Giveaway and Interview with Robert G. Pielke, author of A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator

Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press

Publish Date: November 1, 2012

Order From:  Amazon / Whiskey Creek Press Paperback / Kindle / Nook / Whiskey Creek Press Ebook

Synopsis: Noam Chomsky argues that communication with aliens would be impossible. Stephen Hawking argues that it would be extremely unwise even to try. What if it were absolutely necessary to do so? This question arises with extreme urgency at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, in this time-travel, alternate-history trilogy, A New Birth of Freedom.

Author Bio: Robert Pielke, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, now lives in Claremont, California. He earned a B.A. in History at the University of Maryland, an M. Div. in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the Claremont Graduate School.

He taught on ground and online for countless years at George Mason University in Virginia, El Camino College in California and online for the University of Phoenix. Now happily retired from “the job,” he is doing what he always wanted to do since he wrote his first novel at ten in elementary school. It was one paragraph, three pages long and, although he didn’t know it at the time, it was alternate history.

His academic writings have been in the area of ethics, including a boring academic treatise called Critiquing Moral Arguments, logic, and popular culture. Included in the latter is an analysis of rock music entitled You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture. He has also published short stories, feature articles, film and restaurant reviews. His novels include a savagely satirical novel on America and its foibles, proclivities and propensities, Hitler the Cat Goes West, and an alternate history, science fiction novel, The Mission.

Most recently, he has updated and revised his book on rock music, which is being republished by McFarland & Co.

He swims daily, skis occasionally, cooks as an avocation, watches innumerable movies, collects rock and roll concert films, is an avid devotee of Maryland crabs and maintains a rarely visited blog filled with his social and political ravings. His favorite film is the original Hairspray; his favorite song is “A Day in the Life”; his favorite pizza is from the original Ledo Restaurant in College Park, MD; and he is a firm believer in the efficacy of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Somehow his family and friends put up with him.

Author Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.

It’s book two of my time-travel, alternate-history, double-first-contact SF trilogy. I know, it’s a “mouthful”! But all three sub-genre are involved.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It took a long a long time to present itself to me – and I use the third person, here intentionally. It’s metaphorical, of course, and while other writers refer to a “muse” in this context, I prefer to see the “story” as “telling itself to me.” The next question deals with this in a different way.

Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

As a kid, I went to the movies every weekend to see whatever was showing. It didn’t matter what it was, I’d be there. And I’d always wind up ‘playing a role” from the movie– in my mind if not in reality – until the next weekend’s film. And it usually wasn’t a role from the film, it was “me” being in the reality portrayed in film. Some of my favorite rolls were cowboys – Hopalong Cassidy was my favorite. (I pretended to be Tom Mix too, because he was my father’s favorite. I never saw his movies – before my time – but I read the comic books.

But when it came to “cowboys and Indians” in these movies I gradually became disturbed by the fact that the Indians were always “bad” and the cowboys were always “good.” There were a very few films – not many, to be sure -- that had a different take on this. Broken Arrow  was one of them (Jimmy Stewart and Jeff Chandler as Tom Jeffers and Cochise). And that interested me mightily. Again, my father influenced me. He, too, always thought their portrayal was one-sided. I wondered why there weren’t more movies like Broken Arrow.

Well, in the absence of any other films to speak of, I began imagining new scenarios for cowboys and Indians and played out these roles in my mind – and with the other kids I hung out with. After I learned how to write and how to use my mother’s Remington typewriter, I wrote a story, White Cloud, about an Indian who united all the Plains tribes along with all the Eastern tribes in the early seventeenth century to resist the European invasion. (It was 3 pages long, one paragraph and single spaced.) I was in the fourth or fifth grade. Somewhere, I still have it, and before my inevitable demise, I do a thorough search for it.

What I didn’t realize was that I was writing alternate history. And I’ve doing it ever since. Unlike a lot of alternate history writers, I always have something in my stories that accounts for the “shift” from the path of history as we know it to the “altered” history. Usually it involves aliens and almost always time travel. So the genre I write in is really pretty much of a niche of a niche of a niche. And the readers are – thusly – few and far between!

Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?

Not a bit in terms of the story – but I’d have other people read it for typos! [Even one is too many for a Type A/Anal Retentive/OCD kind of person!!

Q. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Finding large chunks of time to work on it

Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?

I used to, but not now. Not even when I was writing my book on rock music did I have music playing in the background. [But it was playing in my head!]

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

The most troubling thing is the fact that while writing I cannot read!! It’s too distracting and I wind up editing the book in my mind, like “Damn, I would have written that part differently and it would have been better!”

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

Yes – two of them: One is a contemporary SF fantasy about discovering an intelligent life form here on earth that has been trying to communicate with us for millennia. And the other is straight contemporary literary novel about the relationship between old Viet Nam vets and Viet Nam war Protesters.

Q. Please tell us your latest news.

So far there have been three reviews, and all have been very nice! I’m hoping for more, of course!  ;-)

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?


Giveaway Information: There is one (1) ebook copy of "A New Birth of Freedom: The Translator" available for this giveaway. Enter by leaving a comment on this post with your email address.

Winner will be chosen at random on February 22, 2013 - so enter as soon as possible. Thanks and good luck!


  1. Any question?....Anyone?....Anyone?....Bueller??

  2. Star, thanks for inviting Bob by for a chat.

  3. Interesting premise.



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