Lisa: Please join us in welcoming author Rob Rosen today, on the tour for his latest novel, Midlife Crisis.
Thanks for stopping by, Rob. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself, maybe a few things that most people don’t know about you?
Rob: I started writing 15+ years ago and haven’t stopped since. 10 novels, 5 anthologies, and more than 300 published stories later, I’m just getting going! Oh, and almost no one knows that I was a clinical pediatric biochemist for nearly 10 years. If you look at the side of your Diet Coke can or your non-fat yogurt, you’ll see in bold letters: Attention Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine. I used to do diagnostic work for, among other childhood metabolic disorders, Phenylketonuria. FYI, I like being a writer much better! There’s a lot less urine and blood when you write, after all.
Lisa: What would you say are your least and most favorite things about being an author?
Rob: I love to write, live to write. For me, it’s like breathing, and comes just as easily. I also love working with other authors. Beyond that, the marketing, dealing with the publishers, well, that part truly sucks. That part is work. No fun at all. (Except this interview. This interview is fun! Really!)
Lisa: If you were to sit down and write your autobiography today, what would the title be?
Rob: Jew Heard it Here First, Folks
Lisa: Is there one book you’ve read that when you finished it you thought, I wish I’d written that? If so, what book and why did it make such an impact on you?
Rob: Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, hands down! It’s pure, unadulterated genius. After I read that, I knew you could write outside the box, go crazy with your writing, write about themes out of the norm. I still try to write like Robbins. Maybe one day, I’ll almost get there. Fingers crossed.
Lisa: Okay, let’s shift gears a bit and chat about Midlife Crisis. What was your favorite scene to write, and what makes it a favorite?
Rob: I love all the scenes between Jack and his parents. It’s a dysfunctional family, but it works. Many of the tearier moments and also funniest in the book come from their interactions. Plus, Jack’s mom is hilarious and not the least bit typical. She’d never get Mother of the Year, but you’d want to hang with her just the same.
Lisa: If you could spend some real-life time with one of the characters in the book, who would you choose and why?
Rob: I’d hang with all of them. They all have deep character flaws, but are good people, deep down. They know their faults, but their faults are what makes them loveable, relatable. I never write about people who are either all black or white. The gray area is where the fun happens.
Lisa: If I were to sit down and interview Jack and Bing, what do you think they’d say about you?
Rob: They’d say I write from the heart, but with a detour to the dick and a bounce off the funny bone. I hope they’d thank me for breathing life into them, and that I made them well-endowed while I was at it.
Lisa: If you could be any fictional character in the history of literature, who would you like to be and why?
Rob: Harry Potter. Cool scar. Plus, he has a whole theme park named after him. I’m guessing I’d get free rides.
Lisa: If you could travel back in time, with all your years of experience and wisdom intact, what advice would you give to your teenage self?
Rob: Start writing now! I wish I could’ve written books when I was a teenager, but there were no personal computers then, and writing a book on a typewriter sounds awful. Still, there were bookstores back then, the publishing industry was viable, there was a larger audience. I would’ve loved to experience that, instead of just the tail end of it.
Lisa: You have the choice between becoming a superhero or supervillain, which would you choose and why?
Rob: Funny you should mention that. I’m writing a superhero novel right now: Fierce. It’s about a boy raised by wolves (seriously!) and who has wolf-like superheroes. Me, I’d be a superhero. They get better press!
Lisa: What would your superpower be?
Rob: I’d like fly! And why? Because I’m too lazy to walk.
Lisa: Thanks again for taking the time to chat today, Rob. Will you tell readers where we can find you on the internet?
Rob: Lisa, thank you! And I’m at www.therobrosen.com. Please stop by for a visit!
About the Book
Publisher: Fierce Publishing
Length: 182 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Mystery, Comedy, Contemporary
Release Date: August 20, 2016
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
Blurb: Jack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he is quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner, and so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t seen in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends, not to mention the family dog and his high school bully, he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger. In this hysterically funny tale, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?
“Parsnips?” Greg asked me.
I looked over at him from the living room couch as he in turn poked his head out from the kitchen. “Um, huh?” I said, wondering if this was some new pet name he’d thought of for me, as he was forever coming up with new ones. Last I checked, I was being referred to as Professor.
FYI, I teach business at a local college. My students call me Jack or Mister Nelson. Professor makes me sound a.) old and b.) like a character in a television show. Also FYI, I am neither, though if he had to come up with anything from the latter category, I was rooting for Pepper, a la Angie Dickinson in Police Woman.
“Parsnips,” he repeated, already looking peeved with me, which was, sad to say, par for the course as of late. Par, bogie and eagle, in fact. Heck, let’s just toss in the entire golfing green and call it a day.
In any case, it wasn’t a question or a comment anyone had ever thrown my way. I squinted my eyes as I pondered this. In truth, I hadn’t a clue what a parsnip even was. Had I ever eaten one before? Would I still seem professorial if I asked what the hell one was? Did I even want to ask and risk his wrath, which consisted of him ignoring me the rest of the evening? Greg, you see, hated confrontation―though he loved being a world-class bitch.
“Just to be clear,” I asked, forcing a smile so as to divert the inevitable kerfuffle, “are you asking me if I want some with dinner?”
He matched my squint with a scowl. He started to say something, realized a fight of some kind would probably ensue, took his nine-iron and golf ball, and promptly left that aforementioned course. In other words, Professor zero, kerfuffle one. And yes, we had parsnips with our entirely silent dinner. Yuck.