Today, I have Robert Rotstein, author of RECKLESS DISREGARD, at Traveling With T! Robert is interviewing his main character, Parker- a lawyer who has stage fright and prefers to settle cases as opposed to arguing them in court.
Robert Rotstein interviews Parker Stern.
Lawyer Parker Stern, the central character in my novels Corrupt Practices and Reckless Disregard, shuns publicity. In a classic case of ambush interviewing, I caught up with Stern just as he was entering the federal courthouse in Los Angeles.
Robert Rotstein: Mr. Stern, I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions.
Parker Stern: Back off. I have no use for the media. When I was a kid actor, my mother pushed me into the spotlight, and even though I made millions of dollars, it scarred me for life.
Robert Rotstein: Mr. Stern, I’m not—”
Parker Stern: What don’t you understand about back off?
Robert Rotstein: I’m not a news reporter.
Parker Stern: Then who are you? I hope not some representative of The Church of the Sanctified Assembly, that horrible cult that’s always trying to kill me?
Robert Rotstein: No, I’m your… I’m an attorney, like you.
Parker Stern: Even worse. What do you want to know?
Robert Rotstein: You’re down here on a court hearing. What’s it about?
Parker Stern: I represent a video game designer known as “Poniard.” Even I don’t know who he really is. We communicate by text and email. He created this video game called Abduction!, which accuses William Bishop of kidnapping Felicity McGrath, that actress who went missing in 1987. Bishop has sued Poniard for libel and is trying to yank Poniard’s chain. I’m here to stop it. I’m afraid that things could get violent.
Robert Rotstein: You’re up against William “The Conqueror” Bishop, the billionaire media mogul?
Parker Stern: As if you didn’t know. Could you give me a moment? I have to medicate.
Robert Rotstein: Medicate why?
Parker Stern: I suffer from glossophobia. Stage fright. But only when I walk into a courtroom. If I don’t take my Xanax/Valium cocktail right now this hearing won’t be pretty.
Robert Rotstein: In the past you’ve been linked romantically to a porn star who—”
Parker Stern: Don’t go there. [Interviewee pauses.] She’s brilliant, a genius, beautiful. A superstar-trial-lawyer ex-porn star by the name of Lovely Diamond—yes, her real name. When I go into court today I hope to figure out some mysterious things about her.
Robert Rotstein: May I ask if you and Ms. Diamond—?
Parker Stern: Don’t go there. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run. My late mentor Harmon Cherry—he died violently, you know—always advised me not to be late for court. He was a wise man.
Robert Rotstein: You said you don’t like the spotlight and that you suffer from severe stage fright when you have to argue in court. After this case with Poniard, are you done with the lawyering business?
Parker Stern: I hoped so. But apparently my father is a leftist radical terrorist who’s been on the lam for forty years, and I’m going to have to defend him against a charge that he bombed a federal building in 1975 and killed four people. It’s being chronicled in the third novel about me as we speak. It just never ends for me.
Robert Rotstein: We can only hope.
*Special thanks to Robert and Liz for this character interview!
So after you’ve read this interview, I know you are curious about the book!
Former topnotch attorney Parker Stern, still crippled by courtroom stage fright, takes on a dicey case for an elusive video game designer known to the world only by the name of “Poniard.” In Poniard’s blockbuster online video game, Abduction!, a real-life movie mogul is charged with kidnapping and murdering a beautiful actress who disappeared in the 1980s. Predictably, the mogul–William “the Conqueror” Bishop–has responded with a libel lawsuit. Now it’s up to Parker to defend the game designer in the suit.
In defending Poniard, Parker discovers that people aren’t who they claim to be and that nothing is as it seems. At one point, his client resorts to blackmail, threatening to expose a dark secret about Parker. Then, many of the potential witnesses who could have helped the case die prematurely, and the survivors are too frightened to talk. Parker begins to feel as if he’s merely a character in a video game, fighting malevolent Level Bosses who appear out of nowhere and threaten to destroy him.
About the Author:
Robert Rotstein is an entertainment attorney with over thirty years experience in the industry. He’s represented all of the major motion picture studios and many well-known writers, producers, directors, and musicians. He lives with his family in Los Angeles, California, where he is at work on the next Parker Stern novel.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T