Why do you sign your signature as “M. Robin Parrish”?

My first name is Michael, after my dad. I’ve always gone by Robin, so that is my proper name. But since I rarely write in cursive (I prefer to print), the only time I usually do anything in cursive is when signing a check, which requires my full name. Hence, the signature requires the M, and I can’t seem to reprogram my brain to do it any other way when signing books.


Your books read like movies. Is anyone ever going to make films out of them?

I probably get asked this more than anything other question, and the answer is complicated, so let me explain how the book-to-movie transition works, for those who don’t know.

For those of us who aren’t Michael Crichton or John Grisham, it’s a very convoluted process. It begins when the writer (that’s me) writes his book. Sometimes Hollywood producers find out about hot new titles that are in the works in advance, through industry trade publications. But more often, a producer or someone from a film production company will stumble across a book in a bookstore or a library, or hear about a great book from a friend, become interested, and contact either the author or their agent to inquire about the film rights.

If the producer decides to purchase the rights (and that’s a very big if), then they now own the exclusive option to make a movie based on your book. Note the word “option.” This ownership in no way guarantees that the movie will ever get made. (And most options usually run out after five to ten years, if there’s no movie by then.) After the rights are owned, getting a movie greenlit is a cumbersome task, and involves acquiring major studio funding (particularly for a film that would require a big budget for action and visual effects), which is not as easy as it sounds. There’s talent that has to be lined up (director, actors, screenwriters, etc.), and all of these stars and planets have to align perfectly, within a single, workable timetable or schedule, in order to make a movie happen. If all of these things take place, then at long last, a writer’s book is turned into a movie. But it’s worth noting that unless you’re J.K. Rowling, the writer has virtually no input whatsoever about the if, how, or when your book will be turned into a movie.

So as much as I’d love to see it happen, I am the last person who could ever make it come to pass.


You claim to be a Christian. Yet your novels contain precious few references to God, Jesus, the Bible, or even a sinner’s prayer. What gives?

My stock answer to this question is always, “I wonder if Tolkien or Lewis were ever criticized for their novels not being ‘Christian enough’.”

(I imagine they probably were.)


Merciless recounts a pseudo-historical backstory about the origins of the Secretum of Six, which mingles facts from the book of Genesis with your own ideas. Do you actually believe in this alternate view of history? Either way, why write something like this?

Part of the fun of being a writer is the chance to color outside the lines and ask “What if?” about anything and everything. One technique storytellers have used for ages is to look at recorded history, find the gaps in the recounted tales, and use that question “What if?” to fill in those empty spaces.

This is what I’ve done with the Dominion Trilogy. It’s a narrative rooted in the biblical, historical story of Cain and Abel, and then expanded upon with fictional ideas. It’s nothing more than another of these “What if?” scenarios.


Eye color?

Blue.


Height?

6’1″.


Weight?

Um, rude.


Birthmarks?

No markings, but I was born with a double earlobe on my left ear.


Any piercings? Tattoos?

Not my style.


How many broken bones have you had? Surgeries?

Had a stress fracture once, but never broken anything. Never had surgery, either.


Walmart or Target?

Tar-zhay.


PC or Mac?

Aren’t all creative people Macs? They should be.


Favorite clothing store?

I’m a hardcore Clearance shopper, so there are quite a few stores where I’ll always run in and check the clearance rack: Gap, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, Bass, Haggar, Geoffrey Beene, LL Bean, the list goes on.


Favorite food?

Italian.


Favorite restaurant?

Macaroni Grill.


Favorite guilty pleasure?

Krispy Kreme donuts. The hot sign being on is evidence that God loves me.