Robin Tidwell is the author of REDUCED and REUSED, and lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area with her husband, Dennis, and their youngest son. She has a rather eclectic educational background, and finally finished her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has held a plethora of jobs, appointments, and volunteer positions, and tries very hard to make it through one week at a time without a crisis.
Robin and Dennis are the owners of All on the Same Page Bookstore and Rocking Horse Publishing.
Mandy: Hi Robin. Welcome to Mandy’s Pages. I’m so glad you have the time to share a bit of yourself and work with my readers. We have known each other in the writing world for a while now, and I have always valued your support of not only my work personally, but also your support of Mandy’s Pages. I know, most often when I have some work to highlight, you so willingly share my links without so much as a prompt. Thank you, Robin. For the benefit of my readers, who would you say Robin Tidwell is?
Robin: First and foremost, I’m a writer. I write things. Like lists. And books. I’m also a published author, a bookseller, and a publisher.
You are not just a writer, but also a 'brilliant' writer at that. I’ve seen your passion for writing in your work. How did you start writing? What led you on?
When I was little, I’d fold over some paper and scribble and draw. In grade school, I was editor of the school paper; I took a few newspaper workshops and creative writing classes in high school, and have had a few WIPs ever since. I’ve also done a fair amount of non-fiction work online.
Before I forget, I want to congratulate you on the start of Rocking Horse Publishing and even more on your personal achievement: the release of your books Reduced and Reused. I have to confess I have not read your books yet, although it is my intention to read them at some point soon, but do tell us what your books are about.
Abby, my protagonist in Reduced, has the privilege of knowing that SOMETHING is going to happen, and she and her close friends end up living and hiding out at an old summer camp. For ten years. People die. Towns and landmarks are blown up. And in the end, well… there’s the sequel, Reused.
Behind every successful writer is...
… a willingness to keep going and going. All the time, 24/7, eat, sleep, and breathe the work.
I do agree that writing is a full-time occupation, and that you literally have to eat, sleep and breathe ‘your work’. But when down to ‘actual writing’, how much time do you spend writing? Or are there activities that are part of your writer / editor / publisher profile that take up your time?
A lot. Depends on the subject, really: for WIPs, an hour or so a day; press releases, promo blurbs, correspondence with groups, printers, editors, and so forth, roughly four hours.
What makes ‘Reduced’ special to you that you had to have a sequel?
Well, it’s my first, after all! When the box arrived, after taking the obligatory photo, I wandered around the house all evening, carrying that book, and every so often exclaiming, “Hey, look! I wrote a BOOK!” Didn’t matter to me at all that during most of that time, there was no one around to actually hear me….
LOL… Must have felt awesome, right? I had a similar experience recently when I was able to hold a book that contained my work … that feeling of satisfaction and having achieved something for yourself. Well done, Robin. You should feel proud of yourself. I know I am very proud of you and what you have achieved, and also proud to know you as a friend and writer. How are your books different from other books in this genre?
Reduced is different for a few reasons: first, it’s not YA. Most end-of-world stuff nowadays is geared toward the younger crowd – Abby is nearly 30 years old at the start, almost 40 at the end. Second, it’s set in St. Louis. Few books are, authors often stick to the coasts unless they go for a more exotic location. Reused is a sequel to this.
In one sentence, who should buy your product? ... And please don't say 'everyone'.
Anyone (ha ha ... see how I worked around that?) who is interested in potential outcomes, post-apocalyptic stories, getting prepared for… whatever may come.
Yep, you got away with that one, Robin. (Smiles). What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Keep learning, keep writing. Fine-tune your work before you publish or send it out. It can always be better. But at the same time, don’t delay, don’t procrastinate. Sometimes it’s not that one WIP that will improve, but your next work, or the one after that.
Rocking Horse Publishing is like your newest baby now. Congratulations Robin! With the start of 'Rocking Horse Publishing' and running ‘All on the Same Page Bookstore', do you have time for personal writing? Are there any works-in-progress that will hit the stands soon?
Recycled is due out in May, so that is my priority. I also will be publishing an E-book on marketing sometime near the end of this month. Of course, Rocking Horse Publishing also has four additional books coming out this year as well.
Wow… however do you have the time to write your book with your hands full? What is the scope of your third book ‘Recycled’?
Recycled in the third book in the trilogy; I did not intend for there to be three, but I believe that will be the end of the story, at least for quite some time. Abby and Alison are already on their way to Chicago, with Brad and EJ, and are prepared to take their country back, as well as their lives. And, too, they’re searching for the missing children….
What was the inspiration behind the start of your books? Are there people around you who have prompted you, or motivated you to move on with your books … or should credit be given to anyone in particular?
I think almost everyone has heard about my salsa-induced dream that was the catalyst for Reduced! My good friend Laura, the alter-ego of Alison deserves credit for quite a bit of the research involved in the latter part of Reused and even more so for the upcoming Recycled. And my colleague, Shannon, has been invaluable for his advice on publishing and writing and all things to do with books.
Once again, thank you Robin for agreeing to this interview. Mandy's Pages, my readers and I, wish you the very best in all your business ventures and writing. We look forward to the third part of this series 'Recycled', and the release of many more books through Rocking Horse Publishing.
Get to know more about Robin Tidwell and her books at the following pages.
Image Credit: Robin Tidwell
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