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Author Interview – Roni Robbins

Before the iPhone, iPod, MP3s and CDs there were cassette tapes. Hands of Gold is a heartwarming story about a fictional Sam Fox that began with cassette tapes he left his family.
Sam came from nothing. A simple Hungarian farm hand, he spent most of his adult life running against the hands of time, from the military, changing identities, skipping borders, harboring secrets, and fighting a devastating illness. Along the way he accidentally killed a man in a trolley accident but saved countless lives in a workplace shooting and as a test case for a lifesaving TB treatment, becoming an American hero.

This novel, based on an inspiring true story, offers an old-world take on several topics in the news today: A sometimes-fatal respiratory illness, life as an immigrant, and a mass shooting.
Hands of Gold begins and ends in a nursing home with a remarkable secret, a past worth chronicling and a cherished treasure buried during the Holocaust and uncovered, eventually finding its way back into Sam’s hands.

Author I draw inspiration from:
Elena Ferrante, Zoe Fishman, Anita Diamant, Nicole Krauss, Kristin Hannah

Favorite place to read a book:
My kitchen table with a cup of flavored coffee

Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with:
Maybe Charlotte Friedman in The Subways Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

The moment I knew I wanted to become an author:
I’ve been a published journalist for 35 years and always enjoyed reading when I made the time to do so, but I didn’t decide to be an author til I started transcribing my grandfather’s cassette tapes and realized I had a story that was much longer than any article I had written for traditional media.

Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook:
Definitely paperback!

The last book I read:
The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Randel

Pen & paper or computer:
Pen and paper for notes; computer for writing.

Book character I think I’d be best friends with:
Elana in the Neapolitan novel series by Elena Ferrante or Bronka in Shadows We Carry by Meryl Ain

If I weren’t an author, I’d be a:

Favorite decade in fashion history:
1920s with long gloves and hats and hats for men

Place I’d most like to travel:

My signature drink:
Pina colada, strawberry daiquiri or white Russian when I used to drink

Favorite artist:
Manet, Chagall

Number one on my bucket list:
Learn how to speak fluent Spanish, visit Asia, Russia, Hungary

Anything else you’d like to add:
Hands of Gold will take you back to a different time and place to realize how much we are all alike, regardless of religious differences, how similar our ethnic families are, and how much history repeats itself. Still, we are so priveleged to live in America in modern times. No matter how rough we think we have it, those who came before us seem to have endured much harder times. I’d also like to encourage others to record their family histories in some way. We can learn so much about who we are from our ancestors, alive and departed.

Find more from the author:
Facebook roni.robbins.3 or roni.k.robbins

Twitter @ronirobbins

IG, roni.robbins

Author Bio:
Award-winning author-journalist Roni Robbins has been a published writer for 35 years. An editor/writer for Medscape/WebMD and previously associate editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times, she has a seasoned history as a reporter for daily and weekly newspapers and as a freelancer for national, regional and online publications. Those include Forbes, HuffPost, New York Daily News, Healthline, The Forward, Mother Nature Network, and Adweek. Hands of Gold was a 2023 International Book Awards winner, multicultural fiction; a 2022 American Fiction Awards finalist, family saga; and a 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarterfinalist, historical fiction.


Here are links to Roni’s more recent articles:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: CLICK HERE
Medscape: CLICK HERE
Atlanta Jewish Times: CLICK HERE
Times of Israel blogs: CLICK HERE

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