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GIVE AWAY - NORA INTERVIEWS ROB STENNETT - THE END IS NOW author


You are multi-talented man who wears many hats in life. You're an author, producer, playwright, and a film and theatre director. What hats are most satisfying to you?


Personally, it's writing fiction. Because there's no bells and whistles, there's nothing but you a bland screen and you have to fill it with words on paper. Then you have to rewrite it about 100 times.


But I also love live events. The two best live productions I've ever been a part of are called The Thorn (a Cirque De Soliel retelling of the life of Christ) and Adam Never Ate The Apple (a science fiction piece on what life would be like if Adam never ate the apple).

With all the other hats you have worn in life, producer, playwright, a film and theatre director, what made you want to take on being an author?


I love the creation of stories. And that to me is why novels are so important. There is just the writer and the reader and together they're creating a story. Writing fiction is the most difficult thing I've done but it's also the most satisfying.

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? What has surprised you?












I didn't know what it would be exactly. The thing I love the most is that the book is complete, and no matter what I do in life I know that I've written two books that took a lot out of me but I'm really proud of them. There's nothing like walking into a bookstore, seeing your book, and thinking I wrote that and here I am on the shelf with all of these other great authors.

How do you come up with the ideas for your books? This book The End is Now and your first book, The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher?



It's a really twisty, turny path. But I always start out with the idea for a character and then I put them into a situation. I love when the odds are completely stacked against the character. So with Ryan I thought what if someone Pastored a church who had never been to church? And then with The End Is Now I thought what would happen if a family single handedly had to navigate the apocalypse in their town?

But for every story that finally turns into a book, I have about 20 ideas that never see the light of day.

How do you go about preparing to write the books that you have? You seemed to know a lot about the rapture. Were there some things about the topic of the rapture you weren't going to touch? If so, what?



BOOK TRAILER FOR THE END IS NOW




I did more research for this book then anything I've ever written. I read and interviewed experts who both believe strongly that the rapture is or isn't going to happen. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know how should we be living if it's going to happen? Or how should we be living if that's never coming? I used this to create the two strong viewpoints in the town.

What comes first for you in writing a story? Plot, characters, subject matter, etc. Do tell!

I hear critics and writers always say they love 1) Character driven stories or 2) Plot driven stories. I usually wonder which mine fall under. I think interesting characters are important, but they have to overcome something. And that thing they have to overcome usually creates the plot. So what they have to overcome, I guess is the most important thing first. I realized that The Henderson's had to overcome the rapture happening only in their town. Once I realized that was the problem I began to understand who they were from the decisions they had to make.

So I guess I start with the plot. I never realized that until right now.

What was your favorite scene to write in The End is Now? What made it so fun?


There is this scene right before the end of the first act where the whole family is anticipating this event. They are at different parts of the city, but it's like their thoughts are linked as they watch things unfold in a surreal way. I love that scene. When I finished I was really proud of it and I realized, "Wow, okay. I've got a book here."

Did you have a say so in picking out the book covers for the two books you've written? Can you describe that process?


People say you can't judge a book by its cover. But everyone still does. As an author I have a lot of say in the type of cover I'm looking for. I always give the design team covers of current books that I could see working for my stories.

From there the team creates it, and I'm usually blown away. It was nothing like what I was thinking it would be; yet it's perfect.

How much of you is in this story? If there is a lot of you in this story did it make it easier or heard to write? Please explain.

Rob's Beautiful Family


I guess there was a lot more of me, in my first novel Ryan Fisher. I bet this is true of a lot of first time writers. Authors are not quite sure how to create characters so they write themselves. With The End Is Now these characters are very far from me. There's a housewife, a middle aged dad with teenage kids, a teenage girl, and a boy who's the center of attention.



Rob will know about being a teenage girl soon enough as he watches his two adorable girls grow!


