HAPPY BIRTHDAY KNEWBIE KNEE
Knee replacement was one year ago today and I couldn’t be happier.
Thursday Saturday 11 February 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN E. MASON
CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN E. MASON
“I’ve always had stories in my head. And . I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”
“I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.”
rem: Hullo Robin, and welcome to, uh, my blog… Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
ROBIN: If you call me normal I’m offended. 😉 I was born in Mississippi but we moved a lot as I was growing up. I went coast to coast and back again—in utero! I now live in the upstate of South Carolina with my four feline fur babies. (Mama is now an outdoor cat, her choice.)
rem: Tell us three things about yourself.
ROBIN: I have three knucklehead – I mean wonderful grown children, and two beautiful grandgirls whom I love most dearly. My blood type is A-T+ (A-tea-positive). I am a pluviophile (lover of rain) and an ailurophile (lover of cats).
rem: Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?
ROBIN: Yes. Un. Coffee to start the day, cinnamon hazelnut. And tea, iced and not sweet the rest of the day. (thus A-T+)
rem: What is your favourite quotation and why?
ROBIN: There are so many that I identify with but this one speaks to me deeply: “What if I fail? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?” attributed to Erin Hanson
rem: What do you do as a hobby?
ROBIN: Yes. I paint and draw, but I also sing, act, and play the piano—and will have a piano in my possession again soon! I also enjoy cooking, and not sure is this counts as a hobby but go for walks as often and as far as I can.
rem: What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?
ROBIN: Ha! My “desk” is more like a nest—the area immediately around me. The most random thing probably is a broken paint brush that I use to dust my keyboard.
rem: What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?
ROBIN: Movie, The Sound of Music. TV show… hmmm… Friends comes readily to mind. Gilmore Girls, Castle… guess that’s “a” favorite though
rem: Your movie snack of choice?
ROBIN: I’mma go with the classic popcorn but I don’t do the packs, I buy the old fashioned kernels; I do pop it in the microwave though.
rem: What’s your favorite recent discovery?
ROBIN: GoFundMe. I’d heard of it, but a friend suggested I start a campaign (for a car.) Slow going (so far) but it’s going. The link if you’d like to check it out is
rem: If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?
ROBIN: Yes. (I use that snarky answer a lot, don’t I?) It would have to be a tour of different eras. I love history and would love to visit a bunch of different times. There’s something “romantic” about Medieval Ireland, but if I had to choose one time it would be when Christ was with us in the flesh.
rem: Are you named after someone?
ROBIN: Yes and no. My middle name, Elizabeth, was my mother’s name. But Robin came from a dream she had before I was born.
rem: Do you use sarcasm?
ROBIN: Who me? Never.
rem: Would you bungee ?
rem: What is the first thing you notice about people?
ROBIN: Their smile or countenance.
rem: Favorite season? Why?
ROBIN: Spring. It’s a, er, robin thing. 😉
rem: Hugs or kisses?
ROBIN: Yes. (please)
rem: Rolling stones or Beatles?
ROBIN: Beatles à Paul McCartney
rem: Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?
ROBIN: Can’t choose a favorite, but Romans 12:2 has been my signature Scripture for years. Seems the whole of the Bible is about knowing Father God and becoming like Him.
rem: If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
ROBIN: This question always stumps me but in light of current events, I would love to spend an evening with our new President. I’m fascinated by the press (both sides) and intrigued by his charisma—and impressed with his action. And did I mention, no more PC talk! #MAGA
rem: What is your favorite bird and why?
ROBIN: Really? You need to ask this?
rem: Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?
ROBIN: LOVE to fly! I’ve been to Trinidad three times on mission trips, roughly 3000 miles.
rem: When is your birthday?
rem: What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?
ROBIN: Eight years ago, my 50th. My kids love to rag me about how old I am, so I donned my best actress-granny persona and an extreme old lady costume. My oldest at the time was manager of a restaurant where we gathered for birthday dinner. He held the door for the dottering old woman—didn’t even realize it was me! Best gift—my new knee, one year today.
rem: What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?
ROBIN: I think Christian fiction is comparable to Biblical parables. I don’t market at CF but I am a Christian who writes fiction. It’s such a God thing, as I began to “dabble” in this passion that has always been in me, I began to see who I am, and the more I saw who I am, the clearer I can see who Father is; and the more I can see who He is, the better I can know who I am.
rem: When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?
ROBIN: Unrealistic dialogue.
rem: Which is more important: plot or characters?
ROBIN: I quote DiAnn Mills again, “They are inseparable.” (from my interview with her on 28 January 2016) The way I see it, one feeds the other.
rem: What would you do if you weren’t writing?
ROBIN: Bang my head against a wall, striving to be something I’m not—oh, wait, I did that for years. I do have my degree in Interior Design, and I do love designing. It’s something I can do when opportunity comes along. But writing is my love and my passion.
rem: What are you reading right now?
ROBIN: The Scarlet Coat by Angela K. Couch, [another] new favorite author
rem: What do you munch on while you write?
ROBIN: Chocolate is an easy go-to, but I love cashews and I try to eat fresh fruit when I can. Or cookies. (now I want cookies…)
rem: Tell us a little about your writing journey.
ROBIN: Actually I stumbled into my writing. I’ve always had stories in my head but didn’t know I was the writer until 1995. Fast forward to 2008 and I was out for a walk when my mind conjured up the beginning of Tessa. I went home and started writing. I also went back to school a few months later. After graduation and the big design career didn’t happen, I turned to writing. I haven’t stopped and I haven’t looked back.
rem: What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
ROBIN: In my “nest.” I am sitting on the couch, all my writing accoutrements within easy reach. I can even reach the printer if I stretch. I have to get through my emails and messages before I can focus on writing. If miscellaneous things are dangling in my mind, I get distracted until they’re quelled.
rem: What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?
