Monday, May 25, 2015

Interview with Robbin J. Peterson, author of GOING HOME

Today I’m interviewing Robbin J. Peterson, newly published author of the book Going Home.

I first met Robbin several years ago at Boot Camp, an intensive critique session that is a part of the Storymaker Conference held in Provo, Utah each year. I was blown away by the level of talent and craft skill displayed by the people at that table. In particular, I remember Robbin's chapter as we critiqued it. How great to find that the chapter we read and discussed is now part of her new book recently published by Covenant Communications. 

I'd like for my readers to meet this talented author. Hence the interview.

LIZ: Tell us about yourself, Robbin.
ROBBIN: Thanks, for interviewing me, Liz—you have been such a big support for me over the years, giving me and other budding authors positive feedback! The first thing I usually tell people is I have six kids. Living in California that is as unique as saying I have been to the moon. My husband and I met at Utah State University, where I graduated in English Literature, and he got a Master’s studying Asparagus. We’ve lived in California ever since. I play the viola in our local symphony, as well as help mentor music students.

LIZ: What do you love most about being an author?
ROBBIN: There are so many things! Something that first amazed me about writing is how it connected me with people. I live in a very rural area and one day I remember thinking, “Wow, I could just be folding laundry and cleaning up baby puke, but instead I’m on my computer discussing medical conditions in Peru with a senior missionary I met through a blog.” That felt really cool. Much cooler than baby puke. It was like having a secret identity. Recently, many people have asked me how it feels to be published.  And I tell them it feels really great because it does feel good to accomplish goals. But the real joy in being an author for me is the relationships I make—both real and imagined! It’s so exciting to find a new imaginary friend and follow them on an adventure. Writing a book feels just as wonderful as reading one.

LIZ: What does your family think of your writing?
ROBBIN: I am really lucky because I have a husband who not only married me because of my crazy out-of-the box thinking, but supports and encourages it. As I’m doing this interview he is holding my 7 month old baby and supervising kids doing homework. He tells anyone who will listen about my book and checks my sales and stats daily. I really appreciate him! Since my book came out it’s been entertaining to see how my kids react. My 7 year old watched my book trailer and now thinks I write about killing people. My 13 year old who actually read my book seemed dazed the next day and told her dad, “It’s really weird to see what’s going on in Mom’s head.”

LIZ: What would you like people to know about your book?
ROBBIN: It is not just a romance!
Men will enjoy this book. It’s actually an emotional/spiritual journey about a young man struggling with PTSD after a mission. I think all returned missionaries suffer from this on some level. I’ve had many mothers tell me this book has helped them understand their missionary age kids better.
It’s also appealing to a younger audience than I originally thought. I was surprised my 13 year old daughter enjoyed it. Recently I’ve seen more and more teens (boys and girls) picking it up and it resonating with them. I think the timing of this book is particularly fitting, with more missionaries out, and at younger ages than before.

LIZ: Any advice for new writers?

ROBBIN: Attend writing conferences, read books about writing whatever you’re interested in writing about, and read! There is no better teacher than a good book!

LIZ: Thanks, Robbin, for the interview. I'm going to post the back cover blurb below along with a purchase link. Good luck in your writing career!

Here's the back-cover blurb: For eighteen months, Elder John Miller has served faithfully as a missionary in the jungles of Peru. Everything seems to be clicking, including his easy camaraderie with his companion, Elder Kaai, and his girl waiting for him back home. But then Kaai passes away unexpectedly, John is overwhelmed with grief, and his faith is shaken to the core. Why did God let this happen? John returns home to heal from the devastating loss. Determined to leave the past behind him, he struggles to move forward with life--to pretend Peru never happened. But Peru did happen, and the memories continue to haunt him, not to mention the confusion he feels over his relationship with his girlfriend.

It isn't until an old friend reaches out to him that John finds the lifeline he needs. Now he must decide if he can put aside his fears and love more deeply than he's ever loved before.

Click here for a purchase link. 



Jodee said...

That was a life changing conference for me. I was in that little group of amazing women being taught by you Liz. Thank you for taking the time to help us so much!

Liz Adair said...

Thanks for posting, Jodee. I have to tell you that sitting at that table for--was it six hours?--was a complete joy.