Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!
Today I have with me on the “SHELF,” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, ROBERT KIMBRELL!
NJ: Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you? Is it comfy?
Robert: Are you kidding, Nonnie? With you, I am somewhere between falling asleep and beads-on-the-forehead-nervous.
NJ: Well, OK, let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Robert: Robert Kimbrell is my birth name. I’ll have a surprise for the first person who can tell me my middle name!
NJ: Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Robert: Born in Troy, Ohio. Now, live a few minutes north of Troy in Piqua. Truthfully, I’d rather be living in the south or southwest.
NJ: Married or single?
Robert: Married. But since this is the place to get down and dirty, I’m going to tell you something. Mainly I’m choosing to share this because I believe there are more than a few people out there that feel the same way. Here goes: I did what you should not do in relationships. I had just come out of a relationship that was not meant to be. For a guy that wears his heart on his sleeve, it was a hard time. Well, along comes this woman who offers a place of solace and safety, and because I wanted that, I was ready to offer the same to her. That was almost 13 years ago, and I married this woman. I do care for and love her, on some level. To be clear, there is not really anything incredibly wrong with our marriage. Further, I am a believer in keeping promises and that relationships are what you make them. But the man I am now and the man I was then are two different people. Really a strange feeling when one day you wake up sure of the person you are, and realizing your current world doesn’t align with that person. I have talked to women in similar situations as well. Recently a woman I spoke with admitted to loving the idea of weddings and marriage more than the man she ended up marrying. For her, in retrospect, it was about the experience of everything instead of doing it for something real. I’m not saying I’m looking for greener grass. On the other hand, it is sad to think we trod through life each day and suddenly find ourselves one or two decades down the road, still feeling a void inside and wondering: Where is the passion? Where is the connection? If you are in a similar situation then this surely all makes sense to you.
NJ: Well, OK, Robert. Give me a moment to digest all that you just divulged. All I asked was “are you married?” I hope your significant other isn’t reading this interview.
Moving on. Kids or no? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters? And please, just answer that question without all the extra commentary.
Robert: Two beautiful and smart daughters, Lara and Shawna. One is a senior in High School and the other a freshman in college.
NJ: Whew! Which one is your favorite?
Robert: The one who buys my books before I can give it to them. LOL. No, truthfully they are each so different from each other that I can’t pick one over the other. One is like a peach tree and one is like an apple tree.
NJ: How sweet! Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Robert: No pets right now. I like dogs a lot though.
NJ: Favorite food?
Robert: Anything with cheese that can be complimented with a glass of wine.
NJ: Favorite color?
Robert: Cobalt Blue.
NJ: Favorite sport?
Robert: Kinda lost my interest in sports. Used to be a huge baseball and hockey fanatic.
NJ: WOW! That’s sad. Do you have a favorite TV Show?
Robert: Despite not being on television for years, I still have Quantum Leap as my favorite. How cool was it, to every week see a man thrown into the life of another person, and try to make that person’s life better. In many circumstances Dr. Beckett changed history. For the geeky Leapers out there, my favorite episode was when Sam leaped into Lee Harvey Oswald. Remember? At the end, Kennedy still got assassinated, and watching the show you thought he didn’t change history this time. But then as Jackie O walks by Al says something like, “Sam, you did make a difference. The first time, she was killed too.” Wow. Goosebumps as I recall that scene!
NJ: Yea, can’t say that I know what you’re talking about but anyway…Favorite Actress/Actor?
Robert: Because I adore classic movies, Edward G. Robinson is my favorite male actor. Talk about versatile and top notch. Steve McQueen is up there in second, by the way. When it comes to women, it gets tough. I am mesmerized by the women from movies in the 1940’s. Ever get the chance to buy or see The Snake Pit with Olivia De Havilland, it is a superbly played role by her. Edging out as my favorite is probably Bette Davis. She was uniquely beautiful and did a lot for female actresses in her day. Davis was classy and versatile too, and even shamelessly played the characters of older women later in her career, after the beauty she was known for had gone away.
NJ: Steve McQueen, just weird and evil looking in everything I saw him act in; always freaked me out. Betty Davis…one of my all-time favorites. I mean, who could ever forget “BABY JANE?”
So, are you a couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.
Robert: I work hard, play hard and have been known to couch hard. If I didn’t get to the gym six days a week, I’d feel like poop.
NJ: Well, good for you! Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).
Robert: LOL. I bet Nonnie Jules can pack a whallop, too! Blatant disregard and disrespect get me going. I am not an angry or violent person, but that’s my peeve. Oh-hey everyone, Nonnie needs a wrestling name!
NJ: You better believe it! And no wrestling name, please. My look speaks volumes without me saying a word! So, Robert, are you neat or messy?
Robert: I’ve always been neat. As a kid dad always yelled, “Everything has a place, and everything in it’s place!” I hated it then, and still do. But I guess if I humble myself that’s what I believe.
NJ: Humble yourself or off to messy-island you go! Now, Facebook or Twitter?
Robert: Twitter. Facebook may have value that other social media lacks right now, but I just can’t. I’d rather eat blood pudding.
NJ: I don’t like FB, either, but nothing’s worth me eating blood pudding!
Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.
Robert: Stephanie Collins, author of With Angels Wings is fantastic. She introduced me to Rave Reviews Book Club, too. And Mary Schmidt is a genuinely supportive, amazing woman, too.
