Today’s guest is mystery author Robert B. Lowe. This is the first of many virtual tour stops as he travels and talks about his newest novel Divine Fury – An Enzo Lee Mystery Thriller (book 2 in a series).
Robert visited here last year to talk about the first novel in this series, 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. You can read that interview here.
Robert will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during his tour, so if you'd like a chance to win, make sure to leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments there.
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 Chinatown, North Beach and Pacific Heights and the Bay area’s foodie culture.
Divine Fury is Lowe’s second novel. It 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.
Welcome, Robert. Please tell us about your current release, Divine Fury.
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.
What inspired you to write this book?
This is the second book in a mystery thriller series centered on Enzo Lee, a newspaper reporter working in San Francisco.
I wanted to focus on aspects of the city and the flourishing of the gay community here since the 60s and role that it has played in gay rights is an important part of San Francisco’s story. More openly gay and lesbian politicians are being elected, but the election of a chief executive of a state – particularly one as large and influential as California – has yet to occur.
It seemed plausible to me that the right gay or lesbian candidate could do well in the San Francisco area and become positioned to compete for the governor’s office. A backlash seemed equally plausible and I thought that premise – together with a fiction writer’s imagination – could form the basis for a good story.
“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.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on the third book in the Enzo Lee series. It’s another mystery thriller that focuses on the pharmaceutical industry.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was a newspaper reporter myself for 12 years out of college. The job entailed a lot of elements but the bottom line was putting your stories into the newspaper for its readers. Through that process, I came to think of myself as a writer and became comfortable with the idea of writing for an audience.
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 consider my ‘job’ at present to be writing books and marketing them. When I am in writing mode, I try to be at my computer in Word by 9 am and produce words until lunch. After lunch, I try to get in a couple more hours at least. I’m also editing the past few days work while I do this. And, there are stretches where I need to work at more of an overhaul level – patching holes, making things consistent, fixing one problem or another. I have a concept of the type of books I want to write at present. Those are basically full length novels in the mystery, suspense, thriller genres. Aside from occasional blog posts and interviews like this one, I don’t produce a lot of ancillary material right now. I’m trying to lay down a certain body of work. So, when I’m not actually writing, I’m always working through possible book ideas in my head – whether it’s an entire plot, a style of book – say, maybe a psychological thriller – or smaller questions such as how might a relationship evolve from one book to the next.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a bit of a foodie and I enjoy having a lot of that in my books. I think readers enjoy it as well. The other aspect readers comment on is my descriptions. Some people enjoy the details and find the sights, sounds and smells of the settings a major plus. Others get impatient and find it slogging to get to the action.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I went from baseball star to president of the U.S.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
On the way to being a full time writer, I was a journalist, a lawyer and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. On one hand, I missed a lot of writing time when I could have improved my craft. On the other, I had a lot of experiences that I can mine for material. I like to feel that my stories are grounded in how things really work.
Thanks, Robert. Readers, remember, Robert will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during his tour, so if you'd like a chance to win, make sure to leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments there.
Review sound bytes:
“Gripping…with an adrenaline-filled climax combined with compelling characters.” – Kirkus Reviews
“A fascinating and fast-paced mystery/thriller. It is a thought provoking and extremely captivating story." – Kindle Book Review