Author Anthony Kyle Robinson discusses his “For Better Or Worse Book series”

We have reached past the midway point of our series of interviews with the participating panelist of the ILTA Literary Café Event on Saturday, September 4. We present to you, Anthony K. Robinson. Robinson is a compassionate writer who creatively and articulately brings his characters to life. He is the author of the trilogy books in the “Four Better Or Worse Book series,” which includes He Was My Husband Too, Being Married To Her and the current book When I Said I Do.  

The Alexander City, Alabama native, was raised in a middle-class household. He is the youngest of eight children. Anthony is a strong supporter of many charities and has a passion for higher education. He loves skydiving, horseback riding, swimming, reading, and other activities. 

Below, he discusses his writing journey, his mentor Bebe Moore Campbell, and why LGBTQ writers and artists should tell their stories.

PrideIndex (PI): Thank you, Anthony, for agreeing to talk to us today. How are you? 

Anthony K. Robinson (AKR): Thank you for the privilege of the interview today. I’m doing pretty well. 

PI: Tell me a bit of yourself and your writing journey that has brought you where you are today.

(AKR): I once thought, never in a million years would I be a published author. Eight years ago, I lost my partner of 11 years and trying to deal with the loss. I thought it would be best to print and share it with others who have gone through coping. That was my first journey of becoming a published author. I started it myself, but I couldn’t do it, so I reached out to other people to help me, and when they didn’t fulfill it, I end up writing the first book myself. It is titled, He Was My Husband Too. The way the book ended, everybody was like, and “you’ve got to write another book.” So then, Being Married To Her the way the second book ended, forced me to write a third book, which is called, When I Said I Do, so it’s like a trilogy of the “For Better Or Worse Book series.”  

PI: You look familiar. It just dawned on me as I was looking at your picture; I’ve met you before at a past ILTA Cafe Event. Have you ever participated in this event in the past?  

AKR: Yeah, I did when I first published. He Was My Husband Too. Let me say, either 2013 or 2014. 

PI: It’s great you’ve written this book as part of the healing process. Are there plans to continue the series or write more about the healing process?

AKR: The way the third book ended, it is open for me to continue if I like, but I’ll probably write about something else, totally different. It will be based on my life, so there’s a possibility for that to come shortly.

PI: You never thought that you would be a writer. Does that mean that you were not formally trained as a writer, but you picked it up a little bit later? Is that correct?

AKR: That’s correct. It is funny; my neighbor and a high school classmate recalled a conversation with me about writing a book. I don’t remember having that discussion. And years later, just like that I became an author. (Laughs) 

PI: How do you nurture ideas from when they pop in your head to when you get them written down on paper?

AKR: I purchased Dragonfly when I started the first novel, and I got so aggravated because I talk fast and have a Southern accent; I would say something like, “Philip,” the program would type a different word. I had to overcome that. I would speak into my phone to record when I was out somewhere waiting or standing in line, then later put those thoughts in my notes. Sometimes it was copying and pasting ideas into an email. And then, of course, I would transfer everything into a Word document. 

PI: Regarding the covid shut down last year, did you write more than you typically did in the past?

AKR: Yes, I did. I wrote the third book during the pandemic. I’m a regional educator, so my job requires a lot of traveling. During the pandemic, I did more webinars as opposed to traveling. I was on my computer a lot more doing live education and then recorded more stuff for my book.

PI: Let’s talk about some of your writing influences. Name three people who have most affected your artistic style as a writer.

AKR: Bebe Moore Campbell, Terry McMillian, and E. Lynn Harris.

PI: I am not familiar with that first author. Tell me a little bit more about Bebe Moore Campbell. And why did you include Campbell along with McMillan and Harris?

AKR: Bebe Moore Campbell’s writing style is a lot like Terry McMillian, to me. As I read her work, I could visualize it every step of the way. She could say, “I had a purple blanket laying on the sofa.” it would be so clear. She was so detailed with her writing style I wanted to be just like that.

PI: What is the one thing you would like for readers to retain from your books?

AKR: Honestly, I would say that love is love no matter who it comes from, no matter the sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or what you have.

PI: What is the biggest misconception about you or your work?

AKR: Me choosing to sleep with or love someone of the same gender doesn’t make me any less than what you are. I think it’s a misconception that people always assume the worst about the LGBT community.

PI: Let’s talk about the third book. Did you ever get to the point when you knew you had to write this book?

AKR: I think what happened is readers kept asking me about another book. So I said to myself, let me give them what they want. Over a year ago, I was engaged to be married. The title was When I Said I Do. It was initially based on me marrying him {name withheld}. He didn’t want the marriage. He left. I decided to move forward with the book and added a twist. I moved forward and wrote the book based on my desire and journey of adoption. I kept the title and decided to say I do to a child and not to a significant other.

PI: Do you think LGBTQ writers and artists should tell their stories and share their stories without fear?

AKR: Absolutely! You find that you’re doing a disservice to your community and readers by not doing so. And it doesn’t matter their age; it could be an outlet for them. They may think, “Hey, Philip was able to do this; I can too.” I believe that, yes, we should write our stories to encourage and help others.

PI: If you had the opportunity to meet one writer, and only one writer, who is no longer here, and who had gone on to glory, but you had a chance to meet them on Earth. Who would you want to meet? And why?

AKR: Hands down, the late E. Lynn Harris. Through his writing I felt every character I was so inclined to meet this person to visualize his writing style that when I went to New York to the village, I went through the clubs to be able to feel what he was writing and to feel his presence. I would love to meet him and thank him for paving the way for our community of gay writers to express the things we go through, and the love we share for others.

PI: Where else do you plan on promoting this book after the ILTA Literary Café Event?

AKR: That’s a good question. I have a PR person working to promote the book, get it out there, and make readers aware of it. I’ll let her take control of that for me. 

PI: What else would you like to share? 

AKR: Everybody has a story that needs to be heard. So if you have something you would like to share, jot it down, put it somewhere where and come back to it. Through good storytelling, you will inspire others through your creativity and sharing that story with the world. 

Meet Author Anthony Kyle Robinson in person at the ILTA Literary Café Event on Saturday, September 4th at the Atlanta Marriott Suites Midtown, 35 14th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm.