Friday, June 25, 2010

20 Questions -- Getting to Know Rob Thurman

UPDATE: The winner of Chimera by Rob Thurman is Erika Lynn! Congrats!! Please email your physical addy to contests(AT)

20 Questions is a feature on The Knight Agency blog where you can get to know more about our clients -- from soup to nuts. Various authors will answer the same set of questions you see below for the rest of the year. Learn their go-to sources for information on writing and publishing, how they like their coffee, what they did when they got "The Call," and much more. Yeah, it's kind of like the email forwards you keep getting from your BFF, but better. ;-)

Today, Rob Thurman, New York Times bestselling author of the Cal Leandros series, is stepping into the spotlight. As a special treat the Knight Agency is giving away a copy of her latest release, CHIMERA, to one lucky commenter. Check the bottom of the post for instructions on how to enter.

1. Where are you at this exact moment?

--On the couch with a laptop and a horrifically obese cat named Dexter after the serial killer from Showtime.

2. Are you a “seat of your pants” writer or do map out the story like a meticulous cartographer?

--I’m so seat of the pants that I don’t even wear the pants. I’m a “cheek of my ass” writer. Although, to be fair, I do always know one thing going into a book…how it’s going to end. Nothing can begin without the knowledge of an end—and I like my endings of the over Niagara Falls in a barrel kind, the last giant hill on a rollercoaster and riding it all the way to the bottom.

3. What one item is a must have or what ritual do you absolutely have to perform in order to get your writing mojo going?

--Avoid all writing-related business mail. Nothing will deflate your mojo faster!
4. If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one book to entertain you, what would you want it to be?

--Most likely a book on how to build a boat.

5. What is the first thing you did after receiving “The Call” from your agent?

--I think I threw up. Or maybe I hid in the closet. Or maybe I ran down the street buck naked screaming at the top of my lungs. Actually, none of those. I’d been rejected for so long, so many years, that I was more numb than anything else. It was a call telling me…yeah, we decided that you don’t suck that much after all. Welcome aboard! But don’t eat the shrimp in case we change our mind. I wish I’d been one of the miracle ones who sell instantly. I would’ve loved to have known what that felt like. I’d bet it’s amazing.
6. Do you have an old manuscripts gathering dust that you think should still be published, or, in retrospect, did they turn out to just be a practice run?

--CHIMERA (released June 1st) is six years old and it received the best reviews of anything I’ve done.

7. Are you a member of a critique group?

--Nope. I’m too thin-skinned. Not drinking that Kool-Aid.

8. If you were a literary character, who would you be?

--Villains are usually my favorite…hmmmm. Perhaps Hannibal Lecter without the cannibalism. The layers and layers of psychology behind that character blew me the hell away. What twisted insane logic went on inside his head would be fascinating…again, without the cannibalism, I swear.

9. Do you prefer reading a physical book or downloading it on your Kindle/Nook/Sony Reader/insert name of any of the other myriad e-readers?
--Paperback all the way. I spent most of my childhood in libraries after school and if I can’t smell the paper, feel the weight, it loses its magic. And books have always been magical. Plus I can take them in the tub with me and not worry about frying them and myself. And, yes, I’m sure a battery could fry you if it tried hard enough.

10. What is your favorite go-to blog or website for writing advice?

--Lynn Viehl’s paperback writer blog…she tells it like it is.

11. What is your favorite go-to blog or website for industry happenings?

--Scalzi, no doubt.

12. What’s the strangest place or incident that’s inspired one of your characters or storylines?

--Haven’t written it yet, but last week a man in a rusty beat-up pick up truck without A/C came to the door selling meat from a freezer in the back of the truck. If that doesn’t scream serial killer, nothing does. I think he sold steak, chicken, and Grandma.

13. Rollercoaster rides: Let’s get in line or I’d rather keep my feet on the ground while eating a delicious corn dog? (I know, random right?)

--One incident of someone else’s puke in your face ruins rollercoasters for you forever. But for life in general…trying to live as a writer is one of the bigger risks you can take. But I’d like the corndog too.

14. What was the hardest lesson that you had to learn about publishing as a newbie?

-My therapist has labeled this question off limits.

15. Coffee: keep it simple (black); liven it up a little (at least cream and/or sugar); everything but the kitchen sink (caramel, raspberry, mocha java latte with extra whip and a few of those dark chocolate curls on top...); I’ll pass (yuck, coffee tastes like cigarettes).

--Everything but the kitchen sink.

16. Animal lover or is keeping a goldfish alive too much to ask?

--Animal lover, but I can kill a tree just by looking at it.

17. Which one of your characters would you most like to meet in person?
--The one least likely to hate me for putting through all the godawful things I have.

18. What is your current release about?

--CHIMERA is an action-thriller along the lines of classic Dean Koontz (such as THE WATCHERS or LIGHTNING). It involves a man, Stefan, trying to find his brother who was abducted ten years before. Yet when he finally does, it’s only to discover Lukas has been raised in a experimental facility that does work in genetic manipulation. The book has them on the run from Jericho, the scientist in charge of the facility, while trying to rediscover their family connection, discovering the lengths Stefan will go to to protect his brother…and finding out what Lukas, thanks to Jericho’s handiwork, now has become.

Paul Goat Allen of Barnes & Noble compared it to Dean Koontz, Jonathan Kellerman, Robin Cook, and Michael Crichton. I was quite chuffed.

19. What projects do you have on the horizon?

--Right now, the seventh book in the Cal Leandros Novels—Urban Fantasy. TV has Supernatural, Urban Fantasy has me.

20. Where is the best place for readers to find out more about you? I have links to twitter and LJ there, although I now blog on my website and it’s mirrored to my LJ. And I tweet at least once a day for fear fans will think I’m dead and pound the door down trying to pry the next Cal Leandros book out of my corpse. I love my fans.