I only know what's like to be one of those characters. And that's the teenage girl. (Just kidding). But I felt like I really understood and could give a voice to everyone of those characters and that's when you feel like you've really created something.

I've heard authors say that their characters came alive and took them places they didn't expect to go. Did this happen to you in either book that you've written? If so, please described what happened and how you were surprised?

Characters always surprise me. I always have things that I have that I want to happen and suddenly I realize, that doesn't feel true, and that's when characters take on a life of their own. In this book it was Jeff Henderson who surprised me the most, I always thought he'd be at the center, controlling everything, and it seemed the more he tried to control things, the more the rest of the family unraveled around him.

What's different about the writing process when you start writing a book as apposed to writing a screen play or a theatrical script?









Go to a bookstore. Pick up a novel. It could be 220 pages. It could be 530 pages. Either is totally acceptable. Go to Hollywood and find a screenplay. It's got to be right around 110 pages. There's little margin for error; writing a screenplay is more like writing poetry. Screenplays have LOTS of rules. You have to know them, and be able to execute them flawlessly yet still carve out your own voice. There's a path that screenplays take (see Sid Field or McKey) and you need to make sure your story follows that path. With a novel there's room to breathe and discover, and enjoy the beauty of language. That's the difference for me.

In the back of The End is Now you give us an excerpt to read of Fallen World. Can you give us a glimpse into what we can look forward to in your new book?

I really wanted to write about the supernatural side of things. So, I decided to create a firsthand memoir of man who's been demon possessed. The book is really funny and has freaked me out when I'm writing it all at the same time. I always hear writers say characters take on a life of their own. Well, having a character who is suddenly taken over by a demon midway through the novel that really gives characters taking on a life a whole new meaning.

QUESTIONS I KNOW YOU WANTED TO ASK ROB BUT WERE AFRIAD; TO SO I DID!!

1. If you had 48 hours to hang out with any TWO people of your choice, alive or dead in the history of the world, who would you pick (other than God)? What would you do?



Mark Twain (Kurt Vonnegut if Twain wasn't available). and Steven Speilberg. I would want to drink lots of coffee and just pick their brain for the entire 48 hours. I wouldn't even sleep. They'd try to go to sleep and I'd keep asking them questions. It'd be like the Chris Farley show.

2. You find yourself in a life-threatening situation and you need to call on someone to save you, who would you pick? (this can be anyone from, film, movies, books etc. the sky is the limit).




Captain Kirk. No offense to Chuck Norris but there is very little Captain Kirk couldn't do. (Runner up Han Solo).


3. Do you enjoy watching life theatre? If so, what have been some of the shows that life you speechless? Plays that are still with you! If you don't enjoy live theatre, what would you rather do?



I love live theater I've seen Les Misrables in London and a local production of Death Of A Salesmen. Both moved me deepened my love for the stage all the more.




4. What is a special quality, talent or event you've experienced that would surprise people? Please explain.




I'm average height and white, but I'm a heck of a basketball player.






5. You have to be a superhero for 48 hours. You can mix and match their costumes and super powers. Who would you be and why?

Spiderman because he's witty, and Superman because he has every imaginable power. I don't think I could pull of Superman's costume though.

6. If you had to pick one "Reality" TV show to be on what show would you pick and why?



I used to love Survivor and I always thought that I could be strategic enough to win. You have to be likeable at first, and then a villain towards the end. That's the key.




7. What movie really impacted you as a kid? Why?






The Empire Strikes Back. It was so sweeping and epic and everything you wanted a movie to be. The characters, the sets, the music, the story, it made me fall in love with movies.

8. What TV shows were your favorites growing up? You know the ones that you couldn't miss each week.



I loved sit coms. Couldn't get enough of them, especially Cheers, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Family Ties, Three's Company, Mr. Belvedere, and Perfect Strangers. Okay, so I watched a lot of TV. You've read my books. What else would you expect?








9. If you had an opportunity to travel to outer space, would you go? If so, what would you want to see? If not, what place on earth would you love to travel to! Please explain.




