Monday, October 20, 2014

How Remembrandt Got its Name

I've had several people ask me lately about how I came up with the title for Remembrandt. Did I have the title first and then write the book? What does it have to do with the story or characters?

The title comes from two words:

Remember + Rembrandt = Remembrandt

If you read the summary of the book, you will know that the main character, Alexandra (Alex), has an eidetic memory. Similar to a photographic memory, someone with an eidetic (pronounced eye-de-tik) memory can recall images, sounds, and objects in their mind's eye, almost like they are watching a movie in their head. So the first part of the title of my book is because Alex can "remember" everything. I always knew that my main character would have this quality.

The next part of the title comes, of course, from the Dutch painter, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Specifically, the painting "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee."

painting of 12 fisherman on a ship on the sea, trying to keep it calm

When I first began writing Remembrandt, I hadn't planned on using this painting or artist. I just knew I wanted there to be a famous painting or sculpture. As I searched through artists and found Rembrandt, I knew it just fit.

Here is the description of the painting from my book: 

Description of Rembrandt's painting

Now, originally I was going to title the book, Providence, because that is where the story takes place, but I'm so happy that I happened upon this painter and painting. Though only a small part of the story is influenced by the painting, I feel like it plays a big roll in Alex's story and will influence the rest of the series. I can't really say more without spoiling the ending of the book, but I will plan on doing a post all about the painting and how it influenced the book once Remembrandt has been out a while.

Don't forget to pre-order your book from! That's right, my friends, you can pre-order it now. I just happened to be on their website and typed in the title of my book and WHAM, there it was. It will be available in the next month in eBook format too, but if you want to be one of the first to get the print version, order it here :)  

Book cover of remembrandt by robin king with blonde girl on cover with russian cityscape in the background

A Little Wisdom from Sensei Itosu

One of my favorite characters from Remembrandt is Sensei Itosu. He gives Alexanadra some bits of wisdom in the book. Since she has trouble getting her eidetic memory from constantly replaying her memories, Itosu teaches her meditation and his words help her to conquer some of the memories that plague her mind.

This quote taken from the book, is so true:

A quote taken from Remembrandt by Robin King

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Just a little taste of what is to come . . .

I thought it was about time to give my friends some fun from my book. It is still a few weeks until Remembrandt hits stores, but I thought it would be fun to share some scenes and quotes over the next few weeks to give you a little taste of what the book is like.

This quote is taken from a scene near the beginning of the book where Alexandra has just opened an envelop given to her by her Russian professor. She is shocked by its contents and the possibility that Brown University isn't at all what it seems.

This next one has to be my one of my favorite scenes from the book. The main character, Alexandra (Alex) and Mr. Daly (a colleague that drives her insane, despite his good looks) are sitting on adjacent balconies staring out over the city of Moscow - similar to scene in the picture below. Alex asks Daly how he manages to keep the secret of their job while still having a normal life. This is his response to her.

I can't wait to share more!

Remembrandt by Robin King: A New Young Adult Suspense

Book cover with blonde teen and russian city landscape

Title: Remembrandt
Author: Robin King
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Date: October 2014
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult Suspense

Summary: Alexandra Stewart doesn't just walk down memory lane, she lives on it.  Her eidetic memory records her experiences and plays them back, DVD style.  It's great when she wants to ace a test, but not so great when she topples over a cute boy in the hallway and the humiliation plays back over and over and over . . . Brown University seems like the perfect place for the seventeen-year-old to forget her past.  Hope for a normal life comes in the form of a handsome new running partner who makes her heart race and body perspire even before she laces up her shoes.   

When her Russian professor gives her a puzzle that seems impossible to solve, Alex discovers that he has a secret—one that will catapult her into a world of cryptic codes and covert missions.   As she tries to find a balance between the two different worlds vying for her attention, she wonders if she can have relationships with the ones she cares about while hiding a clandestine life, uncovering the truths of an underground enemy.

One thing is for certain, whatever happens will be forever etched into her memory.  And some things are better left forgotten.

You can now preorder it on
It will be released the end of this month and ship soon after. 

Here's the summary Deseret Book put out (I wrote it, but they shortened it a bit):

Alexandra Stewart doesn’t just walk down memory lane, she lives on it. Her eidetic memory records and plays back her experiences, DVD style. It’s great when she aces a test, but not so great when she topples over a cute guy.
After her Russian professor at the university gives her an impossible puzzle, Alex discovers he has a secret—one that will catapult her into a life of cryptic codes and covert missions. Of course, running secret ops would be easier if she weren’t trying to impress her handsome new running partner. As if love weren’t hard enough already, now she’s trying to find it while dodging bullets and going undercover. One thing is for certain, whatever happens will be forever etched into her memory.

young teenager with Russian city scape in background

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Marathon of Lessons

My beautiful and fast running friends

I just finished my 11th marathon. 11! And I have a secret admission, one that most people won't believe, but is still true.
Before the race

I don't love running.

There. I said it. My running friends are probably all shouting at the top of their lungs right now, "What?!?! How could you even say such a thing?"

So why then do I run through pregnancies, choose to do all the races, get up early most days of the week, never sleep in on Saturdays, and drive hundreds of miles to run another 26.2?

My first response after reading that last paragraph is to say that I must be a little crazy (which is probably true). My next response is that I want to keep off the pounds and be fit for my family. That may also be true, but it's not the REAL reason. The true reason that I run is because of the lessons I learn along the way.

As many of you know, I like to write an inspirational word on my arm before I do a long run. When you run for long distances, you are tested in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ways. I like to use these words to help me focus on what is important to me at that moment and maybe what I want to work on - as a runner and as a person.

For this marathon, I couldn't decide on just one word, so I chose two.

Why fly
For this marathon, I decided to focus on the scriptures. I wanted a word that would help me feel light when my legs felt heavy. It comes from this scripture: ". . . yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind" (Psalms 18:10). The rest of the chapter is amazing. It focuses on the Lord being my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength. During marathons and life, I need Him to help me when I'm feeling down, to lift me up and help me fly.

What about finisher
I chose it for a couple reasons. One, I wanted the reminder throughout the race that I finish what I start. My second reason is the scripture that inspired the word: 
". . . let us lay aside every weight . . . and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross . . ." (Hebrews 12

I feel like this marathon was a big test for me - I had a painful running injury the entire time I trained (hamstring tear and adhesions). On our way to St. George, we were in a car accident (rear-ended) that hurt my neck and head a bit (nothing serious, but not fun). Then, during the marathon, along with my hamstring tear, around mile 20, I got a horrible side-ache that made it impossible to run for about 2 miles, slowing my time down considerably. BUT, I tried to focus on my words. The word finisher really stuck out to me while I was in pain. I remembered the scripture and thought about what Christ endured. I will never suffer as much as He did and He did it for me. For me! I realized that I need to rely more on Him in hard times, not just during a race, but when things are tough with kids and work and money and just life in general. 

Running will always be hard for me. It just will. But I'm not going to stop because it teaches me. Every marathon I learn another lesson that strengthens who I am and who I want to become.

My sister and niece came to support my brother-in-law and I.
My brother-in-law came up from AZ to run the race.