What prompted you to become a writer?

Before starting to write The List, I had no ambition to be a novelist. One morning in 1966, I awoke with the thought that many people do not realize the influence of past generations upon their lives. Later that day, while driving a long distance in the car, this idea germinated into a skeleton plot for the List. When I returned home and told my wife, Kathy, about my experience, she replies, “You should write it.”


Where did you get the idea for the Santee series? (Life Support and Life Everlasting).

The inspiration for the Santee series came from my love of music and belief that there are unexplained realms of worship waiting to be discovered by God’s children. I also wanted to write a story with a female attorney as the main character. Today almost have of the lawyers are women.

Life Everlasting the sequel to Life Support it came out in October 2004, can you give us a glimpse of what readers can expect?

When I neared the end of Life Support, I realized that I could not wrap up the story in the amount space available. Life Everlasting continues the story of Alexia Lindale and Ted Morgan, Baxter and Rena Richardson exactly where Life Support left off. A competing romantic interest for Ted emerges in Sarah Locklear, a nurse with a beautiful singing voice, Jeffery Richardson, Baxter’s older brother, takes a more predominant role in the second book and Alexia meets a young lawyer from Charleston named Sean Pruitt who helps her in more than legal ways. One promise I’ll make to my readers - Life Everlasting finishes the story!

What overarching themes to you hope that readers take with them after reading your novels?
My theology is simple God is real – and wants to interact with people. One of the primary ways I’ve illustrated this belief in the List, The Trial, and The Sacrifice is the portrayal of a character with a dynamic prayer life. Daisy Stokes, Mama A, Anna Wilkes, Too Pang, have challenged me and I hope inspired readers. As mentioned above, in Life Support and Life Everlasting I explore the uncharted realms of worship.


Many of the books you've written have a supernatural move of God, it's not hooky but very real. It reminds me of scripture that states God's ways are definitely not our ways. We are not to lean on our own understanding. Have you ever experience such a super natural move of God in your life? If so, please explain how and what happened?

Yes, I’ve experienced the supernatural in my Christian life. A key part of my becoming a writer is linked to two dreams Kathy, my wife, had in 1994 and 1995.


In Life Everlasting you've described a power that is released by the Holy Spirit through music and prayer.You call it music therapy. It transcends the universe and reaches peoples hearts and bodies that words can not. God can and does use all things for His glory and our good. Music is a powerful tool of the Lord. Does music affect you in the way described in your book. If so, when and how?

I’ve been involved in music my entire life. I started playing piano as a small child and at one point considered becoming a band director. Worship is one of the most glorious aspects of the Christian experience. I know people who engage in music therapy.

Jimmy- a book you wrote about a special needs child was a little different story for you with style and subject matter. I've come in contact with many special needs children over the years because of my son,Isaac so I was intrigued the subject matter. In the middle of reading this story I got the feeling something bad would happen to Jimmy. I almost put the book down and not read the end because it would be too overwhelming in my imagination. But I continued and read until the end! You noted on the last page of Jimmy that there was an alternative ending. I quickly went to website and read the alternative ending and felt more satisfied with that ending as to the one in the book. My question, what made you write an alternative ending and make it available in the book? Which ending did you prefer? Why?

Here's a letter I send to readers who contact me about Jimmy. I have a grandson with Down syndrome; however, he was born after I wrote Jimmy. I want to be like Grandpa for him.

Dear Reader;

Thanks for visiting my website and contacting me about Jimmy. It took a year to write the novel, and although Jimmy is a wholly fictional character, I came to love his spirit, devotion to family and friends, and perseverance. As the book jacket states, I think we could all benefit from seeing the world through Jimmy’s eyes.

From the beginning stages of the writing process, I planned to end with Jimmy’s death and reunion with Grandpa in heaven; however, when I reached that point in the novel, I struggled with the climax of the story. After living with characters for such a long period of time, they become real to me, and life is so precious that I don’t take ending it lightly.

For this reason, I wrote two versions of the final chapter. Allen Arnold, the publisher of WestBow Press, suggested the chapter not included in the book be available on my website so you can complete Jimmy’s journey in the way you believe most appropriate. I hope it’s clear in both endings that God’s grace and love always triumphs.

Blessings to you,
Robert Whitlow


I know you are an attorney who specializes in disability cases; before that you practiced a different type of law? What type of law as that? Did your law practice involve clients that made you crazy like Rena Richardson? She was definitely a needy client that couldn't be trusted or believed, did you have any clients like her? If so, how did you deal with them? Similar to the lawyers in your book?

