Mercury Falls by Rob Kroese: Part of an MFing Blog Tour
November 1, 2010 § 16 Comments
Rob Kroese (pronounced kroo zee) is a writer and someone I’m thankful to call a friend. He originally self-published his novel, MERCURY FALLS, which has now been picked up and re-released. In honor of that re-release, he is on an MFing blog tour. It is a hilarious and quirky book. Booklist reviewed it in their October 15th issue:
“The Apocalypse is nigh in this whimsical, riotous debut. Christine Temetri, a freelancer for a popular religious news magazine, is tired of endless assignments covering cults incorrectly prophesizing the End of Days. When she talks her boss into giving her a better assignment, she doesn’t anticipate it will actually lead her back to a cult leader: the charismatic Galileo Mercury, who turns out not to be a cult leader at all, but a bona fide angel. Mercury is more interested in playing ping pong and drinking beer than he is in being involved in the upcoming Apocalypse. But when he and Christine escape a bit of divine retribution and end up saving the life of the Antichrist, a sulky gamer named Karl Grissom, they find themselves drawn into a miasma of heavenly intrigue and double-crossing. Lucifer himself is determined to find a loophole in the Apocalypse Accords, and Mercury and Christine are the only ones who can stop him. Clever, inventive, and original, Kroese’s hilarious romp has cult favorite written all over it.”
There was a slight misunderstanding about what would go on my blog for the MFing blog tour. Rob thought I would take a photograph of him and make fun of it. It’s an easy mistake. I do roast author photos. I thought we discussed having a serious interview about the allegorical use of ping pong in his novel. I’m literary like that.
We were able to find an impromptu compromise when my husband and I visited California for the interview. I know, people do these things over the internet now, but I’m an old fashioned gal and wanted to do things proper like. I found some wolves to watch my children and my husband and I flew to California (husband writes computer software and can work from anywhere). We treated it like a little vacation.
The day of the “interview” arrived and Rob knocked on the door of our hotel suite. My husband was in the bed room, working. I was a tad surprised to open the door and find Rob sipping a juice box. He wore a sarong. Only a sarong.
“Um…” I looked up at the ceiling. “Is this how you plan on conducting the interview?”
“You mean the photo shoot.”
“No.” I still stared at the ceiling. “Interview. I’m interviewing you.”
“Whatever we’re doing, this is how I work best.”
Rob also writes software and works from home.
“I don’t want to be rude, but I’m not sure my husband would be comfortable with all this.” I gestured to Rob’s general direction while still looking at the ceiling.
“You can go ask him. I’ll wait.” He leaned against the door and put the straw back in his mouth.
I left Rob on the threshold of sanity and knocked on my husband’s door. “Rob Kroese is here. He’s wearing a sarong and sipping a juice box. Can we have the interview like that?”
My husband opened the bedroom door. He also sipped from a juice box. And wore a sarong. Only a sarong. “I don’t see a problem with any of this.” He took a long swig from the juice box until air moved up the straw.
They shook hands, made a joke about cookies, and pushed their glasses up their noses. There was no mention of baking, I didn’t get the joke and the sight of two computer nerds in sarongs overwhelmed me. I sat down at the table and started to cry. They looked at me like I was crazy.
“Can we start the interview now?”
Rob nodded and they sat down at the table. In sarongs. “Will you still take my author photo and make fun of it?
“We’ll see how the interview goes. First question: how does ping pong play an allegorical device in developing Mercury’s story?”
*“I used ping pong in the book as a metaphor for what the Germans call bounzenbackenforth. It’s a complicated philosophical thing that is also German, so you wouldn’t understand it on at least two levels.”
“Was your own experience with religion an influence while writing this?”
**“Only in the sense that the book was dictated to me by the demon Grathmog.”
“Am I or am I not your favorite person?”
***“According to the famous quantum physicist Erwin Schrödinger, that question is both true and false until your cat dies. Let’s put it this way: I don’t let just anybody take a picture of me in a sarong.”
I sighed. “You still want me to take your author photo?”
Rob nodded. “You can always photo shop it to make me look like a badass with guns if you want.”
Rob Kroese is also the author of THE FORCE IS MIDDLING WITH THIS ONE (which is clever and pee in your pants hilarious at times). He lives in California with his wife and two children. He does work from home, but what he “works best in” is unknown to me and the public at large so do not send him sarongs. Buy his book instead. He does the twitter.
Don’t want to buy it? You may win a copy. Tweet or facebook this blog post and tell me you did in the comments section. Include what you had for breakfast please. You have until midnight, November 7th to enter.
*,**, and *** -Actual Rob Kroese quotes.