Mystery novelist Robert B. Lowe is here today. We’re just one stop along his virtual book tour for Project Moses – A Mystery Thriller. There’s a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commentor at the end of the tour. Details are after the interview.
Lowe is a Pulitzer-prize winning author whose fiction is
based in San Francisco, his adopted home.
experiences – a 12-year career in investigative journalism and a Harvard Law
School degree – enable him to write gripping mystery thrillers in both the
legal and journalistic fields. Lowe draws his inspiration from John
Grisham, Dick Francis and Lee Child and adds his own San Francisco
twist. Readers will enjoy his references to the city’s landmarks such as
Chinatown, North Beach, and Pacific Heights and the Bay area’s
isn’t writing he enjoys a day at the golf course and spending time with his
wife and daughters.
tell us about your current release.
thriller in the Grisham mode that has been well received by Kirkus Reviews and
readers at Good Reads, B&N, and Kindle (4.7 stars based on 23 reviews as of May
Kirkus Reviews called Project Moses: “A
thriller with an ideal fusion of wile and wit.”
forsaken investigative reporting on the East Coast to churn out feature fluff
in San Francisco. He likes his North Beach apartment, steps away from his
Chinatown roots. Running, tai chi, great food, women who are attracted to his
exotic looks. Life is good.
Then, Lee is ordered to cover the unexplained
deaths of a local judge and prosecutor. Intrigued by the connection, and the
judge’s attractive niece, Sarah Armstrong, Lee begins to uncover a bioterrorism
scandal whose perpetrators – including government officials and Silicon Valley
titans – will kill to conceal.
When Lee and Sarah become targets, the
question becomes whether the pair can evade their hunters and piece together
the story before their time runs out. Project Moses is set in San Francisco,
New York and Silicon Valley.
inspired you to write this book?
was an investigative reporter for 12 years and a lifelong fan of mysteries and
thrillers. Having written
journalistically for a living and loving the genre, I always wanted to try my
own hand at it myself and finally had a chance.
main conspiracy centers on a bioterrorism theme. I’ve long been interested in issues related to
genetics and genetic engineering and those interests led to the conspiracy in
exciting story are you working on next?
working on a second mystery involving many of the same characters and set in
San Francisco. The themes are ones that
are natural for San Francisco and the novel will mix suspense, humor and
romance like the Project Moses does.
did you first consider yourself a writer?
of college, my first jobs were writing for newspapers. Certainly, a big part of what you do in that
role is to sit down every day and pound the keys producing words to appear in a
newspaper or on a website. On some days,
the job might be pure writing. On
others, pure research. But, I clearly
considered myself a writer at that stage.
is a lot different to write a book and to devote 4-6 hours daily for 3 months
or longer to produce it. The challenges
are greater from a pure writing standpoint. And, when you’re creating characters, the challenge of making them believable
and thinking through human motivation and ways of talking are daunting. Doing that and developing a story that is
compelling and tight is what moves you into the “novelist” category, I think.
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
do have the luxury at present of writing full time. My basic mode is to be at the keyboard in an
environment free from distractions at 9 am and work until lunch time. Most days, I keep working after lunch for at
least a couple of hours. For me, a
reasonable goal is 1,000 words a day. Sometimes I’m struggling and don’t make that. On other days, I know where everything is
going and can do much more. I’m also
revising and editing constantly so that pace keeps me moving forward.
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
finding that what often works when I begin a chapter or section is to write an
opening and then take the second or third paragraph and make that the
first. It’s just a different, less
linear way in and can be a nice twist.
It also speeds things up a bit and in the mystery-thriller genre, I
think you need to keep a fast pace.
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
recall wanting to be a baseball player and, at some point, sincerely believing
that I would be President. My goals
became more modest after that.
additional you want to share with the readers?
I wrote Project Moses, I had in mind more of a fast-paced thriller with a
global-sized plot. But, many of my
readers have really enjoyed the characters and I have to admit that I enjoyed
fleshing them out more than I expected. So, somewhat by popular demand, I’m continuing to develop them and it’s
interesting to let them run and see what happens.