Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Robert Rapoza ~ a character interview and his novel The Vilcabamba Prophecy

TITLE: The Vilcabamba Prophecy
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2016
AUTHOR: Robert Rapoza
ISBN: 978-0692646335
IMPRINT: Devil’s Tower

Thriller, Adventure Action, Mystery Suspense, Alien, Jungle Ruins, Secret Code, Mercenary

A beautiful archeologist must find her estranged father, prove his controversial theories and prevent a madman from unleashing a deadly weapon on the world.

NICK RANDALL is an archeologist who believes mankind isn’t alone on Earth. When a mysterious benefactor funds his research, he departs to find the lost city of Vilcabamba. Hidden deep in the Amazon, Randall believes the city holds proof that his contentious theory is true.  Upon arriving at the ruins, he mysteriously disappears.

Randall’s beautiful daughter SAMANTHA learns of her father’s disappearance from his mentor FRANCISCO ANDRADE who pleads for her help. An accomplished archeologist herself, Sam must decide if she will set aside her career and search for the man she blames for her mother’s death.

But someone else is looking for her father as well. FRANCIS DUMOND, a shadowy man with unlimited resources, will stop at nothing to find Vilcabamba and use its technology to control the world.  It’s a race against time to see if Sam can find her father, prove his theories and stop Dumond.

Here’s what they are saying:

The Visitors had me on the edge of my seat! This is a very action packed read; it’s full of plot twist and turns that keep you guessing the outcome. The writer doesn’t make you feel that this could be a HEA ending. The lead characters are in peril and the reader has no idea if any of them will make it out alive.

Mr. Rapoza’s writing style is clear and concise, yet descriptive enough to put the reader right in the middle of the action. He brings out the reader emotions by making you love the characters. You want the good guys to win, but you’re never sure that they will.

While reading the book, I was excited, sad, laughed, and got pretty upset and angry at a couple of spots. THAT is writing at its finest.

Congratulations to Mr. Rapoza for writing an excellent story. One I would recommend to anyone that enjoys thrills, adventure and “edge of your seat” reading. I am looking forward to reading more books from this very talented author.

Superbly done!

Jill Corley

This is a roller coaster ride of a read! Exciting, thrilling, and a definite page turner. I loved it and you will too!

Wil Scott


Character Interview:           BR= Robert Rapoza       NR= Nick Randall 

BR: Welcome Nick, thanks for coming.

NR: You’re welcome, good to see you.

BR: Thanks. You’ve been working in the Archeology field for some time. Tell us why you decided to study archeology and what those early years were like for you.

NR: As a kid, I used to love playing outside with my friends. We’d go exploring, find neat things buried in the ground like arrow heads, and we’d pretend we were famous explorers searching for treasure. I guess I liked it so much, I never wanted to grow up. When I found out people made a living traveling to exotic places, exploring ruins, I jumped at the chance.

BR: Sounds like you found your calling from a young age.

NR: Definitely and I never looked back.

BR: It hasn’t always been an easy road for you. In school you ran into some problems. What happened and how did you overcome it?

NR: (Laughing) A little trouble? That’s an understatement! I was a graduate student on a dig near the ancient city of Nazca. I was still wet behind the ears, trying to figure out how this whole Archeology career thing worked. One of our instructors on the trip, Dr. Watkins, invited me to go on an aerial survey with several team members. I jumped at the chance. During the flight, I saw these strange but beautiful figures etched into the desert.

BR: The Nazca Lines.

NR: Right. I had heard of them before, but when you see them from the air, it’s an experience you can’t describe with words. It was awe-inspiring and changed my life forever. When we landed, I started to research the history and lore of the lines. There were all sorts of theories, but little proof to support them.

BR: As a young scientist just learning the ropes that must have bothered you. What did you do?

NR: I started poking around, asking questions. I considered it my personal research project. When I tried to discuss some of the more controversial theories, it landed me in hot water!

BR: What do you mean?
NR: Some of the professors who used to mentor me warned me to drop it. Some even went so far as to tell me I could be endangering my future in the field. Even friends I had made as an undergrad turned on me and made my life at the university miserable.

BR: You clearly didn’t quit because you’re here today. What happened?

