A Writer’s Life… listening to the stones



Karen Robbins, the novelist, always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.

She wanted to be in advertising.

Robbins was so intent on following her dream that she left her Pittsburgh hometown to attend West Virginia University where the degree in journalism and advertising she wanted was offered. That tells you something about her. After graduating, in a few hard-working hops she went from promotions director for WV Public Television to director of advertising for PBS to VP of advertising and promotions for a well-known DC firm, to an ad agency that fired her on Christmas Eve on the verge of the 1981 recession.

Her solution to unemployment was to listen to what businesses knee deep in a recession had to say. They didn