Rob Kaufman has made it through the quarterfinals of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Awards with his latest novel, One Last Lie. His first novel, In the Shadow of Stone, continues to receive positive feedback and sell well in all formats. He is hoping that even though One Last Lie is much darker, he will be able to reach a broader audience and continue to find success.
He currently lives in Connecticut and writes whenever he can find the time.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I like the fact that I can “read” people very well. I’d say “intuitive”, really. I have the ability to know when someone is uncomfortable, in need of something (physical or emotional), saying one thing but feeling another, etc. I then speak or act accordingly. This quality allows people to feel comfortable when they’re with me and open up about themselves. And as long as they don’t get OVERLY personal, it’s a quality that benefits everyone!
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
It’s a simple quote really, my father has always said it and I never realized how true it is until recently: “When you have your health, you have your wealth.” Think about it: when you’re not feeling well, when you’re in pain, when you have a disease, when you’re depressed… does it matter how much money you have?” The answer is “No.” Sure, you can feel terrible in luxury, but you still feel terrible. So remember that when you’re healthy, you have to live life to the fullest!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was always writing. I remember when I was six or seven, writing books and binding them together with scotch tape. I think my first true success was in eleventh grade when I wrote a poem for school about a kid who was dying. After I finished, I was so excited my hands were shaking. A week later the teacher handed everyone’s poems back, except for mine. She held it, read it to the class and then gave it back to me. She said, “You are going to be a writer.” She was right.
What inspires you to write and why?
My inspiration starts with characters–meeting people in real life who spark a story that needs to be told. Even if it’s a glimmer of an idea, I love to take it, dwell on it, add life to it and then develop a story around it. I’m not a “factory” kind of writer–a book every six months for the sake of getting something out there. It takes me quite awhile to develop and idea and turn it into something that most (I wish all) can enjoy when they’re snuggling in a comfortable chair, sitting on a plane or lying in bed.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I saw this indie movie, My Life Without Me. It was about a woman who was dying and recording herself on cassette tapes so she could leave her thoughts and lessons for her children to listen to after she was gone. It got me thinking – what if a dying mother left her child something different than cassette tapes… a fortune, for instance… and left the message about the fortune on a DVD that only her child was allowed to watch? That’s from where In the Shadow of Stone, my first book, evolved. From what I’ve read online (and heard in person), the plot works and the story is wonderful. (Those aren’t my words, you can see them for yourself on Amazon… J)
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
The most challenging part of writing for me is when I have an essence of an idea, for a chapter, let’s say, but the words will not come to mind. I write a sentence, I delete it. I write another sentence, I delete that one. I stand up, look out the window. I blame it on my mood, on my breakfast, on the noise, on the quiet. I sit down again and breathe deeply to allow the relaxation to bring on some good ideas. Nothing. I finally write a few words and then leave the room for the day because I’m exasperated. Then I have to decide which is worse: writing a few words with which I’m not completely satisfied or not writing anything at all. I know, my job could be a lot worse, no doubt about it. But still, that doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated.