A lifelong journey of writing led Kim G. Robinson to publish For Underdogs Only, and she is currently composing her next book. Kim unfolds memories that read like fiction. With a desire to preserve uniquely American stories, Kim’s authentic storytelling brings to life the experiences of people who view obstacles as fuel to ignite dreams. Growing up in rural Illinois in a lower-middle class family, Kim knows personally the plight of the underdog. When she isn’t writing, Kim teaches English at Tustin High School in Tustin, California. In 2009 Kim received the Teacher of the Year award at Tustin High School, and a 2009-2010 Educator of the Year Award for the California League of High Schools. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
On April 11, 2013 Kim G. Robinson became a best-selling author when For Underdogs Only became the #1 Best-Selling Book in Biographies – Family and Childhood, and the #1 Best-Selling Book in Football on Amazon. Amazon also listed For Underdogs Only as the #1 book in “Hot New Releases” for Football.
WORKING A DREAM
On November 23, 2010 I walked into the office of Coach Myron Miller before teaching my 6:40 a.m. zero-period class. The goal: find out if he’d allow me to write his story. As I approached Miller in that little cave of an office he inhabits, I imagined that my anticipation mimicked that of a quarterback who knows he’s about to launch a long pass. It must connect. And if it doesn’t …
For eight years prior to that day, I periodically sat in the cafeteria with Coach Miller. We shared the same free period, and when I could I’d stay and we’d talk. During that time I witnessed a coach morph into a sage as I learned about his life, not just about his thoughts on the upcoming game. At least once during those moments I said to him, “Someone should write a book about you.” During that time, too, people whispered stories to me about Miller—intriguing and compelling stories.
The idea to write Coach Miller’s story churned in my mind constantly, but I had no time to write anymore. As an English teacher for nearly 200 kids, nights and weekends were filled with grading essays, e-mailing parents and students, and preparing for the next day. Each summer I spent designing new curriculum for the upcoming year. Writing would wait.
In June of 2009, devastating news hit my family—my brother, diagnosed with the rare and fatal disease PSC needed a liver transplant surgery, and our sister would give 60% of her liver to our brother. Two weeks before their surgery I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I fought the experience with humor and joked constantly that Woody Allen was writing my life’s script. Suddenly the word “finite” held new meaning, and I faced that head on—really looked into my life and the fact that I had been denying myself my own passion for writing. I remembered the words of my Berkeley professors who told me, “You are a writer.” This led me to gain the courage to take a leave of absence from teaching in order to work my dream.
I tossed the idea to my husband over dinner. His enthusiastic and unwavering support of this dream fascinates me still. Knowing that I’d surrender my salary and excellent healthcare benefits, he still told me to go for it. We would simply eat more beans and rice.
Now I needed Coach Miller’s blessing. I launched him my pass in his office that morning, and he replied, “I don’t think I’m worthy of a book, but I’ll never stand in the way of someone’s dream, and if this is your dream I’ll do everything I can to help you.”
Tillers don’t back down. We run hard, we drive, we take it a few yards at a time and it’s not easy. Being a Tiller is all about hard work. I work on this book anywhere between ten and twelve hours a day and sometimes through the night in my dreams thinking up titles. I’m not living this dream, or dreaming it, I am fighting for this dream.