NR: Despite the people who opposed me, I had a couple of close allies that helped me through the rough times. Dr. Watkins, the one who took me on the flight, told me not to let anyone push their ideas on me. He kept my spirts up when I really felt down. Then there were my closest friends Rob and Peter who stood by me when the rest of my fellow graduate students turned their backs on me. But my biggest supporter of all was Dr. Francisco Andrade. He was Dean at the time all of this was happening and he supported me throughout; even risking his own professional standing in the process.

BR: Sounds like the friends you have are good people.

NR: Absolutely. I tell my kids you don’t need a lot of friends in life, just a few good ones. Real friends are the ones who stick by you through thick and thin. As a matter of fact, when things get tough, you find out who your real friends are.

BR: You mentioned your kids. I know you and your daughter Samantha had a rough time for a while. What happened and how is your relationship now?

NR: As a result of the trouble I experienced in the academic world, I developed a stubborn personality. I had to if I was to survive in the field. The academic world is a small place where everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows their reputation. So when I discovered this odd tribe, the Capanhuaco, living in the jungles of Peru, I knew I might have finally found the breakthrough that could validate my theories.

BR: Are you referring to the tribe you studied in Peru that lead to your adventure at El Misti?

NR: Yes and adventure is the right term to describe what happened. We were supposed to go on a family vacation when someone contacted me about a relic they had found. I was in the field, set to return in a few days and I called my wife Anne to pick up the package for me.

BR: Did she pick it up for you?

NR: She did. (Long pause) On her way back home, she died in a terrible accident.

BR: That must have been devastating to you and your family.

NR: It was. She was the glue that held the family together. Sam blamed me for her death and, to be frank, I blamed myself as well. For a couple of years, we barely spoke. My son John kept me up to date on how Sam was doing. My research on the Capanhuaco continued and I eventually set out to find the ruins that would prove my theories. I ran into trouble and Sam saved my life. In the process, we reconciled and have been a family again.

BR: Were you able to prove your theories?

NR: I was able to prove them to myself and to Sam, but more importantly, I learned that family is the most important thing in life. It took fifty years for that fact to get through my thick skull, but things have been much better ever since.

BR: Sounds like everything has worked out for the best.

NR: They have and I can’t complain about anything. Except I’ve been having these strange dreams since I got back from Peru.

BR: What sort of dreams?

NR: Nightmares really. Where something is coming to get me.

BR: What do you think they mean?

NR: That’s a great question. I’m sure they’re just my subconscious reaction to what happened in Peru. It can’t be anything else.

BR: But?

NR: But they seem so real. Maybe I just need to do a little research on them…


Born and raised in Southern California, Robert Rapoza began writing his first novel in 2012. The result of these early efforts is his first story THE VISITORS, a novel about Nick Randall, an archeologist on the fringes of the scientific community. Since that time, he has written a second thriller ARCTIC INCURSION, which continues to follow Nick Randall’s exploits. When not writing full length fiction novels, he also enjoys writing short fiction following the characters from his novels along with other original concepts. He is a member of the Southern California Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers Association and enjoys interacting with other local writers. Bob is also actively involved with the online writing critique group ‘YouWriteOn’ where he receives and provides feedback with other authors.

The ideas for his stories are drawn from his interest in archeology and science and his love of adventure stories. Bob has always been drawn to these topics and is fascinated by the technology utilized by ancient civilizations. This interest has provided fertile ground for entertaining stories. History is rich with mysteries waiting to be solved and Bob enjoys asking questions about these mysteries and offering ideas about what they might mean.

Bob is represented by Mark Gottlieb of the Trident Media Group and is actively seeking to have his first works of fiction published.

More about me:
One of the things I enjoy about writing is sharing the experience with my family. My daughter Heather, the inspiration for Sam’s character, has cheered me on whenever I hit a major milestone like getting an agent and landing a publishing deal. My son Ryan has really gotten into the process and has asked me, on multiple occasions, what my story is about. He’s even made some great suggestions along the way. My wife Holly has been really supportive of my writing. She has encouraged me to finish and was truly happy for me when I got the publishing deal. She knows how hard this work has been and has let me know how proud she is of my accomplishments.



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