Please welcome Bryan E. Robinson, author of the Brad Pope and Sisterfriends Mystery Series and other works.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day would be a perfect writing day in which it’s raining outside (so I don’t want to go out), I can stay in my p.j.’s, sit at the computer, and let my imagination run wild and at the end of that day after having been in the zone for 7 or 8 hours, I feel a sense of excitement, progress, and accomplishment, and I can top it off with a great bottle of wine and a fabulous meal and if it’s cold enough outside, sit in front of a fire in my kitchen with my main squeeze and just be.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression, or meal?
Baseball cap, faded, comfortable jeans with as many holes as possible, and a sweat shirt or t-shirt with pockets for my pens, no jewelry including rings, nothing to impede my comfort or computer writing. My favorite color is green, and my favorite meal is pinto beans, homemade cornbread to sop with, Vidallia onions sprinkled over the top, and coleslaw and artichoke relish on the side.
Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
Mostly Southern writers like Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes, and especially John Hart’s King of Lies and Down River. And I love Kent Kruger’s Ordinary Grace.
Do you listen to music when you write?
God no. It would be too distracting. I need quiet. Even the dogs barking take me out of the zone.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Creamy milk chocolate with no nuts or peanut butter, just pure chocolate, not dark chocolate, milk chocolate with lots of chunks in it because it’s pure and rich and stimulating and has a lot of chunks (substance) to it.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I had a house on the Suwannee River and was amazed at the culture there that nobody had written about. I was haunted by the beauty and brutality of the area: the palm trees, manatee, alligators, and abundant wildlife that you can’t see just anywhere and the underwater caves that divers went into and drowned because they got lost and couldn’t find their way out. The images of the corpses with guidelines wrapped around them like mummies and bulging eyes as they died a horrific death.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
The beauty and brutality of the landscape of the south; as much family dysfunction as I can muster; food that the characters eat; and the flavor of southern living along with a little bit of southern gothic darkness in the murders that occur. And I can’t help but throw in a little bit of humor here and there to spice things up.
Tell us about your main character.
Dr. Brad Pope is a 35-year-old psychologist and reluctant sleuth who always outsmarts the cops by relying on his own psychological wits and instincts to unravel a tangle of murder and intrigue. On the trail of deadly twists and pulse-pounding turns, he is driven by fallout from his tortured past and the tragic consequences of his family to bring justice to those who are in harm’s way.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Dr. Brad Pope is a combination of the sex appeal and good looks of Brad Pitt, the reserved personality, sexual orientation, and smarts of Anderson Cooper, and the heart and sensitivity of Barack Obama.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg, Mark Twain, Flannery O’Conner and Eudora Welty, John Hart, and (if I could add a seventh) Lee Child.
What’s next for you?
I just finished the second installment in the Brad Pope series titled, She’ll Be KILLING Round the Mountain and am working on the third installment. I’m also working on a nonfiction daily meditation book for writers titled, Don’t Murder Yourself Before Finishing Your Mystery: 365 Daily Meditations for Writing Resilience.
Bryan E. Robinson’s Limestone Gumption is the 2015 New Apple Book Medalist Winner for Best Psychological Suspense. It also won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery, the Silver IPPY Award for outstanding mystery of the year, and the Bronze Award for best mystery from Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Bryan is the Coordinator of International Thriller Writers’ Debut Author Forum, a consulting editor for The Big Thrill, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and author of thirty-five nonfiction books. His books have been translated into thirteen languages. Robinson won two writing awards for his nonfiction work which was featured on 20/20, Good Morning America, ABC’s World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, NBC Universal, The CBS Early Show, CNBC’s The Big Idea. He hosted the PBS documentary. Robinson maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Asheville, North Carolina and resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his spouse, four dogs, and occasional bears at night. His latest books are Don’t Murder Yourself Before You Finish Your Manuscript for writers and the thriller Bloody Bones. He is working on his third mystery/thriller, Michael Row the BODY Ashore.