ROBIN: Discipline / time management. I have my necessary docs open to serve as a constant “look at me” reminder. Once I get into my story, whatever point I’m at, the story takes over and I get my work done.
I take that back, my greatest struggle is the fatigue and weakness I experience with RA. I have the dubious luxury of staying home all day (disability) but I’m tired almost all the time. And that takes a great toll on writing.
rem: Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
ROBIN: I know I’m breaking a cardinal rule but I edit as I go. I love both aspects of writing, the creative part is the music on the page, and the editing is the fine tuning—and relentless practicing to make it the best it can be.
rem: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
ROBIN: The stories, the people—both fictional and real. The network of friends. I’m a total Pantzer and I love seeing a story come together.
rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?
ROBIN: DO: 1. Just do it. And keep doing it. 2. Network, get to know other authors. Build your writing community. 3. Know what works for you (trial and error) There is no “one size fits all” formula. BONUS: 4. Read. And read some more.
DON’T: 1. Don’t skimp on professional services: editing, cover design, headshot. No one can do it all. 2. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Just don’t. 3. Don’t be afraid to share your work with others—and don’t eschew critiques from other writers.
rem: Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
ROBIN: All.over. Seriously, random thoughts, phrases, quotes—anything can turn into a new story.
rem: How do you choose your characters’ names?
ROBIN: The major characters introduce themselves to me. Supporting characters (I don’t like to say minor characters, I don’t want to hurt their feelings… ) I sometimes look for the right name—era, nationality, family names, etc, and on occasion I have posted on FB asking for suggestions.
rem: Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?
ROBIN: Nope. I jump in and know basically where it needs to end up. Other than that, I really don’t know.
rem: Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?
ROBIN: The Long Shadows of Summer is the first of four in my new series, Seasons. Set in 1912, it’s a cross between Upstairs Downstairs and Gone With the Wind. It’s one story arc told from the perspective of four different characters, all friends, and each with their own twist.
rem: What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?
ROBIN: [so far] I wrote my first good kissy scene. Haven’t attempted that before. Read it because it’s a story of discovery, of learning her (Mercedes) true identity, which is parallel to learning who we are in Christ.
rem: Tell us about why you wrote this book.
ROBIN: Um, ‘cause they (the characters) started talking to me. And they were louder and more insistent than other characters waiting their turn.
rem: Please give us the first page of the book.
The Long Shadows of Summer – Mercedes Renaldi – July 1912
She looked so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place her. Sitting on the bench like she was outside Hooper’s Market. Her hat was at a rakish angle, her cocoa colored hair perfectly coiffed. Seemed there were tears in her green eyes. I was certain I had never seen her before. But she reminded me of someone…
It couldn’t be her, though. She was dead, we all watched her die. Floating away like that in the swamp. Her lavender dress billowed up like a balloon, her dark hair fanning out on the black water. We had made a pact, Pearl and Scarlett and me, never to tell anyone what happened.
I was the oldest of the bunch of us and we did everything together. As much as our elders would allow. My mother worked for Simone’s grandmother, Madame Antoinette Dubois. I helped Mamá most times, but sometimes I was allowed to play with Simone and her friend Pearl.
It happened in 1897, the summer I was eleven. Mamá didn’t make me help her as much in the summers and I was allowed to go outdoors with Simone and Pearl. Scarlett’s Mamá, though, made her help with dusting the upstairs rooms, but she was permitted to come outdoors after luncheon was served.
Simone always was most daring, walking atop fences and climbing trees and such. That summer, though, it seemed she didn’t have a care. She wasn’t just daring, she was indifferent. She climbed higher than we had ever seen her climb. She would swing from the branches, like the monkeys we read about in our lessons, and then drop to the ground. She jumped right in the black water of the Santee River that day.
And floated away, pale as death.
rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
ROBIN: That we are all royalty in God’s eyes. These stories make the analogy (like a parable), all four girls (I say girls, they are young woman, in their twenties) learn something of who they really are.
rem: Anything you’d like to add?
ROBIN: I love what I do!
rem: Thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!
ROBIN: Any time. Hee hee
rem: Where can we find you online?
“I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.”
#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin E. Mason, unsavory heritage series, Tessa, Clara Bess, Cissy, Seasons Series, The Long Shadows of Summer
BLOGWORDS – Saturday 11 February 2017 – WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – ROBIN’S CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE
WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – ROBIN’S CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE
I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now, I’m going to share them with you.
ROBIN’S CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE
Preheat oven to 325°
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teas cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
4 pkg PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened (8 oz each)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teas vanilla
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup butter, softened
Combine ingredients for crust till mixture loosely crumbles.
Press into 9” spring form pan.
In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese till creamy.
Add granulated and vanilla, and mix till well blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed. *Do not over beat.
Pour mixture over crust.
Combine swirl ingredients and sprinkle evenly over cream cheese filling.
With toothpick or table knife, swirl through the batter till desired pattern is achieved.
Combine topping ingredients to form a soft crumbled mixture.
Sprinkle topping over the top.
Bake for 55 minutes, or until center is set.
Run knife or small spatula along rim of pan to loosen.
Allow to cool before removing rim.
Refrigerate for 4 – 6 hours.
Serve with cinnamon hazelnut coffee. Delicious.
If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com
NOTE: All recipes must be used with permission.
#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook, Robin’s Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Cinnamon, Hazelnut