I’m honoured today to have Rob Tobin visiting my blog as part of his Blog Tour to promote his book God Wars: Living with Angels. It is scheduled to be released in March of this year. Without further ado, here’s Rob:
I want to thank Barb for letting me guest blog today, it’s an honor and I’ll try to live up to her high standard of writing. Let me begin by introducing myself and then getting in the obligatory plug. I’m Rob Tobin, Canadian screenwriter, novelist and non-fiction book author living and writing full-time in Huntington Beach, California, about 50 miles south of L.A. Now the plug — this guest blog is part of a blog tour I’m doing to promote my latest book, an urban fantasy e-novel called God Wars: Living with Angelsst on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Omnilit.com. It’s about a young witch using her powers to battle evil but in the process accidentally opening the gates of Hell and then having to battle a demon she can’t defeat, an angel she can’t trust and three-foot tall aliens with really bad attitudes to save the world and her own soul. It’s a rollicking, action-packed, sexy, funny look at good and evil and the dangers of vengeance, and I hope that when you download the book on March 1st you’ll enjoy the read from Echelon Press, available March 1
There. Guest blogging is a little like an actor appearing on a late night talk show to promote his or her latest movie — you want to be interesting and flexible and not too much like just another shill, but you do have to get that plug in as well, lol.
God Wars: Living with Angels is an urban fantasy, which means it’s a fantasy with magical or supernatural elements set in current time and place — our world, our time. It does not, by the way, mean what “urban” has come to mean in other contexts, which is inner city, Hispanic or African American. There are unique challenges and opportunities in this specific sub-genre, but the one opportunity I was keenly aware of with this book was the chance to say something important while not forgetting a writer’s “prime directive” (a tip of the hat to Gene Roddenberry on that) which is to entertain. Above all, entertain, but in the process of entertaining, why not say something worthwhile if you can – in other words, imbue your story with a worthwhile message? In fact, for you young people out there, writers have spent thousands of years attempting to do what you do every day — text messaging (pun intended).
I know that not every author or book accomplishes either purpose — entertaining or “text messaging,” but when a book is able to accomplish both those missions, it becomes great. On the 50th anniversary of its publication (and of my own writing career, I began writing when I was three years old), Stranger in a Strange Land comes to mind, although it is not an urban fantasy, being set in a future time, and the magic is a little less mystical than in most fantasies, but it is the bar that Robert Heinlein set for all science fiction/fantasy writers so many decades ago and I’d like to use this blog to acknowledge the greatness of Mr. Heinlein’s masterpiece that easily transcends the limitations of genre to become a great book regardless of genre.
For those of you not familiar with Heinlein’s magnum opus, go out and buy it now! Seriously, it is one of those works that every sf/f fan should not only read but own and display in their bookcase. It was at one time voted the greatest science fiction novel of the century (last century, not this one, lol) and deservedly so. Some people even attribute the 60s hippy/love generation to Stranger in a Strange Land and even today you’ll hear references like “do you grok me” from sf/f fans who realize the monumental importance of that work.
What made Heinlein’s master work so powerful and influential is that he tackled just about every social, political, economic, and religious issue of his time in one single book, tearing entire institutions to shreds, exposing myths and generally accepted stupidities in an entertaining, fast-paced, action-packed, brilliant and funny way. He examined sexuality in a way no-one had done before and few have done since. He proposed an entire new religious model and perspective. He exposed the foolishness of so many of our accepted traditions and habits. And through it all, he entertained.
So hats off to a true master of the genre and a great novelist who transcended that genre, Robert Heinlein, and happy birthday to his greatest work, Stranger in a Strange Land. May you read it, grok it and, most of all, be entertained by it.
I’d like to thank Rob for taking the time to tell us about his book!
Upon reading Rob’s biography, I was struck by several things – the first is that we were born in the same country, but when he got the heck out of dodge, he went south and west, whereas I just went west. Secondly, he went to school in both Canada and the United States. Have a read below and learn more about the man that wrote this book! Don’t hesitate to visit his websites, follow him on twitter or “friend” him on facebook…..oh yes, and buy his book!!
Rob is a husband, father, screenwriter, novelist, non-fiction book author, frequent guest speaker at film festivals and writing conferences, and a graduate of USC’s Master of Professional Writing program and of the University of Victoria’s Creative Writing program. He has a $15 million feature film (“Dam 999”) in post production, a $40 million feature (“Camel Wars”) in development with legendary filmmaker John McTiernan (“Die Hard,” “Predator,” “Hunt for Red October”) attached to direct, a novel (“God Wars”) scheduled to be published in early 2011, and two published non-fiction books. Creative Screenwriting Magazine recently produced two of Rob’s instructional screenwriting DVDs.
Rob is a former VP of Writers Boot Camp, the country’s largest private screenwriting school. As a story analyst, he read 5,000+ screenplays for Goldwyn, Spelling, Interscope, TriStar, TriMark, HBO, et al. He also helped establish a feature film department for Stephen J. Cannell (“The A-Team,” “Hunter,” “The Commish”).
Rob’s book website: Robtobinwriting
Rob’s screenwriting website: Robtobinscreenwriting
Rob on TWITTER
Rob on FACEBOOK