LD: Those are some funny ladies. What are your other favorite genres for pleasure reading?
RO: I like to read everything. I love mystery and suspense even though I’m a big baby– longest night of my life was after I read the last third of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon while my husband was out of town. I spent the entire night with every light in my house on, laying on my bed clutching my taser so hard I thought I had fractured a bone in my hand.
I’ve read almost all of The Game of Thrones which I guess is considered fantasy? Love them. And I’m a big fan of Southern Gothic literature, I discovered Joshilyn Jackson last year and read every single one of her books in less than six months. And I love me some YA– Myra McEntire & Rachel Hawkins? Yes, please.
LD: Game of what now? That’s not my kind of fantasy, Robin. Where do you like to read? (Because I’m nosy like that.)
LO: Everywhere. Seriously, I read while I’m cooking, waiting in the carpool line, standing in line at the grocery store, possibly during church (but only if you find that inoffensive and not while my preacher is actually talking), in the bed, in the bathtub behind a locked door, sitting in my yard while my kids play. Every. Freaking. Where.
LD: You read the Bible DURING church? Wow, that’s dedication. Why did you start writing humor?
RO: It’s just what came out of me. I’ve wanted to write books since I was a little kid but was never drawn to fiction. I did, however, journal like it was my job. I’ve read compulsively since I was five. Once I had kids we were living really far away from our families and I started writing our stories to keep the grandparents in the loop. They started sharing stories with their friends which led to me starting my blog, Robin’s Chicks.
LD: It just came out of you? Like your water just broke and then it was like damn, that’s funny! When did you know you were funny?
RO: I guess I was in high school. I’m an introverted extrovert, or an extroverted introvert, I’m not sure which. I was really shy as a child and pretty quiet in elementary and middle school, I still don’t like big crowds of people, I’m more comfortable one on one when I’m getting to know folks.
In high school my mouth started getting me into trouble but I knew how to get a laugh by telling stories. At my first speaking engagement in my hometown my Dad said, “I told you you mouth was going to get you in trouble one day and I just had to pay $5 to get in the door to hear you speak.”
LD: Love it. Many funny women started off as smart-ass-talking girls. When did you know you could write funny?
RO: When my family members started forwarding my emails to everyone in their contact lists and I started getting feedback from people I didn’t know. I realized my mother thought my kids were hilarious but when a perfect stranger emails you to find out where they can get more of your stories– that’s different.
LD: What was the first thing you ever had published?
RO: An essay in the 2009 South Carolina Writer’s Workshop yearly anthology, it was about how my husband is totally incapable of looking in the rearview mirror while driving to tell me if our kids are asleep in the backseat because it’s “too dangerous,” but can count the guns on a battleship underneath a bridge, a quarter of a mile behind us on the road.
LD: Men are funny. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing right now?
RO: I worked as an ER nurse before I started staying home with the girls then eventually writing. So I guess I’d be back in the ER, poking needles in people’s arms and reassuring folks that an ingrown toenail is not, in fact, an emergency. Good lord. I have some stories there.
Oh, Robin, I would love to hear those stories. Gather them up!