C. Kelly Robinson

C. Kelly Robinson

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
September 19, 2006

Q.    How did you come about the storyline for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY?

A.    The story basically grew out of my second book, NO MORE MR. NICE GUY. Tony Gooden was a supporting character in that story, sort of a comic sidekick who was full of devious advice that showed a lack of respect for women. While developing Tony's history and motivations, I came up with enough material to inspire a separate story about how he came to be the man he was, and how he wound up growing into a more mature man capable of respecting women and showing unselfish love to others.

Q.    Why did you choose to center this book around Tony who was a character from two of your previous books?

A.    Well, once I knew the story was about Tony's history with women, I knew there had to be one woman in his past who loomed larger than all the others, and that's where Serena came in.

Q.    How did you come about the idea for Tony to adopt Glenn and Ben?

A.    That storyline grew organically as the manuscript developed. Initially I wanted to show Tony mentoring at-risk youth as part of his personal growth. Eventually it became obvious to me that while this could link Tony to Serena "when Glenn starts dating Serena's daughter" I could also challenge Tony to go beyond the easy call of duty. Given that he has no children of his own yet, he's in a position to at least consider serving as the twins' foster father when their mother gets locked up.

Q.    How did you come about Serena's character?

A.    With Serena, I wanted to create a woman who possessed everything on the surface a man could want "beauty, class, and intelligence" but who carried the type of hidden wounds that once made it impossible for her to carry out a committed, satisfying relationship. So while I saw her develop as a successful executive and devoted mother, I was inspired to also show her struggling with a history of addiction and mental illness that she still works to overcome.

Q.    What happened to Dawn's biological father?

A.    He was killed in action serving in the first Gulf War. It gets mentioned in the second or third chapter I believe.

Q.    How did you come about Jamie's situation with Angelita and Andrea?

A.    While acknowledging the commonplace nature of adultery, I wanted to show that Jamie's motivations as well as the consequences of his behavior were pretty significant. So not only has he been unfaithful to Serena, he's been burdened with a mistress and a son with serious health challenges. I hope that Jamie ultimately comes off as more than just a two-dimensional "bad guy."

Q.    How could Tony still want to be with Serena after seeing her in a compromising situation with Jamie, was rejected after he tried to stop her wedding and the continuing rejection she inflicted on him?

A.    I suppose in the same way that so many of my friends (not me, of course, never) have that "one that got away"in their life whom they've constantly forgiven one wrong after another, or whom they spend years pining for afterwards wishing for a second, third, or fourth chance. Too often romantic attraction lacks logic or reason "it's a necessary ingredient of love, but its impacts on the psyche have to be managed with care sometimes.

Q.    Will we ever get to revisit Tony to find out if he ever comes face-to-face with his mother?

A.    I'd say odds are against that, but you never know. I'm transitioning into writing a series of Christian fiction books that will feature a different universe of characters, but anything's possible.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from the way Jamie manipulated Serena and Dawn?

A.    Just that he's a normal brother whose manly pride drove him to behave in some less than moral ways. Probably the main lesson there is that Jamie never dealt with the anger and resentment he felt after Tony crashed their wedding, when he knew in his heart that Serena still loved Tony.

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    Yes, my first Christian novel should be released by late 2007. I have frankly enjoyed taking the past year off from the industry, focusing on my new role as a father to the baby girl God blessed my wife and me with this spring. But I still love the writing process, so I will be back on the scene.