Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope this message finds you happy and healthy. I think we can all agree that it’s nice to see 2020 in our collective rear view mirrors.

T-minus three months and counting until the April 6 release of my next novel, The Sacrifice of Lester Yates. Janice Kiaski, the community editor of the Steubenville, Ohio, Herald-Star recently did a very nice article about me and The Sacrifice. Here’s the link: https://www.heraldstaronline.com/news/local-news/2020/12/suspenseful-political-smart/

It you like my novels and fiction set in rural settings, check out the Bell Elkins series by my former Columbus Dispatch colleague, Julia Keller. Julia won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune. She’s an incredible writer and has created an enduring character in Bell Elkins, who is a prosecutor in the fictional Acker’s Gap, West Virginia. (Julia grew up in Huntington, West Virginia.)

It’s been a rough six weeks for the Yocum family. My younger brother, Matthew, died Dec. 7 of cancer. He was only 61, and died just 10 days after being diagnosed. My brother had an amazing life. In August of 1983, Matt fell out of truck while working at the Cardinal electric generating plant in our hometown of Brilliant, Ohio. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and was life-flighted to Pittsburgh where doctors gave him a one-in-a-thousand chance of living through the night. He spent five weeks in a coma and six months in rehab, learning to walk and talk again. He survived and thrived. Was he a pain in my rump at times? You bet. He was my little brother, after all. That was his job. I will dearly miss our shared history, tossing back draft beers at Roosters, and sharing stories of our childhood and hometown. Rest in peace, my brother.

6 thoughts on “Happy New Year!”

  1. My sympathy for you for the loss of your brother. I lost my husband of 34 years Father’s Day morning after a year long battle with cancer. Everyone tells me it will get easier, but somedays I have my doubts. I’ve had a hard time getting into new books, but instead have been re-reading some of my favorites. Your books have been at the top of my list and I’ve gone through all that we have at the library where I work. I look forward to the new book also. Again, I’m sorry for your loss and I wish you peace in your heart for the new year.


  2. So sorry for the recent loss of your brother. That had to.be rough coming just before the holidays! Our siblings are our first forever friends.
    Looking forward to the release of your newest book. I know it will be exciting and a great read!
    Thanks for the inspiration you have provided as I continue with my own novel set in the Ohio Valley!
    Hoping 2021 is a stellar year for all of us!
    Write on!


  3. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your brother Mr. Yocum!
    You are one of my favorite authors and I’m patiently waiting for the release of your new book! I haven’t read, Insured for Murder or Dead before Deadline, but they are next on my list! Good Luck and Keep Writing!


  4. I am so sorry to hear of your brother Matthew’s untimely death, Robin. I wish I had met him as he was my cousin, too.

    I’m looking forward to your new book coming out in April. Hopefully you will have a book signing so I can get mine signed wherever that will be.


  5. Robin,

    I took your recommendation and am reading A Killing in These Hills by Julia Keller. Her first book. Very good so far.
    I am looking forward to the Lester Yates book. Bennett


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