It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Rob Samborn, author of The Prisoner of Paradise.
About Rob Samborn:
In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them and studied nine languages. As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog. For more information visit www.robsamborn.com.
AMERICAN WRITING AWARDS FINALIST (THRILLERS/ADVENTURES)
Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting.
Though Julia worries her husband suffers from a delusion, Nick is adamant the voice belongs to a woman from the 16th century—his soul mate from a previous life. He discovers an ancient order that has developed a method of extracting people’s souls, which they imprison in Paradise. Over the centuries, they’ve judged thousands of souls and sentenced them to eternal purgatory.
As infatuation with the past clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick must right an age-old wrong—destroy the painting and liberate his soul mate. But freeing her would allow all the souls to be reborn.
The order will never let that happen.
Author Interview with Rob Samborn:
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- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It absolutely energizes me. I’ll admit that sometimes thinking about it (particularly the mammoth amount of marketing that goes with it) can be exhausting, but once I put music on and start writing, I get in the zone and can stay there for hours. It can be a transcendent experience for me. Sometimes I don’t recall writing things, but I always feel energized by it and even more so when I read what I wrote.
- What are common traps for aspiring writers?
There are a number of them which I learned from experience and I think almost everyone goes through. The biggest one is thinking it’s easier than it is or that just because you have a good story idea or you’ve taken some classes doesn’t mean you can write at a professional level. It takes a massive amount of hard work and years of honing your craft. And while writing may seem like the world’s most solitary profession, it’s very much a collaborative effort. You need editors, beta readers and more to get it right. Two other common traps are expectations of time and sales. The publishing process can be glacially slow. People need to expect that. And a published book doesn’t automatically mean sales. You’re competing with millions of other titles plus all other forms of entertainment. Most aspiring writers aren’t aware of this, but a huge part of the job is sales and marketing (even if your book is traditionally published).
- Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
This is an interesting question. I’m going to say that it will almost always help writers, even if the quality of work doesn’t match the ego. It’s the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” philosophy. I’m not sure who originally said it, but the expression is often attributed to P.T. Barnum in the mid-19th century. It was true then and far truer now. In the age of social media, you MUST be your own biggest cheerleader. Humility is nice but it won’t lead to sales. And on that note, I’ll admit The Prisoner of Paradise isn’t the greatest book ever written, but it’s damn close. Will you, the reader, agree with me? There’s only one way to find out.
- Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be original and deliver what I would want to read. I write what I like, which is why my books are multi-genre. I strive to manage expectations within those genres, but I strive even more for originality. Nobody likes reading something they’ve already read.
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Master your craft. Revise, revise, revise. Don’t submit until the work is absolutely incredible.
- What does literary success look like to you?
A TV show based on my book series.
- What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
- What comes first, the plot or characters?
For me, usually it’s plot. I often think of plots and then figure out the best people to tell those stories. However, there are times when I think of interesting characters and then I’ll save those people for the right stories.
- What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?
My favorite part was working with amazingly supportive people and then seeing my book launch. It’s a truly incredible experience. My least favorite part is the amount of time it took to get there!
- Where can readers purchase your books?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, select indie bookstores and elsewhere. A complete list is on www.robsamborn.com.
- Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
- Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audiobook?
The audiobook for The Prisoner of Paradise will be available in Q1 2022.
- How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
The Prisoner of Paradise is the first of a three-book series. Book 2 (The Painter of Paradise) picks up immediately after book 1 is finished and we follow the continuing adventures of the main characters. It takes a fairly dramatic turn. I’m also hopeful that I’ll continue the series beyond three books and potentially write spinoff books. The series takes place in the present-day and past so there are a number of story ideas I have for things that happen at various times in the past, which would be the spinoffs. I’ve already started one, in which we follow what happens to the main character from the 1589 story.
To learn more about Rob Samborn, here’s where you can find him: