Friday, February 02, 2007

Serials and Scenarios - Robert Liparulo Under the Microscope

Ha - get it. He wrote Germ....Under the Microscope. Sorry, I just cracked myself up.

Hmmm. Updated where is the color option? Usually I get colorful. Today we'll just have to be boring black and white. I've bolded Bob's answers to my questions.

A man and woman sit at a table in an upscale restaurant. They each have a cell phone to their ear. What are you overhearing? Tell me about this couple…..

She: I hope we’re not late. I love the first act.
He: We have plenty of time. Don’t worry. Have you decided what you want, yet?
She: You order for me. No, wait... the Veal Oscar sounds good.
He: Are they still listening?
She: Yeah, the guy’s even leaning closer. Say something provocative.
He: I told you not to call me here!
She: Now they’re totally confused. Let’s call the waiter...
This is a fun-loving couple who call each other and chat when other people are eavesdropping, simply to freak them out.

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

It’s from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, the movie (but lifted in spirit from the book). Gandaldf to Bilbo in Moria: “We cannot choose the time we live in. We can only choose what we do with the time we are given.” So often, it’s easy to complain about the situation we’re in, but the important thing is how we handle ourselves, despite the situation.

A close second: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” From Jaws.

What would you write if there were no rules or barriers? (epic novels about characters in the Bible, poetry, greeting cards, plays, movies, instruction manuals, etc.)

Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall (the manuscript I’m just finishing), and whatever comes next. I always write as though there were no barriers or rules. I write what I want to read. I write what tickles my curiosity. I’ve been blessed to have had short stories, articles, and novels published, and to have sold screenplays. I’ve been able to make a living writing what I want to write. Most writers are rebels to some extent. Otherwise, we’d all have corporate jobs. And if you’re going to rebel, why pander to rules?

What makes you feel alive?

Many things, but primarily, being with my family. Huddled on a bed, watching a movie, playing a board game, hiking in the woods, building sand castles on the beach—no matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re all together, I feel the most alive. If I have to narrow it further, I’d pick that last scenario: building sand castles on the beach with my family... on Maui... on Big Beach.

How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor, other?

The “worm” thing isn’t a nice image, but I getcha. What gets me the most is unfulfilled expectations of happiness: The failed marriage, the promise of a great day that doesn’t happen. I was in the ER the other day because of a cut on my arm. Parametics wheeled in a boy of about eight on a gurney. He was moaning over and over and calling for his mom. She was behind the gurney and the parametrics, reassuring him. “I’m here, sweetie.” He went past me and he looked miserable. Blood and bruises on his face. His pain made me sad, but what anguished me was his pain in the context of what he expected the day to bring when he woke up that morning: certainly not that. That dichotomy between what-could-have-been and what-is gets me every time.

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

Well, the compliment that gave me the biggest thrill wasn’t a review. I was in the lobby of a New York City hotel, where the first meeting of the International Thriller Writers organization was taking place. The lobby was filled with authors whom I had admired for years: David Morrell, Lee Child, John Lescroart, Tess Gerritsen. In walked the brilliant writer David Dun. David had given Comes a Horseman a glowing endorsement, and I approached him to thank him in person. In a really loud voice, he said, “I hate you! You’re a better writer than I am!” Of course he was joking, but I looked around and all these great writers were staring at us. I just beamed.

What criticism has cut the deepest and why?

I don’t mind criticism... too much. I know what I write isn’t for everyone. But I don’t like it when people pass judgment without getting the facts. A friend of mine won’t read my books, because he’s afraid they’re too violent or too scary. I understand not liking certain genres, not liking to be scared, but I wish he’d give me the benefit of the doubt and at least start one of them. He’s an important part of my life. It’s disappointing that he can’t share in something else that’s important to me.

What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

Spend it with my family. I’d want to have fun with them, but I’d also want to make sure they realized where I was heading and that everything would be all right. My number one task in life is to tell my children about Christ, to get them thinking heavenward. Three of them have accepted Christ and are showing the fruit of that. But I’d want to assure them that my passing shouldn’t shake their faith. (My youngest is only fourteen months.) They I’d go about making as many memories as we could squeeze into a week.

Pick one of the following recipes and give me a paragraph or two.......
Unidentifiable antique, the scent of pipe tobacco and the drizzle of rain – make a scene.

Curtains blew in from the open window. Raindrops, flashing silver as they caught the moonlight, rode the wind to land on the leather chair, the side table, a pipe in its stand. Recently extinguished, the meerschaum exuded a fragrance like walnut and cherries. The beads of water pattered onto the ancient and worn item resting on the table, beside the pipe. Grey threads of steam hissed up from a dozen spots. Then it moved, rotating like a head on a neck. Thin rods, spindly as spider legs, piston out and down, clicking against the wood. The body of the contraption rose, now resting on the rods... the legs. A noise outside the study made the thing jerk around. It crouched low, seeming to wait for whoever was coming.

If you missed the links to Germ -

or Bob's website -

Have a great weekend. And keep warm. Unless you are in a balmy location then "pfffttt" enjoy your weather.