The hybrid genre thriller, The Prisoner of Paradise combines action adventure, thriller, supernatural, and historical details into one smart package.
Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner!
Hybrid Genre Thriller: The Prisoner of Paradise
A 400-year-old murder. A disembodied whisper: “Amore mio.” My love.
Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting.
Though Julia worries her husband suffers from a delusion, Nick is adamant the voice belongs to a woman from the 16th century—his soul mate from a previous life. He discovers a religious order that has developed a method of extracting people’s souls, which they imprison in Paradise. Over the centuries, they’ve judged thousands of souls and sentenced them to eternal purgatory.
As infatuation with the past clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick must right an age-old wrong—destroy the painting and liberate his soul mate. But freeing her would allow all the souls to be reborn.
The order will never let that happen.
To purchase The Prisoner of Paradise, click on any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Others (including international)
Interview with Hybrid Genre Thriller Author Rob Samborn
The Prisoner of Paradise combines thrillers, action adventure, gothic horror, and the supernatural in a novel of suspense, with some magic realism and historical throw in. That’s a complex and heady mix. How did you come to write such a dynamic hybrid genre debut?
It sure is! I didn’t set out to write a cross-genre book and didn’t think about genre until I started pitching to agents.
I came up with the premise and characters and from there, the story organically evolved not only into what it is today, but a series. I also write what I like to read and watch. I consume a great deal of material from many different genres, so you could say aspects of each made their way into the book.
I also find that what I read and watch is invariably cross-genre. It’s interesting that publishing seems to be so averse to cross-genre work, yet so many books, movies and TV shows can’t be pigeonholed into a specific genre.
Tell us about your path to publication for The Prisoner of Paradise:
At the peril of performing like Pippi from Mr. Popper’s Penguins, I could proclaim that The Prisoner of Paradise’s path to publication was protracted and peculiar.
This sentence made Elena laugh out loud.
In all seriousness, I didn’t take the usual road. I have a screenwriting background and originally wrote The Prisoner of Paradise as a script. It was optioned by a production company founded by DreamWorks execs, but unfortunately never produced.
When the rights reverted to me, I decided to adapt it into a novel. I’m glad I did, because the story, characters, and every other aspect improved dramatically. It was also originally intended to be a standalone but the characters insisted on keeping it going. Once the manuscript was finished, my path became more traditional. I pitched agents, found an amazing one (Brower Literary and Management), and they secured a three-book deal from TouchPoint Press. Though the pandemic prolonged the publication for a period of a year.
What should readers know about Nick O’Connor?
Nick O’Connor is not your typical hero.
He’s a fun-loving guy who deeply loves his wife but can also be quite impulsive. In many ways, he’s an everyman. He then becomes a fish-out-of-water when he finds himself caught in an otherworldly adventure with deadly consequences, but he’ll do whatever he can to protect those he loves.
Hybrid Genre: A novel that combines elements from two or more other genres.
How do you define true love, a concept in the novel?
This is a great question. For me, true love is timeless, placeless, and selfless. It’s when people can’t stop thinking about each other, even they’re apart from one another. The miles and years don’t matter.
When it’s true love, a person will do anything to be with someone. But it’s not obsession. They’ll also do anything for their true love, even if it means sacrificing oneself.
I do believe there is truth to the expression “true love never dies.” And while I’m fortunate that I haven’t experienced it, I believe the statement is true even if one’s true love does die (or perhaps not in the physical sense).
You love to travel. How does that passion play out in your work?
I do and I think it will be evident throughout this book and the entire series.
The Prisoner of Paradise is set in Venice, Italy and the main characters are Americans. While the next books aren’t entirely set in Italy (without giving anything away), none will be set in America.
I’ve been to forty countries and lived about two years abroad in total, including in Italy. Much of my characters’ experiences are informed by my own. I know what it’s like to be lost in a place where you can’t speak the language and I think that adds to the conflict of a story. Besides the amazing settings and history, when a character is in a place they’ve never been to or can’t speak the language, it adds more obstacles they need to navigate.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the third book in the series. The second book, The Painter of Paradise, is finished and will be released in October. Book 3 will be released in 2023.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:
Learn, learn, learn, revise, revise, revise. Writing is a profession. With all professions, the work needs to be professional. Though I’m now a published author, I feel as though I’ve just cracked the surface in terms of learning the craft and learning the publishing industry.
Looking forward to having you back for your second book!
Author Pet Corner!
In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler.
He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them (including Italy) and studied nine languages.
As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.
To learn more about Rob, click on any of the following links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Goodreads, Instagram, TikTok & LinkedIn
Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite bookstores and on-line retailers.
For more information on All We Buried, click on the link here to visit the home page.
Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020
Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020