Leave a comment to win a copy of CHIMERA by Rob Thurman. The contest will be open until Monday, June 28th. The winner will be annouced in this post Monday afternoon. Good luck!

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Blogger LSUReader said...

Great interview--Thanks. Chimera sounds like such a good book.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 8:34:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Donna said...

Love these questions and Rob's answers, especially Rob being a “cheek of my ass” writer. And I love reading Lynn Viehl's blog also, she has such great insight about it seems everything.

Dean Kootnz's THE WATCHERS was one of my favorite books by him so I definitely need to get my hands on a copy of CHIMERA. Thanks for the interview!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 9:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Erika Lynn said...

“cheek of my ass” writer is my new favorite expression!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 10:19:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Martha Ramirez said...

Great, interview! i enjoyed redaing it.
Best wishes!!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 10:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Chimera sounds good. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 10:47:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sarah N Fisk said...

I love the Roller Coaster question!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:15:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Beth Cato said...

I have two of Rob Thurman's on my massive to-read-soon shelf. Great interview! Makes me want to pick up those books even sooner.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:39:00 AM EDT  
Blogger SarannaDeWylde said...

Very cool! I loved the Hannibal Lecter without the cannibalism. See, if he didn't eat them, he'd be the perfect date. He likes opera, ballet, doesn't leave the seat up and holds the door. There would never be the question of going dutch and he doesn't complain about the cost of good shoes. (He even knew her shoe size, that was romantic.)

I like the villains better myself as well. The good guys are usually too good for me, I break those kinds of guys.

Anyway, your answers were great. What a cool interview.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:41:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Mireyah Wolfe said...

I would absolutely track you down and pry the next Cal book out of your hands. Then I'd poke you with a stick. (But not in a dirty way. ...I probably shouldn't even have clarified that because it just makes it worse. I'm going to shut up now and gaze adoringly at my complete set of Cal book.)

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:58:00 AM EDT  
OpenID harlequins-tale said...

I absolutely loved that interview. It's great to see that Rob feels the same way I do about actually having a book rather than downloading a book. I always think it's so good to have a book feel it's pages, smell them as well as the fantastic cover designs.
I think that Chimera sounds amazing and it does deserve an a lot of praise for it's brilliance.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 12:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bella said...

OMG I can totally see where Cal gets his awesome snarkiness :D This is one of the funniest interviews I've read in ages, lol. I'm one of Rob Thurman's Twitter stalkers so, yes, I can vouch that at least one (and probably almost all ;) of us crazed fans WOULD get a little stressed if we didn't hear from Rob for a while :o I could say that as a Dean Koontz fan, I'd love a chance to read Chimera ... but, no, it's because I'm a Rob Thurman fan!! You're epic xx :)

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 1:10:00 PM EDT  
OpenID agilebrit said...

"Cheek of my ass writer" is my new favorite expression. And everyone needs to read "Chimera" RIGHT NOW.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 1:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jasmin Elis Morgan said...

I devoured this interview like a Boggle devours muggers, or Goodfellow devours alcohol,or Niko devours a 1000 page memoir on the obscure writings of an ancient, warrior monk. Good to know Rob writes by the seat of her pants. Us pantsters don't feel so lonely anymore.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 1:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Stephanie St.Clair said...

Thanks for a great interview. Love your books!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 2:09:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Akemi said...

I just finished reading the Carl Leandros novels up to Deathwish.

I like the Japanse manga style renditions of the characters on The books feel like they can be made into a manga or anime.

I'm interested in reading Chimera!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 2:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Linda Henderson said...

Great interview. I would love to read Chimera.

seriousreader at live dot com

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 2:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kathleen said...

An excellent and funny interview-- I am relieved to know I am not the only "cheek of my ass" writer. :D I will definitely be looking into Chimera.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 3:41:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lucienne Diver said...

CHIMERA is fabulous! So worth the read. Okay, speaking as her agent, maybe I'm biased.... Nah, it really is that good.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 3:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tina said...

ALL of Rob's books are fantastic and hard to put down.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 4:35:00 PM EDT  
Blogger dshoover said...

Great, interview! I enjoyed reading it. You have a unique and twisted view of mythology that I really enjoy.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 4:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview, I'm always looking for new authors to read!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 4:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger New Writer said...

Great writing and as usual tonnes of snark which makes you one of my favorite authors, please keeps these books coming!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 4:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger New Writer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 4:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sue (okibi_insanity) said...

I am a big fan of the Cal Leandros Series! I cant wait for more books for that series! I can wait to read Chimera! Oh I would love win Chimera!

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 6:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jacqueline C. said...

Great interview! I've heard so many great things about Rob's books and I'd love to try one.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 8:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Pamk said...

great interview. I just picked up the first one in this series. And looking forward to starting it.

Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mardel said...

I love paperbacks also - there's nothing like holding and yes, smelling a book. Especially a new book.

I also love that you're a "cheek of my ass" writer. Love that term....

Supernatural WooHoo!

Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 4:13:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Steph C said...

Great and informative interview--some great blogs and websites listed, too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 7:29:00 AM EDT  
Blogger ilona said...

What a great interview and some wonderful answers :D I agree with Rob about Lynn Viehl's blog too :D

Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 2:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Akemi said...

I went to see if I could buy the kindle editon of Chimera on amazon.

Very disappointed to learn that it wasn't available for Canadians.

Neither is Roadkill. Any thoughts on why this is?

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 1:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger mariska said...

One of my most wanted books ! count me in !

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 10:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger donnas said...

Great interview. I love the Cal series and am looking forward to reading Chimera as well.

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 11:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger CatsMeow said...

Please throw my name into the hat.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 5:09:00 AM EDT  

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