Robin Parrish is the author of Bethany House Publishers' suspense/thrillers, The Dominion Trilogy: Relentless (2006), Fearless (2007), and Merciless (2008). His next novel is a science fiction thriller titled Offworld, and is scheduled for publication Summer 2009. Two further novels are already contracted and in the works for Summers 2010 and 2011. A successful, 14-year journalism career -- where he covered all aspects of pop culture and entertainment -- gave Robin a profound respect for deadlines and a strong work ethic as a writer. His credits include About.com, CMCentral.com, INFUZEmag.com (which he also created), and PopCultureGeek.com (co-creator). Each of these positions allowed Robin to analyze his favorite storytellers and stories, which range from Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams to Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
Robin's distinct voice as a writer largely comes from his life's experiences -- most notably the death of his father in 2002 at the much too young age of 58. Robin is also a chronic pain sufferer (a topic he rarely talks about publicly), which has given him a unique perspective on the transitory nature of human existence. Much of what he writes about boils down to an examination of just what this thing we call "existence" really is. He cites among his major influences television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files; comic books like Spider-Man, Avengers, and Runaways; and movies and movie makers like Star Wars, Pixar Animation Studios, M. Night Shyamalan, Christopher Nolan, Bond, Bourne, and many more.
Robin is currently a full time writer. He and his wife Karen and son Evan live in High Point, NC. He has an unhealthy obsession with Facebook, he is unable to resist a Krispy Kreme original glazed donut regardless of the time of day, and he does not own nearly as many LEGO Star Wars kits as he feels he should.
"Robin Parrish is a keen-eyed, passionate pop cultural savant, whose writing is as incisive and insightful as it is entertaining." - Allan Heinberg, Executive Producer, Grey's Anatomy
Why do you sign your signature as "M. Robin Parrish"?
My first name is Michael, after my dad. I've always gone by Robin, so that is my proper name. But since I rarely write in cursive (I prefer to print), the only time I usually do anything in cursive is when signing a check, which requires my full name. Hence, the signature requires the M, and I can't seem to reprogram my brain to do it any other way when signing books.
I heard you attend San Diego Comic-Con every year. Is it true, and could I hook up with you there?
I have gone to Comic-Con for several years now, and hope to continue going for as long as I'm able. But getting quality one-on-one time at Comic-Con with anyone is a rarity, as anyone who's ever been knows. Comic-Con is 125,000 people's worth of not-quite-contained chaos, and I'm usually running around right in the middle of it all. But I do enjoy meeting new people there, so if you're at Comic-Con, just look for a lanky guy with skin a shade brighter than the sun. (Wait, that doesn't narrow it down, does it?)
Your books read like movies. Is anyone ever going to make a film or series of films from the Dominion Trilogy?
I probably get asked this more than anything other question, and the answer is complicated, so let me explain how the book-to-movie transition works, for those who don't know.
For those of us who aren't Michael Crichton or John Grisham, it's a very convoluted process. It begins when the writer (that's me) writes his book. Sometimes Hollywood producers find out about hot new titles that are in the works in advance, through industry trade publications. But more often, a producer or someone from a film production company will stumble across a book in a bookstore or a library, or hear about a great book from a friend, become interested, and contact either the author or their agent to inquire about the film rights.
If the producer decides to purchase the rights (and that's a very big if), then they now own the exclusive option to make a movie based on your book. Note the word "option." This ownership in no way guarantees that the movie will ever get made. (And most options usually run out after five to ten years, if there's no movie by then.) After the rights are owned, getting a movie greenlit is a cumbersome task, and involves acquiring major studio funding (particularly for a film that would require a big budget for action and visual effects), which is not as easy as it sounds. There's talent that has to be lined up (director, actors, screenwriters, etc.), and all of these stars and planets have to align perfectly, within a single, workable timetable or schedule, in order to make a movie happen. If all of these things take place, then at long last, a writer's book is turned into a movie. But it's worth noting that unless you're J.K. Rowling, the writer has virtually no input whatsoever about the if, how, or when your book will be turned into a movie.
So as much as I'd love to see it happen, I am the last person who could ever make it come to pass.
