C. Kelly Robinson

C. Kelly Robinson
Between Brothers

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
January 2002

1. Which is more like you: Terence, Larry, Brandon or O.J.?

I have similarities in some ways to each, but my friends usually think I'm either Brandon or Larry.

2. Will there be a sequel to "Between Brothers"?

I have a concept for one in my head but haven't put it on paper yet.

3. What motivated you to write "Between Brothers"?

My main goal was to tell an entertaining but enlightening story about the point at which we males grow from being boys into men. And to do that with well-rounded, realistic images.

4. Why did you choose to write suspense?

I felt the element of suspense would heighten people's interest in some of the less sensational aspects of the story, like character and history. Again, trying to balance entertainment with some social issues and reflection.

5. How long have you been writing?

I first wrote several short stories and started the manuscript for Between Brothers in 1996, so I've got five good years in at this point. Before that I was always receiving compliments on my writing skills in college and grad school, but I didn't let the creative juices really flow until '96.

6. Who is C. Kelly Robinson?

My friends call me Chet. I'm just a guy from Dayton, Ohio who woke up one day and realized I needed to chase a dream. I'd worked in corporate America for several years but had always had an aspiring writer deep inside.

7. Is Highlands University, Howard University?

Well, let's just say Highland bears a lot of similarities to my beloved alma mater :) I wanted the freedom to tell the story without everything being tied to real people and real places.

8. Your characters are unpredictable. Did you ever intend for Larry to be HSA president?

I think so. At some point as I wrote the story, though, I saw Larry changing and realized that his goals had to change too.

9. How did you come up with the ideal to allow Keesa to attack O.J.?

I've talked to some women at the lowest points in their relationships and heard all sorts of threats made, etc. I wondered what would someone do when other stresses in her life, plus the mistreatment of her man, pushes her over the edge.

10. How did you come up with the ideal to let Brandon have a sexual encounter with Monica?

Brandon's intimacy with Monica forces him to make a solid decision about certain morals he has held dear. I think it's a problem most spiritual people can relate to.

11. How did you come about Terence's character?

Terence is the embodiment of many people in our community who succeed despite great odds. We lose sight of brothers like that too easily and focus on those who fall victim to their circumstances.

12. Explain the atmosphere you require to write?

I prefer to shut myself away in my home office, have some classic R&B or jazz on low, and go to it.

13. Can you tell us what book you are working on and when it will be out?

My novel Ladies' Man (title subject to change) should be out in September.

14. What message do you want readers to receive from reading "Between Brothers"?

I'd like men to be affirmed in their personal struggles and for women to come away with some insights into our rites of passage and the choices we make.