Special interview with Robert Liparulo - 13th Tribe

Robert Liparulo 

I loved The 13th Tribe just released by Thoma Nelson which I reviewed here, and every other novel he's written. So I asked Bob if he had time for another interview. He did, so we did it.  So here it is~

Gina:  Here are things that I know about you… you are kind, generous, focused, love God with all your heart, married with children, and you have a good memory. What else? Tell us about some of your hopes and dreams, please. Tell us about the real Bob Liparulo…

Bob: Hmmm . . . what else do you know about me? 

Gina: LOL

Bob: No, thanks for those kind thoughts. I know God wired me to write, so I’m living my dream. I hope that He will allow me to do it until I die. I like to travel, and would like to take my family to live for at least three months in each of my favorite places: Tuscany, London, the Azores Islands, Berchtesgaden (Germany), Maui. Then find some new favorites.
I’d like to eventually start a program for new writers, in which a foundation I create gives them a place to stay and living expenses for a year, so they can finish a novel and have a little time to find an agent and (I hope) a publisher. That’s a dream that may be in the far future, but I’ve been thinking about it for ten year; I hope I’m closer than when I started. I know how difficult it is to have a full-time job and a family to support, and this burning desire to get a novel-writing career off the ground. It could be extremely frustrating.

Gina: That is such a fabulous ambition. I think it would be great to for upcoming authors to be able to completely concentrate on their work, and have time to find a publisher without having to worry about bills or where the next meal comes from.

I can feel your heart for God in your writing. I also can read your heart for children and young people. You have a running theme with children in your books for adults. Why do you almost always have a child character; and how do you get their dialogue so true to life?

Bob: I write thrillers, which almost always necessitates bringing protagonists to a near breaking point. For me, the thought of my family being in danger would do that . . . or really any child. They’re most precious commodity, and I believe God had given us specific instructions to protect them. So, getting children into my stories is a way of raising the stakes for the protagonists.

And 6 Young Adult Novels
Writing children realistically I think is a matter of two things: I remember my own childhood very well. I had an incredibly fantastic childhood. My parents were wonderful, and my father was an Air Force officer, which allowed us to live and travel throughout the world. I’m still very much in touch with that inner child. And it also helps that I have four children of my own. I’m very involved in their lives; we’re always doing things and hanging out. So I get to observe them being kids. I don’t consciously absorb their vocabulary and mannerisms for my stories, but I’m taking it all in just the same.

Gina: What a blessing to be able to view up close and personal your children at play and growing up. That is a sign of a great father. And that does shine in your writing.

On a little different note, who is your favorite fiction author, Bob? What about that author inspired you to write? What book are you reading now?

Bob: My favorite author, the one whose books I most enjoy and who inspired me to be a novelist, is Richard Matheson. When I was twelve, I read his I Am Legend, and it moved me to tears. I thought, If books can do that—make a pretty tough kid cry using only words—I want to do that. Along the way, I fell in love with the stories of Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Peter Benchley, Thomas Perry, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Dean Koontz . . . it’s a long list. Right now, I’m reading Switch by Elmore Leonard (my second-favorite writer) and Eric Wilson’s Two Seconds Late.

Gina: I noticed in the Christian Fiction Magazine interview with Kim Ford that you felt God calling you to write in a different direction pouring more of your faith into the soul of your writing. You poured so much work into research of all kinds, including theology, is there any particular part of that research that made your heart resonate? Would you tell us about it?

Bob: Writing about vigilantes, about frontier justice, I was particularly interested in God’s forgiveness and grace. I wanted to make a correlation between how difficult it is for humans to forgive—especially a heinous crime—or grasp the difference between justice and retaliation and God’s forgiving nature. I thought I understood how loving and gracious God is, but even so, I was blown away be the many, many times He forgives us the most terrible things. We are unfaithful, blasphemous, cruel—and He still treats us with love and forgiveness. With Him, grace knows no bounds. I can't even get my head around it, it’s so beautiful, so not human. I pray that I may see things with His eyes a little more every day.

Gina: Now that The 13th Tribe is out, and you are working on the sequel, and you are writing a screenplay, tell us how you manage your time. What kind of discipline is required? What does your day look like? Is there anything that you find particularly challenging?

Bob: Hmmm . . . you know, maybe I need to work smarter, not harder, but I’ve found that it’s all about putting in the time. I usually spend my days on administrative tasks, setting up my schedule, lining up interviews for research, staying organized. That way I can break away if my wife or kids need me for something. Then I start writing around nine in the evening and stop at three or four in the morning, which gives me uninterrupted time to immerse myself in my story. The discipline to put in those hours took a long time to develop. It’s pretty routine now, and it seems to work.

Gina: Which characters from The 13th Tribe will appear in the sequel? Jagger???

Bob:I better not say; it might spoil the fun for people who haven’t read The 13th Tribe yet. What I can say about the sequel: As the story opens, we’re back at St. Catherine’s Monastery when a group attacks. We find out there is another group of immortals, called the Clan. These guys are really nasty. They don’t care for God at all, and their only goal is to grief God by hurting his children. They get their hands on an artifact that allows them to peel back the curtain between our world and the spiritual realm. At the same time, the Tribe returns to the monastery to kidnap someone. Our heroes have to stop both the Clan and the Tribe. I had a great time writing it.

Gina:Oh man! What a teaser :) There's no wonder you write suspense so well. I can't even imagine how intense that one will be! 

If you were sitting on the back porch on a summer day drinking ice tea with Grasshopper, who you are mentoring, and your mentor… What would the conversation be about?

Bob: I’d ask him what he was doing on the porch talking to me: He needs to be back at his writing desk finishing his latest project. Finishing things is the number discipline all writers must possess. Don’t change your mind mid-story, don’t revise the first half until there’s a second half, don’t give up. Finish everything you start, even if no one ever sees it.

(I'm thrilled that Bob took the time to answer some questions. I hope you take the time to either order his new book, or any of his previous works. To find out more about them, go to his website  here.)

No comments:

Get widget