Holly Robinson

Holly Robinson
Massachusetts, USA
December 03
Journalist Holly Robinson is the author of the novel Sleeping Tigers and The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir. Visit her web site at www.authorhollyrobinson.com.


Holly Robinson's Links

SEPTEMBER 6, 2012 8:38PM

A Stepmom Who Lived Happily Ever After

My youngest brother sent me an email today asking whether he should invite our stepmother to his wedding. “I don't want to upset Mom,” he said.

Getting that email sent me mentally skittering back to my first wedding rehearsal dinner, to that horrific moment when the hostess insisted… Read full post »

AUGUST 27, 2012 10:40AM

Are You Worried?

There's something new to worry about today: Eastern Equine Encephalitis, known by the catchy little phrase, "Triple E!" like some major sports team. But this is no group of hulking hockey players or leggy basketball stars. Triple E is a mosquito-born illness that drops horses to the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 13, 2012 10:53AM

What Makes a Memoir “Great?”

I just finished reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed's memoir about hiking from California to Oregon after the death of her mother sends her life spiraling downward. I'm still aching from the powerful punch of this story, delivered with so much grace/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 27, 2012 12:46PM

Hey Writer! What's Your Brand?

Most of us are cynical enough by now to see that life is all about branding, whether we're being bombarded by ads for colleges, books, cars, shampoos, or a new designer line of t-shirts ($90 for a white GOOP t-shirt, Gwyneth Paltrow? Really?). Brands are built via movie placements,… Read full post »

JUNE 22, 2012 4:34PM

Why Are Women Afraid of Mice?

I am not afraid of much. I have hiked through the Andes and the Himalayas, zip-lined through a Mexican jungle, driven on motorcycles far too fast. I have given birth to three children and beaten off two separate muggers intent on grabbing my purse. I have jumped out… Read full post »

This past week, when 18-year-old Aaron Deveau of Haverhill, MA, was convicted of violating a recent law that bans drivers from texting, he made history. He also broke a lot of hearts on both sides of the case—especially among those of us holding our breaths every time one of our… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2012 9:21PM

Do It Yourself or Die Trying

My husband came upstairs last night sporting a satisfied smile.

“Did you fix it?” I asked.



“Paper clip,” he said, and we both laughed.

What my husband had done was mend our broken toilet by using a paper clip to reconnect… Read full post »

Self-publishing is about as democratic as anything else, in the sense that 1) anyone is free to try it and 2) it takes money to make money.

I have one self-published friend who recently admitted to spending over $15,000 to market her Indie novel. She's… Read full post »

 I am not a gushy sort of person when it comes to celebrities, nor am I particularly political. So, when I heard that President Obama was going to speak during our daughter's graduation from Barnard College last week, I was less than thrilled.

“Think of the security,”… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 7, 2012 3:57PM

Are We Ever Too Old to Be Called “Promising?”

When I received my latest issue of Poets and Writers Magazine, I did what I always do: I put it in a special place on the nightstand, where I could devour it after finishing work, dinner, dishes, and putting my youngest son to bed. I've been subscribing to this/… Read full post »

No matter how long you've been writing, you've probably experienced that panic-induced paralysis known as writer's block. Common causes are a recent rejection, a good friend's sudden literary success, and the certainty that whatever you're writing is absolute crap.

So what do you do? The obvious/… Read full post »


My friend Melanie finally lured me into joining Twitter Nation by bribing me with scones and tea.

“It's really easy, and it's great once you get the hang of it,” she said as we buttered scones. “Come on. I'll show you how… Read full post »

Many of my friends have children who are getting their college acceptance letters—or rejections—this month. This means that I'm doing a lot of cheering--and consoling.

The cheering is easy. We all love to see those nice fat college acceptance envelopes in the mail, proving that… Read full post »

Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This wasn't the “do something or die” kind of cancer that my friends Rachel and Kim went through last year. It wasn't even the “lump the size of a grapefruit” breast cancer my mom had removed after getting… Read full post »

When I was in first grade, I had an art teacher who shamed me into crying in front of the entire classroom.

She had given us an easy assignment. Handing out blocks of wood, she asked us to draw faces on them. I loved art,… Read full post »

MARCH 26, 2012 8:35AM

A Cat Living a Dog's Life

I never meant to adopt two cats instead of one, much less to fall in love with a cat that thinks he's a dog. But sometimes life surprises you. Or, in cat terms, sometimes life is a ball of yarn that unwinds into unexpected pleasures.

It all began… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 27, 2012 10:41AM

Pimping Your Book, Indie or Traditional


Now that I've got feet in both camps, I have a unique perspective on the good, the bad and the mysterious truths about book marketing. My memoir, The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter, was published by Random House. I leaped into the indie world when I self-published my first/… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2012 2:13PM

How I Sold a Novel in Just 25 Years!


 When my agent called a few weeks ago to say that an editor at Penguin wanted to buy my new novel, The Wishing Hill, I literally had to lie down. Otherwise, I might have fallen out of my chair. After all, I've been waiting for this call for/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 8, 2012 9:16AM

Why Writers Need Readers: Not for the Obvious Reason

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I'd like to participate in his “Books, Authors, and Wine Tasting” event. I had just published my novel Sleeping Tigers, so I said yes. I wasn't expecting to sell any books, really—I hadn't started marketing the novel yet, and/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2012 4:55PM

Maybe Private School is Cheaper than Ritalin

I was eating lunch when I got a text from my youngest son today. “95 on Spanish quiz!” he wrote.

Ironically, at that very moment I was catching up on the New York Times, where I stumbled upon the January 28 article, “Ritalin Gone/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 17, 2012 8:03PM

Why I Told My Daughter to Quit Her Job

My daughter called me last night to celebrate her news. “I got the job!” she said. “I'm going to be decorating cupcakes!”

I cheered. My daughter earned an honors degree in Natural Resources from a major university this past May. This is the happiest I've heard… Read full post »


I gave myself a book for my birthday this year: my own novel.

It's still tough to admit that I'm self-published, despite the fact that the publishing world is now a Wild West of rogue indie presses and bowlegged cocky ebook publishers firing their… Read full post »

DECEMBER 28, 2011 3:24PM

Saying Goodbye to a Good Dog


McDuff, my Cairn terrier, looks more like a pot-bellied pig every day. His swollen abdomen is low-slung and his short legs bow out at the elbows—symptoms of Cushing's Disease. Recently we had to put up a baby gate to keep him from going upstairs; the last… Read full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2011 1:12PM

How Much Is a Book Worth?

Recently, I was nosing around a local bookstore in search of a perfect Christmas read for my father-in-law. He's a history buff; last year I gave him the stellar book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. He's still raving about it. What can I possibly give him this year to/… Read full post »



My husband gave me a Kindle for my birthday. (Forgive him, O Indie booksellers. He is an engineer who knows not what he does.)

At first I protested. As a writer, avid reader, and patron of indie bookstores with cats curled… Read full post »