A moment with Columbus author Robin Yocum
By Tami Kamin Meyer
Robin Yocum, an award-winning Columbus author, journalist and wordsmith attributes his ability to complete a variety of writing-related projects more to technology than old-school techniques.
Yocum says he wrote his latest novel, The Sacrifice of Lester Gates, “while I was driving, voice to text. Then I emailed it to myself. I will head down the road, put my earphones in and talk to the characters in my head.” The novel was released in 2021 by Arcade CrimeWise and was a finalist for the 2022 Dashiell Hammett Award for excellence in crime writing.
A journalism graduate of Bowling Green State University, the Brilliant, Ohio native is the author of ten novels. His book Favorite Sons was named the 2011 Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense by USA Book News. Brilliant Death was a Barnes & Noble No. 1 bestseller and a finalist for both the 2017 Edgar Award and the Silver Falchion Award for best adult mystery. Yocum was a journalist with the Columbus Dispatch from 1980-1991, including six years as the senior reporter on the investigative desk. He has won more than 30 local, state and national journalism awards ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing. Prior to that, he was the associate sports editor at the Times Leader in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and a reporter for the Eagle-Gazette in Lancaster, Ohio. He is also the principal at Yocum Communications, a public relations and marketing consulting firm in Galena, Ohio, which he founded in 2001.
The Sacrifice of Lester Gates is the sequel for Favorite Sons.
“I always have something going on and try to write (at least) 500 words a day,” says Yocum. He recently completed his 11th novel and is in the process of finding an agent for the work.
“I’m excited about it,” he says of the fiction work about a mob hitman.
According to Yocum, writing novels has been a lifelong passion.
“In my heart of hearts, I always wanted to write fiction. I wanted to create uniquely and mine my own ideas, from my imagination, in my own words,” he says.
Yocum’s favorite aspect of being a writer is “the creativity.”
He explains that when he was younger, he needed a “creative outlet and the Dispatch was that. The writing was laborious, but never hard. No heavy lifting. I enjoy when I think I’ve created something pretty good. It doesn’t get old when my new books arrive in the mail and I rip the box open.”
His advice to would-be authors?
“If you’re not excited about a book, the reader will know.”
He also relies heavily on an old adage taught in journalism school. “Write about what you know. I’m going to stick to that,” he sums.
Discover more about Yocum at robinyocum.net.