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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Q&A INTERVIEW with Robert G. Pielke, Author of A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor

Please join me to enjoy this fun Interview with author Robert G. Pielke.

Q1. I'm always interested to discover the story behind the story. Where did the inspiration for A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor come from?
  • As is usually the case, the story “tells itself to me” – I “listen” and take it from there. Yup, I’m sort of saying that stories have a life of their own, and I’m not really sure where they come from or where they’re born.
  • It’s not a cop-out. It’s just that there’s no one thing or event I can think of that prompts them. That goes especially for this one – A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor. Some people have called it “the most bizarre thing I’ve ever read,” so that might suggest something bizarre gave rise to it. Nope. It’s obviously comprised of a variety of characters, issues and situations, and they resemble things in my life-history, but what pulled them all together in one story???
  • Beats me!

Q2.  Apparently you have chosen to present this story in a series or trilogy. Did you have each book plotted out before you started the first one or did the subsequent books flow from the first book?
  • I had only the beginning…what is now the first few pages. Once the story had told this to me and I had fully digested it, it told me some more. I’m almost finished the second book in the trilogy as of today, and I kind of know that general “lay of the land” for this and the third book, but there are a lot of little things that always pop up and want to be included.

Q3.  Do your characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
  • The story does – not so much the characters. When talking with my daughter, for example, who is the first editor for all that I write, I often say “I am my book,” because it always seems to be on my mind.

Q4.  What type of research goes into creating one of your novels?  Was there anything special or hands on?
  • A lot!!!
  • I write alternate histories in one way or another, and to be credible at it, the actual history has to be absolutely as accurate as humanly possible. I’m asking my readers to go along with me on a speculative undertaking – a “what if” journey as it were – and if the actual events are not “spot on,” they won’t go with me.

Q5. Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?
  • Oh yes! I always start with a couple of games of Solitaire – I’m seeing how many points I can compile. [I’m up to 42,210 so far.] But that doesn’t “get me in the mood” – it’s just ritual.

Q6.  Which do you find is most important to you as a writer, voice or story? Why?
  • The story is everything. IT determines the “voice” as well as the characters, the issues, the plot points.

Q7.  Can you tell us a little about the next book in the series?
  • Very little! Ha ha ha ha
  • It’s subtitled “the Translator” for a reason. There are some people [linguists and philosophers among them] who believe that communication with aliens would be literally impossible and undesirable as well.
  • Book two challenges this idea.

Q8.  What do you hope your readers get out of your books?
  • Enjoyment! [however they might understand it]
  • Anything else they might get out of it is a bonus.

Q9: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?
  • Cooking shows on TV
  • Movies
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Rock and Roll [as well as those other two things that usually precede this]  ;-)

Q10.  What are five fun facts about you or this book/series, that readers would find interesting?
  • Hmmmm….I’ll have to think for a minute or two
  • Here goes….
1.     All of the characters in the first two books [except for the main protagonist and the “others” that are from “afar”] are actual historical figures.
2.     There were around three Chinese soldiers who fought for the Union at Gettysburg. I use one in the book, but you wouldn’t know it from his name.
3.     Another well-known figure in the history of the American West is in the book but the name we know him by today is not the name that he used during the time period of the book.
4.     The main protagonist is related to one of the chief villains in American history, and that same villain has actual decedents who are major figures in world politics today.
5.     One of my relatives is mentioned in Book One…which not even this person recognized, although his name is used.
If you didn't already check out the book I hope you take a look at my review

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