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Guest Post: Rob Tobin

Please give a warm welcome to Rob Tobin, who joins us today in celebration of the Paranormal Spring Break and to tell us about GOD WARS: LIVING WITH ANGELS.

God Wars: Living With AngelsFirst I'd like to introduce myself to all Rachel's wonderful blog readers, and thank you and to Rachel for giving me this guest blog, it's my honor and I hope it's as much fun for you as it already is for me! My new novel, "God Wars: Living with Angels" is the first book in the "God Wars" trilogy, and will be available March 1st (so the publisher assures me at least) on, and I'm having a new website and Facebook site built but they are not yet complete so I can't give you any addresses, I'm afraid.

"Living with Angels" is what most would call an urban fantasy. The "logline" is:

"An embittered, paraplegic young woman gains magical powers and uses them to battle evil, but instead awakens a demon she can’t resist, an angel she can’t trust, and a race of invincible three-foot tall aliens she has to defeat to save the universe – and her own soul. She has justice in her hands… and she’s pissed!" 

The main character is a paraplegic young woman who I call the Witch in the Wheelchair, who has special psychic powers but who is paralyzed by a gangbanger who also kills her parents and robs her of her special powers. Years later she meets a dark man who steers her into witchcraft where she regains those powers tenfold. She realizes the dark figure is a demon, who tricks her into using her new powers to open the gates of Hell. Her only ally is an angel she can't trust, but she must nevertheless ally herself with the angel against the demon world and hope to save the Earth and her own soul.

"Living with Angels" is rather unique in that it began as a screenplay. I began writing the screenplay and the damned thing just wouldn't stop, lol! It kept going and going well beyond the 20-25,000 words of a normal length screenplay until finally I realized I had something the length of a novel on my hands. So I took one copy and trimmed it down to screenplay length, then turned the other copy into an actual novel, but with a lot of the action and terseness of a screenplay as opposed to the flowery prose of novels. I tend to try to let the characters' actions rather than dialogue tell us who they are.

The characters are strong and quirky, and I really try to go against type with all of them. The eloquent demon who turns into the slobbering beast but retains that sophisticated sense of humor; the witch with such tremendous powers but pinned to her wheelchair by her own doubts as much as by a severed spinal chord; the angel who drinks, curses and falls in love with the Witch in the Wheelchair, all of them circling each other, fighting for advantage and for the survival of their individual worlds.

Thematically I try to explore who we are as human beings, what it means to be human in terms of good and evil and though it's mostly a fun ride, that theme, of being human, really pervades the story, and is somewhat reminiscent I guess of  "Terminator 2," one of my favorite films, that also explores that theme: what makes us human, what defines us as human, but with an added exploration of the whole concept of good and evil. It's funny because a producer acquaintance of mine once said to me that he had this suspicion that the angel on his right shoulder was having an affair with the devil on his left shoulder, and that comes close to being a log line for "Living with Angels, LOL.

You know, this novel is an example of the differences between writing a script and a novel and to be honest I think it works as a hybrid but is really neither a script nor a novel, which is both good and bad. I wrote a novel after this one, from scratch rather than adapting it from a script, and in many ways it turned out far better, but there is still something fascinating about this "half-breed" book. But in general it is far easier to write a script than a novel, at least in my opinion. I've written four novels so far, one of them adapted from a script, and the three pure novels were far harder to write than any of the twenty or more screenplays I've written, and to be honest, the novels are more interesting, though I'd never completely give up screenwriting and in fact have just started a new script.

My advice to writers? To enjoy the process, because to be honest, although I've been making a living full-time as a writer for about thirteen years now, it's been a bitch and a lot of that time was spent doing tech writing and marketing-and-communications writing and only rarely was I able to do screenwriting or novel writing full-time. If you're looking for a way to make a living, writing probably isn't it, at least not for the majority of us. That may sound depressing or negative, but it's just the truth. A hundred thousand new titles a year, what do you think your chances are of being the next JK Rowlings or Stephenie Meyer?  Not great, let me tell you. If you get published that's an accomplishment, but the vast majority of published authors don't actually make a living wage from it. So enjoy the process. If you don't actually enjoy the writing, I'd suggest selling shoes or becoming an accountant instead -- much, much better money and far lower expectations.

But, would I change a single second of my life? Not a chance. I came from a small gold mining town in northern Canada, actually Shania Twain's home town, just a few miles down the road from James Cameron's home town, and it was basically beer, moose, hockey, mosquitoes, blackflies, moose flies, deer flies, sand flies, dragon flies, flying insects the size of Cesnas, 60 below zero temperatures, snow piled up so high that it sometimes covers entire houses, trapping the people inside, and the only way to make a living is to go 10,000 feet underground in the local gold mines and hope you're one of the lucky ones to survive until the end of the shift, then you're so relieved to still be alive that you go get drunk at the local bar before staggering home to start it all over again the next day. Ironically, I love that town and have come to appreciate it more the older I've gotten, but I would have died if I'd have stayed, and it's writing that got me out of there, so I'm grateful for that, even if I haven't yet become Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway or whoever. And that's how you have to look at it: writing has to be something that is not a choice for you, but just what you are, deep down and forever. It should be something that saves you in some way rather something that serves you and just makes you money. It should be a life, not just a living, especially since it rarely is a living.

I wish all of Rachels' amazing blog readers the very best, and I invite you to read "God Wars: Living with Angels," coming out on Amazon, BarnesandNoble and Omnilit on March 1st, and to hook up with me on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, wherever.  Thanks,  Rachel!


It's my pleasure to announce that my urban fantasy e-novel God Wars: Living with Angels is NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD from the following sites, for only $2.99:


Judy said...

Did I miss this!! This author is new to me. This fantasy looks like a good read.


FurryReaders said...

A paraplegic, wheel chair bound, anti-heroine, never mind the against type demon and angel! What a unique concept and way to explore what it is to be human.

Best of luck, Rob!

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