Saturday, February 16, 2013

Interview with Author and Teacher Elma Robinson

Give us a quick introduction on yourself and your writing. I was born and raised in Brownsville, Tx. I'm one out of eight children, six girls and two boys in my family. I graduated from Brownsville High School in 1973 and then afterwards graduating from the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Tx with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Sociology. I also received a Masters' in Curriculum and Instruction and in Mid-Management in 2002. I taught for 25 years as an Elementary Teacher retiring in 2012. I am now looking forward to a new chapter in my life. I want to enjoy life at a slower pace.

What inspired you to write your first book? To encourage and prepare those thinking about entering the teaching profession and, for those currently in the profession. Being an elementary teacher and going through some abuse from some principals also inspired me to write this book.

Do you have a specific writing style? This is my first book and the way it came about was through my journals.

How did you come up with the title? People on the outside do not have an idea what really happens behind close doors at some of the school campuses. Some of us teachers keep it hushed because we do not want to lose our jobs. Although, I did have some confrontations with some of my principals. I felt I had to take a stand for my students, colleagues or even myself.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, teachers have a hard job to do. Our job is to prepare and equip our children for the future. Teachers should be treated with respect! I feel principals should be evaluated by the teachers and their staff. I think this would solve a lot of the abuse.

How much of the book is realistic? All the events are true! However, names and places have been changed to protect those involved.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Everything is based on my teaching experiences. My book entails all my ups and downs as a teacher.

What books have most influenced your life most? The Bible was the first book that ever influenced my life. The second book was the Hymn books at my church. I was 7 years old when these 2 books had a strong influenced in my life.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I really don't know but I do love to read Danielle Steel

What book are you reading now? The Bible.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Not really but waiting to go the Local Authors EXPO in Birmingham, Alabama to see what catches my eye.

What are your current projects? Working on some children's books and maybe the second volume to my first book.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My church especially when I was growing up.

Do you see writing as a career? I see it more as pleasure.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Just enjoyed my journal writing it would relax me.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Upon entering my classroom, I noticed that there was a yellow liquid on Joey's desk and it was dripping straight unto the floor. I walked to the desk and saw his lunchbox wet. Thinking that it was his pineapple juice dripping, I automatically tasted it with my finger. Ewwwww!!! I wanted to puke when I tasted the liquid. The taste was somewhat bitter and disgusting. I puked a couple of times and I felt sick to my stomach. So, I brushed my teeth and gargled with what seemed like a whole bottle of Listerine. I just knew it wasn't juice and I wasn't a happy limitless camper.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Editing, editing, and re editing!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Danielle Steel and how I find myself engrossed in the story.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not yet, but I hope I will soon!

Who designed the covers? The front cover one of my former students, Sonia V. Astorga, the back TC McKinney.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? The editing, editing, and re editing!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? It was time consuming! The time involved is worth the rewards!

Do you have any advice for other writers? Perseverance will get you to the finish line!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Having a good rapport with my students and parents made my job so much easier and fun! I also want my readers to know that a teacher's career is not all a bed of roses.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? I don't feel it was a challenge for me I thoroughly enjoyed putting my book together.