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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Interview of Author Robert Roman

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of Steampunk/Action/Romance author Robert Roman.
Latest Book: The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones
Buy Link:
Video Link: I’ve not done a video yet.

I’m originally from New Jersey and I’ve returned there recently. My background is pretty patchwork. In college I studied Engineering, Literature, Philosophy, Computers and Business, but finally settled on a pre-med Biology degree. Since I started working, I’ve done stock work, construction, sales, project management, and more tech support than I want to think about.

I’ve always been a story teller. A few years back, I finished NaNoWriMo and set the results out to some friends. They liked it and asked for more. I’ve been writing ever since.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: After the whole ‘Staring at the screen to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating’ thing? I got a sitter and took my wife out to Red Lobster to celebrate.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The end. Definitely. There are a few reasons. One of them is the way I plot. Generally, I’ll have a climactic scene in my head when I’m plotting things out and I work backward from there. “How would this happen, why would they do that, what kind of person would possibly do those things?” and so on, until I hit a good ‘stepping onto the moving train’ point, which is where I start. So the climactic scene is pretty solidly in my head from the beginning, and it keeps getting fleshed out as I work on the characters, the leading situations, and whatnot. By the time I get there, I also have a lot of momentum, since I’ve already written everything else. Finally, there’s the ‘goal just ahead’ thing. Once that’s done, I can send it off to beta, at which point people can ooh and ah and slice it up with knives.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Transitional scenes. Sometimes you need them, but there’s just not a lot of ‘there’ there. ‘How the HELL did they get from place A to place B?’ ‘They took a bus.’ It’s easier when the characters are talkative and have some chemistry. It’s harder when they are, for whatever reason, less chatty. It’s worst of all when the only things they’d be talking about are endless inane babble.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: My favorite character in The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones is probably Capricious herself, but it’s a near thing, and that surprised me. Cap is a combination mad scientist/test pilot. She’s got the bursts of manic inspiration of the Mad Scientist combined with the unflappable nerves of steel of the Test Pilot. She’s put into an impossible situation by someone she trusts, and manages to find a way out. Of course, it’s a way only a mad scientist would think up and only a test pilot would have the nerve for, but that combination of brilliance and bravery are what make me like her.

The ‘dark horse’ in the cast is probably Sebastian Cole. Originally meant to be a bit part, he grew into a solid supporting male lead character, one capable of making heroic acts of self-sacrifice without a second thought.His flaws are mostly a product of his environment, of his schooling, but at least one or two are just him being an angsty, slightly narcissistic late-teen, early-twenties guy.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your hero? Tell us about your hero.
A: If they made a movie of Fae Eye for the Golem Guy, I think I’d like to see Dean Cain as Micah (the titular Golem Guy). Micah is a golem created by Leonardo DaVinci to protect his artwork. The mission that drives him is protecting art of all kinds, as well as assisting artists with their art where he can.

Leo saw no reason for his guardian to be unattractive, and sculpted a work of art before putting the words in its head to animate it. Micah is Leonardo’s ideal of ‘male, handsome, tall, imposing’. He’s a bit over six foot, with black hair sun-bleached to brown, cut short enough that it looks wavy rather than curly. He’s got an imposing athletic physique, muscular without being muscle bound. In a suit he looks like a well-put-together guy, not a bodybuilder.

Micah’s a fun character to write. He’s intelligent and cosmopolitan, having lived through hundreds of years of social upheaval. He knows he’ll never get old, and for that reason distances himself from the mortals around him, changing identities every few decades to avoid suspicion. He’s conservative without being stodgy, a fun viewpoint to write from since I’m generally not very conservative.

Micah’s a stereotypical ‘nice guy’. He’s gone through life since Leo died just trying to get by, since he’s got no particular reason to amass a fortune, and a few reasons not to. He’s been a soldier, a bodyguard, a porn star (hey, he IS immune to disease and picture perfect) and now works as chief of security at a museum.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Oh, no. I’ve had some that are similar, but only in a very superficial sort of way. I do generally pull from some kind of inspiration, although sometimes I can’t even place it myself.

I HAD written a list, but it was chock full o’spoilers, so I pulled it. If someone really, really wants the list, I’m easily flattered and my email addy is on my site.

