Robert Burke Warren
’s debut novel, Perfectly Broken
(Story Plant, 270 pages), is filled with all of the elements a musician and wordsmith should muster when telling a good story: sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Drawing loosely on his own life experiences as a stay at home father and professional musician, Warren, now 51, has created a contemporary fable that hits home on many levels: frustrations of fleeting musical stardom, creative competition, existential angst, aging, parenting, and a bit of erotica. Perfectly Broken
is both believable and relatable, and given his history in the Atlanta and national music business, quite insightful.
Protagonist Grant Kelly's story is somewhat parallel to Warren's, as the vivid descriptions of his journey capture a plethora of shared human experiences. From playing bass with RuPaul’s band Wee Wee Pole
to embracing a singer/songwriter aesthetic and performing children’s music as Uncle Rock, Warren has kept his musical chops sharp. Perfectly Broken
is one more extension of his creativity.
At the root of Warren's drive is a friendship that he cherishes with his dear friend and longtime musical cohort Todd Butler who passed away in 2004. “It all started with Todd,” Warren says, “that’s where I learned what it is about being a musician that draws people to you. His courage was contagious, and it is important to be around people who inspire you.”