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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Vik Rubenfeld, author of Conquest

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Vik Rubenfeld.

About Vik:

Author Vik Rubenfeld created the beloved TV series EARLY EDITION, starring Kyle Chandler as a man who receives tomorrow's newspaper today. He is married and lives in Los Angeles.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Vik! Please tell us a little about yourself.

When I was in high school I loved magic tricks. I performed at a high school talent show for 2000 people. For years people recognized me from that show. I can still do excellent card tricks.

Do you have a specific writing style? Do you write an outline, or do you write more “by-the-seat-of-your-pants”?

I had a rough outline of the major story points. I knew it would have a tragic, heartbreaking ending, that would still have a triumphant, uplifting element. I knew the broad points of the band's journey. I knew there would be groupies and that my main character's love for his girlfriend, Kristy, would find a way to overcome the onslaught of women on the road.

Do you discipline yourself to write a certain number of words daily? Or do you ever have dry periods where you do not write?

I did not require myself to write a specific number of words per day. There were long stretches - weeks or months - of doing research. I read many autobiographies of bands. I talked to people who were in the music business. I reached out to people who had actually experienced rock 'n roll fame to ask about it. Most of the events in the book are inspired by actual events that happened to one famous band or another.

What is your ideal writing environment? Do you prefer music or solitude? Is there a time of day (or night) that you prefer?

I need quiet. It can be any time, day or night. I can't have music playing, but I often hear famous rock songs in my head and feel inspired by them.

Are there any authors that influence your writing?

Even though it is about an exciting subject, CONQUEST at its heart is literary fiction. The narrator, Reid Taylor, the band's bass player, communicates his own very personal feelings, so that the reader can experience them for himself or herself. I am inspired by all the great literary fiction authors: Herman Melville, James Joyce, Jane Austin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Trollope, Henry Fielding, George Elliot, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Charlotte Bronte, Louisa May Alcott, Mary Webb, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and all the giants.

What inspired you to write Conquest?

I wanted to write an inspiring novel about the struggle to achieve the things you care about in life, and about the sense of triumph you can feel in accomplishing them. The story of a rock band fits. The experience of being on stage in a hit band, is a great example of an achievement of this kind. I've been onstage, and although it was only in small way, the feeling of it helped to inspire this book.

I see from your bio that you created the prime time drama, EARLY EDITION, which ran on CBS for four years. How was writing a book different from writing for television?

Writing for TV or for film is drama, and drama is very different. It's about conflict between people. Literary fiction is much more internal. Like a drama, a novel can have a good guy and a bad guy, (and I do have a bad guy in CONQUEST). But at the same time, CONQUEST communicates internal, very meaningful emotions.

At the same time, my TV experience was helpful to me for the purposes of writing novels. I learned how to build a plot and how to maintain suspense. I couldn't have written CONQUEST without it.

Can you tell us about your current or upcoming writing projects?

I've got a story that's been in my head for many years. It first occurred to me as a TV series, but it really is more suitable to be a novel. I'm considering it and thinking about whether that may be the next story for me to tell.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I try to see every good film that comes out. I have seen almost every good movie ever made. When I was in high school I used to go to double features of classic films every week. I got caught up on all the classics. Sometimes I will even go see a movie that bombed just to find out what went wrong. :) My wife and I recently saw a foreign comedy that we thought was hilarious - "Rien a Declarer."

I'm usually reading a novel or a play. I find the Barnes & Noble versions of Shakespeare are fantastic. They have facing-page notes that make it easy to understand the words that have more obscure meanings. Anyone interested in Shakespeare should check them out.

What book(s) are you reading now?

"Death Comes for the Archbishop," by Willa Cather. Not long ago I read Cather's "My Antonia" and loved it.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?

I'd love to hear your thoughts about CONQUEST! Please send me a note by email or Twitter.

*Fun Facts*

Favourite music? Uplifting music that makes you want to dance. Here are the first six songs on my personal party mixtape (which I'm always updating):

She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa) (STING)
Blame It (feat. T-Pain) (Jamie Foxx)
Kokomo (The Beach Boys)
American Idol - THEME Song (Artist)
Give It 2 Me (Madonna)
Get This Party Started (Live) Pink

Dog-lover or cat-lover? We have both, and we've trained them to get along! I like cats because they're so easy to take care of, but my wife loves dogs.

Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Chocolate moose tracks, definitely. It's chocolate ice cream with bites of chocolate and peanut butter swirled through it. Half the fun is digging through trying to find the pieces of chocolate and peanut butter. :)

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why? Shakespeare. Although I'm not sure I would understand what he was saying.

I can’t live without my... Internet. I'm surfing throughout the day, all day long.

If I could take an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, I would go to... a safari in Africa.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Vik!

Three lucky winners will a copy of Conquest: One paperback copy (Canada/US only) and 2 digital copies (International).

This is a novel about rock and roll, groupies, true love, and death on the road. Reid Taylor, bass player for the world-famous rock band Conquest, tells about  the thrill of starting out with a little-known Seattle band, and growing to global fame and fortune.  He recounts how the band first came together, the excitement of playing small halls and then enormous arenas, and the women the band met and loved. He talks about finding the love of his life, Kristy, and how he ultimately put all the groupies that the band met up with on the road, behind him for her sake. And most of all, he reveals how he saw warnings of what would bring about the band's tragic end - everything he did to try to help - and the one person whose life he was able to save.

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open until 12:01 AM EST on May 5, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great interview! Sometimes we really don't know who authors are, and this shared so much. Plus, now I have Kokomo stuck in my head.

    I agree about cats and dogs too. I have two gigantic labs and a sweet clawing cat we got six months from the pound. They do just fine as long as food isn't involved.:)


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