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Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI!

Lots of guest blogs this week, to introduce you to some exciting authors! Today's guest blogger is ROBERT POBI. 

 

Photo Credit Rob Lacombe

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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI!

 

Exclusive: Antiques Dealer

Now Trades in Psychological

Art-Noir Thriller!

 

"A Sixth Sense-like take on Thomas Harris in his prime... Days after racing to the finish, and letting the book rattle around in the unconscious, the story still unsettles me. Clearly this was Pobi’s aim in choosing the method of death for his poor victims, to get both metaphorically and literally under the reader’s skin so they never forget death’s primal, visceral horror."

—Sarah Weinman for The National Post

 

 

The Novel: There is no future for a past that won't die.

 

FBI Independent contractor Jake Cole deciphers the language of murderers by reconstructing three-dimensional crime scene models in his head — a grim gift that has left his nerves frayed and his psyche fragile.

 

When his father, an important American painter, is almost killed in an Alzheimer's-related accident, Jake is forced to come home and confront a past he spent a quarter of a century trying to forget. Once there, a brutal double homicide teaches Jake that even though he has forgotten about the past, it has not yet forgotten about him.

 

As Jake tries to make sense of his father's unhinged existence, he discovers thousands of seemingly meaningless canvases stacked in the studio — a bizarre trail of dust-covered breadcrumbs that Jake believes lead to a killer called the Bloodman. All of his work seems to come apart just as another malevolent beast descends on the town — a Category 5 hurricane that is as unstoppable as the murderer. Pinned between the two forces of nature, Jake realizes that old ghosts are on the move.

 

BLOODMAN will leave you reeling long after you have finished reading it.

 

The Bio: One afternoon, on a job selling high-end vintage wristwatches, Robert Pobi walked into a client’s Manhattan apartment and fell in love with the American Arts and Crafts movement. A collection of furniture, pottery, and metal quickly followed.  In 1996, Pobi opened Arcadia Antiques and Decorative Arts, an exclusive antiques and decorating shop in Montreal.   

 

Over the next fourteen years, Pobi’s shop became internationally recognized, appearing in Architectural Digest (both American and Italian imprints), Country Home, Canadian House and Home, Conde Nast’s Travel, and many other publications. His clients included movie stars, musicians, and an eccentric mix of top designers.

 

To fuel his client’s thirst for the unusual, unique, and exquisite, Pobi haunted London, Paris, New Orleans, and Boston, hand-picking merchandise from auction houses and dealers. Comfortably ensconced in his bustling business, Pobi opened his desk drawer one morning to see six completed manuscripts staring back at him. It was at that instant that he decided to turn his full-time attention to the true great love of his life - writing.

 

BLOODMAN (Thomas & Mercer; May 2012), Robert Pobi’s debut novel, was written at a desk once owned by “God’s banker,” Roberto Calvi.  Pobi splits his time between Montreal, Montauk and the Florida keys, writing and fishing for everything that swims.

 

More Praise for BLOODMAN:

 

"Jake Cole has to be one of the most compelling and tormented protagonists in recent crime fiction...The pacing is relentless, and Pobi’s updates on the growth of the hurricane are almost welcome interludes amid the pervasive creepiness and horror of the growing body count and Jake’s appalling past. Bloodman is a remarkable debut."

Booklist: Starred Review

 

"Much like Dennis Lehane did with Shutter Island, Robert Pobi takes a plot that could have been from any pulp thriller and makes it something richer by virtue of his outstanding prose and his focus on characters….This would be a hell of a thriller for a seasoned writer to put out; for Pobi to create something this good on his first at-bat only thrills me to see where

the rest of his career will take him and us."

Josh Mauthe, The Library Police

 

Chilling debut thriller...Though the clues are there, this sparkling first novel has

an ending few readers will see coming.”

Montreal Gazette

 

"A gut-punch of a book. With bold bloody strokes, Pobi paints a tale of horrific murders and familial obligation, showing the grace and grit of ten first-time novelists.

Try closing your eyes after digging into this one."

Gregg Hurwitz author of You're Next and Trust No One


BLOODMAN by Robert Pobi

Thomas & Mercer, On-sale: May 15, 2012


Visit www.robertpobi.com

 


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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI!

Photo Credit Christopher Snow

 

Robert Pobi dealt in fine Georgian antiques for 13 years. He has fished for everything that swims – from great white sharks off Montauk to the monstrous pike of northern Finland. He prefers bourbon to scotch and shucks oysters with an old hunting knife he modified on a bench grinder. In warm weather he spends most of his time at a cabin on a secluded lake in the mountains and when the mercury falls he heads to the Florida Keys. The critical response to his first short story (written when he was 12) was a suspension from school.

