Thursday, 29 January 2009

Character Spotlight ~ Robert Liparulo's David King & Monster Giveaway!

Today the spotlight shines on..................................................................David King

Robert Liparulo has splashed into the YA fiction market with his highly successful Dreamhouse Kings series which launched with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods. His latest instalment, Gatekeepers, finds Xander and David desperately searching for their mum while the evil Taksidian thwarts their every move!

Thanks, Bob, for giving us a special insight into the tenacious and impetuous, David King!

Brief physical description

David is a pretty typical 12-year-old. He’s shed the baby fat and hasn’t quite reached that lanky teenage state. He eats whatever he wants, but his youthful metabolism (oh, how I long for those days) and time practicing soccer keeps him fit. He has dark hair, straight and a little long. Hazel eyes, like his mom.

Your inspiration for the character

I didn’t realize it until I finished House of Dark Shadows, but David is exactly who I was at that age: inquisitive and fairly adventurous; afraid of dangers, but willing to try new and wild things anyway. He knows himself and is comfortable in his own skin. At the same time, he’s caught between the innocence of his nine-year-old sister and the rebelliousness of his 15-year-old brother, so he exhibits a bit of both. It was actually my mother who pointed out how similar David’s behavior is to the way mine was. She was surprised when I told her I hadn’t consciously written myself into the story in the character of David.

My eleven-year-old son, Anthony, is very similar to David, as well. He’s strong willed, very caring about people, highly adventurous. But I try not to model my characters after family members. Most of the main characters in my books—certainly these books—go through terribly tough situations. They’re put in grave danger and are often roughed up quite a bit. I grow so attached to them, my heart sometimes aches while I’m writing these scenes, and for a long time afterward. I mean, it really hurts. If I built my family members into these characters, I’d be even more attached and protective; I don’t think I’d be able to write those frightening, painful scenes at all.

Actor who might resemble David

When I wrote the first two books, I didn’t have anybody in mind. Then an actor friend—Slade Pearce, who starred in Air Buddies, Yours Mine and Ours, and the TV series October Road—said , “Hey, I want to play David!” Since then, whenever I’m writing about David, it’s hard not to think of Slade. He just turned thirteen, and I keep telling him that at Hollywood’s snail pace, he’s going to be too old for David—if the Dreamhouse Kings ever gets made into a movie. I’m trying to convince him that he’d really fit the role of Xander, the older brother. I just hope Slade’s not old enough to play Dad before the cameras roll.

Strengths and weaknesses

David is a go-getter. Once he sets his mind on something, he's tenacious about accomplishing it. The family comes to rely on his bold optimism and finds strength in his catchphrase, “Let’s do it!”

His age and temperament lets him understand his parents’ point of view, as well as his brother's, so he’s often the mediator between them. However, too often he’ll let Xander, whom he idolizes, convince him to do something his conscience tells him not to do. Also, his adventurous spirit sometimes gets the best of him, and he leaps without looking (or thinking). In House of Dark Shadows, for instance, he wants to experience time travel, the way Xander did—even though his brother’s going back to the Roman Colosseum almost ended tragically. So he jumps through one of the portals, smack into the middle of three hungry tigers.

The most endearing aspect of David, which is both a strength and a potential weakness, is his heart. He truly loves people. He cares about them, even people he doesn’t know. As Toria says in Gatekeepers, “He’s sad when people get hurt on TV.” It drives him to help people, when he can, as he did in Watcher, risking his own life to save the little girl from a German tank. But it also makes him emotional, which he sometimes acts on, when logic favors prudence. As the story progresses, we learn that David’s sensitivity is crucial to fulfilling their purpose in the house.

Quirk (if any)

I’m not sure if it falls under the category of quirkiness, but David likes to talk to his brother

at night, after they’ve been in bed a while and should be sleeping. It’s his way of processing the events of the day (which, for him in that house, are usually chaotic and stressful) and prepare for the next day. He’ll even wake Xander to get his nighttime-chat fix. It’s something I used to do with my older brother.

More quirky is what he does when he’s stressed. His father had once said that getting the family together for dinner was a sort of tether to the important things in life, especially in turbulent times. It was like “backstroking through the day’s travails.” When David had asked what that meant, Dad had said, “It means staying calm when troubles hit.” Since then, David sometimes rotates his arms as though he were backstroking to remind himself not to get too freaked out. He finds it’s a little more difficult to do with the broken arm he sustains in Watcher, but he still does it.

Background to the story

The King family moves to a small town in northern California, so Dad could take a job as principal of the local middle and high school. They move into a run-down Victorian home, where they find a hidden hallway of doors.

Each door leads to a portal to a different time in history. Trouble is, not only can they go from the house to the past, people from the past can come through into their house. Someone does—and kidnaps Mom, taking her into some unknown place in the past. The Kings—primarily David and Xander—begin a quest for Mom, which takes them to many dangerous and incredible places throughout time. We slowly learn that the family is in the house for a very specific purpose and they must do much more than “simply” find their mother.

Fantastic, Bob ~ thanks so much for revealing more about David - what a great character.

