Gregg Rosenblum is the amazing author of Revolution 19. Gregg Rosenblum works at Harvard, where he wages epic battles against technology as an editor/webmaster/communications/quasi-IT guy. He graduated from UC San Diego and has an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He lives in Boston with his wife and daughter.
I’ll have to say The Tick. “Spooooon!”
Telekinesis—the ability to move things with your mind. No doubt. I’d clean up at Roulette. And I’d be able to fly. (I could just lift myself, right? Or is that a paradox?)
If you could take 3 things to a deserted island, what would you take?
A guitar & music theory book, so I can finally learn to play properly; my Nook preloaded with a LOT of books (we’ll pretend the battery is solar powered, okay?); and a dog (a hypoallergenic breed, like a labradoodle).
Can you tell us about your newest book, REVOLUTION 19?
I’m very excited about Revolution 19! It’s book 1 of a planned trilogy, and my debut. Here’s the semi-official summary:
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.
Headstrong seventeen-year-old Nick has spent his whole life in a community in the wilderness, hiding out from the robots that have enslaved mankind. But when the bots discover the community’s location, he, his tech-geek younger brother, Kevin, and adoptedsister, Cass, barely make it out alive—only to discover that their home has been destroyed and everyone they love is missing.
All survivors were captured and taken to one of the robots’ Cities. The siblings have been hearing tales about the Cities all their lives—humans are treated like animals, living in outdoor pens and forced to build new bots until they drop dead from exhaustion. Determined to find out if their parents are among the survivors, Nick, Kevin, and Cass venture into the heart of the City, but it is nothing like they’vebeen told.
As they live among the bots for the first time, they realize they’re fighting for more than just their family. The robots have ruled for too long, and now it’s time for a revolution.
You work at Harvard as an “editor/webmaster/
I’ve always thought of myself as a writer first and foremost. I fell in love with fantasy and sci fi as soon as I learned to read, and I’ve been writing since I was a kid—going all the way back to my third grade short story project, “Erwin, Mervin, and the Aliens.” Erwin had telekinesis.
What made you want to write about robots?
Asimov’s I, Robot; the Terminator; and Blade Runner. All those fancy ideas of intelligence andself-awareness and sentience and what it means to be alive and human vs. artificial—imagining scary futuristic robots lets me play with some of these big ideas at least a bit, but still have fun.
I’m curious, are all the robots bad or are there some who see the damage that they are doing to the world?
No, I don’t think all the robots are “bad.” This is going to sound strange, but actually, I’m not sure any of them are “bad.” I think they truly believe in their “Great Intervention”…the idea that they had to save mankind from itself. And I think some of them, at least, are struggling with the idea of whether they’re “alive.” If they didn’t feel “alive,” then why would they bother with the revolution? Of course that’s cold comfort for the millions of people who were killed when they took over. As for whether any of them are able to see their actions from the human perspective, as horrible…well, that sounds too much like you’re fishing for future plot reveals!
The ending of REVOLUTION 19 obviously set us up for more. Can readers expect Cass, Nick and Kevin to find other people in the forest? Can we expect them to continue to fight the robots?
Yes, and yes!
Have you started working on a sequel to REVOLUTION 19? If so, do you have a name or a brief synopsis?
I just finished draft 1 of book 2, although I have to admit, the last 10 chapters are 1-page summaries. It picks up right where Revolution 19 ends…I can’t really say much more right now, because so much changes from draft to draft! Even the working title might change.
What was your favorite part of the book to write and why?
Nick in reeducation. I think those were some of the creepiest/most action-packed scenes, and I had a blast writing them.
Cass and Farryn were my favorite characters/couple in the book. Are we going to see a lot more of them in book two?
Yes! I’m glad to hear you liked them! They have it kind of rough for a while in book 2—they go through some difficult stuff.
What about Lexi and Nick?
Yup. Although maybe there’s a love triangle of sorts in their future?! Drama!
Now I feel bad for leaving out Kevin. Will we see him with a love interest in book two?
I scared my editor once by telling her that I was going to have Kevin fall in love with a female sphere bot. But, to answer your question honestly (and lamely)…I don’t know. There’s still a lot I’m deciding on!
If you could cast anyone to play any of the characters in the book (you don’t have to pick someone for everyone!) who would you cast?
Okay, here’s an admission I probably shouldn’t make…I have this daydream that the book becomes a movie, and the director decides to cast me, the author, as Tech Tom. Even though the last time I acted was in fifth grade. My wife does have Uta Hagen’s “Respect for Acting” in our bedroom, though, and I’ve looked at the spine a million times. I could do it!
This is going to be odd, but honestly, the only actor I envisioned while writing was Bob Hoskins as Doc.
What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?
I’ll try to keep this short…I’m currently rereading Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising books, a YA/middle-grade series that first set me on fire as a kid. I’m reading Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, because he’s the closest I can get to Douglas Adams in tone & wit…a few others I have lined up are Reamde by Neal Stephenson, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, the Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey, Railsea by China Mieville…I think I’ll probably reread The Hobbit, since it’s been years, and Peter Jackson’s reminded me…I could go on and on, but I’ll stop…