The Author Spotlight Questions and Answers is back with a new addition - this time we have a post from Richard Roberts, who is talking about his new book PLEASE DON’T TELL MY PARENTS YOU BELIEVE HER, and life in Louisville, Kentucky.
Who are you and where do you call home right now?
My name is Richard Ray Roberts II, named after an uncle. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, but my heart will forever be in Los Angeles, by the ocean shore.
Tell us about your latest book: your inspiration for it, how you got through your most difficult challenge in writing it, and what you love about it?
Please Don’t Tell My Parents You Believe her is the end of a long journey, and was inspired from the beginning of the series by my desire to prove what actually makes Penny Akk special. I love many things about it, but I believe my favorite thing is Gerty Goat. Sometimes you come up with an idea, and you know it’s special.
What are a few of your hobbies?
Hobbies are for people who don’t write. Writing is a sickness and an addiction. I manage to make a little time for computer games, at least.
If you had your own food truck, what would it serve?
Ooooh. Never thought about this before. Maybe Carolina Chili Dogs, which are not like hot dogs from other places. Good beef hot dogs, too.
What do you want to get better at doing, writing-wise?
With every book, I find some new thing I need to work on. Right now, I think my challenges are more meta, finding new systems of focus.
What TV series are you into right now and why?
The Ducktales reboot. Hilarious. It takes a lot of effort to make Donald Duck a likable character, and they did it.
What movie do you quote the most?
Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I am, as I type this, compulsively reciting the “I see a place where people get on and off the freeway, on and off, off and on, all day, all night! Soon, where Toontown once…” Ahem. It has stuck with me all my life, and just comes out.
What do you collect, even a little bit? Tell us about your favorite one.
Classic children’s books, and cartoon statuettes (Japanese, Western, whatever). I would like to collect a lot more of both, but it has never been practical.
What’s your preferred genre of book when you just want to escape?
What do you like to do on vacation?
See distant friends.
Is there another genre you’ve been itching to write in?
My fluffy MG books sell well. They’re fun, and certainly not meaningless pulp, but my heart craves much darker, weirder fantasy. I have half-written books with titles like “Metal, Candy, Flesh” and “Princess Knives And Her Many Fantastic Adventures In Hell” that I doubt I will ever get to finish because they’re unpublishable.
What unusual object do you like to bring with you if you leave the house?
A handbag, somewhere between briefcase, satchel, and purse. By jiminy, I want to bring ALL the unusual objects with me!
If you had a champion racing pigeon, what would you name it and what would its tagline be?
Flash Gordon, and I would sing the theme song by Queen every time he raced to annoy my fellow competitors. If they liked it and joined in, even better.
Finally, give us one recommendation for something - movie, TV, game, food - that you enjoyed recently.
I’m pretty much dying for the release of City of Titans. Does that count? Ooh, no, something I already enjoyed. The Kalevala! It’s the Twilight Sparkle of the Gods! SO MANY LESSONS IN FRIENDSHIP.
About Please Don’t Tell My Parents You Believe Her
Middle school supervillain Penny Akk has defeated every challenge thrown against her. She has bested heroes, villains, weirdos who can’t make up their minds, robots, aliens, friends, rivals, enemies, natural disasters, secret admirers, and her own shyness.
Now she has only one opponent left.
Her own super power.
…and the other Penny who stole it.
The next installment awaits...Author Spotlight Question and Answer: Ashley Rich