Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Suzanne Van Rooyen, author of the amazing novel, I HEART ROBOT, about her literary dreams as well as how music inspired her story.
First, let’s take a look at the novel.
Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won’t belittle her musical aspirations.
Q-I-99 aka ‘Quinn’ lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.
Tyri and Quinn’s worlds collide when they’re accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn’s love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?
Of course, loving music the way I do, I was intrigued by the premise of the story and found myself asking all sorts of questions surrounding the musical aspect of this book. Here is what Suzanne had to say:
Q & A with Suzanne Van Rooyen
I Heart Robot is being made into a major motion picture film. Who would you pick to compose/arrange the musical score: Howard Shore? John Williams? James Horner? Someone else?
Brilliant question! Despite how much I love the epic scores by Hans Zimmer and adore the music by composers including Ramin Djawadi, Rachel Portman, James Horner and John Murphy, I think I’d want a Scandinavian composer to work on the score for I Heart Robot. My choice would be the young Icelandic composer, Ólafur Arnalds. He has written music for the UK TV series Broadchurch and for films including Gimme Shelter and Life in a Fishbowl. I did a lot of I Heart Robot editing to his album ‘For Now I Am Winter’ and also had the privilege of seeing him perform live in Helsinki. His music – an eerie mix of strings and synthesized sounds – would be perfect for conjuring the bleak reality of the robots while providing that Scandinavian quality ideal for the setting in I Heart Robot.
Who would you pick to play the parts of Tyri and Q-I-99 “Quinn”?
I can totally see Maisie Williams playing the part of Tyri and as for Quinn, I think the Swiss actor Sven Schelker has the perfect look for my blond and silver-eyed android.
Also, you appear in the film as a musician. The instrument you play is critical to bonding Tyri and Quinn together. What instrument do you play that will speak to both of their ‘souls’?
Wow, tricky question. Since both Tyri and Quinn are violinists, the only instrument I actually play that could potentially bring them together would be the piano. I could imagine playing the accompaniment on piano for a violin duet between the two of them that would be part battle and part love song.
Thank you, Suzanne, for taking the time to answer a few of my questions so I could share your story with so many others.
To everyone else, I hope you are as intrigued by this novel as I was. Please add it to your Goodreads list:
Title: I Heart Robot
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.
Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.