NJ: Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest J
Robert: Nonnie has nicer arms. So, Nonnie Jules.
NJ: Why, thank you, Robert! Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:
Robert: Nonnie, you ask good questions. Only two….alright: Srinavas Rao Joy York. I recently cracked Joy’s book open and love her style. On one hand, I’m not sure what it is that attracts me to this book, on the other hand, it is a great, solid mystery with good characters and plot and twists. I wish I was a faster reader, can’t wait to finish it.
NJ: : What is it about these authors that you’ve come to like?
Robert: Aside from the qualities I already stated, I usually put high stock in reads that have some degree of originality. This keeps me from getting caught in the trap of reading books that have an overly recycled narrative.
NJ: Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:
Robert: I’ll have to go with (title that can’t be mentioned because the author is not a member here) that I mentioned earlier and an erotica book that has an excellent story written by Fionna Guillaume. The former is a gem in the midst of a sea of Indie works available on the net. Now, I don’t get to read much erotica, but had the occasion to read this one by Guillaume and the mystery surrounding the man; the passion in him and the reason for it revealed at the end intrigued me so much.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Robert: Always. I almost never do five stars because too may of them makes the field of reviews look fake, and it’s hard to find a near perfect book deserving of five. But I always review and give the most positive review possible.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Robert: Good question. Consider the book in and of itself. I hate seeing reviews based on “This isn’t as good as…” or, “I didn’t like the direction” or whatever else. The review is for that story alone, therefore only things about that book should be considered fodder for review. By the way, ever seen those, “I haven’t finished the book yet but….”? Give me a break. Finish the book!
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Robert: Actually, yes, I am a bit afraid to upset an author if I have a less than ideal critique. An artist or author deserves a frank assessment, yet I realize some pour their heart into their story so much. They are trying to convey a story from an angle and perspective nobody else on this earth has. So I take this into account and temper honesty with the merits of the book and the individual. You know, I’ll also say I’ve noticed times when people seem too eager to render a judgment of what they read. They only compare the book to the realm of what they know and give a harsher verdict than necessary. Why not pause, reflect about the work and what it offers, then give your take? In the end, I give the most positive but objective review possible. On one occasion I personally contacted the author when I thought it was my place to do so.
NJ: Hmmmm, ok. Read any poorly written books lately?
Robert: I wouldn’t say poorly written, but any serious reader has seen their share of works that have not been edited and or proofread. So sad to see errors that take books down a level or two, especially books that might otherwise be four or five star rated. I recently wrote a short blog article about this very subject.
NJ: Are you an author?
Robert: Being called an author still feels strange to me, but yes.
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Robert: Seriously writing for about 5 years.
NJ: What books have you written? (Please include the purchase links to these books)
Robert: Three ebooks compiled into the Anthology available in ebook or print on Amazon:
NJ: Do you have a blog or website?
Robert: Yes, www.VigilanteAnnie.com
NJ: Name one great online resource or organization that every author should belong to:
Robert: It goes without saying one should be a Rave Reviews Book Club member.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Robert: Rave Reviews Book Club.
NJ: How were you helped by them?
Robert: In my opinion, and as an Indie author, community is at least fifty-percent of what you need. Beyond that the exposure to readers has been awesome.
NJ: Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?
Robert: After several months in the Club, it seems one is only limited by your own participation. There are always events and things going on and always ways to get involved. And interacting with all the truly great RRBC members is the highlight of it all to me.
NJ: That is so nice to hear, Robert. We think pretty highly of you, as well. We always notice those members who jump right in and make themselves known, and who make it a point to get to know their fellow members. Those are the ones who get the most out of this amazing club. So, have you come across any other online entities like it?
Robert: Not even close.
NJ: Would you recommend it to your friends and family?
Robert: I would recommend it, and have!
NJ: That’s great! Thanks, Robert! This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?
Robert: LOL. I thought someone who beat out Wonder Woman would have a more able hiney.
NJ: It’s an able hiney, but it has its own energy and it’s best reserved for jumping over cars and mountains of books in a single bound! Wasn’t made for just sitting and relaxing. Now, please continue.
Robert: At 46, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life’s direction, and awhile back I adopted this saying:
I am not saying to be different just to be different, but I am saying that life is too short to be a mere copy of others. I grew up afraid to stand out, afraid to make mistakes and afraid to be noticed. Needless to say, something inside changes when you are literally afraid all the time. It’s a long story, one that I’ve mostly moved beyond!
My point is this: we all know time gets away from us. Soon, we will wake up one tomorrow and it will be ten years from now. Did you waste it being afraid? Did you have to follow the crowd? What got in your way? I already have things about my life I’d choose to change if I could, I don’t want to look back on my years, regretting that I let fear or anything else stand in my way of real life. What is real life? For me it is living each day as the individual I am. If that means rocking the boat a bit, I am finally comfortable with that.
Robert Frost said those words we’ve all heard:
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I-I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
And I’m finally at a place where I will make a difference.
NJ: Robert, it was such a pleasure to have you visit me ON THE SHELF today, and thank you so much for your kind words!
To my guests, please support Robert by picking up a copy of one of his books above. You can also support him by visiting the blog stops along his tour which ends on Saturday. You can find the tour line up here.
Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Robert was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you. Make it a great day, my friends. We’ll see you next time, right here on the “SHELF” with another VERY INTERESTING GUEST!!