Interview with D. Robert Pease
Posted by audacious reader
Blog Tour Notes
Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction.
Life couldn’t be better.
But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.
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D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn’t been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer’s Sirens. It’s not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.
Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at www.drobertpease.com
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I like the glossy, eye-catching cover of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble. It is noted in the book that you designed its cover. Was it a difficult or easy process to design the cover? What was the main idea and message you want to convey through the cover design?
My day job is as a graphic designer. I’ve got a degree in graphic design and illustration. So it’s what I do, and what I’ve been doing to make a living for twenty-five years. So it isn’t something that I would say is difficult for me. I do think there are better designers out there (I work with quite a few) but it is something I enjoy.
The original cover for Noah Zarc, which you may see if you look around the Internet, showed Noah in a space suit blasting toward the moon. I actually liked it better than the current one, but felt it was harder to see what was going on when the cover was shrunk down to a tiny thumbnail. And since nearly 100% of my sales are online at stores like Amazon, I felt I needed to create a cover that had more snap at that size. I actually designed this one at the same time as the cover for the next book, Noah Zarc: Cataclysm. They both show a face shot, presumably of Noah. The focus of the first book was mostly traveling to different times on Earth and returning Earth to her former state. Thus the image of a map superimposed over Noah’s face. One of the main themes of the second book is the question of what constitutes life in a universe where technology blurs the line between machine and living organisms. I haven’t really unveiled the cover of Noah Zarc: Cataclysm, but since it came up, here it is.
I think Noah Zarc is a very creative name judging from the theme of the story. What is the purpose and meaning behind the name?
Well, there isn’t really any deep meaning behind it. It’s just a fun play on the words, Noah’s Ark. But the whole concept of the story grew out of the name Noah Zarc. It sounded science-fictiony so that is where it all began. What would a sci-fi version of the Noah story be like? I also love what Rick Riordan has done with the classic Greek myths, with his Percy Jackson series. I thought it’d be cool to do the same kind of thing with Biblical stories. I have another book series in process based on the Bible story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.
In your website, you state that you have been interested creating worlds since childhood. What is the most interesting or creative world you have ever created?
Much of my life has been filled with more of the visual creation of “worlds” than writing down stories. As a kid I spent hours and hours in the sandbox (more just a sand pile) back behind our garage. Along with my best friend, and next-door neighbor, Jeff, we could build all kinds of creations. We also constructed cool “forts” in the woods. One even had a working fireplace made out of bricks and a cinderblock chimney.
In high school I created my own language, Hoemish, and used to try to carry on conversations with my friends (only the ones geeky enough to learn it with me). I also entered a period where I started telling people “stories” about who I was. Being a pretty boring, typical WASP I felt like there was nothing of interest about me, so I made stuff up. With an awful English accent I told some people I was in line for the British throne. Or another case I convinced some folks I was twins. At some point I realized this was nothing more than lying, so I stopped. It was about this time I found writing. In books you can tell stories all you want.
Getting back to your question, probably the most creative world I’ve built is in a book called Crimson Swarm. It’s a massive, high fantasy story that was the first book I ever finished. It has multiple races, languages, ancient histories; all the stuff that high fantasy demands. I’m not sure it’ll ever see the light of day. Maybe I’ll pull it back out someday, but for now it sits in a dusty corner of my hard drive.
Can you please tell us a little-known fact about yourself?
When I was growing up, my Dad was a schoolteacher. So he had summers off. We traveled all the time, in tents at first, then graduating to trailers. By the time I finished high school I had been to every state in the US, except for Hawaii (you can’t drive there) and every province and territory of Canada (until they added Nunavut, blast those Canadians!) and Mexico. Now that I’m married and have kids of my own, we are trying the same thing. We’re up to nineteen states visited. I definitely grew to love nature in my travels. That’s one of the reasons, Noah Zarc is what it is and why nature is so important to Noah.