Robin's primary writing goal is to create stories about all kinds of people, some of whom happen to be gay or transgender–people whose destinies are not determined solely by their sexual orientation or identity. Her secondary writing goal is to introduce readers to concepts or information they might not know very much about.
Interests outside of writing include singing, nature photography, and the study of comparative religion. Robin writes in a butter yellow study with a view of the Boston, Massachusetts skyline.
Everything sixteen-year-old Simon Fitzroy-Hunt loves in is in England. There’s his school, his boyfriend, his cat, and especially Oxford University, which Simon plans to attend just as his beloved late father planned. But all of Simon’s certainties come crashing down when his mother remarries and drags him to Boston with her.
Furious and unforgiving, Simon finds plenty to resent in America. His stepsister is overindulged by her father and struggling with Asperger syndrome. And Simon’s school project—coaching a young student for the national Spelling Bee—hits a complication when eleven-year-old Toby makes a confession: there’s a girl trapped inside his body, and her name is Kay.
Helping Kay find her way begins changing Simon, too, presenting different perspectives and revealing a strength that’s gone untapped until now. And as the life he’s known, and the future he envisioned, slips further away each day, he realizes he can either lose his direction entirely, or forge a new—and perhaps even better—path.
Educating Simon Excerpt
The Revelations of Jude Connor
Jude Connor’s rural Idaho hometown is a place of strong values and high expectations. For those who fit into the local church’s narrow confines, there’s support and fellowship. For those who don’t, there’s ostracism in this life and certain damnation in the next.
Jude wants desperately to be saved—to believe with the fervor of the charismatic Reverend Amos King, whose sermons are filled with brimstone and righteousness. But every time Jude thinks he’s found the right path, there’s a fork in the road, and Truth seems to be in a different direction. It’s not just the forbidden friendship with his unconventional classmate, Pearl, or the difficulties of being orphaned and in his older brother’s care that challenge him. There are the restrictions governing how congregants should behave, the whispers that follow Gregory Hart, a man who cares for his wheelchair-bound sister and offers guidance Jude sorely needs. And there’s Jude’s burgeoning need to decide for himself how to live, when to question, and whom to love.
When loyalty doesn’t help Jude overcome his own temptations, he must confront the truth behind the church’s façade and his willingness to follow his own path—even if it leads him far from everything he’s known.
The Revelations of Jude Connor Excerpt
The Evolution of Ethan Poe
Ethan Poe, sixteen and gay, struggles for balance while his life conspires to pull him in many different directions. His parents are divorcing; his older brother Kyle is damaging his right hand in the name of purity; his best friend is a Jesus freak who prays for him to be straight; he’s desperate to get his driver’s licnese, but he can’t seem to get enough supervised driving time. He’s just starting to see light in the form of Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does, when his rural Maine town begins to explode around him. Against his intentions he gets pulled into a pitched and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Friendships end, families are torn apart, and the school becomes a battleground.
At the center of the fray is Etta Greenleaf, an older woman who has come out of relative seclusion to run for an open school board seat against the ID proponent. Ethan’s developing friendship with Etta and her fearsome dog is ironically both a haven from the vortex and the unavoidable path deeper into it.
Always seeking elusive balance, Ethan finds his way through a maze of lost friends, new love, and the mysteries of tattoos and power animals, with help from quarters where he never expected to find it. And he gains something better than balance.
The Evolution of Ethan Poe Excerpt
A Question of Manhood
November 1972. The Vietnam War is rumored to be drawing to a close. For sixteen-year-old Paul Landon, it can’t end soon enough, because then his older brother Chris, the family’s golden child, returns home from the army for good. But on his last night while home on Thanksgiving leave, Chris entrusts Paul with a secret: He’s gay. And when Chris is killed in action, a decorated hero, Paul is beset by grief and guilt, haunted by knowledge he can’t share.
Burdened with his dead brother’s awful secret, desperate but failing to live up to his father’s expectations, Paul changes from a kid who’s no angel but not bad to a kid whose parents fear the worst. That summer, as a disciplinary measure, Paul is forced to work at his family’s pet supply store. Worse, he must train the summer help: JJ O’Neil, a boy headed for Cornell in the fall.
JJ is one year older than Paul and many years wiser. He knows how to take the burden of obsession from customers’ panicky dogs and make them calm. He becomes the new apple of Paul’s grieving father’s eye. And he’s gay. Though Paul initially dislikes JJ for being everything he’s not—self-confident, capable, ambitious—he finds himself learning from him. Not just about how to be a leader to misbehaving dogs, but also how to stand up for himself, even when it means standing against his father, his friends, and his own fears.