 

Now he writes every day – at a desk that once belonged to Roberto Calvi. He has four novels slated for publication.

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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI!

Upcoming Novels

 

Bloodman, will be published in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States in 2012.

 

Mannheim Rex, a novel that one Hollywood agent described as "completely out there", has just been purchased by Thomas & Mercer in the U.S. and Editions Sonatine in France - look for it in November of 2012.

 

His disquieting technothriller, Deselected, has already found its first foreign publisher with Editions Sonatine in France.

 

Pobi's next .357 magnum opus, The Toymaker's Children, will be published by Random House UK in the spring of 2013.

 

Pobi's work has made its way west and we hope to announce a movie deal - or two - shortly.


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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI!

[ Edited ]
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A Q&A about Bloodman

Robert Pobi on His Debut Thriller, Bloodman

If you like your suspense gritty, gripping, and graphic, Robert Pobi’s debut novel, Bloodman should be on your radar.  Fans of DexterLuther, or Silence of the Lambs should feel right at home with the enigmatic special Agent Jake Cole, who returns home for some rest and recovery, only to get pulled into a horrifying serial murder case by the local sheriff.

We’re pleased to share an interview with Montreal’s  Pobi, and we wish him luck with this novel; the first in a series that is sure to scare people for years to come.

****

Q:  For a psychological thriller, Bloodman has a definite literary bent – can you give any examples of authors that you admire, who are doing this?

Robert Pobi (RB):  Trevanian and Thomas Harris are probably the two pop writers who do this well. In Trevanian’s writing you see the academic behind the curtain, and with Harris you see the journalist – but no matter what either has put to paper, it’s always been beautiful.

Q:  You have a very visceral, cinematic style. Who would be your dream-director to adapt Bloodman? Perhaps John Carpenter so it feels like Halloween? Jonathan Demme so it feels like Silence of the Lambs?

RB:  I’m hoping Bloodman won’t look like anything else that’s been done if it makes it to the film stage. Carpenter and Demme are both solid choices but I recently went through all of Roman Polanski’s films again and he just knocks me out when it comes to atmosphere – he’d be perfect – next would be Ridley Scott for exactly the same reason. I’m a child of the television generation and I work with a lot of visual clues.  Bloodman is one of those atmospheric books that you never have to wonder what is going on in the negative space the characters inhabit – it’s always there. Scott and Polanski’s films all work on that same principle.

Q:  Other recent additions to the psychological thriller genre in popular culture feature extreme violence (Dexter,Luther). Is this increasing? If so, why do you think that is?

RB:  Michael Koestler once said that to become hypnotized by the pathology of the 20th century is to forget the chronic savagery of human civilizations both ancient and modern. A large component of entertainment has always been bloodshed – from gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome to the WWF – there seems to be some sort of a ghost in our machine that is drawn to it. So I don’t think that extreme violence is anything new. People said the same thing when Mickey Spillane’s I, the Jury – or Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch – came out. I think that each generation just develops a new delivery system. For me – in my work – violence is more a matter of forcing the reader to create the violence for themselves – in their own minds. I’m not big on describing violence - I like to give them breadcrumbs to see where it will take them.

Q:  What are some challenges you encountered while writing Bloodman?

RB:  To be honest, I’ve been writing for so long that when I start something, most of the battle is already won. It’s just a matter of mechanics and the book will get built. Bloodman put itself together.

Q:  The approaching hurricane plays a large part in Bloodman.  Is it there for mood? Plot? Is this pathetic fallacy, or does it go beyond?

RB:  I like small casts. I always have. And the problem in this day of hyper-instant communication is that we are always reachable; I used the hurricane to isolate my characters. It also makes a wonderful addition to the limited cast. And, like the Bloodman, it is an unstoppable force that is hard to put into terms of human comprehension – so you never really know what’s coming next. And yes, there’s still something magical in starting a story with, “It was a dark and stormy night,”. Nothing loses impact with lightning strikes. It’s been like this since Macbeth.

Q:  The mental and physical decay of Jacob Coleridge is paralleled by his remaining need to create art. Can you speak about the function of art in Bloodman?

RB:  Jacob is like the Bloodman - or even the hurricane – he doesn’t paint because he wants to but because that is what he was built to do. He has no choice in the matter.

Art in Bloodman? As someone who made money in the art world for years, I got to see more mercenary greed than I like to think about, so I had to take a look at that for personal reasons. Then, from a reader’s perspective, I think that the book examines that all art gives you a little peek into the mind that made it. And if that mind is diseased…

Q:  One cop throws up at a murder scene while another doesn’t bat an eye. How did you develop your ideas about the impact of trauma on the psychology of individuals and communities?

