INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF DIGITAL DARLING, RICK ROBERTS

Q: What is this book about?
A: It's a story that asks the reader to question their loyalty to their country. What patriotism means to them today.

Q: Why is this issue timely?
A: Because we're a nation in decline. We have impropriety, dishonesty, and perhaps
treasonous acts at the very highest levels of government and business. That makes all of us ask, just what am I supposed to be loyal to? To paraphrase, morality rolls downhill.

Q: How did we become a nation in decline?
A: In three words, the US Congress.

Q: Why a novel?

A: Most folks would rather hear a story. Fiction and imagination make up a big portion of our real lives anyway.

Q: What is your definition of patriotism?
A: The willingness to personally sacrifice for your country. Enough that it hurts.

Q: Is American patriotism in good shape?
A: Not uniformly. There are street gangs and certain minorities that would laugh at that
question. Even where the mainstream is concerned, we can't match the enthusiasm that's sweeping through the Middle East. We're simply at a different place in our political evolution. That is to say, somewhat spoiled and complacent.

Q: Do you consider yourself to be a good patriot?
A: Admittedly, I was a reluctant Army sergeant. But I became a big fan of my country one
afternoon in East Germany when the wall was still up. Fear was obvious in every face I saw that day.

Q: What is hard about writing a novel?
A: Some things you need to know aren't obvious and seldom taught. So you learn them late.
I saw a quote recently I liked. The German poet Friedrich Hebbel said, "In a good play,
everyone is in the right." You can waste a lot of time writing a story about the good guys
versus the bad guys.

Q: Did you have a particular audience in mind?
A: I think the book cuts across generations, but admittedly, it resonances best among boomers. The main characters are all boomers. We remember Kennedy's speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you..."

Q: Who is your favorite character in your story and why?
A: I think Seamus. He has the biggest angst. He must walk the line between two opposing points of view and see the merit in both. And he's helpless because it's really Digital Darling's story. She has a lot to say about whether or not he's going to be happy.

Q: What motivates you to write?
A: The desire to motivate my generation. We boomers have created a bit of a mess—but we still have time to fix things, if we can get over our complacency. My guess is we will.
Increasingly we have the time, the inclination and the means. Real power, not just flower power.

Q: What scares you?
A: The idea that Treasury Secretary Paulson can walk onto Capitol Hill and demand $800 billion dollars with no questions asked!

Q: You also wrote, I Was Much Happier When Everything I Owned Was In The Back Seat Of My Volkswagen. A non-fiction book.
A: Yes. That was a boomer rant. A series of motivational essays directed at the Biggest
Generation. I believe there is an inner voice to our generation. Digital Darling is a further
exploration of that voice.

Q: So, in the end, who is the real patriot? Digital Darling or President North?
A: That's for the reader to decide.

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Rick Roberts is a veteran of Boston's advertising community, Harvard University, the Orvis Fly Fishing School, and the US Army. He lives in Maine.