Just before school begins again, as a result of a prank by some of Paul’s less savory friends, he and JJ face a crisis together—a crisis neither can escape unharmed without the courage and support of the other. And through JJ, Paul finally begins to understand who his brother really was and to find a way toward becoming the man he wants to be.
A Question of Manhood Excerpt
If only Taylor Adams had kept on lying to his parents, none of this would have happened. He wouldn’t have been shipped off to Straight to God, an institution devoted to “deprogramming” troubled teenagers and ridding them of their vices—whether those vices are drugs, violence, or—in Taylor’s case—other boys.
At Straight to God, such thoughts—along with all other reminders of Taylor’s former “sinful” life—are forbidden. Every movement is monitored, privacy is impossible, and no one—from staff to residents—is quite who they first appear to be. There’s Charles, Taylor’s clean-cut roommate, desperate to leave his past behind…Nate Devlin, a handsome, inscrutable older boy who’s alternately arrogant and kind…gorgeous, secretive Sean, who returns to Straight to God each year to avoid doing prison time for drugs. Here, where piety can be a mask for cruelty and the greatest crimes go unpunished, Taylor will learn more than he ever dreamed about love, courage, rebellion, and betrayal—but the most surprising lessons will be the truths he uncovers about himself.
This smart, insightful novel presents a compelling exploration of the journey from boy to man and a testament to the strength that comes with accepting both who we are and whom we love.
Thinking Straight Excerpt
A Secret Edge
In many ways, Jason Peele is like any other teenager. He hits the books, hangs with his friends, flirts with girls, and omits the full truth of his life from his Aunt Audrey and Uncle Steve, who've raised him since his parents died. But there's one way that Jason is very different: when he dreams at night, it isn't about girls; it's about David Bowie. At sixteen years old, Jason is just beginning to understand that he might be gay.
The one place Jason feels comfortable is on the track where he can run fast and hard. He loves the feel of the wind at his back, of his legs propelling him forward, the roar of the crowd in his ears. But now, even his sanctuary feels threatening. It isn't just the jerks who call him "faggot" in the locker room. A new guy has appeard on the scene, and everything about him will challenge the way Jason sees life. From late-night showings of "La Cage Aux Folles" to reading Gandhi, he's running a new race on an uncertain course, and only one thing's for sure — his senior year is going to be unforgettable.
A Secret Edge is a sexy, sensitive coming-of-age novel about identity and courage, love and honor, anger and hope, and the many ways the truth can set you free.
A Secret Edge Excerpt
A Line in the Sand
Teen LGBT novella
What could have been just another summer vacation on Hilton Head Island for 15-year-old, out-and-proud Dustin Hamilton takes turn after turn as his infatuation for the exotic Randy Aziz spins him in different directions. Dustin's clear but unspoken challenge to Randy, "Come out of the closet for me, just for a week," receives first a tentative and then a joyful "Yes!" from Randy.
The boys spend days, and a very special evening, on the beach together, learning that their lives are similar in some surprising ways. But coming out takes Randy in a direction neither boy predicted. It's a summer the boys—and their families—will never forget.
Giuseppe and Me
Teen LGBT short story
Alessandro Lupo (Alex) is a sixteen-year-old gay foster child who has been moved from "home" to "home" in New York City. Isolated by circumstances and by the protective shield he's surrounded himself with, he wanders the streets of the West Village and gravitates toward Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots planted the seeds of the gay civil rights movement. Having been raped at his previous foster home, he worries about HIV and about ever being able to enjoy sex.
Alex, whose parents had both been Italian, feels his lack of family keenly. As he wanders the city's streets, he scrutinizes people who might also be Italian. Alex is short for Alessandro, which means defender of men; Lupo means wolf. But Alex feels fearful most of the time—fear not just of the bully Derek, the other foster teen at his current home, but also of life in general—and begs for the courage of his 19th century countryman, Giuseppe Garibaldi, with whose statue in Washington Square Park Alex has imaginary conversations.
Then Alex meets two people who represent polar opposites: one who validates the low opinion Alex already has of himself; and another who helps him see himself in an entirely new light and teaches him that his life is worth more than a few minutes of anyone's pleasure.
The Case for Acceptance: An Open Letter to Humanity
In this essay, I discuss sexual orientation in light of science and reason, and then I present a strategic approach to scripture that leaves it in tact while bringing it into contemporary life. My approach is positive and inclusive, respecting religious belief while taking a step toward creating a safe place for people of different sexual orientations and identities within the religion called Christianity.
The essay tackles the assumptions—secular and sacred—held by people who disagree with my motto: The only thing wrong with being gay is how some people treat you when they find out.
Although I include some references, the tone of this essay is not academic, and the writing style is conversational and accessible. My intent is to engender understanding and acceptance.