Thursday, November 08, 2007

Interview with Robert Liparulo

DEADFALL is classic Robert Liparulo, starting with an amazing bang that pulls the reader in to the story. And I've decided the author never sleeps. He sent this interview to me at 4:30 this morning! He's in the middle of a booktour, but found the time to join us for a few questions. Don't forget all the fantastic giveaways he has running at his site right now. Now for the interview:

Each of your three books is very different. What is the common thread or theme that readers can expect when they pick up one of your books?

All of my books explore the quality of character: who are you when no one is looking? I believe true character comes out in extreme circumstances. You can say you’d stop a mugging or stand up for what’s right, but would you really do it when the rubber meets the road, when you’re there and you can be hurt or even killed doing what you said you would? Also, I like exploring the quality and depth of family bonds and friendship.

How did you get the idea for DEADFALL? What caused the What If... to start playing in your mind?

Unlike my other novels, DEADFALL is less about plot than it is about the characters: who they are, how they behave in extreme situations, why they do the things they do. That’s where it all started for me. I was thinking about a few people I know, some with excellent character, some with corrupt spirits (back to that examination of character). I wondered what made them either strong and good or self-serving and mean. I wondered what would happen if you tossed the two personalities into a somewhat restrictive environment, where they had no choice but to battle it out. Who would win? Why? I wanted to know what it would take to drive the good guy to a point where he had to reach deep within and see if all that goodness was enough to survive when the forces of evil are trying to take him out. That curiosity made me build a story around the characters.

And from the few chapters I've read so far, I can tell you've set up quite the contrast in characterization. The book is gripping! I've found that as I write, I usually learn something from the characters or story. What did you learn from DEADFALL?

That I don’t want to become as complacent as Hutch was at the beginning of DEADFALL. He was taking some awful things in his life—divorce, losing his children—sitting down. I don’t want to be that way, but I think it’s an easy place to get to. I also grew to appreciate my children even more than I had, and I’ve always loved and cherished them. Hutch was losing his, and it made me want to hug mine more closely.

This book has four men who are going through some pretty intense circumstances escaping for two weeks of guy time in the wilderness. But they don't get the relaxation they expected. Do you have a group of guys that you hang out with? If so, what do you like to do as a group?
I have a revolving group of four or five men, with whom I meet regularly, either each individually or, rarely, all together. We enjoy eating out, playing poker, smoking cigars, talking about books and movies, camping, watching TV, if something special is on, or a show we all like, such as 24 or Heroes. We like to barbeque.

My husband enjoys both those shows, too. Now for the final question. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and who would you take with you?

Big Beach, Maui, with my family. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Thanks so much for joining us, Bob!

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