Friday, September 02, 2005

Ask an Author Friday: Q&A with Robin T. Popp

I am thrilled to present debut vampire author Robin T. Popp in today's Author Q&A. Her first vampire book, Out of the Night, comes out this month from Warner Forever, and from her blurb below, it sounds awesome!!

Please note that next week we have a special bonus! In addition to the weekly Q&A with agent Michelle Grajkowksi and SSE Rita winning author Wendy Warren, we will have a bonus Q&A with Silhouette editor Susan Litman!

1. Can you give us a blurb about your current book?

OUT OF THE NIGHT is a vampire story with a twist. It’s about librarian-by-day, firefighter/EMT-by-night Lanie Weber who’s just learned that her scientist father, who has been working for the past six months in the Amazon jungle at a secret government research facility, has been killed in a wild animal attack. Unable to have the body flown back to the states – and needing closure - Lanie resolves to fly to the research facility. She does this with the help of Mac Knight, a former Navy SEAL who now flies private charters. He’s not just flying her there for the money, however. He’s going to make sure that the other man killed in the attack, former SEAL team mate Lance Burton, is really dead and not trying to escape the formal inquiry that is about to start regarding his actions a year earlier that resulted in the death of several men on their SEAL team. When they first meet, Lanie and Mac don’t quite hit it off. He thinks she’s a mousy bookworm and she thinks he’s an arrogant SOB. When they finally arrive at the research facility, they are met with a disaster that forces them to work together. Everyone in the research facility is dead and the bodies of Lanie’s father and Lance Burton are missing. As they search the premises for whatever killed the researchers, Lanie and Mac come across the statue of a gargoyle. As the sun goes down, the statue …well, you’ll just have to read the book to see what happens.

2. The path to publication and writing success can be so long and so frustrating. What was your lowest point in your writing career, and how did you find the energy to keep going?

My lowest point came shortly after my first contest final with TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN. Of the three finalists in my category, the editor judge placed me third. That didn’t bother me so much, but I received the editor’s score sheet and the score I received was so low that had it been a test in school, I would have failed. And I’m afraid, that’s how I viewed it. In addition, I found her comments and feedback frustrating – like my futuristic had too many futuristic type things in it. I was devastated and it’s the only time that I can remember seriously wondering if I should give up writing. Fortunately, my personality is such that being told “you can’t do it” is a direct challenge to prove that I can. So - I filed away that editor’s feedback and kept working on making my writing skills and story telling better. It must have worked because a year later, I had finaled in twelve contests, taken first in six of them and sold my book. Shortly after my book came out, I was going through old files and found that editor’s feedback. I couldn’t resist reading it again and you know what? A lot of what she’d said about the story and my writing had been correct, though I couldn’t see it at the time.

3. Because there are so many authors trying to write vampires these days, it’s a tough market to break into unless you can come up with a “different” approach. What is your unique take on vampires that made Warner snatch you up?

In addition to having traditional vampires, I also have El Chupacabra. It’s a legendary creature that comes out at night and feeds off the blood of livestock – typically goats. The existence of El Chupacabra has never been proven, but there have been “sightings” in Puerto Rico and various places in South America, as well as several unexplained incidents of livestock being found dead with the blood drained from their bodies through two small holes in their neck.

4. What’s the toughest thing about being an author?

Writing the first draft. J I hate writing the first draft; it’s painful. Fortunately, I love revising.

5. Tell us about the first time you saw your book on a shelf in a store. Was it the best moment ever?

It was a pretty great experience, but probably comes fourth in line for great “book” experiences. The first was getting The Call – which actually came in while I was taking my son to an eye appointment. My husband and daughter got home before me and heard the message on the answering machine first. I spoke to my husband on the way back home, but he didn’t tell me about it, fearing I might crash or drive off the road. He’s probably right. Hearing that message was a great moment. The second best moment, for me, was seeing my book on – it was also the first time I’d seen the cover art, which is always a cool experience. And the third greatest moment was hearing my college age sister-in-law tell me about how she walked into class one morning and saw another student (a stranger) reading my book. THAT was a great feeling –knowing that someone unknown and unrelated to me was actually reading my book.

6. How about a sneak peek at your next book?

My next book is the second in my NIGHT SLAYER series. It’s titled SEDUCED BY THE NIGHT and comes out in June 2006. It’s about Dirk Adams, who we meet in the first book. He’s recently resigned from the Navy SEALs and joined Mac, Lanie and Admiral Winslow in their Security (aka vampire hunting/slaying) business. When Dirk and the others are called in to consult following a break-in at a biochemical research company, it soon becomes apparent to them that vampires are after Bethany Stavinoski, the head researcher. Why they want her, no one knows, but the vampires are willing to kill anyone who stands in their way. Despite the fact that she’s engaged to someone else, Dirk is inexplicably drawn to her and knows that he’s the only one who can keep her safe. Unfortunately, there’s more to Dirk than meets the eye and if Bethany ever discovers the truth about him, he may never see her again.

Thanks, Robin! For more info on Robin, visit her website at, or go buy her book, which should be hitting the stores at any moment!

Don't forget to submit questions the three Q&A's next week!


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