Featured Author: Robert Duperre December 7, 2010Posted by Jaidis in Featured Authors.
Today’s Featured Author spotlight is on the prowl again, ready to shine brightly on a new Featured Author for a week. I’m happy to welcome Robert Duperre as one of my Featured Authors this week! So, lets jump into his interview to learn more about this author and the first book in The Rift Series, The Fall!
Without giving too much away, can you tell us what this book is about?
The Fall is the story of the end of the world as we know it. A plague of violence erupts from deep in the Yucatan Peninsula and envelops the globe. People begin to warp – both in body in mind – and the recently departed rise and walk. It is a tale of survival and redemption where each character is flawed and real. It is also the first book in a four-part series titled The Rift.
How long did it take you to write The Fall?
I wrote the first draft of all four books at once over a five-year period (2002-2007). Then I set it aside for a couple years (after unsuccessfully pitching it to agents) and started to work on other projects. However, in the summer of ’09, I felt the series calling out to me once more. I took a look at it and decided it needed a complete rewrite. Out of the blue, my artist friend Jesse Young contacted me, saying he wanted to work on something together in order to further our careers. Hence, this project was born. We self-published the first book in April of this year, complete with 20 illustrations and a fantastic cover. The second is due out this December.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
If you like your horror written with heart, infused with dark fantasy, and possessing of an epic feel, The Fall is the book for you.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It all started as a child. I was in trouble a lot, and had the opportunity to spend countless hours alone in my room. During these times, my creativity blossomed. I would write and draw comics during all hours of the day. It was a release, it helped calm me down, and more than anything, it gave me such joy to show my creations to my friends and family and see how much enjoyment or shock I could elicit from them.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hm. Probably the fact that I have a hard time sitting still at my desk for more than fifteen minutes at a time. I’ll pound out a few hundred words, get up, pace for a bit, then sit back down and write some more. This process is repeated numerous times. In fact, it’s a bit of a workout, so double bonus!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read. A lot. I enjoy diving into a book, getting lost in it, and try to find hidden meanings that even the author might not know are present.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’re proud of me, but also a bit baffled. They wonder how someone with normally such a cheery disposition can write such dark material. My answer is, there’s darkness everywhere, and my work is about escaping that darkness, to find a better place beyond it.
How many books have you written so far?
Complete? Two – The Fall and Dead of Winter, the second book in the series. Other than that I have the first draft of the last two manuscripts ready to rewrite and another novel sitting in my dungeon that’s in a holding pattern at ninety thousand words. Also, I recently released my first short story compilation, The Gate: 13 Odd and Dark Tales, exclusively as an ebook (for now), which includes nine of my own stories and contributions by four other fabulous authors – Mercedes Yardley, David Dalglish, David McAfee, and Daniel Pyle.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I pretty much sat back and said, “Okay, now where’s the next one.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?
It’s simple, really. Write a good book. Then set it aside, look at it again after a while, and edit it to death. A first draft is a first draft, and it will read as such. This is a problem I think a lot of new writers, especially with the ease of self-publishing, run into. There is such excitement with completing a project that we just want to get it out there. Avoid this at all cost. Make sure what you’ve written is concise. Otherwise, you risk alienating your readers, which in this business is obviously the worst thing you can do.
Do you hear from your readers much?
Honestly, no. Other than reviews, I’ve heard not a peep.
What do you think makes a good story?
This is going to sound simple, but it is simple. Characters and plot. The characters have to be intriguing and well fleshed-out, and the plot has to make sense. They must serve each other. If you have one but not the other, what you get as a result is something that’s incomplete and unsatisfying.
What genre do you find the most difficult to write in and why?
Mystery. Without a doubt. I have a hard time with police procedure – more in the fact I find it uninteresting. I’m not saying I don’t like to read a good mystery – I do – but the research that goes into writing one is not for me. Give me a library and books on ancient myth any day of the week.
Outlines? Are they needed or just a waste of time?
Needed, to a point. I keep my outlines simple, if I write them at all. I find that when I try to over-plot a manuscript, I end up trying to cram in bits that don’t fit just to follow my plan to the letter. The entire first draft of The Rift was done without one. Granted, I do have notebooks filled with character information and plot points I needed to change that I compiled on the fly, but that’s what works for me.
Is there anything that you find challenging in your writing?
Definitely the fact I constantly have the urge to jump ahead. My head runs much faster than my hands, and it can cause me a great amount of angst when my ideas for what comes next overwhelms what I’m doing at any particular moment.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how to you overcome it?
No, but I think that’s because I’m so restless. When I reach a part I’m confused about, all it takes is a good walk to suss it all out in my own head.
What is the last book you read?
The Butcher Bride by Vince Churchill. It’s a fantastic little haunted house story that reads like a slasher flick with a conscience. Really, really good book.
If you could take any book and rewrite it, putting your own twist on it, which book would it be and why?
The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz. I was into the book so much, and then it just…ended. It could’ve been so much better.
Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie music, silence, chocolate)
Silence. Definitely silence. Oh, and a beer. But only one. More than that, and my writing gets sloppy.
Night owl or Early bird?
Both. On days I work, I’m up at the crack of dawn and in bed early. On days I don’t, I can stay up until four in the morning without missing a beat.
If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I know it might be more intellectual of me to say Ghandi or Jesus, but mine would have to be Joss Whedon. I love everything the guy’s done. It would be fantastic to pick his brain for a few hours.
If you could travel into the past or future, where would you go and why?
The past. I don’t want to know what lays ahead. But I’d love to see the Mets win the ’69 World Series.
What does the word success mean to you?
Making a decent living doing what I love to do, and taking joy from the experience.
If you had to compare yourself to an animal, which one would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. Never really thought about it. But my wife says it would be a penguin, taking into consideration how much daddy penguins go through to protect their young.
If you were written about on the front page of the newspaper, what would the headline be?
FRESH NEW CT AUTHOR AND ARTIST TEAM MAKING WAVES
If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?
Probably “Yes, Have Some”, because that’s the universal answer to everything. Try it sometime. You’ll see.
I’d like to Thank Robert Duperre for stopping by and being one of my Featured Authors!!
Be sure to stop by The Rift Online to learn more about this series!