Thursday, March 3, 2011

Interview with novelist, screenwriter, and non-fiction writer Rob Tobin



Today we get to chat with screenwriter Rob Tobin about his novel God Wars: Living with Angels.

Rob is a Canadian novelist, screenwriter, and non-fiction book author living and writing full-time in Huntington Beach, Southern California. He's a former motion picture development exec, graduate of USC's prestigious Master of Professional Writing program, and currently has a $15 million feature film in post production, a $40 million feature in development with the director of "Die Hard" attached to direct, a just-released e-novel, God Wars: Living with Angels, and two non-fiction books on screenwriting already in publication. Finally, Rob's just accepted a feature film screenwriting assignment from a UK production company to write the first installment of a horror trilogy.

Rob, welcome to Reviews and Interviews. Please tell us about your current release.
God Wars: Living with Angels is the first in a planned trilogy, an urban fantasy about a young witch with justice in her hands and a chip on her shoulder who uses her powers to get even with the a-holes of the world but in the process accidentally opens the gates of Hell and has to battle a demon she can't defeat, an angel she can't trust, and three-foot tall aliens with really bad attitudes. It's a heck of a ride, and a fun, action-packed look at the nature of good and evil and the dangers of vengeance.

What inspired you to write this book?
A lifelong desire to be able to mete out instant justice to people who desperately deserve it, and the realization that even if that were possible, even justice has its price.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My latest novel is Jo-Bri and the Two Worlds, a Young Adult urban fantasy about a teen wizard from a sword and sorcery world who gets chased by an evil sorcerer into Modern Day Montana. It's by far the best thing I've ever written, and I'm really quite excited by it. I'm shopping it around to agents now, and considering writing the screenplay for it. It's a combination of Robert Heinlein's seminal novel Stranger in a Strange Land, "Twilight," and "Harry Potter," but with a definite edge. It never takes itself too seriously but it does have a lot to say about who we are as human beings, and it might be considered controversial in the way that Heinlein's master work was.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing short stories at the age of three, so I'm not aware of ever not being a writer, lol. I finally went full-time-professional-paid in 1998 and have been making a good living from it ever since.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do write full-time, but it's not always the kind of writing I prefer. I take the best paying assignments or gigs to put food on the table and in between those gigs I write screenplays, novels and non-fiction books for myself. A typical day when I'm not doing one of these have-to writing assignments or gigs, involves me getting up early, maybe 5 a.m., going to breakfast with my wife and puppy (our four kids are grown and off on their own) then spending the next 6 to 8 hours at one of my favorite coffee shops writing whatever project I'm working on at that time. To me it isn't work at all, it's pure joy, better than sex,, durgs or food or even sex with drugs and food, lol.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I guess the coffee shop thing is one of them, I mean I can write anywhere, but for some reason sitting in a semi-busy coffee shop writing is bliss for me. If I need a breather I can look up and people watch which is always fun, listen in to nearby conversations, maybe even come up with story ideas based on that.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Audrey Hepburn's boy toy. Failing that, a writer -- always a writer, from the time I can remember remembering.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Well, my book God Wars: Living with Angels, book one of the God Wars trilogy is now out on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Omnilit.com (give or take a day, sometimes there's a backlog and they don't actually get the book up for a couple of days), $2.99 cover price, great story, I hope all your great readers download it and make me rich enough not to have to take those have-to writing gigs anymore, lol.

Oh, and thank you and your readers for putting up with my foolishness here and I promise that if they buy "God Wars" they'll get even more of it!

2 comments:

J Q Rose said...

Rob, you like to write in a coffee shop? I can't write in a public place. I am too nosy I guess. Everytime the door opens I have to see who came in. And yes, eavesdropping on conversations? Of course, great ideas for stories, but distracting to finish a story. Best wishes on your new novel!

Lisa Haselton said...

J.Q. - I enjoy working in a coffee shop too. If I'm really into the piece, nothing will distract me, but when I need a break, it's nice to look up and be part of a crowd instead of an empty room. :) There are some days, for me, when the coffee shop is a great procrastination tool. Eavesdropping can be fun, can't it? -grin-