Robin Bissett received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Minor in Creative Writing from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, in May 2020.
She currently works as a Teaching Artist for The Library Foundation and in marketing and communications for the Texas Book Festival.
She enjoys absorbing and sharing stories and strengthening her surrounding literary communities in Central Texas.
Tell us a little about your writing background.
I have always loved reading and writing. In middle school, I started my own blog called Robin’s Book Reviews. At the time, I thought Advanced Reader Copies or ARCS were the coolest things in the world.
I was thankful for the opportunity to read my favorite books early and spread the word about my favorite authors and series with other young bloggers.
Though I have since ceased blogging, I continued writing throughout high school and college and found my home through befriending various authors and joining different literary communities in Central Texas.
Have you ever traveled for food?
In spring 2019, I traveled with a group of students from San Antonio to KH Farm in Poteet, Texas. There, we picked strawberries for a few hours and learned more about the history of the farm. They were some of the best strawberries I’ve ever had, and I look forward to returning to visit the farm again one day.
I also attended a summer outdoor ranch camp in Wyoming from the ages of 12 to 17. There, I learned how to ration the weight of food among a group while packing our backpacks, how to properly use a whisper light stove to cook while camping, and ate many flapjacks in the company of cowboys. While hiking, I kept my body fueled with healthy nutritious meals and snacks, and I found that food tastes best out on the trail or on top of the Grand Teton.
Have you ever grown food?
Growing up in West Texas, my brother and I delighted in the presence of our backyard pecan tree. My mother, to this day, can make the most delicious pecan pie. And, when my family and I lived in Ojai for a year, we really enjoyed having an orange tree in our backyard. My dad is a huge inspiration to me in the kitchen; he has always encouraged my brother and I to be creative when it comes to cooking. A few years ago, we perfected our respective homemade maple cinnamon cashew butter and blueberry-vanilla hummus recipes.
Do you enjoy budget-friendly meals?
These days, I enjoy creating healthy, budget-friendly vegetarian meals with ingredients from my local HEB.
Do you think writers are better observers of food?
When writing a scene that contains food, or a character who is cooking, I attempt to incorporate many details so that the reader may feel as if they are there. I love to describe the atmosphere of the kitchen, the feel of the cutting board beneath a character’s palms, the temperature of the external home space compared to the cool insides of the fridge and freezer, and any aromas that may drift from room to room and later linger.
Do you have any favorite food books/cookbooks?
I read Margaret Atwood’s first novel The Edible Woman in the fall of 2019. She writes so vividly that I find myself still thinking of her descriptions of the food that played a large part in her characters’ stories from time to time.
Where do you turn for great food or food inspiration?
My boyfriend is a very talented cook; he first learned from his Italian mother. She makes delicious homemade lasagnas, pizza, and Tomatoes with Herbs al Gratin, among other delicious meals, bringing a slice of authentic Italian cuisine to Austin.