Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Author day~Robert B. Lowe

Welcome to my Reading Nook, Robert B. Lowe. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

There is a character in Divine Fury named Harry Blount who runs the campaign for the candidate for governor.  I modeled him in some ways after a friend I had in high school who was one of these guys who dedicated his life to trying to move the political process in the direction he felt was the right one.  He was a generous, magnanimous soul who was kind to everyone.  He helped run political campaigns and I know he was liked and respected by foes as well as friends.  He died a couple of years ago, much too young.  I channeled a lot of him into the Harry Blount.

Tell us about your current/upcoming release. What inspired this story?

I focus a lot on the San Francisco area and the gay lifestyle, culture and politics is one defining facet of the area.  I decided to find a story there.  It felt like we were getting to a sea change in American thought about this issue and the chord the book strikes in this context would work for most people.  It’s set in 2004 and focuses on extreme and violent reactions to a gay candidate for California’s governor.  Even now, there are elements of our culture that would have this reaction although, hopefully, they wouldn’t act as happens in the book.  But, you never know.   

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

When I’m in ‘writing mode’ I try to put in 5 or 6 hours a day writing or editing.  I treat it like a job and try to be writing at 9 am with a cup of coffee nearby.  Once I get a passable first draft done, the schedule can change a lot as I wait for comments and have long rewrite sessions.  This time, I actually left my family for about 10 days and went some place where I could work non-stop.  I needed to hold the whole book in my head for a while and obsess a bit for the final push.  I might wake up at 3 am, grab the laptop next to the bed, and pound the keys for 90 minutes before going back to sleep.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

My current analogy is making your way through a forest.  You have to know you’ll get to the other side.  But, you aren’t really sure how you’ll get there and you run into dead ends, obstacles and parts that seem like an open meadow.  The worst is when you say, ‘Man.  This just isn’t going well.’ And you don’t know how to make it work, or you would be doing it.  I have to just keep writing, often going ahead to the few scenes I’m looking forward to writing and seeing.  It’s a long-term problem solving exercise but is excruciating when you’re in the middle of it.   

What does your family think of your writing career?

They’re happy because I’m enjoying it and they can share in it both directly and vicariously.

What do you think makes a good story?

Good characters.  Plausibility.  Good pace.  Surprises.  Intelligence.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I think I’m more of an explorer.  I’ll have the grand conspiracy in mind.  But, I’m very unsure about a lot of the details of getting there.  And, I find that one or two minor characters surprise me by becoming major ones and I have to backtrack to redefine their roles and characters.  Although I don’t have a lot of the intricacies worked out in advance, I think I’m good at making sure they make sense and are believable as I go.   I hate reading a story and getting to a part where you say, ‘That just doesn’t make sense…’

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I’m sure I do use a formula but I haven’t tried to break it down.  I just do what seems right.  I will sit down occasionally and list the main characters with points about their personality and motivation.  And, I’ll do the same with the 3 or 4 subplots and outline what it happening with them.  It’s to clarify it for me, see if they make sense, and trim when I have too much going on – which is a constant problem for me.  Even while I’m writing one part, I’m constantly thinking ahead to other parts and all the pieces of the mystery, trying to put it all together in my head so that it will be consistent and believable.  

What book are you reading now? Any favorite authors/books you want to do a shout out for?

I just read a couple of books by Ann Patchet who is a terrific writer.  Her characters are great.  In my work, I find myself writing shorter and shorter chapters.  It keeps things moving.  But, it’s good to remember that if you can really do a character well, there is a momentum there that can be very powerful and satisfying.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I try to get a lot of exercise, at the gym, on the bike or other ways.  I used to golf regularly and use 40 minutes at the range as a great break.  I hurt my knee and had to give it up until the Spring.   

Morning Person or Night Person? 

Although I need to hammer out most of the words in the morning before distractions get in the way and while I’ve got energy, I’m naturally more of a night person.  If I didn’t have to deal with the world and other people, I’d probably write late into the night.

Coffee, tea or other drink to get you moving in the morning? 

Two cups of very strong Sumatran coffee in the morning.

What is coming up from you in 2013? Anything you want to tease us with?

I’m working on the third Enzo Lee book.  I’ve got two characters – one a very eccentric middle-aged guy and the other a 9 year-old girl.  I’m eager to get to work on them.

Anything else you want to add? 

I’m a multi-career guy.  Journalist.  Lawyer.  Software entrepreneur.  Writer.  It took me a while to reach this point and I’m learning a lot about writing books.  But, the good side is being able to apply all the experiences along the way.  I think that sets me apart.