Wow outer space. Um, if there was anywhere with alien life I'd want to go there because I have so many questions to ask them. Are you good or are you evil? If you ever come to planet earth will you come in peace like ET or would you come to destroy it like War of The Worlds?




10. What was the last movie you saw that the theatre? What did you think about it? Have any snacks? If so, what?

I saw Away We Go with my wife last week. It was a great little love story because when it started out the two leads were already in love. Plus Dave Eggers wrote the screenplay. How amazing is that? And we had Cherry Coke, popcorn and snuck in peanut butter M&M's. I would have bought them at the theater but they don't sell them there and it's not my fault nothing goes better with popcorn then peanut butter M & M's.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS YOU'D LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH?

If you're thinking about checking out The End Is Now, but not sure if it's really you're cup of tea here's a quick story. A friend of my wife's reads all the time but sticks mostly to chick-lit and romance. She picked up the book, but reluctantly. But a week later, she was over at our house and she said, "I loved it Rob. I wasn't sure if this was my type of book, but it's a page-turner and the characters are so relatable. It was just this great story and I forget it was even this guy I knew who wrote it." So all that is to say, even if you're not sure about a book like this, take the Pepsi challenge and give it a try. I think you'll be surprised at the story you find.

THANKS Rob, for stopping by. It's great to get to know you better and hear about your books. Remember if you're ever in Atlanta we'll have to do book club!!

Nora :D


**LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THE END IS NOW!! DRAWING WILL BE AUGUST 15th***

.****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants*****

HERE - IS MY REVIEW OF THE END IS NOW!!

11 comments:

  1. Nora,
    A great interview! It's nice to get to know Rob a little better. I would love to win a copy of this book.

    edwina.cowgill@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. this sounds like a book that my 18 yo son and I will both enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Nora...

    Rob's new book sounds interesting - a book club read for next year? I wish you would have been able to give us more info on the first two books.

    Hey Rob...

    My hubby feels that Sugar Babies go best with popcorn. But since he loves pb m&m's, he may just have a new favorite!!

    I look forward to reading your book WHEN I win it...LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. YES! YES! YES! I want a copy of The End Is Now. You can reach me at:
    rubyjc70 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks for considering me!
    Jeanette

    ReplyDelete
  5. Christine has left a new comment on your post "GIVE AWAY - NORA INTERVIEWS ROB STENNETT - THE END...":

    Hey Nora...

    Rob's new book sounds interesting - a book club read for next year? I wish you would have been able to give us more info on the first two books.

    Hey Rob...

    My hubby feels that Sugar Babies go best with popcorn. But since he loves pb m&m's, he may just have a new favorite!!

    I look forward to reading your book WHEN I win it...LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rob Stennett is one of the best new authors of his time! His first book is one of my favorites! I'm looking forward to reading this new installment of what will become a great library of books from Rob!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Barbara J. Robinson

    has left a new comment on your post "THE END IS NOW by ROB STENNETT - REVIEWED":

    The Left Behind Series with Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins made me think such thought-provoking questions. You're right, God doesn't need a test state or town. He knows and sees all. This book sounds like one I'd love to read and review though. It sounds comparable to the Left Behind books, and I loved them.
    Barb



    Posted by Barbara J. Robinson to Finding Hope Through Fiction at August 2, 2009 2:24 PM

    ReplyDelete
  8. Denise Miller HolmesHey

    Nora. Went to your site and signed your guest book. Good interview.

    Facebook comment

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  9. Nora, great intereview. The trailer for the book was fantastic! Would love to read the book!

    Gail Mundy

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  10. Wonderful interview! It was great to be able to get to know Rob better. This book sounds so intriguing. Would love to read it.

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds very interesting and I think I will take the "Pepsi Challenge" and read this one. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Thanks for sharing about this author and his writing.

    ReplyDelete