I have represented a lot of emotionally unstable people. I’ve read thousands of psychiatric and psychological reports. In my early career I represented criminal clients when appointed by a judge (the lawyer has no choice). I’ve also handled a lot of worker’s compensation cases. I’m a certified mediator (an attorney who helps people settle cases). I’ve been practicing law for 30 years so I’ve seen quite a bit. I’ve represented people I didn’t trust, but no one who was homicidal like Rena. She gave me the creeps!

I know your book The List has been made into a movie (which I loved by the way). Any plans to make any of your other books into movie? If so, which ones? If not, which ones would you like to see made into movies in the future? Who would be your leading characters? Any in mind?

We have an excellent script for The Trial and a beginning script for Jimmy. Both films are in pre-production, a euphemism for not having enough money to make the movie! Nobody has been cast in either of these projects, but it’s amazing how many actors are looking for work. It’s a very tough business.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the book you are working on right now? When can we expect it on the shelf?

Greater Love, the third book about Tami Taylor will be released next year (not sure when). As you know, the publisher puts a book in a marketing queue.


1. If you had all the time in the world and just as much money, what would you do and why?

I know it’s corny, but I’d be doing what I’m doing now. I’m not cut out for the solitary life of a full time writer. I like interacting with people in the hustle and bustle of a law practice.

2. What movie impacted you as a child? Why?

Not surprisingly, I was mesmerized by Gone With The Wind. We went to the old Tara theater in Atlanta for an anniversary showing of the film when I was about ten years old (we lived in Cartersville at the time - 1964). It was magic.

3. If you had 48 hours to hang out with any TWO people alive or dead in the history of the world, who would you pick and what would you do?

I would like to spend time with my father, who died in 1979 and was incapable of communicating with me for the last two years of his life due to a brain tumor. He never met any of my children, etc. It would be wonderful to tell him what a great influence he has been on my life. I would like to see my maternal grandmother, who was the spiritual matriarch of our family. She knew I’d become a Christian before she died in 1978, but there is a lot we could talk about. Spending time with these two people would be much more meaningful to me than hanging out with someone famous.

4. Can you describe for me a moment in your life that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God was real and not just someone you read about in a book?

Honestly, this has happened many times in many ways. I’ve seen God work in countless lives, including my own. A changed life is an awesome miracle.

5. What were some of your favorite books you enjoyed as a kid?

Champ, the Gallant Collie, Winnie the Pooh, The Wind in the Willows.

6. You've mentioned many classical composers and songs in your book Life Everlasting, which made me wonder what type of music you enjoy most? What relaxes you?

John Elliott, a Christian composer and songwriter, helped me with the classical references. I enjoy worship and praise music. The blues is also a preference.

7.If money isn't an option and you can choose any place you'd like to eat for Breakfast where would you go? What would you eat? Same deal for Dinner?

The best breakfast of my life was in Brussels, Belgium – everything fresh and amazing – pastries, eggs, bacon, fresh squeezed juice, etc.

Dinner - I enjoy seafood at any restaurant that overlooks the water. And I love BBQ (pork shoulders) taken directly from my smoker to the kitchen.

8. What T.V. shows were you passionate about as a kid? You know the ones you couldn't miss each week!

I liked the Andy Griffith show, the Beverly Hillbillies, Hogan’s Heroes, Mission Impossible. I didn’t watch a lot of TV. My sister and I were encouraged to read.

9. They've invented a machine that will take you back in time and you can witness any TWO events in this history of the world. Where woul you go and why?

The empty tomb on Resurrection morning. The angelic visitation to the shepherds of Bethlehem. I know what happened in both instances but it would be awesome to observe first hand.

Thanks so much Robert for stopping by and letting my readers get to know you and your books. It's a real treat to have you speak to my book clubs in September. I'm really looking forward to it. I loved meeting you and your wife when you were in Atlanta.

Blessings on your writing adventures!!


Nora :D

*****LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A DOUBLE FEATURE!! I'm GIVING AWAY ONE BOOK THAT HAS TWO OF ROBERTS BOOKS IN IT he Books are 1. Mountain Top 2. Deeper Waters--You must comment about the interview for you chance to win this double feature. DRAWING will be SEPT 18th


****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants


  1. What a great interview! I love the pictures you included. I am now wanting to travel to Brussels, Belgium just to try their food. I also loved the empty tomb and Resurrection pics. My hubby and I took a tour of the Holy Land a few years ago and I would LOVE to go back.
    Please enter my name in your draw.

  2. What dynamite books! You are now on my TBR list!!! I'm glad you chose to start writing. Please enter me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  3. great interview, I love his books

  4. Terrific interview! Your interviews are always great! He is an inspiration in faith! I loved the 2 events he chose that he would want to witness, the empty tomb and the angels appearing to the shepherds.


