Friday, January 17, 2020

Interview with humorous short story writer James Robinson, Jr.

Writer James Robinson, Jr. joins me today to chat about his book of humorous short stories, Jay Got Married.

During his virtual book tour, James will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

James Robinson, Jr. is an award-wining author who has written 6 books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His first book, Fighting the Effects of Gravity: A Bittersweet Journey Into Middle Life, was an Indie Award winner for nonfiction. His first foray into fiction, Book of Samuel, was a Readers’ Favorite Award Winner. His latest book—Jay Got Married—is a collection of 9 humorous, satirical essays which often speak to ironies and inconsistencies of life.       

Jay Got Married is not just the title of the book, but the lead essay of the same title and an amusing look at love and marriage in the year 2020.

Mr. Robinson began to foster his writing career at age 45 when the Effects of Gravity kicked in and his children began to grow up, affording him the time to write. It was also then that he began to hone in on his sardonic wit.

Mr. Robinson resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife of 43 years. He is the father of three daughters ages 37, 38, and 40 and the proud owner of six grandchildren.

Welcome, James. What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
Essays work better for me because I can say what I want to say better in short non-fiction vignettes than in a long story. When I write I rely upon my own experience rather than telling a story.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
All my essays are written in a humorous and tongue-in-cheek in style, but I also tend to slip into real-life issues from time to time. In a chapter of the book called, All Hail the Jetsons, for instance, I talk about how we all secretly harbor a wish for the futuristic type flying cars but can’t even deal with driving in regular traffic—killing each other in simple road-rage accidents.

My Current Release –
Jay Got Married is a book of 9 humorous, satirical, tongue-and-cheek essays. I write about the ironies of life, my twisted views on societies’ ills, and combine it all with a healthy dose of my own experience. I use clipart and pictures of my own handsome visage to accentuate my point. Like this one:
Here, I discuss my nemesis. (You have to read it to figure out why I’m holding up black jellybeans.)

In one chapter titled: Big Brother Isn’t Among Us, I dispute George Orwell’s classic 1948 book, 1984. Orwell insisted that: Big Brother is Watching. But I contend that, in 2019, even though we have cameras pointed at us at all times, we don’t have to worry as long as we behave ourselves. Cameras at stoplights, at ATM’s, in Sam’s Club parking lots harbor no ill-will to us good people. We, in fact, are our own big brother. We monitor ourselves with the ubiquitous cell phone. Here it is:

In a quote that I think sums up my style pretty well, a Reader’s Favorite Reviewer said, “Sometimes the attempt at humor inevitably touches a few real-life issues but it is quickly diverted again back to humor, so as not to linger or get too serious and forget the main genre.”

What genre are you inspired in to write the most? Why?
I’m inspired to write non-fiction because, in a way, I’m telling a story. I guess I’m at my best when I’m kicking out an essay that consists of my own life experiences coupled with a healthy dose of satire and wit. I throw in a little social commentary for good measure.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My first book was entitled: Fighting the Effects of Gravity: One Man’s Journey Into Middle Life. Now 67 years old, I’m working on a sequel to that book tentatively entitled: Old Age Sucks. It could also be titled: And I Thought Middle Age Was Bad. I’m discovering that middle age was a mere storm cloud for old-age thunderstorm on the horizon.

When did you consider yourself a writer?
Interesting question. Actually, I wrote an essay on this topic. It was about people asking other people the question: “What do you do.” I never really had a marketable skill—doctor, lawyer, chef, engineer—I always had it in the back of my mind that I was going to write. But even though I’m writing seriously now, I hesitate to flat-out say that I’m a writer when asked because I don’t make much money at it. I usually say “I’m retired.” Wow, that’s boring. So, I consider myself a writer now. I just don’t tell anyone unless it come up in conversation.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps advice for writers?
What’s research? What’s a market? I barely have time to write. I’m raising two ninety-year-old parents. I do blog tours, promotions like Kindle Nation Daily, offer free promotions, lectures at libraries, and wonder why my books don’t sell. Kids, don’t try this at home.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write in my underwear.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The typical things that kids want to be: policeman, fireman, alligator wrestler. Just kidding about the fireman.

Thanks for joining me today!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your terrific book with us. I enjoyed reading about it.

Bernie Wallace said...

Do you have any plans for a followup?

Rita Wray said...

The book sounds great.

Edgar Gerik said...

Great interview

Victoria Alexander said...

Happy Friday! Thanks for sharing :)

Bernie Wallace said...

How did you come up with the title of the book?