Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interview With John Robinson +Giveaway!

Today I have author John Robinson with us. He is the author of Heading Home and has offered to give one copy to one of my readers.

Thank you for being with us today, John!!

Thank you, Charity; I’m very glad to be here!

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

I’d always liked to write, even from my early teen years, and when I was in college I was student affairs editor for the school paper. Years passed though, and that love seemed to fade. But a decade ago it came roaring back, and in an unexpected way. It was New Years Day, 1999, and I was watching one of the bowl games on TV when suddenly I started seeing something different on the screen. Don’t laugh, but it was almost like watching a movie. During that I was unaware of the passing of time. When I roused myself I found only a few minutes had passed, but amazingly I had the entire plot of Heading Home completely lined up in my head; it was then just a matter of writing it down and editing it. That process took about a year. Finding a house that would take such a controversial novel proved to be a challenge, though, and it wasn’t until 2008 that it was sold to Sheaf House Publishers. During those intervening years I wrote and sold the Joe Box novels, and began the Mac Ryan series.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

Sure. I guess the easiest way is to simply quote the back cover copy: The Bible makes it clear no one knows the day or the hour of Christ's return. But it doesn't say we won't know the month. Or the week. When every Christian simultaneously receives a message that Christ will return sometime in the coming week, the world is thrown into stark panic. Two old friends, hardened combat veterans from the closing days of the Vietnam War, set out on a suspenseful quest to redeem that time. What they don't know is that they and their entire church have been targeted for satanic annihilation.

What is the funniest moment you have had while writing?

This is pretty recent. I was writing my latest book, The Radiance (which will be out next August through Narrow Road Press), and it got to a short conversation between the lead MC and grumpy storekeeper he’d known since a boy. I wanted it to be a lighthearted dialog, but before I knew it the two were going at each other like an Abbot and Costello routine. The more I wrote the scene, the more I laughed. I have no idea where it came from; I hope others might get a chuckle, though!

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

A sense of hope. That’s all. Hope.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

Ever since my wife and I saw the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we’ve been fascinated with New Zealand. It simply appears to be loveliest, most breathtaking place on earth.

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

This is going to sound crazy, but I’d love to break bread with Groucho Marx and W.C. Fields. I love their work, and they both defied Hollywood convention. There’s a divine madness behind Groucho’s stuff, and a hidden pathos in Fields’. Very much ahead of their time.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

Historical? The Wright brothers’ first flight.

Future? The Rapture, of course! *G*

Do you have a favorite hobby?

As a kid I used to love model rocketry (I even sent up a mouse once…and brought him back alive, more’s the wonder). Anymore I don’t seem to have the time; I’d love to find a new way to keep me off the streets, though.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?

I have syndactyly on both feet (my toes are webbed), and due to a brain injury when I was nine, I’m dyslexic. That’s more than your readers wanted to know, I’m sure!

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?

I’d tell them a story I once heard about Winston Churchill. The time was either the late fifties or early sixties, and by then Churchill was quite elderly when he was asked to give the commencement address for a large university.

The day came, and the auditorium was packed with students and alumni wanting to hear strong words of wisdom from the man who’d basically saved Britain during the darkest days the country had ever known.

Slowly Sir Winston took the platform. Standing behind the podium, he gazed out at the sea of faces. Then setting his famous bulldog jaw, he ground out these words: “Never give up. Never, never, never, never give up.” He fixed them with a gaze of iron. “Never!”

And then he sat down.

And the place erupted in praise.

That’s what I’d tell people: “never give up.”

Just that.

Any last thoughts for your readers?

I’d like to tell them of how I got my first book contract, after everyone had told me it would never happen. Because of its theme and unconventional main character, Until the Last Dog Dies was a booger to get published. My agent had shopped it tirelessly, but kept coming to me back with stuff like “they love your writing, John, but the character of Joe Box scares them to death; they’re afraid women won’t buy it.” To which I responded, “jeeze Louise, it’s not written for women!” Months passed, and my agent had done all they could, but couldn’t place it with anybody. That was in December of 2002. Flash forward to July of 2003. The CBA trade show was in Orlando that that year, and my agent was attending. As the story was told to me, the head buyer of one of the largest Christian bookstore chains was speaking with one of the marketing directors for Cook Communications, which owns RiverOak Publishing. They were talking about this and that, and the buyer said in an off-hand way, “I heard you’ve bought a novel featuring a Christian private investigator; that sounds intriguing.” The Cook guy said no, he’d heard wrong, they took a pass on it. To which the buyer said, “that’s funny; we could probably move a lot of units of that.” The Cook guy took that info to his people, and they told him, “okay, see if it’s still available.” The Cook guy found my agent and asked if Until the Last Dog Dies was still on the table. Stunned, my agent said yes, and they proceeded to verbally cut the deal on the floor of the CBA. True story!

And how can they connect with you?

Here’s my website: www.johnrobinsonbooks.com. It has info about all my books, plus the first chapter of each, as well as my blog (the kind folks at the Authors Guild constructed the site, and they did a good job). Thanks again for having me, Charity. It’s been a pleasure!

Readers-John has offered to give away one copy of his book, Heading Home. To enter, please follow the instructions below.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Tell me if you have read any of John's other books.

EXTRA ENTRIES-These must be done after the mandatory entry and you must leave a separate comment for each entry you do.
1.Follow me on Twitter.
2.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 2 times a day.
3.Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect.
4.Blog about this giveaway or post on Facebook. You get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments. If you do both you get 6 entries total.

This giveaway will end 9/28. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.


Ariel said...

I haven't read any of his other books, but I'm looking forward to it!


Ariel said...

I am a follower.


hendy said...

I have not had the privilage of reading one of John's books but I would like to begin with this book.
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

hendy said...

I follow via GFC as hendy
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

Inspired Kathy said...

I have not read any of his books.
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Inspired Kathy said...

I follow

Inspired Kathy said...

follow on twitter @toobusyreading
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Kristie said...

I have not read any of John's other books.... yet. Inspirational fiction, especially mystery and suspense are always intriguing to me and my library members. There is a definite market for that. :)


Linda Kish said...

I have not read any of his books yet.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

avalonne83 said...

Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

I haven't read any of his books yet; sorry! But this seems to be a good start...

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Kim said...

This would be a new author for me, but it sounds interesting!


katychick said...

i havent read any of his books but i would love to give it a try
tcogbill at live dot cok

katychick said...

i follo0w you on twitter
tcogbill at live dot com

Ginny said...

I've never read any of his books before

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site giveawaygal.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

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