Q&A with Robert J. Sparkman. WILDsound November Novel Festival winner

I mainly was interested in receiving an honest critique of my novel before publishing it. The review I received was quite helpful and very much appreciated. Of course, having them pick a scene to be read by an actor for the Festival was the icing on the cake. I was very happy and excited about that.

– Robert J. Sparkman on what influenced him to submit to the WILDsound Festival.

Robert’s novel PRISONER PRODIGAL PAWN was this month’s winning book contest selection. We performed the “Balloon Chase Scene” from his novel. It was performed by actor ROB NOTMAN.

Watch the reading now:

19 Questions Q&A with Robert J. Sparkman with WILDsound’s Matthew Toffolo

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Robert J. Sparkman: Prisoner Prodigal Pawn takes place in Albuquerque, NM and revolves around a law firm, an Indian casino, and tribal politics. Elton Mozingo, is a young attorney who discovers that his law firm is responsible for his father being unjustly imprisoned. He has struggled with his guilt and shame and sets out on a journey to prove his father’s innocence. But when an associate at the firm is found murdered and the death scene implicates him, Elton runs and comes face to face with his biggest fear, winding up in jail like his father, an innocent man convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Rather than go to his brother, a tribal police officer for help, Elton turns to the aid of an old childhood friend, with an agenda of her own. The forces at play eventually bring the brothers together to take down those that tried to rip their family apart.

MT: Why should this novel be read by the human race!?

RJS: This novel is unique and refreshing on many levels, and will provide a unique and refreshing experience for readers. The casino intrigue element is unique, and offers a new twist on a classic genre, the balloon chase scene is thrilling and unique. Imagine being chased in a hot air balloon! The cast of characters is ethnically diverse. Far too many novels seem to lack a sense of diversity which I think makes them a bit insipid in some ways. Also, the location, Albuquerque, NM is different in that it’s not the big slimy city like L.A. or NY, nor is it a sleepy little hollow of a town either. After reading my novel you won’t be saying “been there, done that”.

MT: What is your favorite novel?

RJS: Catch 22 is my favorite novel. It evoked so many emotions as I was reading it. I recall laughing out loud at some parts, to being pissed off in other parts at what was happening to certain characters. It was a great emotional read for me.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

RJS: The Godfather 1 and 2. I think it’s time to pull out the dvd again as I haven’t watched in a while. I just love everything about that movie. Through it all, it really is about Family.

MT: What artists would you love to work with?

RJS: My daughter first of all. She’s a student at Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn, with a graphic design major. I wanted her to do the cover of my debut novel, but her studies wouldn’t allow it. Hopefully she’ll be able to work on the cover of my second book. I’d also love to work with Spike Lee as he adapts my novel for the big screen.

MT: How many stories have you written?

RJS: Prisoner Prodigal Pawn is my first novel, but I’ve written several short stories over the years, though none of which have been published. I have some writing samples on my blog at http://www.sparked2write.com

MT: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

RJS: I’d like to be retired from my current job as an Insurance Claims Adjuster, living in a condo in San Francisco, making a good successful living as a writer.

MT: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

RJS: I have a long commute to work 3 days a week about 65 miles one way. I ride the train and do a lot of my writing in the early morning hours 5:30am until about 6:45, and I’ll pick up again in the afternoon on my ride home for another hour and a half. I’ll also write on the weekends (sometimes) usually at night for a few hours.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

RJS: I’m an avid runner having run in 5 L.A. Marathons. I also love sports, reading and listening to classic R&B, Classic Rock, and the Blues.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

RJS: We, as writers, should have a library of “How To Write” books, you know reference books on the creative writing process that we refer to over and over again.

Get to know more about Robert and his novel here:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/balloon_chase_scene.html

Submit your 1st chapter or full novel to the festival today:
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

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