Author Interview – James Robinson Jr.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Do you intend to make writing a career? What’s a career? At the age of sixty, I can’t exactly say that I’m going for a career at this point. As my father—who is 85—said to me concerning my writing career: “Don’t give up; the way I figure it, you have a good 17 years left.”  (I’m not sure where he came up with the 17 years.) My goal is to make enough money at this thing to be able to tell everyone that I’m a writer if they ask. If the truth be told, I’ve never really had a career; I’ve just tried to put food on the table for my family. I’ve had 7 full-time gigs from 1974 – 2010 and the last one (2005-2010) made totally lose faith in the human race.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I would describe my writing as humorous, subtle, wry and—at times—self-deprecating. I enjoy making people laugh and many readers say that they laugh out loud when they read Fighting the Effects of Gravity. One of the reader’s favorite sections seems to be the chapter on old age where I discuss, in great detail, how my father, my wife and I had to covertly get my grandmother into a home. The only way the mission was accomplished was when my father told his mother that he was going to call the police and have her forcibly removed. True story. (He was bluffing.)

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Fighting the Effects of Gravity: A Bittersweet Journey Into Middle Life chronicles my personal decent into the valley of midlife when—literally overnight—my butt began to slip and my prized pair of jeans no longer fit and I was at a loss to explain it. In ensuing chapters I discuss midlife topics to which all mid-lifers—and even younger people—can relate such as death, old age, sex, and loss of vision. The final chapter, entitled “Life Sucks Then They Give You a Wristwatch” is actually very inspirational and ends with the words of the late Jimmy Durante: “Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”

How did you come up with your title?It’s been so long since I undertook this project that I can’t really remember exactly how I came up with the title. I remember I was working with a gentleman who runs a local Pittsburgh publishing company who was the first to publish the book. The two of us came up with the definitive title.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? It seemed like a natural. I was reaching middle age and the story about my ill-fitting jeans came to me and seemed like I could center the book around that idea. Everything grew from there.


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Genre – Non Fiction Memoir

Rating – PG

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