RB:  Between all the 24-hour news stations, the ubiquitous blogosphere, and the rampant pseudo journalism of our time it’s impossible not to become at least partially desensitized to things that should have us retching in the ditch. In the book I used that as the threshold to humanity – the guy who doesn’t throw up is the one who realizes that a lot of his humanity has gotten up and left the table.

Q:  What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?

RB:  I work all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  As of now, there are three books beyond Bloodman that are slated for publication around the world. I just finished a novel called Deselected which I think has a pretty unique take on our species and our place in the planet’s history.

****

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for their assistance with this interview, and to Robert Pobi himself for his participation.

 

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Robert Pobi's Debut: BLOODMAN

Bloodman  

 

Bloodman

 

Overview

 

In this psychological thriller, Jake Cole returns to his childhood home after his elderly father nearly kills himself by setting himself on fire and plowing through a plate-glass window. Jake’s father – a great American painter - is a man whose shadow Jake has tried to outrun since he was a boy. Now a contractor for the FBI who possesses a unique gift for recreating crime scenes, Jake is pulled into a hauntingly familiar double homicide investigation. He recognizes the artistic signature in the slayings and realizes that he is now must be after the same murderer who killed his mother when he was a child. Racing against time and a Category #5 hurricane, Jake sets out in a race to find a monster who kills his victims in an exceptionally grisly fashion.

 

Meet the Author

 

Robert Pobi spent the past 15 years sleuthing antiques. To fuel his client’s desire for the unusual and exquisite, he travelled the world to auction houses and dealers, handpicking merchandise. This is his first novel.


 

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Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

Guest Blog by Robert Pobi 

 

 

I have a few steadfast beliefs and two rules about writing: I have never been afraid of the blank page but I have a lot of respect for it; I don’t believe in writer’s block but I believe in bad writing; if I write a lot, I will get better; I have to tell the truth. Those are the biggies. Everything else is detail.

 

Sitzfleisch is the lynchpin. If you can sit there and not give up, one of two remarkable things will happen. The first one is that you will become a better writer. The second – and equally as important – is that you will learn to recognize when things aren’t going so well. That is not something that can be taught. It’s a skill that develops naturally. It’s an eye for editing. And it only comes through practice. No magic pill, no special bullet. The only thing that works is: ass-in-chair.

 

 

Truth is a little harder to come by. Particularly with new writers. They learn a few moves and the dancing begins. At some point, every writer gets impressed with his or her own work and nods off into parody – it’s one of the inevitable pitfalls of spending 24/7 chained to your own little headspace. Sooner or later you go native. The longer you do this, the faster you will see the fakery. If you don’t cut that crap out, your novel is stillborn. Bad. Very bad. Don’t let it happen.

 

How do I do it? I’m not quite sure. My last novel, Bloodman was one of those books that just came together. I worked on it from June 4th straight through to September 19th. Most of it was written at my cabin – a tiny place with a river-rock fireplace and a great view of the sky at night. No phone. I took walks around the lake every day and during my nightly canoe ride a family of suspicious beavers followed in my wake. It was a good way to spend the summer. But I worked a lot.

 

I don’t have a schedule per se. I simply write every day as long as I can. Most days I start around 8:30 a.m. and kick straight through to about 1:00 a.m. At the tail-end of a novel – the last 100 pages or so – I focus a little too much and my schedule morphs into 17 or 18 hour marathons that go straight through the night. Then it’s sleep for about 6 hours before going back to pounding keys. It sounds a little obsessive. Manic, even. But if I don’t push, I don’t feel I’ve earned the ending.

 

I’m not a slave to volume but I have a calendar – not an agenda – where I record the daily word-count. I’m happy with an output between 1500 and 2500 words but some days it’s less, some more. I’ve hit 9121 once. The worst? Somewhere around 15 (I like to think I did a lot of editing on earlier chapters that day).

 

This is where the decisions come in. Bloodman was one of those novels where good choices were imperative if I wanted it to work. I was working on old foundations, so I had to find a way to make it my own. I had a damaged protagonist, a series of murders, a storm bearing down on the community, and a family with a troubled past. All tropes we’ve read more than once. I think it’s how a writer goes at these elements that defines his style. But that’s like saying there’s no point in looking at a Winslow Homer watercolor because you’ve seen paintings before. A book needs a lot of decisions made to get it from the “Hey, I think I’ll write a book” stage to the “Hey, I think I just finished this sucker,” stage. Decisions about character, dialogue, language, references and influences (a lot of writers leave that last one out). Choices about setting and period and timeline. And the way you roll this out is called your voice. If you listen to your voice, the book can become greater than the sum of its parts. Guys like Stephen King, Don Winslow, and Dennis Lehane make this look easy. No small feat.

