An Interview with Author Robin Elno

Robin Elno is a retired army colonel, semiretired psychiatrist, and full-time author. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, where he is an active member of the San Antonio Writers’ Guild. Elno’s Clown William series was inspired by the work of neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about the unusual speed and accuracy often displayed by people with Tourette’s syndrome. Intrigued by the idea that strengths can rise from differences, Elno created the unique and compelling character of Clown William. Elno’s novels are often set against true historical backdrops like the Wild West.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I was raised Mennonite 

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

What are those?

What scares you the most? 

Living into helplessness and pain.

What makes you happiest? 

Friends, old movies and a well-turned phrase or dynamic sentence whether I wrote it or not.

Why do you write?

Never been able to distinguish myself in sports.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 


What motivates you to write? 

An idea that begs to be developed.

Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance

What books did you love growing up? 

Lord of the Rings, Michener’s The Source and Centennial and Dr. Seuss.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

My God, this was an old dude. But he’ll be missed.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I grew up in Ohio with great friends with whom I still gather these 50 years later. I now live in San Antonio and Oregon.

How did you develop your writing?

I joined the local writing guild and worked on the craft with review and shared critique 2 to 3 times per week. I cannot over-emphasis how helpful a collaborative group of writers can be, and the members of the San Antonio Writers Guild (SAWG) are a wonderful group of talented and giving folk.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

Though all have unique challenges, I am most challenged by marketing.

What marketing works for you?

If I could get President Trump to tweet about my character, I would have it made. 

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

Not at all.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

Yes, fully.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I am a psychiatrist and I work as locum tenens, traveling to different temporary assignments.

What other jobs have you had in your life?

I am a retired Army Colonel. In my distant youth I was a security guard, and a movie usher.  One summer I drove truck for a traveling petting zoo. I worked as a guide at an amusement park.

Tell us about your family?

I have three sisters and we spend Christmas together in Ohio and sometimes enclave during the summer. I have two children- a son is a public defender in Kentucky and my daughter is a college psychology professor in Michigan. I have five grandchildren.

How do you write – laptop, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? 

Desk top computer

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 

Six hours

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? 

My alpha reading group and my publisher- Ingram Elliott.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

 Stephen King, Larry McMurtry and JRR Tolkien.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it? 

William’s story is not over. 

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?

Socrates, Billy the Kid and Jesus. 

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? 

Watch old movies, read, travel.  I really enjoy Amtrak and wish they would get enough funding to rebuild into the 21st century.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?

Empowered, uplifted and a little sorry to be at the end of the book.


3 thoughts on “An Interview with Author Robin Elno

  1. Thanks so much for hosting Robin!

    Liked by 1 person

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