Neanderthal Paralax. His newest book, Triggers, involves a presidential assassination and memory swapping.
Robert (I assume we're on a first-name basis now) spent a good ten minutes answering my question "What advice would you give to new writers?" He basically said not to write what you know and to write instead what you can find out about. Writing what you know is only interesting to you. Rob's books feature real places and are incredibly well-researched so it would make sense that he would be a fan of finding stuff out. Also, I never liked the advice "write what you know." I know about raising kids and a little about art history, and I have no desire to write about either of those things.
He didn't seem very optimistic about a new writer's chance of success. He actually said that if there is anything else that you're interested in and want to do, do that instead. Apparently, Rob was going to be a paleontologist before finding out that it was actually more likely to be a successful sci fi writer.
After I got my newly purchased book signed, Adam and I parked on that cliff where people go to make out; only instead of making out we read the first few chapters of Triggers.