Sunday, November 05, 2006

Meet Robert Elmer

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.

Robert, welcome to my blog. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

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

When I was on staff at a church, I started the bookstore and managed it for them. We carried the Adventures Down Under series. They're really good. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

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.


Anonymous said...

Robert, I'm *really* enjoying Rediscovering Daily Graces right now. It's a good overview of our heritage, the deep thoughts of the church fathers. Thank you.

Lena, thank you for a chance to win The Recital. It sounds fascinating. Also, barely able to play more than one song on the piano, "Moon River," (dh says everything I play sounds like "Moon River" --"Moon River Cha Cha," "Moon River Rap" whatever ) I would at also enjoy the book cover and the picture of that gorgeous grand piano. It just looks like it could give a beautiful rendition of--"Moon River"!

Margo Carmichael

Tina said...

Lena, thanks for bringing us Robert! Now I must read his book!

Robert, you are such a romantic! What a nice comment about your wife. I have to say marrying my hubby is probably my best accomplishment, the fact I got him to marry me. haha. He is actually the one who makes my writing possible and I thank God for him. Hooray for those who stand beside us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm so happy I found your blog. I'm always looking for good books to read. I'm looking forward to reading some of Robert's books!

Peg said...

Robert, I thoroughly enjoyed The Celebrity, but have somehow overlooked The Duet. I will certainly go find it.

Lena, I'd love a chance to win the copy of The Recital. I'be been playing piano since I was five years old (long time ago, now) but I'm afraid I'm out of practice. Now way would I be up to a recital!

Peg Phifer

Peg said...

Oops - should have proofed my post. That last line should read "NO way would I be up to a recital. :)


Carole said...

Lena, your blog is a great way to get to know authors and discover new books. Thank you so much!

I've never read any of Robert Elmer's books...but after reading their descriptions, I definitely plan to. I am a piano teacher/church pianist, so The Duet and The Recital really appeal to me.

rose mccauley said...

Dear Lena, thanks for introducing me to another author. I'm gonna order The Duet and hope i win The Recital! rose

:-)Ronie said...

Hey, Lena! Kewl interview. I've been so intrigued by these books. Please enter me in for a chance to win. :-D

Robert Elmer said...

Hey, thanks for the encouraging words, all. Keep an eye out for LIKE ALWAYS, my next book due out in late spring '07. And Lena, thanks for the great site! -Robert