Kim Robinson: Roux In The Gumbo
Where’s your Roux in the gumbo? If you’re not from the South, then chances are you’re not aware of the special ingredient that makes Gumbo even better. To tell us what exactly is a ‘roux;, is author Kim Robinson from Texas!
Charles: Hey Kim, thanks for the interview! Please tell us something about yourself.
Kim: I am a wife and mother living in a suburb of Dallas Texas. I was born and raised in Compton California. I believe that my writing will help others know that they can change their lives as I did. For years I had no relationship with religion. Now I can’t say God enough, and I speak at churches helping people realize that any abuse they have suffered, they survived. I also love to cook and sew, I am always watching movies or listening to audio books, I don’t get a chance to read as much as I used to since my book came out.
Charles: You have a great background story relating to The Roux In The Gumbo. Could you please share with our readers how the book began?
Kim: : I was bedridden during the end of my pregnancy with my second son and my grandmother came from California to help me out. One day we were watching Oprah talk about her life and she said “Shoot somebody needs to write my story, I had more stuff happen to me than she did.”
She started telling old stories, you know the kind you have heard a few times growing up, and since the computer was set right next to the pull-out couch in the den where I spent my days, I said, ” lets do it.” I bet everybody in the family would like to read it. When she went back home I bought her a tape recorder so that when she thought of something she could tape it and send it to me. Every few months I sent her tickets and she would come and stay for awhile. My grandmother suffered a stroke during spinal cancer surgery and went into a coma. I printed out what I had and went to California, I would sit by her bed reading and the family asked me what I was reading and when I told them they said they wanted to read it, my mother made some copies and gave them out. One day while I was reading to my grandmother she said my name, though still in a coma. Everyone said that I had to finish the book. She died a few days later. When I went back home my family members would call me and give me their memories and send tapes which I added to the book. My grandmother’s sister and I would talk over the phone and I sent her a ticket to come but sadly she got sick and died before she could, but I did get everything she wanted in. My mother came and started reading and giving me her memories and here you have it. The title is because everyone who has someone who influenced their lives just as the Roux base or gravy in Gumbo influences every spoonful.
Charles: What is the Roux In The Gumbo about?
Kim: It is my great grandmother and grandmothers life story starting in Lake Charles Louisiana in the 1800’s A European takes in a runaway slave; Gizelle, she gives her papers to travel around the country, she hangs out with the town doctor and the Indians and after slavery becomes the town midwife and unofficial doctor.
My great-grandmother; Annie seeks her out for an abortion which is impossible because she is too far along. Gizelle takes her in and mentors her and soon she is the town doctor. She also cooks for the town judge who after he finds out that his wife hoodooed him will not eat anything prepared by anyone but Annie She also had a speakeasy during prohibition…
The book takes your through their trials and test during reconstruction era Louisiana to 1997 Los Angeles.
Charles: While I was reading through the pages of the Roux In The Gumbo, I see there are life stories of Gizelle, Oren, Anna Lee to name a few. Which story stands in your mind? What is your favorite tale?
Kim: How my grandmother and grandfather were wed at the end on Annie’s shotgun.
Charles: Kim, in the beginning of the book, there’s a recipe ‘My Family’s Gumbo’, besides exposing us to a great dish, what was the reason you started off with that?
Kim: I grew up in the back of my grandmother’s restaurant and my favorite dish was her gumbo that she had to make in four big army pots every other day because so many people came from far and wide for it. They said it had healing it. I felt like that was the best thing I could share with my readers.
Charles: I see you posted your family tree on the back of Roux In The Gumbo. What’s been the reaction from your family?
Kim: I put the family tree because spanning two hundred years has so many people that I didn’t want anyone to get confused. My family feels that I am helping my ancestors to live on. I plan to do some sequels featuring my parents and some of my uncles and aunts.
Charles: Have you inspired any future writers in the family as a result of your book?
Kim: No they all just think I should write there stories for them, I do have an uncle writing his brothers story. When he is done he will send it to me and I am going to help him. He is in the penitentiary
Charles: You have a Yahoo group online called Kim’s Crew. Can you tell us what made you start up the group and what’s the purpose of it?
Kim: I am on a lot of yahoo groups and they were either all black or all white so I wanted to bring them together. I started a marketing group and we put together multiauthor book signings.
Charles: I understand you’re working on another book, this time something to do with your past. If you don’t mind, please tell the readers what is it and why?
Kim: It is called Street life to Housewife, I was a call girl and madam for eleven years. I sold and used drugs and did not have a relationship with god It will take you through my entire life and how I got to where I am now, helping youth and speaking at churches.
Charles: Where can readers pick up a copy of The Roux In The Gumbo?
Kim : They can purchased autographed copies from me buy going to my website www.kim-robinson.com
Charles: Where can they contact you?
Kim : kim@kim-robinson and I have a schedule of events if they want to meet me in person
Charles: What would you like to tell the readers about your book?
Kim : I hope that it inspires you to research you own families and please let me know what you think about it
Charles: Kim, you have the final say. What would you like to share with new and aspiring authors out there?
Kim : Grow a very thick skin and don’t let anything stop you.
Charles: Hey Kim, good to finally do the interview with you. I can see big things happening for you!
Kim: thank you for the opportunity.
I would suggest The Roux In The Gumbo to anyone interested in family and the ties that bond one together!