 

One of the good choices in Bloodman turned out to be the hurricane. I needed my characters cut off from the world so I made the decision to hit them with a storm. Instead of the usual It was a dark and stormy night, I treated it as if it were another character in the novel – it got its own chapters and the very human name of Dylan. In most novels, a hurricane would be enough to drive the story but I put it there as a release valve – somewhere to retreat to when the real damage that came from the relationships between the people was too much to take.

 

When I finished the first draft of Bloodman I went to Europe for six weeks. Kept my chops up by writing for an hour every morning. Recorded the trip on my blog. Cleared my head. Met some wild people (the night I sped through the dark vineyards of Croatia with two drunken musicians from a Johnny Cash cover band tops the list). Came back with a fresh perspective and got to work. I trimmed a lot of fat during rewrites and 40,000 words of Bloodman ended up on the cutting room floor. I tightened the connections, made sure the wiring was solid. Got the final manuscript to my agent the first week of December. A six-month process.

 

The only real change I see in my work since I started doing this as a job is that I am now aware that a vetting process will go on after a book leaves my head. I’m no longer doing this to feed the filing cabinet drawer. Other than that, it’s business as usual. 

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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

Hi, Robert, what a wonderful blog. I hope to see your books this fall and buy one. Thanks for blogging on this forum.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

Congratulations on your release, Rob!

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

Welcome Rob:

 

Enjoyed reading your blog about BLOODMAN. I will be definitely putting BLOODMAN on my list of books to be read this year. Looks very thrilling and with a surprise ending - who could ask for anything more!

 

 

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI


eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Rob:

 

Enjoyed reading your blog about BLOODMAN. I will be definitely putting BLOODMAN on my list of books to be read this year. Looks very thrilling and with a surprise ending - who could ask for anything more!

 

 


Just don't read it alone at night!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI


becke_davis wrote:

eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Rob:

 

Enjoyed reading your blog about BLOODMAN. I will be definitely putting BLOODMAN on my list of books to be read this year. Looks very thrilling and with a surprise ending - who could ask for anything more!

 

 


Just don't read it alone at night!


Very true! I hate those nights when you are so afraid that someone's going to come in your house and get you but you are too scared to get up and make sure the doors are all locked!
Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI


eadieburke wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Rob:

 

Enjoyed reading your blog about BLOODMAN. I will be definitely putting BLOODMAN on my list of books to be read this year. Looks very thrilling and with a surprise ending - who could ask for anything more!

 

 


Just don't read it alone at night!


Very true! I hate those nights when you are so afraid that someone's going to come in your house and get you but you are too scared to get up and make sure the doors are all locked!

It was worse when my dog was alive. She was always seeing and hearing "ghosts" - and freaking me out!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

Robert, I found the bio information about your antiques shop fascinating.  My Murders by Design Mystery Series features an interior designer as amateur sleuth with a great interest both in antiques and in solving crime.  For the month of June, the first book, Designed for Death, is being offered at a mere 99 cents in e-book format.  Getting ready for # 2, The Monet Murders!  It's great to discover something in common with a fellow writer.  Best of luck with your new release.   

Jean Harrington
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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

All i can say about that cover is, Wow!  There is no way I would see that in a store and not pick it up.

"I am half sick of shadows" The Lady of Shalott

http://wordsmithonia.blogspot.com
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Re: Guest Blog by Author ROBERT POBI

http://simonreads.ca/2012/02/17/bloodman-the-new-luther/

 

Bloodman: The new Luther?

Image

I love Luther. This BBC show has a style to which I’m not accustomed. It has a smoothness about it, an addictive pacing and more than anything, a darkness. It’s this darkness that grabbed me first and it’s this same darkness that I find myself looking for in other mediums. I’ve since found it in books like Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer and in the works of James Lee Burke. Now, I’ve found it again.

Bloodman, by Robert Pobi, is a psychological thriller written with a literary strength that makes even the grotesque, beautiful. It has a twisting, disturbing plotline, tangled up with the urgency of a coming storm and the weight of old family scars drawn up to surface.

Bloodman releases March 27th, 2012. At last count, rights have been snapped up in nine countries already. For an early taste, Robert Pobi is featuring an exclusive excerpt on his Facebook page. You can also visit his website: RobertPobi.com.