“I began writing this novel in 2009. I had just finished my enlistment in the army and was ready to try something new. I spent most of 2008 sending out resume after resume after resume after graduating college in 2007. I had hoped I would find a job a year later. Then the stock market crashed in September of 2008. I remember one of my fellow soldiers lamenting his loss of $50,000 worth of stocks. He was an older man with a bushy moustache and had only two years left in his enlistment before his retirement.
Everyone told me my best option was to stay in the military and ride out this wave of economic misfortune until it all blew over. But if I had stayed I knew I was going to be sent to Iraq. They tried to persuade me to stay by offering me to drive the Brigade Commander around to hell and back. But that was the last thing I wanted to do. Trying not to look back I stepped out of the sandbox and into what was left of America.
With all my schooling and all my years of military service the only job I was able to land was in an office supply retail store being paid ten dollars an hour. Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” I did not like the polo uniform I was made to wear in my retail job. But I did not want to put back on my military uniform because I was tired of that life. I felt naked.
I had little to no money to my name which reduced my opportunities to go out and socialize. I had always fancied myself a screenwriter and playwright. I was even collaborating on a screenplay with a friend at the time. Then one day I looked at my bank account and didn’t like what I saw.
Frustrated I sat at my desk and looked at my computer feeling helpless. I started to think about everyone else my age that was probably going through the same thing. While staring into space I daydreamed about a movie trailer about a guy out on his luck, his father had just passed away leaving him his car and the voice of Clint Eastwood ringing in his head. And then I had an epiphany. I had a story to tell.
I opened Microsoft Word and starting typing. An hour passed. My shirt was covered in sweat. I leaned back and realized I had written the first twenty pages to what would eventually become my first novel: Living on Empty. It would take me about four years altogether to write and finish it.
Some of my main influences are Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, and Cormac McCarthy. Jack Kerouac instilled in me the wonder to write something different. Bukowski gave me confidence that I could write from the gut and just type the bloody words onto the paper. And McCarthy taught me how to use words to envelope the feeling I wanted to get across to my readers. I hope my book captures what my generation, the Millennials, have experienced the past several years.”
JORDAN AUBRY ROBISON
BIO: Jordan Aubry Robison was born in Indiana. He is a veteran of the United States military having served nine years of distinguished service. He graduated from The Ohio State University and is known for his passion for Buckeye football and basketball. He started out wanting to be an actor and film director, and even studied acting at first in college, before changing his major several times. Before venturing into novel writing he co-wrote a horror screenplay which was optioned by several Hollywood studios before disappearing into development oblivion.
He is very thankful for all the support and mentorship he has received through his writing process. He currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN OR CLICK HERE FOR CAROLINE’S REVIEW ON ‘LIVING ON EMPTY’.
A Reader’s Review Blog would like to thank Jordan Aubry Robison for taking the time and effort to write a great post for us and for the copy of his debut novel! Thank you! 🙂