  5. Great interview! Thanks for posting this. I am a big fan and have read almost everything you have written.

    A changed life is an awesome miracle.
    Really enjoyed this.

  6. Nora, Enjoyed the interview with Robert and look forward to reading his bookclub book. Having lost my father to a brain tumor also, I can certainly appreciate his wanting to spend time with him again. I also would love to do the same with my dad. I look forward to getting to know Robert better at our meeting. Thank you for the interview. Tisha

  7. Thank you for your interview. Robert Whittlow has always been a favorite of mine, especially since seeing him at one of the Conf. in Carrolton Ga.
    I like the fact that he likes Andy Griffin shows My nephew used the music from Mayberry go out of the sanctuary at his wedding.

  8. Nora,
    Thanks for sharing this great interview with Robert Whitlow. He is truly one of my favorites!! I've read everything he's written except for Jimmy (I didn't think I could handle it emotionally, sorry Robert).
    I am actually just started reading Higher Hope right a couple of days ago. I'm looking forward to finishing it and the next book.

    I've read both Mountain Top and Deeper Waters, so no need to enter the drawing. I just wanted to share with everyone what a great author Robert Whitlow is and if you haven't read his books you need to. The List is still my favorite!
    Blessings to you both.

  9. I guess it was good you were encouraged to read instead of watching too much TV! I did not grow up with a TV and I am not sorry either, although I did like Andy Griffith's too! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  10. Great interview. Please, enter me

    God's blessings

  11. Wonderful interview! I loved the part where he told us some of his favorite shows he watched. I used to watch and loved those shows as well. Great taste!

    Thanks for the drawing.


  12. I'm currently reading Life Support and really enjoying it. After I finish, I will read Life Everlasting. I want to know more about what happens to the characters. Robert Whitlow is a great author. Nora,thanks for introducing his works to our Book Club.

    -Marlene Rauch-

  13. Absolutely love hearing Robert speak. His voice is wonderful. Cannot wait to read Life Support for book club and speak with him on the phone. I will be checking out the movie The List ASAP. It sounds like a great movie!

    Can't wait until the 28th Nora!

    Gail Mundy

  14. This was a very interesting interview with every interesting person. I like the fact that he sees music as important for worship. I didn't realize that he has written so many books, or that they were so varied.Thanks for including the pictures and videos, Nora.Icing on the cake.
    Cathi H.
    chassan2 at hotmail . com

  15. Great interview with Robert Whitlow! I am looking forward to talking with you, Robert, at our upcoming book club meeting. I am reading Life Support right now and love it! I can't wait to finish it and get Life Everlasting. I saw the movie The List but have not read the book. All of his books sound like they will be on my Books to Read list! Thanks, Nora and Robert for the great interview!
    Ann Kinamon

  16. Great interview Nora and Robert. I loved The Trial and can't wait for the movie. Excited about the movie for The List, too.
    I look forward to our phone interview with Robert at the end of the month.


  17. That was a great interview with Robert Whitlow. I have not read any of his books before. Now I am looking forward to reading some of them. Thanks for a great interview. Ro Blackard

  18. We've posted about this at Winning Readings:

    Love that Robert would be doing the same thing given all the time in the world and money! I haven't read his books and look forward to doing so.

  19. Loved the interview and like Robert, I love praise and worship. It will be exciting to see how it is used in his books.

  20. Thanks for the interview Robert and Nora. Robert loved the part about the two people you would like to speak to and see again. How true it is to want to sit with your parent or grandparent and share with them the present. Loved it, Tricia Angehr

  21. I love the interview with Robert Whitlow. Life Support was my first book to read and now I can't wait for Life Everlasting. Surely there is a better life ahead for Rena and I want to know much more about Ted. Like him, I would honor my Mother in the way that he honored his Grandfather for the Godly life she led and pass away before my children ever knew her.

    I love Nora's probing questions that reveal answers to the writer's inner life and this is true about Robert's comments of seeing the empty tomb. It reveals the inner spiritual depth of his character. For that I am thankful and there is much to be anticipated in reading more of his books now that I know him a little better.

  22. Great interview. I loved The List and look forward to reading more.

    Suwanee, GA

  23. Nora,
    Great interview and I am looking forward to reading the book this week.

    Carol Littleton

  24. I missed the entry for the drawing, but still wanted to comment. I loved the interview, especially the extra, personal questions at the end. Those are always fun.

    I loved "Live Support" so much that I went out immediately to buy "Life Everlasting" to finish the story.

    I can't wait to go back and read other books.

    Thanks, Nora!

  25. CONGRADULATIONS SHAREN-- You have WON the double book copy of Robert's books.

    THANKS to everyone else for checking out the interview and encouraging Robert Whitlow and supporting him in his writing.

    THANKS Robert for granting this interview.