You claim to be a Christian. Yet your novels contain precious few references to God, Jesus, the Bible, or even a sinner's prayer. What gives?
My stock answer to this question is always, "I wonder if Tolkien or Lewis were ever criticized for their novels not being 'Christian enough'."
(I imagine they probably were.)
Merciless recounts a pseudo-historical backstory about the origins of the Secretum of Six, which mingles facts from the book of Genesis with your own ideas. Do you actually believe in this alternate view of history? Either way, why write something like this?
Part of the fun of being a writer is the chance to color outside the lines and ask "What if?" about anything and everything. One technique storytellers have used for ages is to look at recorded history, find the gaps in the recounted tales, and use that question "What if?" to fill in those empty spaces.
This is what I've done with the Dominion Trilogy. It's a narrative rooted in the biblical, historical story of Cain and Abel, and then expanded upon with fictional ideas. It's nothing more than another of these "What if?" scenarios.
No markings, but I was born with a double earlobe on my left ear.
Any piercings? Tattoos?
Not my style.
How many broken bones have you had? Surgeries?
Had a stress fracture once, but never broken anything. Never had surgery, either.
Walmart or Target?
PC or Mac?
Aren't all creative people Macs? They should be.
Favorite clothing store?
I'm a hardcore Clearance shopper, so there are quite a few stores where I'll always run in and check the clearance rack: Gap, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, Bass, Haggar, Geoffrey Beene, LL Bean, the list goes on.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
Krispy Kreme donuts. The hot sign being on when I drive by is evidence that God loves me.
~Tomorrow I will share my review on what I thought about Offworld, so please come back :) Until then see what the other bloggers for this months tour are saying about, "Offworld" by Robin Parrish.
http://fantastyfreak.blogspot.com/"> Justin Boyer
http://www.AdventuresInFiction.blogspot.com/"> Keanan Brand
http://uponreflectionblog.blogspot.com"> Gina Burgess
http://www.aweakrose.blogspot.com"> Melissa Carswell
http://valeriecomer.com/"> Valerie Comer
http://www.kcreviews.blogspot.com"> Karri Compton
http://www.the160acrewoods.com/"> Amy Cruson
http://csffblogtour.com/"> CSFF Blog Tour
http://word-up-studies.blogspot.com"> Stacey Dale
http://www.scificatholic.com/"> D. G. D. Davidson
http://scriptoriusrex.blogspot.com/"> Jeff Draper
http://projectinga.blogspot.com/"> April Erwin
http://virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com/"> Karina Fabian
http://lindarg.wordpress.com/"> Linda Gilmore
http://bethgoddard.blogspot.com/"> Beth Goddard
http://anewnovelistsjourney.blogspot.com"> Todd Michael Greene
http://cloakanddaggerfiction.blogspot.com"> Katie Hart
http://realmofhearts.blogspot.com/"> Ryan Heart
http://jessebecky.wordpress.com/"> Becky Jesse
http://crisjesse.wordpress.com"> Cris Jesse
http://www.spoiledfortheordinary.blogspot.com/"> Jason Joyner
http://carolkeen.blogspot.com/"> Carol Keen
http://krystisbooks.blogspot.com/"> Krystine Kercher
http://momofkings.wordpress.com/"> Dawn King
http://forstrose.blogspot.com/"> Melissa Meeks
http://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/"> Rebecca LuElla Miller
http://www.questwriter.blogspot.com/"> Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
http://www.leastread.blogspot.com/"> John W. Otte
http://residentialaliens.blogspot.com/"> Lyn Perry
http://ansric.blogspot.com/"> Steve Rice
http://www.chawnaschroeder.blogspot.com/"> Chawna Schroeder
http://www.jamessomers.blogspot.com/"> James Somers
http://specfaith.ritersbloc.com/"> Speculative Faith
http://www.rachelstarrthomson.com/inklings/"> Rachel Starr Thomson
http://christiansf.blogspot.com/"> Steve Trower
http://frederation.wordpress.com"> Fred Warren
http://www.fantasyandfaith.com"> Dona Watson
http://kerani-in-the-world.blogspot.com/"> Elizabeth Williams