Today I am interviewing Robert J. Barlow, author of the new dark fantasy novel, The Laughing Man.
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DJ: Hi Robert! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Robert J. Barlow: I’m a Brisbane based author trying to make it on the indie scene. I’ve loved telling stories since I was a kid, and I’ve finally realised I can actually get paid for it.
DJ: What is The Laughing Man about?
Robert: It’s a dimension hopping urban fantasy about going to a world stranger than ours, stealing superpowers, and foiling a god.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Laughing Man?
Robert:Neil Gaiman was my biggest influence. Derek Landy and Jim Butcher were also a huge part of things. Honestly though, I’ve been reading everything I could since I was six..
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Robert:Adam is the person the world happens to, but he responds to being out of his depth with flair. Pan and Annabelle are both strangers in a strange land, especially since Annabelle was raised by magic spiders. I feel like Xavier will be the most immediately compelling though. He’s a stylish sarcastic violent madman with a magic top hat.
DJ: What is the world and setting of The Laughing Man like?
Robert:The Laughing Man bounces back and forth between our world, and a series of stranger, scarier and cooler ones. These worlds are commanded by spirits, and all governed by their own arcane laws.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Laughing Man?
Robert:I loved being surprised by what the characters did. A character I thought would be intimidating turned out to be goofy. Something I thought would be funny was surprisingly dark. I loved being shocked in my won work.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Robert:I think they’ll be speculating. There are a lot of interesting details left obscure and questions that will be answered as the series goes on, and I can’t wait to see what the readers come up with!
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing The Laughing Man? Was there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Robert: I wanted to ask questions about who people are outside of their conditions. None of these characters really belong, and all they have is who they are. You get to see their best and worst selves. The rest, I don’t want to ruin for the readers.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Laughing Man that you can share with us?
Robert: I feel like half the fun of quotes is stumbling across them, but my personal favorite is “well I’m certain ‘I was angry’ is an excuse I am certain the grim reaper will accept upon your death.”
DJ: Now that The Laughing Man is released, what is next for you?
Robert: Well I have a sequel in the works, and about a half dozen other standalone stories in various stages of production. It all depends on what I get done!
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page:https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B077QTLQV2
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Laughing Man that we haven’t talked about yet?
Robert:At the end of the day it’s a story about finding who you are in the most extreme circumstances. And guys with magic claws fighting giant monsters.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
Robert: I’d like to thank anyone who reads, reviews, and enjoys my book. This is the culmination of a dream for me and I couldn’t be prouder.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** The Laughing Man is published by Ouroborus and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo | Publisher
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When Adam is saved from monsters by a strange man in a coat he is shown a secret world, a world full of gods and monsters, angels and demons, a world at war.
He is given an ultimatum, head to another dimension and gain power, or never be safe again. Guided by a soldier, a lunatic in a magic hat, and a spider (by adoption) he is taken to meet the Laughing One, a strange creature who seeks to teach him to reach his potential.
But beset by the emotionless Legate, the violent Ursas, the mysterious Kings Man and their army of monsters, and without even a clear idea of what’s going on how can he hope to survive in this strange new world?
And even if he does reach the end of his path, will he recognise himself in the Laughing Man he is becoming?