image: header
image: gownflare

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

CFBA Blog Tour - Robert Liparulo and Whirlwind

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thomas Nelson - December 29, 2009)
by Robert Liparulo


ROBERT LIPARULO is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first novel, Comes a Horseman, released to critical acclaim. Each of his subsequent thrillers—Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock—secured his place as one of today’s most popular and daring thriller writers.

He is known for investing deep research and chillingly accurate predictions of near-future scenarios into his stories. In fact, his thorough, journalistic approach to research has resulted in his becoming an expert on the various topics he explores in his fiction, and he has appeared on such media outlets as CNN and ABC Radio.

Liparulo’s visual style of writing has caught the eye of Hollywood producers. Currently, three of his novels for adults are in various stages of development for the big screen: the film rights to Comes A Horseman were purchased by the producer of Tom Clancy’s movies; and Liparulo is penning the screenplays for Germ and Deadfall for two top producers. He is also working with the director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Holes) on a political thriller. Novelist Michael Palmer calls Deadfall "a brilliantly crafted thriller." March 31st marked the publication of Deadfall’s follow-up, Deadlock, which novelist Gayle Lynds calls, "best of high-octane suspense."

Liparulo’s bestselling young adult series, Dreamhouse Kings, debuted last year with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods. Book three, Gatekeepers, released in January, and number four, Timescape, in July. The series has garnered praise from readers, both young and old, as well as attracting famous fans who themselves know the genre inside and out. Of the series, Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine says, “I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?”

With the next two Dreamhouse books “in the can,” he is currently working on his next thriller, which for the first time injects supernatural elements into his brand of gun-blazing storytelling. The story is so compelling, two Hollywood studios are already in talks to acquire it—despite its publication date being more than a year away. After that comes a trilogy of novels, based on his acclaimed short story, which appeared in James Patterson’s Thriller anthology. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining...Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” He lives with his family in Colorado.

Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page:

by Robert Liparulo
Published by Thomas Nelson


Which door do you go through to save the world?

David, Xander, and Toria King never know where the mysterious portals in their house will take them: past, present, or future. They have battled gladiators and the German army, dodged soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and jumped from the sinking Titanic. They've also seen the stark future that awaits if they can't do something to change it--a destroyed city filled with mutant creatures.

And they've still got to find a way to bring Mom back and keep Taksidian from getting them out of the house. The dangers are hitting them like a whirlwind . . . but the answers are becoming apparent as well.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Whirlwind, go HERE

Readers, buy your copy of Whirlwind today!


The Dreamhouse King series is a phenomenal series. If you haven't read any of them, you'll want to start with the first, House of Dark Shadows. Otherwise, you'll miss a lot of the character development and feel like you're walking into a movie that's nearly 3/4 of the way done.

I had the pleasure of recently meeting Robert at a book signing in Colorado Springs. You'd never guess from appearances that he can write the types of novels he does. :) An excellent example of not judging a book by its cover. The same goes for the books in this series. There is so much more to each book than meets the eye upon first reading.

You would think at first that it's impossible to maintain the forward momentum with each sequel, but Robert does this with an expertise that keeps readers begging for more. Good thing only a few months take place between each release. In Whirlwind, he takes the existing tension that's been building since book 1 and amps up the nail-biting suspense as he escorts the reader on yet another thrilling adventure. He also deals with an age-old question of finding God's purpose for your life--what you're designed to do--and deciding whether to take that path for not.

Now, only six more months until the conclusion is reached. And I have it on good authority that the themes from all the previous books along with God's providence in our lives and throughout time will culminate with the conclusion in Frenzy. Do you think you can wait?


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

The basic plot of a house haunted not by ghosts, but by time actually came to me as a dream when I was eleven years old. I was living in the Azores (a group of nine islands in the Atlantic), where my father was stationed in the Air Force. It’s a mystical, magical place (and I mean that in the Godly sense of the words): lush forests, misty grounds, cobblestone roads, beautiful lakes hidden in steep valleys, stone walls. One day, I found an old playground in a forest clearing that caused my imagination to soar. I started dreaming of this place. In each recurring dream, my mind added a new element: the ability to fly in this area only, shadowy figures watching me from the woods, and finally an old house.

Between the dreams and my continued fascination with this place, I started thinking of what I might find inside the house. Over time, I decided that it was a place that God had created with a very specific purpose, but to know that purpose, I’d have to experience a lot of adventures, I’d have to go through a fire, if you will. The progression of the Dreamhouse books is toward that purpose, through that fire.

Of course, when I finally sat down to write the story, I replaced what had always been me in my imagination with the King family. As far the dramatic details (such as Mom getting kidnapped), I think they come from my belief that our true characters come out in times of extreme stress, when we feel the heat of a life or death situation. I wanted the Kings to find out who they are inside: what do they really believe in, what things are they willing to fight for?

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

All of the characters I’ve written have possessed traits I have myself, to varying degrees. But the Dreamhouse Kings books have more of me than anything I’ve ever written. I found myself mining my own childhood for nuggets to give the King family. For example, fifteen-year-old Xander loves movies. He often relates the things that are happening around him to movies he’s seen, and he makes short films and puts them on You Tube. I was exactly like that at age thirteen. I even made a movie about the social impact of Jaws, which a few PBS stations aired.

I didn’t realize it until I finished House of Dark Shadows, but twelve-year-old David, also, is precisely who I was at that age: inquisitive and fairly adventurous; afraid of dangers, but willing to try new and wild things anyway. He knows himself and is comfortable in his own skin. At the same time, he’s caught between the innocence of his nine-year-old sister and the rebelliousness of his older brother, so he exhibits a bit of both. It was actually my mother who pointed out how similar David’s behavior is to the way mine was. She was surprised when I told her I hadn’t consciously written myself into the story in the character of David.

A lot of the emotions the Kings feel—familial love, fear of losing a loved one, trying to be brave in order to do the right thing—are ones I feel all the time. The story helps me explore these feelings. Dad’s love for his kids, his family, his willingness to do just about anything to protect them is me through and through. I don’t think I’m over-protective, but I pray a lot for their safety and have taught them how to protect themselves.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Well, I’d have to choose a main protagonist first, and while Dreamhouse is an ensemble piece (the King family), David is the real “star.” All but one of the books use his POV for most of the story. I’d say he’d have to be Rocky Road. He has it pretty tough throughout the series. He breaks his arm, gets cuts and scrapes all over, rides an emotional roller coaster. He’s also multi-dimensional: very smooth and easy-going, but can be tough when the situation calls for it. Plus, he’s a good guy at heart—and I like Rocky Road ice cream.

4. Are there any themes in Whirlwind that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

Several themes weave through the entire Dreamhouse series, each slowly developing as the story progresses toward the final chapter in the final book. Primarily, it’s that God has a purpose for each of us, and we have to choose whether to accept our calling or not. I try to show that there are huge repercussions for either doing or not doing what we were designed to do, in our lives and in the lives of many others whom we may never even meet. It’s like the quote from Gladiator: "What one man does in a lifetime will echo throughout eternity."

One theme that solidifies in Whirlwind is that we have to take a stand against evil. David slowly develops incredible bravery through the story. We learn early in the series that he has a big heart for people; he doesn’t like the suffering of other people. By Whirlwind, he learns to use courage to help others, to stand up against people who are hurting other, even when his own life is on the line.

I always knew where David was heading, what his arc would be. But how definitely he would embrace bravery and takes a stand surprised me. Without consciously realizing he’s doing it, he embraces the concept of bravery and fighting for others when they can't fight for themselves. He takes the lessons of the house to heart and it changes him.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I love the story and thoroughly enjoyed writing every aspect of it. History, the way the family learns to work together and love each other unabashedly, the action and adventure—I love it all. If I had to chose the most difficult parts, it would be when the characters get hurt, physically and emotionally. I wanted readers who would not normally enjoy fantasy or, in the case of the Dreamhouse Kings, time travel, to like this story. I wanted them to be surprised that they like something they normally don’t.

To accomplish this, I decided to make everything that wasn’t time-travel-related to be very real, almost gritty. I’ve had a lot of people say how real the story feels, despite the fantasy elements, so I think it worked. But in doing it, the family faces horrendous dangers—an antagonist who used to be an assassin and saves body parts of his victims, people dying around them, their own brushes with death, and a lot of injuries. It’s very hard to put these characters through that. I cringe when I write scenes like Xander getting hit in the back with a thrown rifle, or when Toria wakes up to find a big, strange man in her room, or when David breaks down and cries for his mother—more than cries; he wails out of anguish, grief, and despair. Each time, it feels like when my own daughter broke her arm and just cried and cried from the pain. Terrible.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

The next release is Frenzy in April. It’s the final book in the Dreamhouse series. Right now, I’m writing the next adult thriller, called The 13th Tribe. It’s the first time I incorporate a supernatural element into a story. It’ll have the save level of action and adventure, of intrigue and gun-play as my other novels, but with a completely new twist. It’s a big story, both thematically and globally. I can’t say any more about it at this point, but I think it’s going to blow a lot of socks off.

Thank you for the interview. Great questions!

* * * * *

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win your choice of a FREE copy of either Whirlwind if you've read the other books or House of Dark Secrets if you haven't read any in the series. Let me know your preference when you comment.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Rosalie Patience said...

Please enter me in the drawing. It sounds great! ~Abby

abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

Theresa said...

Good interview! I like your questions and getting inside Robert Liparulo's mind. Oh, and of course I'd like to enter the contest for Whirldwind ;)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to enter the contest for a copy of House of Dark Shadows. Thanks.

