Author Spotlight: Jennifer Robinson
When Jennifer Robinson was 19, she started journaling. Over the next few years, she filled over 30 composition notebooks with her thoughts, feelings and poetry. She started sharing some of her poems on social media and it was then that she discovered people could connect to her emotions. The decision to share her work wasn't easy. As beautifully stated by the author herself, "My writing is an extension of my heart, mind and soul. It's deep. It's meaningful. It's intimate." Let's learn more about Jennifer . . .
First, let’s get to know you a little better
Where would you go in a time machine?
It sounds cliché to say, but I would go to Africa. I want to study my lineage.
Which super power would you like to have?
Hmmm…I’d like to be able to teleport. I like to be places; I just hate getting there.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
A shade of purple…something bright, rich, and deep because purple is my favorite color.
What’s your favorite old school jam?
"Fairweather Friend" by Johnny Gill
What TV show can you absolutely not miss?
Grey’s Anatomy. Even though I had to binge watch seasons 1-13.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
Luvvie Ajayi. She such an amazing writer, speaker, and motivator. She’s my best friend in my head.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
The Woman We Thought We Knew
Now, on to your writing
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I kind of always dreamed about it, but I never had the courage to even try. I used to have story ideas swimming in my head, but I never really knew how to get them out. I think I realized I could write a book about 3 years ago.
What inspires you to write?
Life. I try to incorporate real life situations into my stories, things that people can relate to.
What genre do you write and why?
I think I write self-help fiction with a touch of erotica. By nature I am a helper and I put life lessons in every story I write, even my short stories. At the same time, I really enjoy writing erotica because people are often uptight about sex, but I think incorporating it into a good story makes the difference.
What moves you to share your experiences with the world?
Interestingly enough, I began writing erotica because of my boyfriend. I’m in a long-distance relationship and he wanted to sext and I just could not say stuff on the fly! I’m surprised he didn’t break up with me. Instead of a text, I ended up writing him a story. He couldn’t believe that I wrote it and pushed me to write more. I wrote about five stories about him, and then my stories just evolved into what I write now! So…thanks babe!
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I only write when I feel like it. I tried Nanowrimo last year and I did pretty well. But…I really don’t want the pressure of having to write every day.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am a stickler for details. I will spend hours researching even the smallest detail. Even things that do not really matter, I HAVE to get it just right. When I write poetry, I have to get a ‘it’s finished’ feeling. I have to write and/or revise until I get that feeling.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
Character names. I have no idea why. I struggle with finding just the right name for my characters, even if they aren’t terribly significant to the story.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Painstakingly. I’d ask co-workers and my best friend but they get tired of me turning down their suggestions. I’ll get on a baby name site and select a letter and just browse. I have a list of character names now, but I seriously doubt I will use these because the way my brain is set up…I’ll convince myself that I don’t like any of them.
And just a bit more
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’m a unicorn!
How did it feel when you published your first book?
I was a hot mess. I was nervous and worried. I was proud, but I was more scared than anything!
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I have completed my second novel, When it All Falls Down, which is due to be released January 2019. I also have about 4-5 stories in the works, but I’m not sure what’s going to come out next!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I used to read much more when I was younger, but I don’t get a chance to anymore. Reading makes me want to write! I like Sista Souljah, Luvvie Ajayi, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Nicki Charest, Serendipity, and Brookelyn Mosely.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Girl you know you can write! What are you scared of? Do you remember what your sister said? Someone needs to hear what you have to say so get to writing! (I probably wouldn’t be this stern with myself, but that’s probably what I need).
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Just write. The first draft will be trash but a trash first draft is better than blank pages and stories in your head.
What does literary success look like to you?
I live in a small town so for someone to come up to me in Wal-mart to rave about my writing is just…it’s surreal. If someone can tell me that they were a character or that I captured how they were feeling perfectly, then I would feel like I am successful.