Welcome to the book tour for Jay Got Married by James Robinson, Jr! Today he is letting us take a peek inside his writing world. You can also check out an excerpt from his book. Be sure to ask him more questions and let him know your thoughts as you follow the tour for even more.
Describe your book in 25 words or less.
Jay Got Married is a book of 9 tongue-in-cheek, satirical essays that pull heavily from my own personal experiences.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
When writing essays which center around my own humorous way of viewing life and draw from my life experiences, I am inspired by the ironies and inconsistencies of life. I just have to throw them together into some kind of coherent fashion and poke fun at them. All things considered, I’ve lived for 67 years, and I call on every piece of twisted logic and perverse bit of wisdom I can muster.
For instance, in an essay titled, CELEBRITY: Because We Need to Know, I ask myself why we as a society are so captivated by the celebrity lifestyle? You know, why we have to know what the Kardashians are doing at all times. I conclude that celebrity is a drug and we are hooked on it like addicts to Oxycodone. Here’s a snippet:
Having been on this earth for over 6 decades now, I’ve had a chance to study the celebrity phenomenon, and I think I’ve come to a startling conclusion. I’ve read the tabloids, including the National Enquirer, and watched the fluffy evening magazines like Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight, and E! News.
You’ve seen the infamous National Enquirer hanging out with the Soap Opera News in the checkout isle. Don’t be coy. You’ve sneaked a peek, while some pain-in-the-ass customer holds everyone hostage by trying to pay with foreign currency or something equally horrendous.
Here’s a pic of the author, copping a few Zs after reading his favorite paper:
Yes, I’ve paid attention to the superstar life, and I’ve concluded that fame is not what it’s cracked up to be. In short, it sucks.
Why would I say this? Because celebrity is not healthy for all concerned. We shouldn’t get all caught up in the lives of the rich and famous, and they should put it all in perspective, keep themselves grounded. But that’s a difficult proposition, because celebrity is a drug in this society—one that we apparently need to survive. Like a vampire has to have blood, we must know what the Kardashians are up to. And those who are in the limelight need to feel loved.
As you can see, I pulled a fast one. I covered myself with the National Inquirer and feigned sleep. Simply displaying a picture of the infamous National Inquire—the first one I have ever purchased by the way–would have violated copyright laws.
What kind of research did you have to do for it?
Even though I called upon my own experience for a great deal of the essays, I did have to do some research for parts of the book.
For instance, in the Chapter, Big Brother Isn’t Among Us,” I had to return to my high school roots for information on George Orwell and his classic work, 1984. Later, I deduce that the modern-day legacy of Big Brother may have had its roots with Rodney King who, as you may recall, was pummeled senseless by LA cops in 1991. I found out that George Halliday filmed the event from his balcony with a camera like this:
A step up from the Kennedy assassination Zapruder film. And a far cry from the cell phone phones that we use to photograph the goings on today. I had to do my research on Rodney and the beatings as well as George Halliday, who I didn’t know existed before the essay.
Why should we read your book?
I hope that readers would find it humorous, different, and somewhat controversial. I don’t think any other book out there has these qualities.
Tell us about your other published works?
I have 2 other non-fiction books. My very first book was entitled, Fighting the Effects of Gravity: One Man’s Journey Into Middle Life. It was released in 2012. I’ve also written 3 fictions books. Book of Samuel was my first book of fiction. I’ve only been writing fiction for about 3 years.
Jay Got Married consists of 9 humorous and, at times, poignant essays chronicling the ironies of everyday life in word and picture. Take for example the lead essay, aptly titled, “Jay got Married,” where I find myself mired in a horrendous dream.
In the fantasy, my aging father–dressed in his favorite Champion t-shirt with stains covering the front–marries my wife and I like he did 42 years ago but, this time around, the my 92-year-old ex-clergy dad forgets his lines causing me to coach him through the event with hints like: “ask for the rings, ask for the rings.” All the while, my best man sings Sonny and Cher’s, “I Got You Babe.”
Finally married, my wife and I end the ceremony with a kiss. But as I turn to exit, my eyes catch a glimpse of the bridesmaid who is no longer my wife’s best friend but now Gal Gadot from Dell Comics and Wonder Woman Fame. She is dressed in full Wonder Women regalia and looks totally shocked by the whole affair.
My mother turns to my father (now in the audience) with a quizzical look and says, “Dad, look at that bridesmaid. Isn’t that Superman?” She doesn’t get out much.
As we exit the church, and the bubbles fill the air–no one uses rice anymore—my wife ignores the limo and takes off on a sleek motorcycle, leaving me in the lurch—hence the cover.
Sure, it’s sounds crazy. But, in truth, isn’t the world of marriage crazy these days? In my case, what would one do when faced with the prospect of losing their beloved wife after 42 years? At age 67, would they remarry? Would they even want to remarry? These and other marital tidbits are discussed with humor and as much reverence as I could muster.
P.S. The author pairs up with Wonder Woman again in a final bit of photo wizardry Why? How? How are tricky copyright infringement laws avoided? Read Jay Got Married and find out.
Read an excerpt:
But though they may not have realized it, there was a cultural paradigm in place in the child’s household, an unwritten rule that existed for the young moviegoer and their parents—a decree that could never be broken. Paying the adult ticket price before you had reached the throes of puberty was a fate worse than death. This silent pronouncement wasn’t totally about bringing in the cash. Based on the information at hand, ticket prices in 1965—when I was in the 12-13 age bracket—were about $1.25 for adults and 75 cents for children. But back then, 50 cents was a lot of money. We could pay 75 cents to get in and use the other 50 for snacks. Paying that for admission just wasn’t in the cards. And anyway, it was the principle of the thing. For a big 12-year-old kid like me, who looked like he was 15, this was a nightmare scenario. I was a hulk of a boy, and when I stepped up to the window and announced that I wanted a child ticket, a hush fell over the crowd. I had never seen this scenario play out before, but the guy who was ahead of me—a boy they used to say was “big for his age” like me—had come prepared. Born ahead of his time, he had found a foolproof way to beat the voucher thugs at their own game. In an unprecedented move for a 12-going-on-13 fusion, he brought his birth certificate along as collateral. What genius!
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James Robinson, Jr. is an award-wining author who has written 6 books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His first book Fighting the Effects of Gravity: A Bittersweet Journey Into Middle Life, was an Indie Award winner for nonfiction. His first foray into fiction, Book of Samuel, was a Readers’ Favorite Award Winner. His latest book—Jay Got Married—is a collection of 9 humorous, sometimes poignant essays.
Mr. Robinson resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife of 43 years. He is the father of three daughters ages 37, 38, and 40 and has six grandchildren
James Robinson Jr. will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway