Monday, June 4, 2012

Author Interview + Giveaway: Robert J. Crane

Hi everyone!  How are all my book lovers doing in the summer time?  Well I am enjoying reading so many good books, but I am especially looking forward to the next book in one of my favorite series, Sanctuary by Robert J. Crane, which should be out pretty soon!

So in great anticipation of this upcoming book I decided to do a spotlight on the author, Robert J. Crane.  And Robert was kind enough to offer a giveaway to go along with this interview!    How cool is that?  Enjoy the interview, visit his links, and be sure to enter the giveaway.  
*Make sure to read the giveaway guidelines below before you enter so you know the prizes and the rules!  

Author Spotlight: Robert J. Crane
Author Bio:
Robert J. Crane was born and raised on Florida's Space Coast before moving to the upper midwest in search of cooler climates and more palatable beer.  He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in English Creative Writing.  He worked for a year as a substitute teacher and worked in the financial services field for seven years while writing in his spare time.  
He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and can  be contacted via email at .

Read To My Heart:    So Robert, you have two series out right now.  Can you tell us a little about each one?      

Robert:     Sure!  The first is called the Sanctuary Series and it takes place in a traditional high fantasy universe complete with elves, dwarves, trolls and goblins.  The action centers around our hero, Cyrus Davidon and his guild, Sanctuary, which functions a little like an independent army and follows their various adventures in the world of Arkaria.  It has action, romance, drama, and never takes itself too seriously (I hope).

The second series is called The Girl in the Box and follows the story of Sienna Nealon, who is a teenage girl who discovers she has mysterious powers after being imprisoned in her home by her mother for a decade.  One day, her mom disappears and Sienna is chased out into the big, bad world by a couple of mysterious men and is forced to adapt to some radical life changes while trying to figure out the secrets behind her powers.
Also, not to get myself into too much trouble if I can't deliver, but I'd expect that to go to three series by around the end of the year.

Read to My Heart:    What inspired you to write these stories?

Robert:    I've wanted to tell stories since I was a kid in school.  As a teenager, I would take my favorite TV shows and imagine how the story would go if I was writing them, and that expanded to writing out my own concepts for novels and entire series.  I managed to do a file rescue from the computer my parents had when I was in High School and there are literally hundreds of pages of ideas that I typed out in my free time.  My conclusion after seeing that is that all I  did in High School was write and play videogames.  My grades might bear assessment, come to think of it.
The short answer to inspiration is that ideas just seem to come to me, more than I have time to write, even now that I'm a full time writer and I can't keep myself from wanting to put them down on paper (or pixels, as the modern case may be).

Read to My Heart:   Do you have a favorite character and why?

Robert:    Heh. I would have to say Vara from the Sanctuary Series or Sienna from the Girl in the Box because they're both tough female characters.  Don't get me wrong, Cyrus from Sanctuary is an intriguing fellow too, but I could write him in my sleep.  Writing the two women keeps me on my toes, makes me think and stay engaged, always trying to figure out what they'd do next in any given situation.
As far as others, I like Vaste from Sanctuary because of his slyness as well as Fortin and I really enjoy Malpravus as a villian.

 Read to My Heart: I really like Vara too! I love elves!  Vaste is so funny!   Are there any rituals that you go through before you start the process of writing each day?

Robert:   I wouldn't say it's a ritual, but depending on how excited I am to be working on the passage I'm starting with any given morning, I have a tendency to goof off on the internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc. until I crack the whip on myself( not literally, 50 Shades of Grey readers, calm down) before I get started.  It usually only lasts 10-20 minutes and I still manage to crank out 5,000 words a day in spite of that, but it's something I keep meaning to get better at because that's time I could be using to do something else more productive or enjoyable.

Read to My Heart:   I love videogames and I know from your blog, that you are an avid player too.  What are you playing right now?  Any favorites?

Robert:  Right now I have been diligently working through Max Payne 3, which is a very good shooter that I am apparently very bad at, judging by how often I've been dying.  I recently spent some time with Lord of the Rings: The War in the North and thus far it is worth the $20 I spent on it.  I also downloaded the expansion to Batman: Arkham City called Harley Quinn's Revenge but I haven't had a chance to play more than about twenty minutes so far because of my writing work.  Hopefully that will change tonight! Also on my list is Dead Space 2 and Xenoblade, and RPG for the Wii that was fantastically done that I put aside as I got busy with work but will be picking up soon.
As for favorites, that's a tough one.  The Final Fantasy series was pretty high on my list through number 10.  L.A. Noire was a pretty amazing gaming experience last year, one that made a huge impression on me as a gamer and storyteller.  Other than that, I've probably got some of the usual favorites-Bioshock, Skyrim, Halo, God of War and of course Batman: Arkham City.  I think that last one might be the absolute top of my list, at least for the last few years.  Arkham City was simply amazing.

Read to My Heart:  I have to say Batman: Arkham City was the best videogame I have played in a very long time and God of War and Castlevania coming in for a close second.    
Besides playing videogames, what are you reading right now?

Robert: I've been pretty lousy at reading lately because I've been finishing the final draft of my third Sanctuary book, Champion(due out in the next couple of weeks!) and so I was rereading the first and second books in the series to make sure there were no major inconsistencies.
Before those, I was working on The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and rereading The Robots of Dawn by Issac Asimov.  I also just started rereading Stephen King's superb book, On Writing.  I tend to read scifi and fantasy as well as some thrillers and other stuff.  If anyone ever wants to compare books with me, I'm on Goodreads at

Read to My Heart: Yay!  I am super stoked and looking forward to the release of Champion!
 Do you write to a certain type of target audience?

Robert:  I don't.  I mean, as an author, it's not really a huge secret I'd like to sell a lot of books so I think there's a temptation among some of us to think, "Oh, Twilight is selling, I'll go write something like that and cash in!" For myself, I wouldn't shy away from doing something in the vein of vampires and werewolves if I came up with a really cool concept or something fresh and different that I was excited to write, but I tend to steer more toward writing stories I feel passionate about. 
I'm sure any marketing strategists in the audience are shaking their head at my naivete but I do that for a very simple reason- I tend to pour my whole heart into a story if I want to write it.  Maybe I could write a book I didn't feel strongly about and do a great job with it, but I'm not ready to test that assumption yet. I just write the kind of stories I would want to read, and hope there are others out there who find them engaging, funny, and moving in the same way I do.

Read to My Heart: Well said!  Is there anything you want us to take away when we read your novels?

Robert: There usually is, but I try to be subtle about it rather than clubbing them over the head; it's up to the reader to judge whether I've been successful at that.  Every novel I write has a theme threaded through it, some point I'm trying to make.  For Defender(Sanctuary 1) it was the concept of having a purpose for your life and knowing what you want out of it, what you're willing to do to get it.  Alone, on the other hand, had more of a simple thematic core-who are you when everything is taken away from you?  Who are you when you're left with nothing?
Ultimately, the good thing I want them to take away, even more than vague themes that may or may not be obvious, is a good time.  I want them to laugh, cry, (hopefully in the places where I intended them to; if they're laughing when they should be crying, I've done it wrong) to feel something that sticks with them.  Someone told me a long time ago that people will forget the words you say to them, the things you do for them, but they always remember how you made them feel.  I hope I make them feel satisfied when they finish one of my books.
And maybe just a little excited to read the next one. 

Read to My Heart: Thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy schedule to do this interview!  It was truly an honor to have you as my first Author Spotlight! 

Robert: Thank you for the chance to spend this time with your blog readers.  I really appreciate it!

Connect with Robert J. Crane on the following:
Amazon: Robert J. Crane
Email: cyrusdavidon@gmail(dot)com
Become a fan at Goodreads 

*This giveaway is open to everyone over 16 years of age.  If the winner resides out of the U.S. the prize will be delivered in the form of an Ebook.  If winner resides in the U.S, they will be allowed to choose either 1 paperback copy from the series of their choosing; or 2 ebooks from the series of their choosing.  


  1. Great interview. Very well done. I have read some of his books and plan to read the others.

  2. Thank you so much! I was very nervous about my first ever interview but Robert was such a nice person! I love both his series and I hope he keeps writing for a VERY long time! Thank you for the comment!


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