Thursday, June 23, 2016

Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway Volume One by No Sweat

Press Release

Announcing Author Robbie Robbins aka “No Sweat”
The much anticipated

Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway Volumes One & Two

Kentucky author, Robbie Robbins aka "No Sweat," former Estill County resident, 1969 graduate from Irvine High School and former Eastern Kentucky University's "Electrifying Eel" for coach Don Combs, BA, MA graduate from Eastern Kentucky University, now residing in Richmond, has recently signed a new contract with Rudy Thomas, editor and publisher of Old Seventy Creek Press for the rights to his 1,000 page memoir based in southern Florida, Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway now available through Old Seventy Creek Press; the work is to appear in a two-book volume set. 

“This is my third book to find print and I could not be more elated," stated No Sweat. "I began this project thirty-one years ago when I promised Luisa Lang I would try to accomplish what she was asking of me. Luisa was Will Lang's daughter. Will was the best WW2 war correspondent who worked for LIFE magazine and a close friend of Ernie Pyle and Ernest Hemingway.  It was Will Lang who introduced his old girlfriend, Mary Welsh, to Hemingway during WW2. Mary later became Hemingway's fourth and final wife. Luisa's father died of a heart attack in her arms while they were skiing in Switzerland. He had been working non-stop on a novel for six years when he suddenly died. In June, 1985, while I was living on Singer Island, Luisa asked me if I would finish Will's book. At first I declined. I was working on another book at the time and I could not see me taking on both projects. Eventually, I agreed. Two years later, I was alone with Luisa when she committed suicide. It was a moment I can never forget and one I describe in this new book. When my first two books, These Precious Days and Nefarious finally found two different publishers in 2012, I knew then I had to go back to where I had stopped on the Lang project and fulfill my promise to Luisa. I've been devoted to that proposition ever since."

Author "No Sweat" and Lance 
No Sweat is married to Chesteen, valedictorian of Irvine High School '68 and retired Estill County Middle School principal; they were the third couple to marry in the Eastern Kentucky University Chapel, January 6, 1973. They have one daughter, Nancy, and two grandsons, Lance and Barrett. No Sweat has been the evening site supervisor for The Hope Center in Lexington and also the logistics officer for the CSEEP program with the The Bluegrass Army Depot. For the past twelve years, he has been working for Eastern Kentucky University and hopes to retire by the time he is 70. His plans include devoting himself to finishing some dozen other books he has completed which need additional polishing. His next book, Letters from A Genius to an Oaf, is a work involving his life with his writing mentor, Guy Davenport, recipient of The John D. MacArthur Genius Award. Besides writing goals, No Sweat plans to run his boat, "NANCY LOU," from Key West to Cuba and visit Hemingway's favorite home.  He hopes to keep a log of this journey and possibly develop it into a book as well.

Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway is unlike my first two books as they were novels set in eastern Kentucky,” informed No Sweat. “This new book is a true story set on Singer Island, Florida, an island once part of Palm Beach many years ago before the Palm Beach Inlet was developed. Chesteen and I lived at The Colonnades Beach Hotel which was once located on Singer Island for three months every summer and in the process made friends with many interesting people who visited or stayed there including members of the Kennedy family, Arlo Gunthrie, John D. MacArthur, Jacques Piccard and others. The core of the six-part book is a journal I kept while staying there. Much of the text involves my family and close friends. In the way I have organized the contents one is likely never to see another book of this nature. A large part of the work involves Ernest Hemingway. I am releasing information about his life which has never been seen before. Luisa and her father knew Ernest Hemingway quite well. They lived with him in Spain. And when I was with Luisa she constantly talked about her father and Hemingway. When she died her mother gave me several Hemingway letters. All of them now are in the JFK Library or in the archives at The University of Maryland."

No Sweat was very pleased when The Joseph-Beth Bookstore chain judging committee decided to carry his books and in the process asked him to be their featured author and discuss his work. He has also been the featured author discussing his writings at Berea college and several times at The Kentucky Academy of Sciences.

In the past year he established a working relationship with another author, Gina McKnight, who has used several of his stories on her blog, Riding & Writing. One of No Sweat's stories on the blog, The Long Blue Line, involves a day No Sweat spent with Joe B. Hall at The Keeneland thoroughbred horse race track in Lexington, Kentucky.

Besides writing books, No Sweat is known for his archaeological work. Twenty-seven years ago, he excavated with The University of Kentucky for 31 straight days at Fort Boonesborough, Kentucky.  Among his archaeological achievements he located and repatriated 600 Civil War muskets which were buried in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico--this being the largest number of excavated Civil War muskets ever discovered. On an outer island in Bahamian chain, named Eleuthera, deep within a secluded tidal cave, he discovered 22 Arawak burials; the Arawaks were those Indians living in the Bahamas at the time of Columbus' discovery of the new world. The discovery of Arawaks was filmed and documented by a Marine Biology school located there on the island in the area of Governor's Harbour. This discovery remains the single largest group of Arawaks ever found.  

No Sweat is additionally known throughout the world for his racing pigeons, having won national titles and 1,000 first places. In 2016, he has racing pigeons flying in the top USA races as well as in South Africa, a two-million-dollar race, this being the premiere pigeon race in the world.  

No Sweat can be found on any of his websites such as Heitzman Sions or Kentucky Author No Sweat.  He is a regular contributor for America's leading racing pigeon journal, The Racing Pigeon Digest. When he is not writing books or articles about racing pigeons he spends time working on archaeological stories which also appear in national magazines such as American Digger. 

