Thursday, June 14, 2012

Project Moses Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway

Project Moses
By Robert Lowe
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Paperback (295 pages) and ebook
Publisher: Enzo Publications (first published January 23, 2012; 
April 30, 2012)

Blurb: “A thriller with an ideal fusion of wile and wit.”- Kirkus Reviews

Project Moses is a high-tech bioterrorism thriller in the Grisham mode that has been well received on Good Reads, Library Thing and Kindle (4.8 stars based on 18 reviews as of April 4). It has romance, suspense and humor.

Enzo Lee, 37, a burned out reporter, has forsaken investigative reporting on the East Coast to churn out feature fluff in San Francisco. He likes his North Beach apartment, steps away from his Chinatown roots. Running, tai chi, great food, women who are attracted to his exotic looks. Life is good.

Then, Lee is ordered to cover the unexplained deaths of a local judge and prosecutor. Intrigued by the connection, and the judge’s attractive niece, Sarah Armstrong, Lee begins to uncover a bioterrorism scandal whose perpetrators - including government officials and Silicon Valley titans - will kill to conceal.

When Lee and Sarah become targets, the question becomes whether the pair can evade their hunters and piece together the story before their time runs out. Project Moses is set in San Francisco, New York and Silicon Valley.


A journalist and a lawyer stumble upon secret experiments and a government conspiracy in Lowe’s debut mystery novel.

Reporter Enzo Lee is keeping a low journalistic profile in San Francisco by specializing in light newspaper features. After he reluctantly tackles a story of a judge found dead in her office, avoiding front-page news becomes the least of Lee’s worries. The judge’s death is associated with a prosecutor—killed by a hit-and-run—another attorney and the judge’s niece, Sarah Armstrong, who’s nearly a victim herself. As more people are murdered, Lee and Sarah learn of a company, AgriGenics, that genetically enhances fruits and vegetables—but the company’s ties to biological weapons put the snooping couple in its scope. Lowe's taut thriller is fronted by a likable protagonist who retains his sense of humor even under a constant threat of death. Lee easily generates sympathy, especially since he doesn’t particularly enjoy his unbearable circumstances—he was content averting controversy with his newspaper features. Both he and Sarah are resourceful characters, and their mutual attraction and ensuing relationship is believable. In the same regard, the two convincingly manage the intrigue: Sarah connects the murders through her prior involvement and Lee, the former hard-hitting reporter, utilizes sources and information as a means to take the offense. The story’s long-reaching conspiracy is elaborate but never overwhelming, so readers can appreciate the stockpiling of secrets, elusive characters and murders committed to preserve those secrets. One of the supporting players, a female detective named Bobbie Connors, who proves an asset to Lee, threatened to steal the spotlight completely if she’d been allowed a more substantial part in the story.

A thriller with an ideal fusion of wile and wit.

Purchase link: Amazon

An interview with Robert B. Lowe

1) Why did you choose the mystery/thriller genres to write for? 
I’ve been a big reader of mysteries and thrillers since I was a teenager and felt like I understood what made them work – and not work. When I ran across a book or author who kept me reading well into the night, I always came away thinking, ”I’d like to be able to do that for a reader.” So, it really was the only fiction genre I considered pursuing. 

2) Who are some of your favorite authors and why? 
In terms of whom I model for aspects of my writing, I can think of John Grisham and Lee Child for just being able to propel the story forward from a thriller-suspense basis. I appreciate Dick Francis for his ability to interject content – new information about a profession, craft, industry, etc. – where you knew he’d spent a little time doing some research. I also enjoyed his very civilized urbane heroes. And, I enjoyed Michael Crichton in his willingness to take a scientific breakthrough or a social phenomenon and spin it out in a plot that often had a global feel to it. In this genre, there are many others whom I enjoy from John D. MacDonald and John LeCarre to Michael Connelly and Carl Hiaason. I read a lot of history – civil war and founding father type stuff. And, I enjoy non-fiction that tells the story by teaching you a lot of interesting background of a subject in a palatable way. 

3) Newspaper reporter (congratulations on the Pulitzer)/lawyer/CEO. How did fiction writer make it to your prolific life of career choices? 
Between jobs, I had a few months and decided to give it a shot. The first draft sat around for awhile and my wife kept suggesting I dust it off, finish it and publish it. I finally did. I enjoy the process and I particularly like the fact that you can draw on everything you’ve learned and every experience you’ve had, even for something as pedestrian as a company board meeting. There was a time when I was interested in photography – pre-digital – and one thing I enjoyed is that you visually saw things differently. The world became richer. I find that happening with day-to-day life now that I’m thinking a lot about how to draw a scene or character. 