Bob will be spotlighting another of his characters at Relz Reviewz to coincide with the next DHK book, Timescape, when it releases in July, 2009 and my readers get to choose which character it will be!

Who would you like spotlighted? Vote on Xander, Toria, Dad,Taksidian, Jess, Keal, Mom or Nana by posting a comment here and enter the monster giveaway at the same time!

Monster Giveaway ~ exclusive to Relz Reviewz

Thanks to Bob's generosity we have cooked up an amazing giveaway that you don't want to miss! Tell your friends and family about this one and go for it!

Firstly, the prize:~

  • A set of all three DHK books ~ signed and personalised by Bob
  • DHK T-Shirt
  • A set of Bob's adult thrillers, Comes A Horseman, Germ & Deadfall ~ signed and personalised by Bob
  • Aussie Gift Pack from me ~ 2009 Australian Wildlife Calendar, Aussie Tea Towel & Aussie Cap

Secondly, how to enter. Gain one entry for doing each of the following, on or before Sunday 15th February:~
  • Post a comment here telling me which DHK character you would like spotlighted when Timescape releases in July, 09
  • Answer one of Bob's trivia questions, found here, mentioning Relz Reviewz
  • Post a comment on any of Bob's blog posts, mentioning Relz Reviewz
  • Send Bob a "Dream the Scene" scene, details here, and yep, you guessed it, mention Relz Reviewz!
So if you do all four, you have four chances to win!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Gatekeepers by my nephew and teen, Tim

Exclusive interview with Bob

Visit Bob's website and blog

Buy Bob's books at Amazon or Koorong


The Book Club Network - TBCN said...

Wow!! What a GREAT giveaway. Amazing.I'm excited that you and Robert to getting the word out about his books. What a great idea. I LOVE the Aussie touch Rel. Thanks for all you do.

Blessings on your week.
Nora :D

Tracy said...

You two have been putting your heads together haven't you? What a very generous give away.

For my one meager entry (not having read any of these books), I'd like to know more about Toria. A little girl with such unimaginable craziness going on around....I'd love to know all about her.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, its Tim.
I'd really like Xander to be spotlighted in Timescape. I want to know more about his interest in movies and moviemaking, as well as his relationship with his other two siblings.
I can't wait till timescape comes out!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

WOW! Outstanding interview. Generous giveaway.

Bravo to you both!

Cheryl Wyatt

apple blossom said...

I'd like to see Toria spotlighted

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Carol M said...

This is a fabulous giveaway! Thank you for being so generous. I would like to see Nana spotlighted.
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

KR said...


Mimi B said...

Sheesh, I've been able to avoid Robert's adult book up to now, but I can't stay away from this giveaway! My daughter was upset when I gave away our copies so I guess I need to get them back. I have no doubt she and her best friend would devour the other 3 adult novels.

I'm squeemish (sp?), but I'm willing to give it a try.

I'd love to have either Jesse or Taksidian interviewed. I want to know what's going on in Mr. Creepy's head! Jesse seems like he should know a lot about what's going on in the house.

Do we need to come back here to let you know we've entered on Robert's site or will he enter for us?

Mimi B @ Woven by Words

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Rel said...

Good question, Mimi! No you don't need to come back here. As long as you mention Relz Reviewz when you post on Bob's site, it will be entered into this draw. Bob and I are both keeping tabs and will collate all entries at the end.


Anonymous said...

I would like to see Xander spotlighted.

Alyce said...

I haven't read any of his books, but I am going to say Xander because I like that name. Two of my girlfriends have named their babies Xander in the past year. :)

Great contest!
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I would love to see more on Xander!

hippmom said...

I would like to see Toria spotlighted.


angelahipp at charter dot net

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to say Xander and his love for soccer, movies and filmaking. I would love to know more about him.


Anonymous said...

I'd like Keal spotlighted.

Lauren said...

What a great contest! Thanks for the chance to win.

I would love to find out more about Toria.

sorgaards (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I'm going with Xander please Rel. What an amazing giveaway you two have put toether. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I would like one on Xander, though I think it would be interesting to find out more about Toria too!

Tammy said...

I left a comment on Bob's blog under the post "Questions, Anyone?"

Anonymous said...

What a super giveaway! I would like to see Nana spotlighted - as she would have some great stories to tell about the times that she has been to!


Lindsey said...

I would like Toria. :-) Thanks for the giveaway, what an awesome package!

ladyufshalott at

Robert Liparulo said...

Hey all! Thanks for all the great comments--both here and emailed to me. Seems like Xander's winning the Spotlight poll, but I'll wait till it's all over. It's Rel's blog, so she gets to pick. I'm surprised that Taksidian didn't get more votes. They guy's seriously creepy and mysterious, so I'd've leaned toward wanting to know more about him. What do I know?? (But I like Xander a lot--I feel as though he's my own flesh and blood--so I sure wouldn't mind spilling the beans on him; who doesn't like talking about their own kids! :) )

Take care!

Bookfool said...

I haven't read any of the books, but please sign me up. I like the name Xander, too, but I'll vote for Taksidian because the author wants to write more about him.

bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

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