Robin W. Pearson’s writing sprouts from her Southern roots, her faith in Jesus Christ, and her love of her husband and seven children. All lend authenticity to her novels.
Since graduating from Wake Forest University, Robin has corrected grammar up and down the East Coast in her career as an editor and writer who began with Houghton Mifflin Company more than twenty-five years ago. Both her Christy Award-winning debut, A Long Time Comin’, and her second novel, ’Til I Want No More, have earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
When did you know that books and writing would become an important part of your life?
Even as a child, books served as a retreat for me, and as a true introvert, I’ve always communicated best through my writing—poetry, letters, papers. I’m able to take my time and process what I want to say, do that self-editing you can’t do when you’re speaking. I’ve used my writing to reveal parts of myself that I struggle to communicate otherwise.
Great novels almost always have a plot twist that makes the story better. Have you ever experienced a real life “plot twist” that made your life better?
Hubby and I had “compromised” on having three children—I’d always wanted four and he thought two. But then came number 4, a total surprise. That precious little firecracker turned the tables and showed us that we needed to trust God with our family size. If we’d listened to our heads and stopped with three, we’d have missed out on four more little heartbeats that completed our family. Seven little people. Talk about a major plot twist!
Let’s talk about your new book, Walking in Tall Weeds (Tyndale, July 2022). What inspired it?
My faith and my family always inspire my brand of fiction. My husband and I met in college and married soon after we graduated. We brought lots of personal history into our relationship, yet we’re constantly discovering something new that stretches our perception of and love for each other—things about ourselves, our pasts, and our children. Our entire family has been learning what to hold on to and what to let go of, exciting and painful lessons. These changing personal dynamics birthed the relationship between my characters, Frederick and Paulette Baldwin, and with their only child, McKinley, and enabled me to tell their complicated story.
What part does faith play in your work?
As writers of Christian fiction, we are called to walk alongside others in their distresses. By drawing from my own experiences, I seek to minister to, inspire, and help readers untangle their families’ “knots,” not merely entertain. In this way, I live out 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.”
Love, forgiveness, marriage and family, walking in truth. These tenets of my Christian faith serve as both the foundation and the framework of Walking in Tall Weeds. The way God loves and sees us should affect how we love, see, and relate to each other, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or where we worship.
What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
I try to give readers a mirror they can use to accurately view themselves and their relationships. Long after they close Walking in Tall Weeds, I hope they feel challenged to examine their heart and motivations and ask themselves hard questions such as “How do I love people who don’t think or look like me? Have I chosen bitterness over forgiveness? Can others tell who and what I believe by what I say and do?” I hope readers walk away feeling inspired to share this book because they connected to these characters and their story.
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Buttered, salted popcorn is my go-to comfort snack when I’m writing or stewing over not writing. It’s filling, quick to make, and I can munch and type/edit simultaneously. Since it takes my whole village to “raise” a novel, we celebrate with food that everybody loves, like collard greens egg rolls or chocolate bread pudding. They’re crowd-pleasers.
Your books encourage and inspire readers. What encourages and inspires you?
Bible study, Scripture. I love seeing how the Word applies to my daily life, how reliable and unchanging it is. In Esther, one of my favorite Bible books, neither “God” nor “prayer” appears, yet you know He’s present and orchestrating all the events that occur, just as in life. And talk about a page-turner! I want my own work to read this way: though it’s considered fiction, I want readers to find God and truth from cover to cover.
Thanks, Robin! It’s nice to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
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For more information about Robin, visit her website and follow her on Facebook, on Instagram, and on her blog, Mommy, Concentrated, where she shares her adventures in faith, family, and freelancing.
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