However, just in general; I’ve had heroes and heroines with ancestry from all over the globe. Details vary, because appearance is in some way related to the persona, which is, as noted, important to the plot, because in all cases for main characters I’ve thought about ‘what kind of person would do that’, which usually includes ‘what kind of personal style do they have?’

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I have a couple.
I play video games; I’ve been writing a bit too much to really indulge lately, but my first royalty check is very likely to go directly to Blizzard for Starcraft II. I’ve also done candlemaking, carpentry, horticulture, and a few sports. I work out daily, but that’s more to avoid becoming spherical than any real enjoyment.

I do love to cook, and I don’t mean ‘follow a recipe’. I’ll get a few hints from there, but I’d rather watch something like Iron Chef, get inspired, and see what I can do. Best thing yet – Whipped potatoes using Heavy Whipping Cream (Morimoto ROCKS!). Worst thing yet? Homemade PF Chang style Hot and Sour soup. Just didn’t happen. Sums me up in a nutshell, really. I can sorta emulate an Iron Chef, but not a friggin’ bistro restaurant.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I’ve been told it’s my dialogue, followed closely by my action scenes. Of course, I’ve also been told that my dialogue is ‘clearly impossibly witty’ and ‘sounds like anime dialogue’. Since I pull a lot of the dialogue from conversations I’ve actually had, that makes me sad, because I don’t like being impossible.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: Superheroes. I haven’t done so because I’ve been swamped. I want to because that’s the next story Agatha and Penelope have latched onto like the evil limpet harpies they are.

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: Facebook, because it lets me use more than 140 characters, but limits me somewhat so I don’t wind up spending eight hours posting about my navel.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
My personal site is ; I announce new projects, keep a list of things I’m working on and things I’ve done, and occasionally wax philosophical.
My publisher is Decadent Publishing at
On Facebook look up Bob’s Books – that’s me.
Any other stuff I’m on (Livejournal, Blogger, Twitter) doesn’t get updated enough to warrant mentioning, although if you remember KennyCelican from any of those, that’s also me. Shoot me a ‘hallo!’ why don’t ya?

The Triple Alliance, led by Kaiser Otto II, struck without warning. The combination of Prussian military might, Austrian clockwork, and Ottoman funding cut through the unprepared Entente powers like a chainsaw through Brie; hamstringing Britain, pinning Russia, and very nearly destroying France. The year is 1908, and the Entente is almost defunct. One base in the south of France is all that remains in Entente hands. All that remains to defend freedom are three Engineers.

One is an ingenue.
One is crippled.
One is dead.

The roar of her Engines loud in her ears, Cap examined the wreckage of her wings. The right had been sheared off completely; only a portion of the leather remained. Sabotage had done for the other wing, the corroded leather strap still smoked faintly. The fabric was still attached, but the wing had been torn and broken in too many places to effect repairs.

The corroded leather told Cap a tale of betrayal, one she had unwittingly been complicit in. She had been so careful to check each and every part the Sephardic bastard had machined for her, to test each and every batch of alloy he mixed. She had known David Abrams lusted after her work from the moment he saw the partial designs. She had known, and kept the secret of how the parts fit together from him for just that reason. She thought she’d been so clever in keeping the secret of her Engines.

She had been. She just hadn’t been near as careful or as clever with her wings. They were, after all, just cut down versions of Orville’s design. She’d shared them with David, much as she’d shared herself with him; as a consolation for not sharing her Engines or the mix of fuel that powered them. Now, it seemed, that attempted kindness had come back to destroy her.

Suspicious, she checked her parachute. It took a full minute of careful digging for her to find the shattered glass vial within the tightly packed cloth. Her fingers burned from touching the cloth, her face burned with shame, and most of all her heart blazed with impotent fury at the man who had killed her.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Actually yes. While The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones is an Action/adventure, I do have a romance out by the same publisher. Fae Eye for the Golem Guy is a Romantic Comedy set in an Urban Fantasy world, about a Golem with a serious crush on a woman he doesn’t think would give him the time of day. It’s available at: here from Decadent Publishing.


Linda Kage said...

Cap and Sebastian sounds like great characters. Thanks for the interview, Robert. It was nice to meet you.

Robert C Roman said...

Hallo All!

Thanks for having me by! If any of you have questions that I didn't answer, I'd be glad to in the comments.

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