Citizen Voice & Times NEWS Thursday, May 24, 2012 A•7
Kentucky author signs second contract Less than three months ago, Earl Lowell “Robbie” Robbins, Jr., a.k.a No Sweat,” formerly from Irvine and Ravenna, signed a contract with Old Seventy Creek Press giving the rights to publish and release his first novel, These Precious Days. This week “No Sweat” signed a new contract with ITOH Press giving them the rights to publish and release his second novel, Nefarious. “I went for over thirty years and could not find a publisher that was willing to invest in my work,” Robbins said. “I had more than a thousand rejections. And now, in less than 100 days, I’ve been able to sell two different novels to two different publishers. The only request I made in this new contract was that I got to keep my pen name, No Sweat. Nefarious will be sent to the 2013 Pulitzer Committee in New York. The fact that I will have two different novels before the 2013 Pulitzer Committee feels good.” Nefarious is based on the life of Edward Hawkins, the first man legally hanged in Estill County, Kentucky. The two main characters in NEFARIOUS are Ed and his uncle Moses. Uncle Moses is a traveling preacher that teaches Ed bad things in a funny way.
Citizen Voice & Times NEWS , May 10, 2012
Estill native’s book is published, sent to Pulitzer committee Robbie “No Sweat” Robbins with his grandson Lance By Rhonda Smyth CV&T News Editor Estill County native Earl “Robbie” Robbins Jr. realized a lifelong dream recently when one of the seven novels he has written was published. The book, “These Precious Days,” was published under the pen name “No Sweat” and was released across the United States and in Europe. Robbins received word last week that the book has been submitted to the Pulitzer committee for consideration for the prize in 2013. The book is available through Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble. Robbins said he wrote the book as a journal with each entry having an introduction and given the name of a song popularized by Billie Holiday. “The entries vary in form, sometimes being a letter or even a poem. It is set in a mythical place in eastern Kentucky called “Aopehh” in the year 1982,” he said. Robbins, a 1969 graduate of Irvine High School, has been writing since he was a boy attending Irvine Elementary School. “I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember sitting alone in a chair in the corner of my parent’s apartment with a big pencil writing stories just to please myself,” Robbins explained. Robbins is the son of Earl “Rob” Robbins and the late Nancy McClanahan Robbins. He said he won an essay writing contest at school on the topic “Why I Love America.” This was only the beginning. He went on to write feature stories alongside Darrell Richardson for the Irvine High newspaper and later became feature editor for the Irvine Times-Herald before it was purchased by Guy Hatfield to become the Citizen Voice & Times. Robbins wrote articles about the swim team he was on for the Eastern Progress while attending Eastern Kentucky University. Over the years he wrote for pigeon and archaeology magazines and other areas in which he was interested. “When I turned 30 I set out to write my first novel. I completed the work four years later. I have had more than 1,000 rejections from literary agents and editors before one of my poor novels has surfaced,” Robbins said. “You must have a dream before one can come true.” Robbins is quick to mention people he has come in contact with who helped him to become the successful author he is today. “For 17 years while I lived in Ravenna, Dave Cox lived on one side of me and Lindy Yeager on the other side. Lindy had a singular influence on my conviction to become a writer. He was relentless in beating me down to write about the things others would not,” Robbins said. “He influenced me to write in painful ways that in some strange way made me come clean with my worst secrets. He was nothing short of a genius and a saint rolled into one. I was fortunate to be near him,” he said. When Yeager committed suicide, Robbins said he and Cox remained friends. “Dave was always giving me positive reinforcement, laughing at the same things I laughed at, seeing the same things that I saw. He stuck by my side. Friends like him are worth their weight in gold,” he said. Robbins credits his wife, Chesteen, for the support she has given him for the past 45 years. “She has been incredibly patient and sensitive toward my desire to become an author. I know I have driven her crazy,” he said. He also mentions two other friends who have stayed with him through the 30 years it took him to get “These Precious Days” published. They are Howard Farris and Eddie Woolery. The book is dedicated to these two friends as well as his family. Robbins goals for the future include having the novel “Nefarious” published. “It’s the story of a traveling preacher and his nephew and is set in Estill County in the 1800s. I think the people from my hometown would enjoy it,” he said. He said his dream was to see this novel in a theater since he grew up in one. “My mom sold tickets in my grandpa’s theater. I can still shut my eyes and describe every inch of it. I had the best grandfather in the world, so humble and kind. His theater will always remain inside of me.” On amazon.com the book is described in this way: ”No Sweat has painted a portrait of a man caught in the web of his times, a victim turned survivor, a player in the eponymous reality show of hand-to-mouth grubbing and a victor who has circumvented conventionality.” The book may be previewed and purchased by going to amazon.com and searching for the title.