Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Interview and Giveaway with Robin Ray


Now available on Amazon is the mystery novel Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven by Robin Ray.

No one ever "re-dies" in Heaven; unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to singer Amy Winehouse. Her death, an unprecedented event in Heaven's history, has thrown a once docile world into unfortunate chaos. Because of the new uneasy alliance between angels and citizens, a freshly-arrived detective in the rock & roll town has been tasked with investigating the prime suspects, the members of the 27 Club - Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. To make matters worse, a powerful angel from one of the upper levels of Heaven will soon arrive to make her ten-year inspection, a task that fills the other angels with dread since she has the power to banish anyone of them to the underworld. So, with time running out, the PI and his newly acquired sidekick, both aided by rock legends such as Eddie Cochran, Mama Cass, Kurt Cobain, Karen Carpenter and others, must quickly uncover the mystery that threatens not only to close Heaven’s doors forever, but promises to send a ripple effect through the entire universe that can rip it apart. 


The author has taken a few minutes out of his busy schedule for a Q&A about his novel. 



When did you become interested in storytelling?

When I was in high school I wrote a few short stories and a musical. I also wrote fiction whenever I had the chance in college. When real life stepped in, I had to put my writing aspirations to the side. I’ve only since picked up writing again about four years ago, using my pen to script screenplays, short stories, poems, novellas, novels and one book of non-fiction.

What was your first book/story published?

My first published book was “Wetland & Other Stories” through All Things That Matter Press. I’d self-published three books while I was in college, but those are impossible to find now.

What inspired you to write “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven”?

I knew I wanted to write a mystery, but the thing was, what could I bring to the table that hadn’t been seen before? I’d originally wanted to write a book of interviews I’d conducted with dead geniuses, but when I say a book like that had been published, I figured I could still integrate my interview idea into a murder mystery. Once I had the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of the story worked out, it was just a matter of filling in all those blanks. Some stories write themselves once a set up has been established; “Murder” was one of them. Because the setting was Heaven, certain characters and elements came built in, such as angels and demons. As a mystery, it’s a fairly standard “whodunit’” in that I utilize a detective and his partner who look for clues. Outside of that, because of the nature of the setting (the afterlife and deceased rock stars), it gets pretty wild.

What character in “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven” is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

The detective, Gregory Angelicus, has some of my personality. He takes his work seriously even though he can clown around sometimes. Also, he’s very questioning and takes nothing for granted. His curiosity also seems boundless. I’m like that, too.

What is your favorite part in “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven”?

I have quite a few favorite parts in “Murder,” usually the parts where we get to meet some of the rock legends for the first time. TrĂ©s cool. One of my favorite scenes is near the beginning during the orientation seminar for new arrivals to Heaven. A lot of information gets imparted to the recently deceased, so much so that they have a handbook. Because people walk around with the handbook, I thought it’d be nice if the pages were virtual, sort of like a tablet, but since electronics only exist in a primitive sense, I wrote it that the pagers were actually cosmic matter that can be manipulated. The orientation seminar is also where angels introduce themselves and we get to hear from Prince, David Bowie, Glen Frey, George Martin and others who are the newly, dearly departed.

What was the hardest part to write?

“Murder” is a mix of fantasy and mystery with a healthy dose of science fiction. Crime fiction I already have an affinity for because I’ve written murder mysteries as well as read a lot about crime and saw lots of movies on the subject matter. The science, specifically, the quantum physics, utilized in “Murder” was a new one on me. I actually had to take crash courses in the properties of extra high frequency transmission, Jain cosmology, gamma radiation and interdimensional travel. Those studies, because they were necessary in explaining the possibility of the soul, karma, Heaven and Hell, had to be done, and then brought down into layman’s terms, because the detective questioned the angels about it.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

I’d like to teach music and music engineering since I have a background in those.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

Yes, I read reviews. They’re necessary because I’m relatively new to the game. And yes, some of those reviews hurt like the dickens, but that’s growing pains for ya. The reviewers are only trying to help despite the fact I sometimes feel like giving up writing after reading the more telling revelations. I think I can only get better by being reviewed and criticized more.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

I like Stephen King. He’s accomplished a lot in his life. It’s too late for me to catch up to his successes; still, I admire his work.

Do you have any other books/stories in the works?

“Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories” is being considered by various publishing houses as we speak.

Thanks for reading.




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About the Author

Robin Ray emigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad & Tobago at the ripe old age of 12. Already steeped in the rich culture and mysteries of his native land, it would only be a matter of time before he, too, became a musician and storyteller. After a short stint at Iowa State University, he became a nurse for practical purposes but never abandoned his musical and literary aspirations. Eventually, he did play guitar in several bands, committing himself to localized tours and album releases. Leaving the music world behind, he delved headfirst back into his second love - writing. To date, he has authored six screenplays, two novels, seven novellas, around fifty short stories and many poems. Thus far, he’s published six books - five fiction and one non-fiction, all available in paperback and e-book formats. His latest novel, Murder In Rock & Roll Heaven, can be purchased from Amazon.

Learn more about Robin on his website at: https://seattlewordsmith.wordpress.com/

Follow Robin on Goodreads.

10 comments:

  1. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  2. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on the tour.

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  3. I want to thank this blog for the intro to Robin Ray and his work. I look forward to reading this and more of his books in the future. (jozywails@gmail.com)

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  4. I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

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  5. Thanks to all who have followed my blog, and thanks to the Coffee Addicted Writer for hosting me. It's been a great tour so far.

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  6. The genre blend sounds very cool!

    --Trix

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