4) Is Enzo anything like you? 
I think it’s probably common that authors in this genre project a lot of themselves in one character or another, but of course making them stronger, smarter, better looking and living a much more interesting life than their own. Enzo is Chinese-Scottish-Italian. I’m Chinese American but my kids and most of my nieces and nephews are mixed race so he fits right in. I channel a lot of my reporting background into him. So, I use a lot of myself to create him on one hand. On the other, people meeting me probably would think, “Hmmm. He’s not like Enzo at all.”     

5) As this is your debut novel, how did you know you had "a story" to tell? Which character spoke to you first? How did the setting come about? The secondary characters? 
Because this was fiction and I wasn’t writing Moby Dick II, I didn’t feel the pressure to do anything profound. I just wanted to tell a good, entertaining tale with lots of suspense. And, I wanted a plot that had some heft…something with a global feel that would warrant a grand conspiracy feel. So, I had a ballpark feel for the technology that the conspiracy would involve. I knew I wanted a couple both on the run and solving the case, and the key character would be a journalist. And, I had the opening scene. The rest just kind of unfolded as I went, writing page by page. Characters just appeared as I needed them. The more interesting secondary characters – and some readers and reviewers have really enjoyed them – sort of developed interesting personalities and roles a little bit on their own as the story evolved. There were a couple of cases where I could just model a character pretty much directly on someone I knew and those were pretty successful. I’m working on a sequel book and I’m finding the same thing happening.  Someone I just threw in as a minor player serves some purpose in another scene…then another…and pretty soon they’re an important player and I’m enhancing their back stories. I don’t know if this is particularly efficient. But, it seems natural – like the way you actually meet people, get to know them, and they suddenly are playing a role in your life in a way you couldn’t have predicted. 

6) Who could you imagine playing your characters if your novel was optioned for the movies? 
Not really sure. For Enzo, I guess someone who can look late 30s and half Asian. I guess Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves might qualify but I don’t know if the age/acting styles match. Maybe a different type role for Joseph Gordon-Levitt (played opposite Zoey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer). Maybe Queen Latifah or someone similar for the black, lesbian detective everyone seems to love. For Sarah, whomever will be Charlize Theron in 10 years. 

7) What would you like your readers to part with after reading your book? 
The feeling that, wow, I actually read that in 2 (or 3) days. And, I’d like to read the next one when it comes out. 

About the author: Robert B. Lowe is a Pulitzer-prize winning author whose fiction is based in San Francisco, his adopted home.

His past experiences – a 12-year career in investigative journalism and a Harvard Law School degree – enable him to write gripping mystery thrillers in both the legal and journalistic fields. Lowe draws his inspiration from John Grisham, Dick Francis and Lee Childs and adds his own San Francisco twist. Readers will enjoy his references to the city’s landmarks such as Chinatown, North Beach and Pacific Heights and the Bay area’s foodie culture.

When Lowe isn’t writing he enjoys a day at the golf course and spending time with his wife and daughters.

LINKS: Website | Twitter
 | Goodreads | Smashwords

Robert B. Lowe will be giving away a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter at the close of the tour as well as to the host with the most comments (not counting the hosts or his own). Follow the tour and remember to comment to increase your chances of winning. 
The tour dates can be found here.


  1. This story sounds absolutely fascinating. I love good mysteries and this sounds like a great story.

  2. Thanks for having me on today. I'll follow up comments through the day. Project Moses is a free Kindle book today (last day). Made it to #1 mystery thriller! So, don't delay.

  3. Just got my copy yesterday! Saw that it was one of "the best free Kindle books" on's list yesterday, too. Looking forward to it...


  4. First let me say 'Thanks' for the freebie! I hope to get started reading your book this weekend.

    As a self-published author, promotion of your book falls to you. What methods of promoting your book have you used or plan on using? What methods have proved to be most successful? Or is it too early to tell yet?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Karen,

      I'm a few months into this process myself. I found Library Thing's ebook giveaway was a useful first step to get 20-50 dedicated people to read and post reviews. A couple rounds of that helped me get up to the high 20s on Amazon reviews. That - fortunately the reviews were very positive - plus some targeted ads got my free days on Kindle Select off to a good start. I'll have to see where it goes from here. I do think it takes a few books and repeat cycles of virtual blog tours, free days, etc., to build a following - at least that's what I'm planning on.

  5. Sounds intriguing! I would love to read this!

  6. I have to say that the Pulitzer is so impressive. You could just put that on the cover to get my attention.


  7. I hear a lot of authors lament the amount of time they need to devote to self-promotion. As a new author, have you found this too?