Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Noah Zarc Blog Tour! An interview with author D.Robert Pease

The Book Nerds are lucky enough to host the last stop on the Noah Zarc Blog Tour! And -- even better -- the author of Noah Zarc, D. Robert Pease -- was gracious enough to grant us an interview! Many thanks go out to him for answering our montage of random questions...

1. Having a protagonist who does not have use of his legs in a story where there is a lot of physical action was an interesting choice. Can you talk a little bit about how you came up with the character of Noah Zarc?

Noah is a combination of many different people in my life. And a small picture of maybe who I wish I was as a kid. When I wrote the first draft of the book, my son was the same age as Noah. Much of what I wrote was modeled after him--although my son might lean a bit more toward Hamilton, personality-wise, than Noah. But in actuality a great deal of Noah is just what I imagined a cool, confident kid would be like. I was neither of those things as a kid. I was shy, picked on, and not at all sure of myself. Of course as a parent, I'm pretty happy my kids aren't defying me at every turn and taking off on adventures without my okay.

As to the question of why is Noah a paraplegic? That's a bit less grounded in anything from my life. I had one of those strange moments when my character spoke to me. In the first draft of Noah Zarc, he wasn't disabled at all. But I kept feeling like he was supposed to be. I fought it because I didn't want people to think I put him in a "wheelchair" because I was trying to be politically correct. So I really didn't want to do it. But as I revised, and as he kept telling me he wasn't supposed to be able to walk, I finally gave in. I hope it feels genuine, and not just a gimmick. I certainly did not intend it to be.

2. Let's put Noah in a couple of scenarios and talk about how he would fare.

a. Noah Zarc in The Hunger Games?

This gives me the willies just thinking about it. But I've got to think of Noah being a bit older than he is in the first book. Noah Zarc is meant to be a series of three books and in each one he is about a year older. As he grows he really begins to have a burden for those who are taken advantage of. Younger Noah, who couldn't hurt a flea, probably wouldn't fare very well in the Hunger Games. But the Noah, of book three might stand a chance, as long as he didn't have to go up against Kat.

b. Noah Zarc at the Battle of Hogwarts?

Well, as far as I know, Noah is a muggle, so I'm not sure he'd even be there. But if he were, I think he'd be someone more like Dobby or Fred, sacrificing himself for the greater good.

3. I have confessed before that I've been interested in the concept and complications involved in time travel since watching the Back to the Future trilogy in the '90s. What led to your interest in time travel?

Well, like you, I think I can trace my love of time-travel stories to Back to the Future, at least in part. Except I date myself by saying it was when I saw it in theaters in the '80s. I am a science nerd at heart, and love anything to do with astronomy and time travel, and have read quite a few non-fiction books on the subject. Einstein by Walter Isaacson, while not strictly focused on the theory of time-travel, was a phenomenal read. I sometimes wish I had gone into theoretical physics... then I remember the fact that I'm just not that bright.

4. In what ways are you like the following characters: a) Sam b) Hamilton c) Haon d) Noah

There, of course, is a little piece of me in each character I write. Sam, the mechanical wiz, can fix anything. And although I don't do a whole lot of tinkering around with engines and the like, if I put my mind to it, I can fix just about anything too.

Hamilton is probably closest to my personality of the three kids. I'm a web developer and dabble in programming from time to time. He's far beyond my abilities though.

As I said previously, Noah is more who I wanted to be as a kid.

The one person you didn't ask about, who I probably am most like, is Noah Zarc, Sr. As a dad, I really wanted to show my kids just how much I loved them. And the lengths I would go to protect them. So even though the book is primarily about Noah Zarc, Jr. I wanted to give kids at least a little glimpse into the sacrifices their parents make, to assure their safety. No matter what the cost.

5. What is your favorite technological gadget on the ARC?

 Hands down it'd have to be the thermsuit. I definitely subscribe to the "Where's my jetpack?" philosophy. I mean come on, it's 2012. Coming from the standpoint of a kid born in the '60s we are definitely supposed to all be flying around with rockets strapped to our backs by now. Given the added ability to blast into space in the thermsuit, I think I could die a happy man if I had the chance to climb inside one.

Thank you again to D. Robert Pease for taking the time to answer our questions. 

Hey, wanna win a $50 Amazon gift card? The author is giving one away to one random commentor on the Tour. So let us know in the comments if you want to read Noah Zarc and/or what you thought of this interview for your chance to win. Also, he's giving away one for the most creative blog post and I just want to put in my two cents for us! These were some deeeep questions, right?! 

About the Book

Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth. Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had

1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for this interview. It was a lot of fun, and yes, those were some deeeep questions!