Recommended Books

FEATURED AUTHOR: Robin Gregory - Multi-Award Winning Novelist

Our featured author ROBIN GREGORY has won 22 Literary Awards with her debut novel, The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman.
Get to know an exciting voice in literature.


Tell us something about the woman, Robin Gregory. Who are you?

Aspiring avatar. Weaver of dreams. Terrible housekeeper. I was born in Pensacola, Florida. I grew up in California, accompanied by seven siblings, and surrounded by horses, real cowboys, and the occasional rattlesnake. I've always been drawn to helping others, a trait that began, to my mother's horror, with rescuing swallow chicks stricken from their nests. I've worked as a journalist, lay minister, and infant massage instructor for mothers and babies at risk. My studies include Literature and Creative Writing at University of California, Santa Cruz and Stanford University's Writer's Workshop. I live with my husband and son in a Carmel cottage old enough to make you sneeze.

And who's the writer? How was The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman conceived?

When I think of a good story, it has nothing to do with degree of amusement, celebrity authors, actors, or notable genres. I am drawn to stories of characters in transformation, of clearly defined stakes, and themes for social good.

When I was a little girl, I liked to make forts and to dress like Zorro. I was a champion for lost causes, stray kittens, injured birds, and bullied kids. Once, when I was in second grade, Sparky LaGrange, the neighborhood bully, was picking on a girl with big eyeglasses. I confronted Sparky. He called me out for a fight. I wanted to revise the girl’s story, to “unfold a new myth,” as poet Rumi put it. I used my imagination to create a different kind of hero; I showed up in a cape and cowboy boots. Other kids gathered for the spectacle. Surprisingly, Sparky backed off. This must have made an impression. The spectators walked off the battlefield with me, sharing a sense of triumph. This occasion marked the first time I stepped up for an underdog, or a social cause, a theme that continues to shape my work. 

My d├ębut novel, The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman was inspired by my son, who has a number of challenges. In the book, settings are realistic, but interwoven with mystical and spiritual themes. Moojie embodies the human soul, the "lost cause" of modern life. Every scene touches on universal themes of isolation, identity, love, diversity, belonging, and tolerance. It speaks directly to the audience’s soul, inviting readers into a conversation. 


When you grow up in a family of eight, as I did, it is easy to get lost in the chaos. You are expected to look after the younger siblings. There is little time for play, and certainly no bedtime stories. My only escape from household duties was daydreaming—at school. During class, I would secretly draw pictures and make up stories on little scraps of paper. They were magical stories, with angels and jinn and masked heroes. Living in a Catholic family, attending parochial school, I was expected to get married and have children. But I had other ideas. I wanted to help the underdog, to make the world a better place. I realized later on that writing stories is the best way for me to do that. “If you want to change the world, change the metaphor,” said Joseph Campbell. Stories are how we shape our lives. Stories that take people outside the comfort zone, lead to new perspectives, and fuel the imagination, are what I aspire to write.

Is there a book or author that inspired you to be a writer?

I admire the classics, Dickens, Kipling, Joyce, Cervantes, for their playfulness and social commentary. More recently, it’s the magical realists, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Franz Kafka. They inspire a blend of mythic and realistic narratives. And let’s not forget how funny they were!

What can readers expect when they read The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman?

It's the story of a gifted, disabled foundling who joins a clan of human-like extraterrestrials to save a village from a terrible prophecy. While dodging threats from his adoptive, racist “Pappy,” Moojie undergoes a series of dramatic and hilarious misadventures, complicated by his unmastered healing powers. It’s a haunting, visionary tale spun in the magical realist tradition of Strange, the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. 

Readers can expect literary quality of writing that plays with language, lots of humor, drama, and irony. And a happy ending!

Where can they buy a copy?

At brick and mortar bookstores, and nearly all major online booksellers, including Amazon UK, AUS, CAN, INDIA. Here are a few:


Are you releasing a new book anytime soon?

Book 1 was recently published in Chinese, and will soon be released in Turkish. As well, the screen adaptation is under development. A trilogy is coming! 

Moojie is 18 years old in Book 2, and on a quest to find his lost love. If all goes well, it will be done in about a year. 

In Book 3, Moojie is in his 20s and married, dealing with a wild child, a daughter with supernatural powers. I hope to have it done in 2 years.

What do you love about being an author?

Every day I jump out of bed excited to go to work. It’s a privilege to take time to reflect and to explore worlds through characters that haunt my imagination. I love how they take on lives of their own. It teaches me so much about life and the world.

What is your message to readers?

The most fulfilling thing, and perhaps the greatest thing an individual can do for the world, is to discover who we are. We are individual universes, unique landscapes, that encompass much more than appears on the surface. Discovery is an inward process. It has little to do with what we accomplish on the outer plane. It has to do with searching for the divine spark--and honoring it. To paraphrase the words of Rumi, the Persian poet, we can begin right now by closing our eyes, feeling love, and staying there.

Connect with Robin Gregory




No comments:

Post a Comment