dot net

C.J. Darlington said...

Great interview! Love getting to know you better, Bob. Thanks, Rel!

Nora St. Laurent said...

GREAT Interview. I loved the questions that you asked him. I'm so excited about this new line of books for teens. I'm really looking forward to reading then. Thanks for letting me know about the interview.

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Great Interview! Anyone who loves to live on an island, loves Peanut butter, Jack Sparrow and Lost is okay in my book! I don't care for thrillers! Yikes. I'm a scaredy cat. But I liked the movie Signs. Does that count? We really need great Christian YA books, so keep up the good work, Bob.

Trish Perry said...

Wonderful interview, Rel and Bob! My teen son would actually get enjoyment out of your adult books, Bob--I'll have to check into them!

My favorite thriller? Tough question. One of the first films that came to mind was Wait Until Dark. And Three Days of the Condor was a fun novel!

Michelle said...

Um, I hate to be scared. We had a house that looked like the Amityville Horror house on my street and I could hardly stand to look at it after reading the book. I watched a moive once called My Bloody Valentine. Great plot but scared the bejeebers out of me. I am a wimp. A big honking chicken. But I'm still reading the House of Dark Shadows. It's CREEPY!!! Oh, and Bob is our cover for the debut issue of CFOM!

Jamie Carie said...

Great interview. I especially loved the answer to the question, "Captain Jack Sparrow, Indiana Jones or Jason Bourne?" Can totally relate to the answer. I think my sons will like these books and I'm always looking for some great "reads" for them!

My favorite thriller is "The Terminator." I remember being about fourteen when it released and I loved the story line. I've probably watched it 20 times since. The Bourne Identity is my all time fav. And the new, Iron Man, rocks! Big time! I have to read more Marvel Comics!

jaana said...

I'm going to enter my husband John in as he is the one in our family who reads these kinds of books. He just finished reading the germ by Robert and couldn't put it down. So I'll say that's his favourite at the moment.

Thomas said...

My favorite thriller is The Pawn by Steven James with Comes a Horseman a close second. Thanks for the reviews & contests. Becky

Carolynn W. said...

I loved Thr3e by Ted Dekker. I would love to win this book for my brother...he loves suspense!
Thanks for the chance to win!

HeatherH said...

Hi. Don't enter me for this one thanks, I just wanted to contribute to the "thriller" theme. When I was younger, The Never Ending Story was first released at the movies - we went to see it on a school excursion to Canberra - after about 10 minutes, I spent the remainder of the movie lying petrified on the floor between the seats! That big flying cat-looking thing was too creepy for me. Obviously I'm not a big one for thrillers either!

Gretchen said...

Besides Robert Liparulo's books? :) Ted Dekker's Black, Red and White books. Please enter me in the drawing for Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I liked the Blade movies


Kim said...

Oh Rel! Don't you just think Bob is the nicest man?! I love learning new things about him! He has really put a fire under my two teen boys! They Love his books!

Don't enter me in the give away. I just had to leave a note and tell you I loved this interview!

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