I have only met Robert online, but I have read some of his books. I believe you will enjoy them as much as I have. Remember, if you leave a comment, you'll have a chance to win a copy of the featured book The Recital.
Bits and pieces, here and there. Quite random, actually. I prefer to create distinct characters who are definitely not like myself, although I have to say that the main character in the first series I wrote for children, The Young Underground, was a lot like me as a boy. Also, I tend to identify a lot with the piano teacher in The Duet, Joan Horton.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I used to own and fly a hang glider. No wait, that’s not very quirky. I often wear kids’ t-shirts to work. Is that quirky? Sorry, not very. Next question…
Hang gliding sounds like fun to me. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In the third grade, when I started writing a family newspaper, and when I found myself writing essays and poems beyond what the teacher asked for.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I still enjoy reading good kids’ books (Lois Johnson is one of my favorites), fiction by some of my favorite authors (Bill Myers, Deb Raney, Alton Gansky), occasional nonfiction if someone recommends it to me.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Grown-up novels: The Duet, The Celebrity, The Recital, Like It Always Was (written, due out ’07)
Youth fiction: The Wall (Cold War trilogy, due out this summer), Off My Case for Kids (with Lee Strobel), HyperLinkz series (six books), AstroKids series (10 books), Promise of Zion series (six books), Adventures Down Under series (eight books), Young Underground series (eight books), Eat My Martian Dust (co-edited)Nonfiction: Discovering Daily Graces (out now), Practicing God’s Presence
I do my best to walk, walk, walk – especially every morning with the dog. I spend relaxing evenings with my wife whenever possible. I sail. Listen to music.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Often from one of those “What Shall We Name the Baby” books, or sometimes from random names I pick up in the news. In my earlier kids’ books I occasionally used relatives’ names, but eventually ran out of relatives to use.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
No question: The best thing I ever did (aside from making a decision to follow Jesus Christ, which I hesitate to call an “accomplishment”) was marrying my wife Ronda.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Goodness… a dolphin? No, I would get tired of swimming, although that would be fun for the first day or two. A chimp? No, they’d probably make me live in a lab or something. I give up.
What is your favorite food?
Barbecued salmon, they way my wife cooks it, broiled in garlic butter. A close second: Danish salted licorice, which is something like Dutch salted licorice, which sounds weird but you have to read about in The Duet.All right readers, rush out and buy The Duet. It's not the book we're giving away.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
If you liked The Duet, you’re going to really like the follow-up, The Recital. If you never read The Duet, find a copy and read it first – even though The Recital is written as a stand-alone, you’ll like to know the background leading up to this story. It’s a different kind of love story, a small-town story, a story of opposites that both men and women can relate to. It’s close to my heart, and I pray you’ll be encouraged by the struggle of Joan and Gerrit. Read it!While you're at it, be sure and get a copy of The Celebrity. I loved this book. I'll have to admit that I don't have The Duet, so maybe I'll see you at the bookstore when we go to buy it. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Recital. And there's still time to leave a comment on Linda Windsor's interview for a chance to win a copy of Blue Moon.