An Exclusive Interview with Robert Carlyle Taylor, Author of ‘The First Robot President’

Short Bio: Robert Carlyle Taylor was born and educated in New England.  He retired from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2018 after a forty-year career that included nineteen years in SBA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and ten years as SBA’s Area Director for Government Contracting in Fort Worth, Texas. The First Robot President is his first published novel. For more details, check the author’s website:

An Interview with Robert Carlyle Taylor, Author of 'The First Robot President'

1. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

An old man.

2. Congratulations on the success of “The First Robot President” with multiple awards and positive reviews. How does it feel to have your debut novel receive such recognition and acclaim?

I am grateful for the awards and the reviews, but there are many other authors without as much recognition who have nonetheless written wonderful novels. I hope that “The First Robot President” will survive the test of time and that people will still be reading it one hundred years from now.

3. Your upbringing was influenced by parents who were both teachers. How did their profession impact your early life and eventually your writing career?

My parents encouraged me to read at an early age, and I developed a love of literature as a child and especially as a teenager. My father, who was an English teacher and college administrator at various times in his career, tutored me in vocabulary building and English grammar when I started middle school. Since my parents were teachers, their friends were mostly teachers, too, and some of these people became my mentors as well. 

4. You studied creative writing briefly at Brown University under John Hawkes. What was the most valuable lesson or insight you gained from that experience?

Since I am now 78 years old, this experience was decades ago, but what I best remember is sitting around a table reading our papers aloud and getting feedback from the others in the class. The lesson learned here is that it is difficult to be your own critic; you need others with an interest in creative writing to help you see what is working and what isn’t. 

5. The concept of a robot president is intriguing. What inspired you to explore this idea, and how did you address the ethical and societal implications of such a scenario?

Roughly six years ago, I saw a short video of a robot that had been designed to look like a woman. If my memory serves me right, it was created by a company in Japan. In any case, I was astonished by how life-like the robot looked and talked; and given the extraordinary pace of technology, I began to wonder where this will lead us.  My thought process ended with the question: “Do you suppose a robot could someday be President?” Without spoiling the story, the novel explores some of the ethical implications if this were to happen.  In Chapter 5, “The Court Decides,” the robot wins election to the Congress of the United States, and the Democratic party sues to invalidate the election on the grounds that a robot should be ineligible. In announcing his ruling, the judge says, “I have thought about this long and hard. What if other robots seek public office, and what is some of them win election?  What if someday robots gain a majority in the House or the Senate?  What would the implications be for government as we know it?  Indeed, what would the implications be for civilization?  I’m deeply troubled, but I must render my ruling based on the U.S. Constitution and legal precedent.”

6. “The First Robot President” raises intriguing questions about the intersection of technology and politics. How do you think technology will continue to shape the future of governance in real life?

In the short term, obviously, we aren’t going to see robots running for political office; remember that “The First Robot President” takes place 500 years from now. Therefore, the impact of technology over the next few decades will have more to do with digital tools, including artificial intelligence (AI), that are already available and will only become more powerful as time goes on. 

7. The book touches on present-day politics and satirizes political parties. How do you approach political satire while maintaining a balance that readers of different affiliations can enjoy?

In the United States, we have two principal parties, the Democratics party and the Republican party, along witha number of smaller parties such as the Libertarian party and the Green party. I made Esmeralda, the robot President, a member of the Green party, which allowed me to poke fun at the Democrats and Republicans equally. The political satire really kicks in big-time in Chapter 8, “The Debate,” in which Esmeralda debates the Democratic and Republican candidates. Esmeralda comes across as being much sharper and more knowledgeable than either of her opponents. 

8. “The First Robot President” is your first published novel. Can you share your journey from writing the manuscript to getting it published, and any challenges you faced along the way?

The publishing landscape underwent a seismic change in the late 1990’s because of print-on-demand (POD) technology, which allows publishers to print books as they are ordered as opposed to the traditional model of printing thousands of copies prior to a book’s release. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is based on POD. When I researched it in 2020 and compared POD to the traditional publishing model, I decided that POD was the better route because I didn’t need to seek a traditional publishing house or invest a great sum of money to publish my novel.  I had much to learn, of course, since I had no prior experience in publishing; but I took advantage of books on the subject and free webinars offered by Amazon and other entities. Today “The First Robot President” is in its 4th Edition and is available in four formats including hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and eBook. 

9. You express gratitude to Arvind Patel and Chris D’Urso for their support. Could you tell us more about their roles in helping you with your novel, and how their assistance impacted the book’s development?

One of the themes of the book is the world’s current population and the likelihood of overpopulation over the next 500 years.  Arvind Patel created several population forecasts for me under several different scenarios—with and without world wars and natural catastrophes, and with and without a “birth lottery.”  (A birth lottery is a government regulation, for now fictitious, where only those couples who win a lottery are allowed to have children.)  Chris D’Urso teaches Government at Austin Community College, in Austin, Texas, and he pointed out a number of errors in the book’s first edition and gave me general feedback about the novel’s storyline. 

10. Do you have other writers in the family and friends?

Chris D’Urso, mentioned above, is also a writer.  I also have a niece who has done some creative writing, but neither she nor Chris have yet published their work.

11. Can you provide a glimpse into any future writing projects or literary aspirations you may have after the publication of “The First Robot President”?

I am not currently writing another novel, and I have no plans to write a sequel to “The First Robot President.” However, I may undertake another book, possiblynon-fiction, in the next year or two.

12. “The First Robot President” explores the concept of a robotic leader. If you had the chance to have a conversation with a real-life robot president, what’s the first question you would ask?

“Can you assure me that you have no plans for robots to take over the entire Government and/or to subjugate human beings?

13. Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring authors, particularly those who may be starting their writing journey later in life, based on your own experiences and lessons learned?

First, I recommend that they read some books on writing by successful authors. Stephen King’s “On Writing” is a good one, but there are many others. Second, as I said earlier, you need to research the current publishing options and decide what makes the most sense for you. There is a wealth of information available on the Internet. If you are an independent author, most of your sales are likely to come from Amazon, so you want to learn how to publish your book there. Amazon’s self-publishing arm is Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP. Look at KDP’s “Tools and Resources” at Another valuable website is Draft2Digital; start by reading their FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) at (  Finally, compare these two book distributors to IngramSpark, which may have a stronger world-wide distribution network than either Amazon or Draft2Digital. IngramSpark’s website is

Get your copy of ‘The First Robot President’ today and witness a futuristic, laugh-out-loud twist on modern politics!

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