July 19, 2022

Walking in Tall Weeds

Robin W. Pearson

I wrote my “debut novel”, technically, in the third grade with my best friend, Beth. My protagonist loved butter pecan ice cream (coincidentally). Early in my career, I wrote and edited for a school publisher, and then I produced articles related to parenting and homeschooling. After I had my first child, I was inspired to preserve our family history and memories, leading to my first novel, A Long Time Comin’.

I’ve loved reading books by Liane Moriarty and Bebe Moore Campbell, contemporary authors in the general market. Moriarty does an excellent job of portraying interpersonal relationships and conveying those subtle nuances that make a good story. While her settings are unfamiliar to me, she picks me up, plops me into the middle of her story, and makes me feel right at home. Yet she keeps me guessing until the end. I also invite my readers to come along on a four-hundred-page journey in my novels. They may not know where they’re going, but I try to make them comfortable, so they’ll enjoy themselves and hang on until the end.

And Campbell, is one of the first Black authors I read years ago. She was a phenomenal writer whose novels weave together the lives and backgrounds of all kinds of people. She used dialogue and lyrical writing to bring her characters to life, showing how their decisions and histories impact others. Her writing is lyrical and beautiful and blends elements of both literary and women’s fiction. I also consider my novels upmarket fiction, and my stories illustrate how our pasts can shape us and our relationships. As a faith-based writer, however, I show how God’s love transforms us and connects us to the world.

I've been asked what I look for when choosing a setting for my book. So far, I’ve set my books in fictional North Carolina towns because I enjoy writing what I know and where I know. While I try to put my characters in a type of “Anywhereville,” hoping that my readers also can see themselves there, I situate these towns near actual locations so there’s a real sense of place.

My research for my characters in Walking in Tall Weeds worked with furniture and interior design, which gave me the opportunity to explore two of my own interests. I enjoyed interviewing industry experts in Thomasville and High Point, North Carolina, and researching furniture making. A character in the book I’m currently working on is a jewelry maker, so I’m learning a lot about gemstones. I’m also talking to professionals who design and sell their own pieces to find out about their training.

Many books correlate love and romance with the young, but my latest, Walking in Tall Weeds, centers around a mature married couple who is still passionate about each other. They haven’t made their relationship a priority, nor have they addressed all the “baggage” they’re still traveling with after more than thirty years together.

I hope that when readers finish Walking in Tall Weeds, they will feel challenged to examine their heart and motivations and ask themselves hard questions such as “Have I chosen love and forgiveness over bitterness? Can others tell who and what I believe by what I say and do?” I want them to walk away feeling inspired to share this book because these characters and their story are a mirror, they can use to see themselves.

Robin W. Pearson’s writing sprouts from her Southern roots, her faith in Jesus Christ, and her love of her husband and seven children. All lend authenticity to her novels. After graduating from Wake Forest University, she has corrected grammar up and down the East Coast in her career as an editor and writer that started with Houghton Mifflin Company more than twenty-five years ago. Both her Christy Award–winning debut, A Long Time Comin’, and her second novel, ’Til I Want No More, have earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Follow her on her blog, Mommy, Concentrated, where she shares her adventures in faith, family, and Wfreelancing

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