"I am so fortunate to have married Chesteen," spoke No Sweat. "She comes from a supportive and solid family, something I never truly had. She has always been there for me no matter what. And so has her family. I hate to think of what would have become of me if not for her. She alone knows what I have gone through to be an author. It is not what people would ever believe. Being a serious author involves a tremendous amount of work. Any word you write you are likely to have to write it a thousand times. And often, wind up only to throw it in the trash. You must be quite devoted to the craft and willing to make all manner of sacrifices, including your own health and sanity. Time is what we cherish most. And if you are to be a good author you must give yourself to time. Forget those beautiful days outside. Your book is your boss and owns you.  It is a strange investment into a future you can never know. A book lives forever. Anyone may wind up reading it. That is part of the beautiful mystery to being an author."

A Note from the Author
Thank you for this chance to discuss my latest book, Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway. I received my proof copy on June third of Volume one and I should have Volume two soon.  The book should appear on the net no later than mid-July; Barnes and Noble, Amazon, EBay, etc., as well as through the Joseph-Beth Bookstore chain and

                         Old Seventy Creek Press 
                         Rudy Thomas, Editor
                         P.O. Box 204
                         Albany, Kentucky   42602

I am lucky to now have seen three of my books finally find publishers. The first two were novels set in eastern Kentucky; These Precious Days, the journal of a guerrilla marijuana grower surviving in a mythical county called, Aopehh,1981-83; and, Nefarious, my fictional saga of Edward Hawkins, the first legally hanged man in eastern Kentucky, 1836-1857. . I have nine other books which I have completed. My next book, Letters from a Genius to an Oaf involves my fifteen-year relationship with Guy Davenport, my writing mentor; Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of the John D. MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. I have three books which have not been published, collections of short stories. Black Bluegrass paints racism in eastern Kentucky, Unbridled contains twenty archaeological stories following my various excavations. And, My Life with a Pigeon, comprises thirty short stories covering my sixty years with racing pigeons. Works in the distant future will be a novel based on the characters who survive in a coal plant in eastern Kentucky and 100 days at sea with No Sweat  

In June 1985, I met Luisa Lang by the pool at the Colonnades Beach Hotel on Singer Island, Florida. When my wife, Chesteen, told her I was attempting to become an author, Luisa invited me to come to her apartment which was located across the street. Luisa gave me a glass of wine and asked me if I liked it, adding, the first time she had ever gotten drunk was on that wine. She asked me to guess who it was who had given her the wine.  I had no clue.  "Ernest Hemingway," she stated, and then walked away. Of course, I did not believe her. 

What followed for over two years after that is all in this new book. She soon began asking me if I would consider taking on the job of finishing a novel which her father had been working on for over six years before his sudden heart attack and death. The first few times she asked I laughed at the notion.  I was in the middle of Nefarious. My brain was locked in two worlds, the imaginary world I had created involving Ed Hawkins and the poor other one which everyone considered reality. No. Hell no.  There was no way I could suddenly stop what I was writing and take on an unfinished WW2 novel. I really didn't know a damn thing about WW2. And I certainly could not pull another writer's skin over top my own.

But Luisa was not ordinary. Next to my wife, the smartest woman I have ever known. Eventually, I gave in, promising her I would at least give it a try. Two years later, as I was alone with her in her apartment and reading to her what I had thus far accomplished, she committed suicide.

I cannot forget that day.

All through the following years I owned a horrible guilt knowing what I had promised. I hated myself for not finishing the task. I knew I could not go to my grave without fulfilling the promise. And as I once again took up the challenge I began to realize, I could not write the novel unless I told the whole story.

Then, I really began to lose all sanity.

I don't know how it all finally settled out but I found myself dividing the book into six parts; as I worked, I called the parts. "my pizza pie." I have never seen a book composed like this. When my editor, Rudy Thomas, reviewed the work, he said he also saw it as unique, adding, he thought it could be developed into a wonderful "thinking person's coffee table book."

I loved the idea. And I knew what Rudy said felt right. The book is divided into two volumes; each volume is 500 pages. And each volume contains almost 500 color photographs. Actually, the text and photographs are almost equally divided. into a large and beautiful book.

When you begin to read Singer Island & Ernest Hemingway, you will enter into the life of No Sweat, starting from his early years living on Singer Island during the 1950's to present day. I had to write about my own life so my reader would understand how I came to meet Luisa Lang.

Gina, you asked, who would enjoy reading your book?  My answer, anyone who has ever lived on or visited Singer Island, anyone who ever lived at or stayed in the Colonnades Beach Hotel, anyone interested in John D. MacArthur, the Kennedy family, Francis Ford Coppola, Arlo Guthrie, Ernie Pyle, Bill Maudlin, Charles Heitzman, Jacques Piccard, Will Lang or Ernest Hemingway, anyone interested in American literature, anyone interested in the history of south Florida, anyone who likes to look at pictures, anyone in love with the ocean, anyone who likes to catch lobsters and oddly enough, anyone who loves racing pigeons.

I created and lost many friendships during my 31 years working on this project. It was a challenging role for me as an ignorant hillbilly. But I always had Chesteen by my side and many wonderful friends who helped---like you.

I am such a fortunate person to have had so much love and kindness bestowed upon him. I could never begin to repay it all back.

After 31 years it has all been worth it.  I owe everything to a real saint, Rudy Thomas. 

Read more about No Sweat here

Visit No Sweat’s website…

No Sweat’s Riding & Writing Guest Posts…

Lance and Author "No Sweat"

1 comment:


Looking forward to getting my copy.. proud of my old friend.