Monday, April 12, 2021


Q&A with Richard Robbins Author of The Tormenting Beauty of Empathy #Q&A

Today's guest is Richard Robbins, author of the literary / spiritual fiction novel, THE TORMENTING BEAUTY OF EMPATHY. Richard is here with us today to tell us more about the man behind the book.


What do you look like? Progressively more like my father each year.

Where are you today and what are you doing? I had the joy of fulfilling a dream I’ve had since college and moving back to New Orleans. This city has a wonderful coffee culture, beginning with its French Settlers, and continuing to the present day as one of the world’s leading ports for coffee imports. The city is full of charming independent coffee shops, and you’ll find me most days sitting in one, tapping on my laptop, and sipping coffee and chicory.

You come face to face with your worse enemy. How do you react? Fortunately, I do not believe I have enemies, and have tried, mostly successfully, to live a life with minimal conflict. I believe in, and have studied, win/win relationships and compassionate business, and generally attempt to defuse conflict. I mean, the word empathy is in my book title!

How would your parents describe you? I am the youngest of four boys, and blessed to have had wonderful parents, both of which are now deceased. The differences between siblings have always been a source of fascination to me, and is a recurring theme in my work. I believe the most interesting drama results from family dynamics. But back to your question, they would describe my oldest as the best athlete and most emotional, the second as the most ambitious, the third as the kindest, and me as the second most of each of those qualities. Simplistic, but I don’t think I’d get pushback from any of my brothers from this characterization.

Who is your best friend? I am lucky enough to have many close friends, but there is a group of five of us who have been friends since grade school who I feel are my second brothers. But I’ve never told anybody this, one of my login security questions asks, “Who is your best friend?”, and the answer is always Kevin.

Are you faith-oriented? I am more spiritual than religious. My current release, The Tormenting Beauty of Empathy, addresses spirituality and my views on having a personal relationship with a higher power. I do not believe you must follow ritual to be spiritual, but it is hard for me to see the complexity and diversity of life and imagine that it occurred entirely by chance.

Are you married or in a relationship? I have been married for thirty-two years to my soul mate and life’s love.

Do you have children? We have three adult children. I have worked hard for many things in life, but have never had a more challenging and rewarding experience than raising my three children. They are what I am most proud of in my life. 


Richard Robbins’ novels explore the complexities of family dynamics to address important moral questions, while imparting a strong sense of location. His first novel, Love, Loss, and Lagniappe takes to the streets of New Orleans and New York City to explore the journey of self-discovery after heartbreaking loss, while revealing the scientific basis for the meaning of life. His second novel, Panicles, covers the lives of two intertwined families in and around Washington DC, while addressing the price of fame and fortune.

His new release, The Tormenting Beauty of Empathy, follows Hana, a young Guatemalan immigrant mute from childhood tragedy, as her quiet life is upended by the birth of a daughter who turns out to be different. And special. The kind of special that soon draws worldwide attention, for the better, and worse…

Richard was named Louisiana Independent Author of the Year for 2020, and his works have won numerous awards, including the Feathered Quill Book Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. He lives in New Orleans and New York City with his wife Lisa, near their beloved grown children.




Hana, a young Guatemalan woman who fell mute from a childhood tragedy, flees the brutal Civil War ravaging her country in search of a better life in the United States. Soon after arriving, she discovers she’s pregnant, and is banished from her new home and sent to live in a Mayan community in Indiantown, Florida.

There, she settles into a peaceful life of embroidery and raising her child, a daughter who turns out to be… different… and special—the kind of special that soon draws worldwide attention, for the better and worse.


“…a heart-warming, somewhat traumatic journey into the world of spirituality and the human condition. I was deeply touched by The Tormenting Beauty of Empathy. This is a beautiful, touching, and redeeming tale that I can highly recommend to everyone. When as a reader you feel better inside for having read a book, you know the author has achieved his or her goal. This is such a book.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Grant Leishman (5 STARS)

“Like the simple faith aspired to in The Tormenting Beauty of Empathy by Richard Robbins, the story moves with basic grace…. This tale is told with heartfelt belief, but also with an unswerving directness that feels preordained… appealing to the contemporary Christian message of love and kindness.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Joel R. Dennstedt (5 STARS)

“…a thoughtful take on an age-old theme.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Lucinda E. Clarke (5 STARS)


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