Robin Gold is the author of Once Upon A List, her latest release from Avon Impulse. Robin dropped by the virtual offices recently to chat about her book.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Robin Gold] I’m an author, theatre geek, bicycle fanatic, funny girl, family girl, drama queen, cheeseburger lover, neat freak, hopeless romantic, former New Yorker, who still believes in “happily ever after” and doesn’t know what the heck 140 characters looks like.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Once Upon A List?
[Robin Gold] Never in her wildest dreams did Clara Black imagine she’d fly to Vegas just to eat at America’s biggest buffet, or that she’d be digging holes in her mother’s backyard to unearth her brother’s screechy plastic recorder. But if that’s what it takes to get past the car accident that changed her life . . . she’ll do what she must.
Eight months after losing her fiancé just before their wedding, Clara still can’t seem to escape her fog of sorrow. On a visit to her childhood home, she encounters her fifth-grade time capsule and a very special bucket list written by her ten-year-old self. When she impulsively fulfills one item, Clara finds that revisiting the woman she thought she’d become may just be her way out of grief and back to life. With Milk Dud the one-eared wonder dog, her zany but loving family, and an unexpected someone from her past by her side, Clara discovers that sometimes life’s unplanned moments are the sweetest, and sometimes the only bridge to your future is your past.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Robin Gold] I’ve always been fascinated by time capsules. Every time I hear about one, my mind inevitably wanders to how cool it would be to uncover a time capsule of my own. I kept having this recurring idea of what would happen if this relic from the past could somehow completely alter the future? From there, my mind just went to town and voila! A book concept was born! I wanted the main characters to be part of a very close, tight-knit family. And I knew from the beginning that I wanted to see my heroine, Clara, start at a low point and rise to a thrilling high point as a direct result of the capsule.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
[Robin Gold] Dealing with a tough subject such as death in a manner that is more lighthearted while still conveying a sincere depth of loss and emotion was a huge challenge. I learned that “heavy yet humorous” is not always a simple combo platter to cook up.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Clara?
[Robin Gold] She’s a fighter.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Milk Dud would never ever eat?
[Robin Gold] Considering he eagerly licks vomit off a boot, I think it’s safe to say that Milk Dud will eat anything (and everything!).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Clara’s single most prized possession?
[Robin Gold] A framed photograph of her and her dad resting in a hammock that was taken when she was just a tiny baby.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] I really love dogs, so I have to ask – what is Milk Dud’s single most prized possession?
[Robin Gold] Milk Dud had a rough life before he was adopted by Clara. He doesn’t really care about possessions. But he loves Clara more than anything in this world!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Robin Gold] I tend to draw upon experiences that I have in real life – the people I encounter, the events that occur, all of the things I see and do on a daily basis. For me it doesn’t take much. I can be influenced and inspired on a creative level while perusing the cereal aisle at the grocery store or strolling my baby around the block.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Robin Gold] A quiet space, a writing utensil, and patience (not necessarily in that order).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Robin Gold] I just read The Hunger Games, which was amazing (I know, I know… I’m a little behind the times!).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Robin Gold] Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Oh, did I adore that book when I was a kid!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Robin Gold] I love to play with Archie (my 13-month-old baby), hang out with my sister, go on long bike rides, and watch bad reality TV with my husband.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
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