Blog Tour Contest Giveaway

The author is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter during the tour. All you need to do is follow the tour and leave comments at the stops. You can find the full blog tour stops at  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/01/virtual-book-tour-divine-fury-by-robert.html

Divine Fury by Robert B. Lowe
An Enzo Lee Mystery Thriller

Candidate Andrew Harper was a college basketball star, a crusading prosecutor and a beloved Congressman.  He is also openly gay.  When the San Francisco politician gets the inside track to become California’s next governor, it sends shockwaves through the political and religious establishment.

Reporter Enzo Lee is cajoled into leaving his comfortable niche covering fluffy features for the San Francisco News to cover the historic campaign.  A series of campaign events are mysteriously and dangerously disrupted.  A key endorsement is scuttled at the last minute.  An earlier murder takes on new significance when it is linked to a Watergate-style break-in involving computer spying.

But, finding the culprits behind political sabotage and high-tech hacking take a back seat when it’s discovered that a troubled war veteran armed with guns and explosives has begun a violent journey from small-town Montana to the City by the Bay.

When Lee becomes a target himself he must dodge attempts on his own life while trying to expose the conspiracy and, with the help of police allies, foil an assassination plot.
Divine Fury is the newly released second book in the Enzo Lee series from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert B. Lowe.  The series was kicked off by the best-selling Project Moses, the bioterroism thriller that made the Amazon Top 20 Mysteries list and was a finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012 competition. 

Divine Fury is a page-turning thriller with suspense, action, romance and enough twists to keep the reader guessing.  It also focuses on a timely theme as the issues of same-sex marriage and gay rights become a major cultural battleground in America.    

Teaser Excerpt:

The music continued. They were letting Harper have a long victory dance before he started speaking. To the sway of bodies and bouncing of signs, Walberg started to thread his way toward the middle and closer, always closer, to the platform and the self-assured politician who was front and center.

He wasn’t thinking about the bomb in the backpack now. He was close to the front with only three layers of people between him and the edge of the crowd held in place by the half-circle of police. This is how he preferred it. He wanted to see Harper’s face when he shot him. That was the instant he craved.

The crowd was pressing in. He could feel the pressure from behind as people inched closer to the front as the masses in back continued trying to push forward. He could see the police, now with their sticks at chest level fighting to hold their perimeter. They were straining. They weren’t trying to hurt anyone but he could see they were determined not to give up any ground.

All Walberg needed was two seconds, enough time to steady his right hand with his left without getting jostled and squeeze. He thought he would have that. He could see the faces and eyes of the cops moving all over. They were stressed. The music, the crowd, the signs…all the chaos would hide what he was doing for a crucial second or two.

Walberg had his right hand in the pocket of the jacket. His fingers found the Beretta and he could feel the safety with his thumb. He flicked it off while he kept his eyes focused on Harper and struggled to keep his face in a relaxed half-smile.

About the Author:

Robert B. Lowe is a Pulitzer-prize winning author whose fiction is based in San Francisco, his adopted home.

His past experiences – a 12-year career in investigative journalism and a Harvard Law School degree – enable him to write gripping mystery thrillers in both the legal and journalistic fields. Lowe draws his inspiration from John Grisham, Dick Francis and Lee Child and adds his own San Francisco twist. Readers will enjoy his references to the city’s landmarks such as ChinatownNorth Beach and Pacific Heights  and the Bay area’s foodie culture.

Divine Fury is Lowe’s second novel.  His first was the best-selling Project Moses which reached the Amazon Top 20 Mysteries list and was a finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012 competition hosted by the Kindle Book Review. 

Divine Fury continues the adventures of Enzo Lee, a jaded journalist rehabilitating his career as a feature writer in San Francisco who stumbles into scandals and criminal conspiracies that require his investigative expertise to unravel.

When Lowe isn’t writing he enjoys a day at the golf course and spending time with his wife and daughters.

Find Robert at:
Twitter: @authorRobBLowe


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing the interview! Very informative an I like getting to know the characters and story better!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

gigi said...

Great interview!


Robert Lowe said...

Thanks for having me on. I'll check back during the day and answer any questions.

Urb said...

Thanks for the interview. Gotta go, I have a terrible craving for two cups of very strong Sumatran coffee!

brendurbanist at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Lyra L7 said...

Enzo sounds like an intesting character.

lyra.lucky7 at gmail dot com

Gala said...

Your new book sounds great as well :)


Unknown said...

Another great excerpt, thank you for sharing!


Anas said...

Do you have an author that you admire?

moonsurfer123 AT gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed the interview thank you. Most informative.


Unknown said...

YaY a new/different teaser and it's even more intriguing! I really need to read this book!
A gay politician and a straight hero, that’s a huge dynamic…and it sounds extremely intense! I haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of Robert Lowe’s books but I do look forward to it. I like that he used to be an investigative journalist and he went to law school, I’m sure that makes his books even more realistic and successful. Thank you for sharing this book and author with us and being a part of the book tour!


BookLady said...

Congratulations on your new book! Seems like an exciting read. Enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.

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