Kathleen Robison, Serious Scribbler
Kathleen Robison, a valuable member of our four-author “Serious Scribblers” writing group, comes with boundless energy and prolific ideas. I love how she mulls an idea over and practices different ways to jump into her stories. She draws readers in through her memorable characters, true-to-life dialogue, and action-filled plots undergirded by faith-filled themes. Pay attention to this writer because she has interesting tales to tell!
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Some Interesting Factoids About Kathleen:
- Restored Grace (Bay Town Series, Book Two) was released on June 21 (read the interview below to learn behind-the-scenes intel).
- Kathleen writes books about real-life challenges and real-life faith. Her stories immediately draw readers in.
- She juggles several projects (novelettes and novels) at a time, giving herself multiple opportunities to process and plan each to its advantage.
- She taps into characters that draw readers in (e.g., child protective worker, wedding planner, thrift-shop owner, a young woman making fruitcake with her elderly grandmother) and places them in alluring settings in coastal Southern California and Mississippi).
- Kathleen is married to a pastor, and he’s one of her greatest supporters.
The Interview (an insider look at creativity)
Me: Why do you write?
Kathleen: Making up stories while driving hundreds of hours to and from my sons’ college baseball games kept me entertained. Finally putting my words onto paper made me focus on why I write. I want to encourage believers (my main reading audience) to seek God through all life’s trials, tragedies, and blessings.
Me: What does your writing day look like?
Kathleen: This may sound a little eccentric, but I get up around 3:30 a.m. every morning. First, I do my devotions and Bible study before I write from 5 – 8 a.m. I stop for breakfast and walk with my husband before I head back to the computer where I write and edit until about 11 a.m. (unless someone in my family needs me). If I have a deadline, I’ve been known to stay in my pajamas and write all day until my husband yells, “Dinner is ready on the table!” (He’s a handy guy!)
Me: Which authors have impacted your writing the most?
Kathleen: So many! Lisa Wingate, The Prayer Box; Julie Klassen, The Lady of Milkweed Manor, and Colleen Coble, Because You are Mine. They’re such gifted writers. I’ve actually studied their books to see how they crafted such beautiful stories. I love the first two authors for their character development, which is my favorite part of writing. And the latter author is excellent for how she writes tension in the suspense genre. I also love Cathy Gohlke’s books, too, but they’re too lovely to stop and study. I lose myself in her books.
Me: Give us a glimpse into your special writing space where “the magic” happens.
Kathleen: I love spending time here in my serene writing room with its little waterfall machine, plants, candles, oil diffuser, and inspiring plaques and gifts, cluttered in a writerly way. I also spend a good deal of time at my computer in my family room. While it’s rather generic, it’s my nose-to-the-grindstone spot.
Me: How did you come up with the characters for your newly released novel, Restored Grace (Bay Town Book 2)?
Kathleen: All of my characters from Shattered Guilt are returning in Restored Grace. My main character, Carol Scape, was a minor character in Book 1 of this series. I “discovered” Carol, the heroine, at LAX years ago before I ever dreamed of becoming a published author. I’d already completed a draft of Shattered Guilt, and when I saw this woman in the airport, I just had to write a story about her. My description of Carol in Restored Grace is totally her. That woman in the airport stood out (older and colorfully dressed in a boho-chic style). What caught my attention were her cowboy boots: bright teal leather, tooled with scrolls and flowers. I’d never seen anything like them. And what really got me was that she wasn’t wearing them; they hung from her luggage handles. When I looked at her feet, she wore an orthopedic boot on one and a Birkenstock Sandal on the other. And my “story mind” started typing.
Me: Introduce us to your inspiration for writing Restored Grace.
Kathleen: The airport was quite the catalyst for Restored Grace as far as the suspense goes. I saw two other women that day at LAX about whom I fabricated human trafficking scenarios although I didn’t land up using them at that time (but I have plans!). In a way, Restored Grace is a continuation of Carol’s story from Shattered Guilt, where her boyfriend was caught up in a tragedy that resulted in a huge spiritual transformation in her life. Restored Grace (Book 2) is her struggle of reconciling her past with her new life and has much to do with accepting God’s grace–and how this affects those around her.
Me: Share some fun research you’ve done for your writing.
I love nostalgia, so researching anything takes me on delightful rabbit trails to the past.
Researching for Restored Grace was no different. I love having my characters drive classic cars. My main character, Carol, drives a 1972 neon-orange El Camino truck. A friend drives classic cars, and her husband once drove an El Camino, so she helped me with that. I’m not a car person, but my husband and I perused a classic car show. Now he’s always pointing them out while on the road. It makes him miss his restored 1955 Ford-Pick Up. It was candy-apple red with a metal flakes paint job, but we sold it when we first married for a more “sensible” vehicle…sigh. My first car was a 1964 Blue Mustang, which Art drives in my Christmas release, Let Them Eat Fruitcake…but that’s another story! Did I say, rabbit trail?
Me: What are you working on next?
Kathleen: Oh, so many pokers in the fire! I’m currently editing Book Three, Shadowed Doubt (June 2023
release), and writing Book Four, Renewed Peace (June 2024 release) of my Bay Town Series. I have two Christmas releases for this year, which I’m so excited about. I just love Christmas books. Let Them Eat Fruitcake is a sweet, slightly suspenseful, and faith-filled Bay Town Romance novel that I’ve been waiting for two years to release. It’s dear to my heart and inspired in part by my mother-in-law and her special fruitcake, which she taught me to make. Then I was so honored to be invited to write a novella in conjunction with a group of writers in a Christmas Castles collection. “The Cross in Morioka Castle” (working title) is my contribution and also dear to me and my Asian roots. There’s more, but I’ll stop there!
Where Can Readers Purchase Your Writing?
- Essential Ingredients: stand-alone novelette
- Mistletoe Village, a Christmas novel
- Revived Hope, a prelude novelette to the Bay Town Books
- Shattered Guilt, Bay Town Books (Book 1)
- Restored Grace, Bay Town Books (Book 2)
About Kathleen J. Robison
I am an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. I’m an author and retired homeschooling mom, married to a pastor/realtor for 47 years. We homeschooled our eight children. Seven are now married and raising families in Japan, Washington, and California. Our ethnically diverse family of 35-plus personalities (including 18 grandchildren with 1 more on the way) provides inspiration for me to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.
Where Can Readers Find You Online?
Thanks for joining us, Kathleen! Keep writing, and we’ll keep reading!–Nancy
Alicia Dean says
Great interview!! And I really enjoy Kathleen’s books. So heartwarming and engaging. Congrats and best wishes!
Nancy Brashear says
Thanks, Ally, for chiming in here. You hit it on the head; Kathleen’s books draw readers in because they definitely are “heartwarming and engaging.”
Kathleen Robison says
Thank you so much, Allie. I’m so glad you enjoyed the books, and appreciate your kind words. And thank you Nancy B. You’re the bomb!
Susan K Beatty says
Great interview! It shows Kathleen’s heart for her stories and characters, all of which I love. So grateful to be in the same critique group.