Thursday, February 01, 2007

This week the CFBA (Christian Fiction Blog Alliance) is featuring Germ, by Robert Liparulo. Bob is part of Sta Akra, an informal, small group of suspense authors to which I belong. (More about this group in a future post.)

Bob, a successful journalist for twenty years, has been going great guns since he began publishing his novels with
Westbow, the fiction division of Thomas Nelson. (According to an announcement last October, the Westbow imprint is being dropped, and all future TN fiction will be published under the Nelson name.) His first novel, Comes a Horseman, was nominated for a Christy last year, and film rights to the story have been sold. Now Red Eagle Entertainment has purchased the movie and video game rights to Germ, and Bob will be writing that screenplay. Bob also wrote one of the short stories for the anthology Thrillers: Stories To Keep You Up All Night, edited by James Patterson. This book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. And this is just the beginning. Trust me when I tell you that Bob has lots of exciting things planned for his career, and you will continue seeing his name—in print and on the screen.

Germ has a fast pace that only lets up here and there to allow the reader some breathe time. It has both male and female protagonists, so although I’d consider the story rather “male-oriented” (think Tom Clancy with a Van Diesel ending), female suspense readers can certainly enjoy the story as well.

Here’s the blurb about Germ:

If you breathe, it will find you...

The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. On it are business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None know what is about to happen...but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.

The GERM...a more advanced form of the Ebola virus...has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. If your DNA is not a match, you simply catch a cold. But if your DNA is a match, within days your internal organs liquefy and you die a most painful death. There is no cure.

The release of the virus would usher in a new era of in which countries are left without any form of defense, where one person or millions could be killed with 100% accuracy yet result in no collateral damage to property or those not targeted.

That time isn't coming...It is now!

Fiction from Thomas Nelson often does not contain an overt Christian message. As I understand it, the “Christian worldview” writing is more the kind of story TN publishes, rather than the stories with strong Christian content. For our industry’s sake, I’m glad for this focus from TN. We have plenty of publishers who do want more of an overt message, so a publisher with TN’s focus allows our industry as a whole to target a wider audience. Bob Liparulo’s books are right for this focus. Germ has a Christian character but little of his faith is explored on the surface of the story. You have to look beneath the surface to see how his faith ultimately leads him.

My bottom line: Bob Liparulo’s prose is rhythmic and smooth. He’s a fine writer as well as an inventive storyteller. Recommend Germ to anyone who loves well-written high-concept suspense.


Eden said...

Hey Brandilyn! This sounds like my kind of book!!! Thank you so much for the recommendation!
I have alot of catching up to do, almost a whole month's worth of blogs to read!!! Yikes!
Steve left on Monday. Olyvia and I are feeling very sad and lonely.
Please keep my Steve in prayer. I know being away from us, his 2 favorite girls, will be hard while away at BMT and then the physical and mental requirements and the need to stay focused and not worry about us, can be exhausting.

Anonymous said...

Robert Liparulo is a truly superb writer of suspense. He'll be doing a guest interview over at soon.

Not only that, he's one of the most generous guys in this business I could ever hope to know.

Innovative story telling, engaging characters, breakneck speed, and a good author's voice, too! I love his work. The faith element is subtle, but it's there, usually through the peripheral but important characters.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Eden, so glad to see you back. I've been thinking about you and praying for you and Steve and Olyvia, knowing that Steve would be leaving sometime soon. Let us help be your support system during this separation time. I'm grateful for the work Steve is doing for our country.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Out of curiosity, what makes Germ "high concept," Brandilyn? (Yes, I've read it and will post tomorrow on my blog).


~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Germ presents a big and unique problem, one that's easily grasped by the reader, with high stakes, and with a premise that can be reduced to a few exciting sentences.

Bob's high concept ideas (Germ and Comes a Horseman) are no doubt what has made him so attractive to film makers.

"High concept" is a term that's thrown around a lot, esp. in the film world regarding pitches. It can be somewhat of a nebulous term, described in various ways. It certainly doesn't belong just in the film world, though--it applies to STORY, film or book. Here are two articles that explain high concept far better than I can. When you read them, you'll see why Bob's book fits into this category.

Karen said...

A journalist, screenwriter and novelist all rolled into one...that's my kind of writer. I'm definately gonna check him out! Thanks for the 411.

Oh--and I definitely want to hear about this Sta Akra group.

Valerie said...

Science, Genetics, and viruses are part of my day job. It will be interesting to read a CBA book incompasing those things.
Thanks for the info. :)

Susanne said...

My daughter would love this. Her birthday's coming up so I'm going to check this out. Thanks.