Phillip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

I'd love to win a copy of Whirlwind.

My e-mail address is

Phillip said...

I haven't read any of the series but have eyed them with some interest and would love to be entered in the drawing for House of Dark Shadows.

email is


thetwitchycamel said...

Love, love, LOVE this series! Please enter me in the drawing for Whirlwind. Thank you!

Angel Clay said...

Love this author. Please enter me into the drawing. I would love House of Dark Secrets

David Iseminger II said...

This is a series that I have been wanting to start reading for awhile now, so since I haven't started I wan't to enter to win "House of Dark Shadows"

(here's my email)


Dahveed said...

Can't wait to get my kids hooked on your books. I've been a follower for quite a bit. They're in for a wild ride.

Janae said...

I love this series! I started reading it after I met Liperulo at a book expo by accident and he convinced me to buy his books instead of Ted Dekker's book Kiss. I'm glad I did buy them!
I just got my yonger brother to start reading them too!

Anywho I just wanted to enter the contest! Great review too!


Janae said...

Oh sorry I forgot to say the Whirlwind contest!

lahlah said...

Love his books! Please enter me in the contest for House of Dark Shadows. Thanks!


Unknown said...

I can NOT wait for the new thriller! Sounds great!

Sign me up for de drawing :3

Audra E. said...

I would love to win House of Dark Shadows! thepeachykeenwriter [at] yahoo [dot] com

Britain Vanderbush said...

Awesome interview, Robert!
House of Dark Shadows is the only book of yours that I have had the chance to read yet, but I loved it!!! I've been wanting to read more of your books.
Enter me in the drawing for Whirlwind please! =D, or


Elizabeth said...

I am very much enjoying your Dreamhouse Kings series, and I would love to win a copy of Whirlwind!

Nicholas Landis said...

I loved whirlwind so much you did such a great job! I'm looking forward to your next adult thriller. Thanks for all your hard work. It is really hard to find a YA book written by a Christian. Thank you! My Email is

Anonymous said...

Dreamhouse Kings is my FAVORITE series!! Enter me in the drawing please :)

Warren said...

I can't get enough of your books, Mr. Liparulo. My mind is spinning with possibilities of what "The 13th Tribe" will be about.

I would like to be entered in the drawing for "Whirlwind," please.

My email is

Jonathan Maiocco said...

Great article! Thanks for posting it! And yes, I would like to be entered into the drawing. Thanks!

Email: jtmaiocco (at) juno (dot) com

sarah k said...

liparulo has quickly become one of my favourite authors. i'll buy anything he writes...

except that i'd love to WIN whirlwind instead of buying it! i just started into timescape, so whirlwind's the next on my list.

Anonymous said...

I became a fan of Robert Liparulo's after reading "Comes a Horseman". I plan on reading and purchasing every book he writes including the Young Adult series of his even though I don't typically fit that category.
I would like to enter to win "House of Dark Shadows". I have the second book and can't wait to read it however I haven't been able to get the first one yet so if I could win it that would be great. :)
Thanks for the interview you posted with this fantastic author.

Unknown said...

I got hooked on Liarulo's books after I read Comes the Horseman. I would like to enter for the House of Dark Shadows because I haven't read any in this series and REALLY want to!

Unknown said...

I would love to read another one of your books, my oldest son has now become one of your fans as well.

Tarran Gill said...

Great interview. It did help get into his mind. As A writer myself i learned a lot from it. thanks for the help.
Contest, i would love to enter. I havn't read watcher in the woods but that or whirlwind would be great (i believe Watcher in the woods is on order.)

sarah k said...

btw, i missed the part where it said i have to put my email in. it's skoerssen[at]gmail[dot]com. for the whirlwind draw.

Linda said...

That would be House of Dark Secrets. PLEASE enter me! Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Dennis said...

Love your books.
Please enter me in the drawing also.

dennis dot knipfer at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win this! Looking forward to reading the rest of Robert's books that I havent read yet.

Duane Benedict said...

Please enter me in the Whirlwind contest. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your drawing. Liparulo has become a family favorite. I have read all the series except Whirlwind and would love a copy.

Robert Liparulo said...

Thanks, everyone, for hopping over and posting a comment. Good villains!

Anonymous said...

I received a House of Dark Shadows for Christmas and promptly bought Watcher in the Woods, Gatekeepers and Timescape. I am thinking about putting them in my classroom library for students to read. I have really enjoyed them so far and look forward to finishing of the series. I am not sure if I am still eligible for the draw but I would love to receive Whirlwind or Frenzy.

k b o u w e r (at) y a h o o . c o m

Andrea Schultz said...

I haven't read a Robert Liparulo title yet; hope to remedy that by winning 'House of Dark Shadows' here!

andrealschultz at gmail dot com

Please visit my blog for book reviews and giveaways!

Thanks -