April - 04/01/2011 TO 04/30/2011
For all of the areas you can reach here (except for the main blog) the new schedule format will hopefully go this way - unless material is not available from the author. Each blog site features a different author each month!

Week 1 - Authors tell us how the events in their lives encouraged them to be writers!

Week 2 - Authors answer some fun questions about their lives - geared toward different aspects of each month!

Week 3 - Authors answer questions about their writing and the process

Week 4 - Authors present a blurb and excerpt of whatever book(s) they are promoting that month!

Sci-Fi Video of the Moment
Cosmic Castaway by Electrasy
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Featured Author - Robert G. Pielke! - Part 1

I'm so lucky I managed to dodge Cupid again!
He's taken over the main blog, so I'm hoping I can continue 
to operate on this end of the blog without him knowing.
However, I think he's getting suspicious! Yikes!
Anyway, today we welcome author Robert G. Pielke!

This week, he tells us what brought him to writing.

In the beginning (I know, that sounds a tad pretentious.) I was born in Baltimore, Maryland. My family was in the nursery business – not the kind that deals with children, the kind that deals with plants – not something I aspired to follow up with…ever. My interests always centered on ideas -- expressing them, clarifying them, thinking about them and, of course, writing about them. As it happened, many of the people in my family were in the arts, so it surprised no one that my educational choices promised no clear path to a job or to a self-sustaining career.

At the University of Maryland, I switched my major from history, to philosophy, to political science and back again several times – so much so that I’m not really sure what major I finally wound up with. During college, however, I took a few classes in creative writing. Yup! That pretty much did it for me. Although I would return to this many years later, my beginnings as a writer began in elementary school, with my first novel! (It was one paragraph, three pages long, single-spaced, and, although I didn’t know it at the time, it was alternate history.)

When the Viet Nam war intervened and forced me think more seriously about what I wanted to do after graduation. Along with every other student, ROTC was mandatory at that time, and I had a short stint in the Air Force in mind to fulfill my obligation. But there were many troubling questions about the legitimacy of that war, so I finally decided to continue my education first at the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg (not to become a minister, mind you, but to use it as a cheap way to study religious thought and ideas – and as a consequence get a deferment from the draft) and then second in a Ph.D. program in social ethics at Claremont Graduate School. I finally had career in mind – teaching college.

My teaching career began at George Mason University where I wrote my first book, You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture. When I was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor, I realized I was about to be stuck there for the rest of my life. Scary Scary! With the support of my family, I dumped GMU and moved back to California, taking part-time teaching jobs where I could find them (an academic bracero, if you will). I finally found a community college foolish enough to hire me full time, and that’s where I remained. I did all with the plan in mind that since I would no longer be forced to “publish academic stuff or perish” I could finally use my extra time to write what I wanted. Hah! Well, I did manage to do some free-lance movie and restaurant reviews and a few short stories, but nothing big…nothing like I wanted to do. Before retiring from teaching, I did stave off a really gigantic, mega burn-out by moving into teaching online for a few years.

Since then I’ve done three novels. The first was Hitler the Cat Goes West (a socio-political-religious satire of America’s near future), followed by The Mission (an alternate history novel with alien component) and now A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor (the first book of a time-travel/alternate-history/first-contact trilogy). The second book is well under way. I’ve also revised and updated my book on rock music in American culture, due out later this year.

I currently live in Claremont, California where I try to swim daily, dabble with skiing once or twice a year, cook as an avocation, watch innumerable movies, collect rock and roll concert films, and am an avid devotee of Maryland crabs and Ledo’s original Pizza in College Park, MD. My favorite film is the original Hairspray; my favorite song is “A Day in the Life;” and I’m a firm believer in the efficacy of "sex, drugs and rock and roll." Somehow my family and friends put up with me.

Have I left out anything?

Of course!! All the “juicy” stuff…the absurdities, tragedies, surprises, enigmas, failures, flaws, peccadilloes, foibles, idiosyncrasies, obsessions, and so on. I will add, however, that others have, on occasion, described me as having a “type A -- anal retentive – obsessive/compulsive personality.”

Who are these detractors, you might ask?

Well, one of them is that proverbial man-in-the-mirror.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tune in next week when we ask him questions about
his life in and outside of writing!
In the meantime, visit his website:


Tribute Books said...

Bob, I like how you actually lived and studied in Gettysburg before writing the book. Did it help when you went to write about the battle?

Carrie - thanks for hosting a great guest post from Bob. I hope your migraine is gone and you're feeling much better!

Tribute Books said...

Oh I forgot to add - for all those who want to follow Bob on his blog tour - please visit http://anewbirthoffreedom-thevisitor.blogspot.com/

Bob Pielke said...

Hi Nicole,

You are correct -- living in "the Burg," as some there are wont to put it, was invaluable. But there's the chicken and egg dilemma that comes up in saying this: Did I choose to live there because I wanted to write about the battle? Or, did I want to write about the battle because I had lived there? Ah, yes...the stuff of mystery!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your blog tonight. Have even read some of your book! You are so talented. Hope to see you again soon. Love you always!

Bob Pielke said...

Hi Anonymous...you've made my day!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Where is part two of the interview?

Carrie said...

Sorry! Part 2 is coming, I'm just a bit late...been down with a sinus infection/migraine the past two weeks.

I'll be getting the rest of the parts up today!

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