Author Interview – Bob Holderbaum

This week’s interview is with first-time Author Bob Holderbaum.

Bob’s debut novel, Trestle of Death: Murder Unpunished was just released in February.

Thank you, Bob, for being my guest this week.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I don’t remember specific books when I was a child. However, I’ve had a life-long penchant for true crime stories—and I know exactly where that started. Magazines. My dad was a barber. On the magazine rack in his little barber shop, he offered an array of reading material. It included several true crime magazines for his in-queue customers, e.g., True Detective and The Police Gazette.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I’ve enjoyed both writing and research since high school. I was on the debate team and loved doing research in the library. I never, ever aspired to be a “published author”. However, in 2017, the facts written in TRESTLE kind of fell into my possession—from a former wife, of all people. Those newspaper articles told me a story. The book relates the crime as it happened but also views that entire tale through the lens of the modern-day concept of hate crimes. That gave the 1985 story an extra twist using that twist. The moral of the story simply “screamed out” to me to be told.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

The late Ann Rule was far and away my favorite true crime writer. I also enjoy Edgar Allen Poe and Hemingway.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

As suggested, it combines my favorite area of literature (true crime) with my appreciation for—and enjoyment of—doing research. Having worked the traditional “9 to 5” job most of my life, writing requires intense self-discipline to concentrate on one subject for several hours at a time.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

I have many hundreds of facts in a true crime situation. The “idea part” comes in selecting which facts are most relevant and how do I present those facts so that the average reader will clearly understand what happened those years ago.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

That’s quite easy. I just put “on hiatus” a ten-year musical career. I am a singer; I accompany myself with 5-string banjo or 12-string guitar (having been unable to learn to play the two simultaneously). I began several decades ago as a “folk singer.” However, I have a fairly good vocal range (I love Roy Orbison’s songs, and I love singing them!) so I emulate Neil Diamond, “soft” Beatles music, etc. In 2012 I recorded a CD. So, publishing a book now, I’m proud that I kind of “happen-stanced” my way into having both a book and a CD!

7. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

Within about 72 hours of completing TRESTLE, I realized the great “fit” between Bob and writing. I had remembered a murder case from the late 1980s. I didn’t even know if the case had been solved or not. I learned it took 11 years for an arrest. The individual was tried, convicted and sentenced to life. However, 17 years after his conviction he has the Innocence Project actively involved in trying to exonerate him and gain his release.

A Little More Personal

8. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I am NOT superstitious. However, I am always interested in (sometimes truly) bizarre coincidences. I also keep an open mind to issues for which humankind doesn’t know all the answers—things like some unexplained phenomena from many centuries ago, possible visits from other parts of the galaxy, demon possession… I said: I’m a curious person.

9. What makes you happy?

Simple things like family, continuity in my life schedule (translate: routine), and being able to satisfy my insatiable curiosity.

10. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

I love listening to many kinds of music. It’s often a temptation to listen-while-writing, a battle I have to wage internally.


Robert “Bob” Holderbaum. Home: Battle Creek, MI. Debuting as a published author. TRESTLE OF DEATH: MURDER UNPUNISHED—the 1985 gay-bashing murder and true to title, it occurred under a railroad. There are several parallels with the renown murder case of Matthew Shepard in 1998. (The book should be released by March 31.) Prior to writing professionally, I was CEO of a local branch of Goodwill Industries, a post I held 22 years. I’m married and I have two sons, one grandson, one daughter-in-law, and an 11-pound rescue dog who sometimes thinks she’s Cujo. I once served four years as a city commissioner in Battle Creek. For five years, many moons ago, I had a weekly, one-hour, LIVE call-in talk show on the local public cable station.

Bob’s Contact Links





Author Interview #9 with Sandra J Jackson

Thanks, Julia, for interviewing me!

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Q1. Tell me about yourself – biography, career, likes, dislikes, hobbies etc…anything you would like to share about yourself? Any fun, interesting facts? Please insert a photograph if possible.

I was born in Montreal, QC Canada and moved to Ontario when I was 16. I have always enjoyed and participated in many art forms but painting was my favourite. It seemed natural that I took some form of art in school and so I graduated college with a 3-year graphic design diploma. Though I had a couple of jobs with some aspect of graphic design, I never made a career out of it. After marriage and children I ended up working as an administrative assistant and now I am a full-time Financial Assistant. I think this is kind of funny since math wasn’t my favourite subject. Writing came much later in life when my children had grown…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a book for Christmas – #DogLovers, #Romance #Fantasy #Poetry – Patty Fletcher, Miriam Hurdle, Sandra J. Jackson and Deborah Jay.

Thank you, Sally!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to more Christmas gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and the first writer is Patty Fletcher who despite being sight impaired has not let this stand in the way of becoming a published author. Patty’s companion and Seeing Eye Dog, King Campbell comes into his own with Bubba Tales that would delight any dog owner.

About Bubba’s Tails

In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and…

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Here is my interview with Sandra J. Jackson

Thanks, Fiona, for the great interview!


Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.


Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello, my name is Sandra J. Jackson, and I turned 50 earlier this year.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Montreal, Quebec Canada and lived on the South Shore until I was 16 when I moved to the Ottawa area. I now live in a rural community in the 1000 islands region in Eastern Ontario.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I grew up with two older brothers and a younger sister. When I was 16 my parents, sister and I (brothers had moved out by then) moved to Ottawa. I studied Graphic Design in college but did little work in the field as computer graphics suddenly became the way-to-go shortly…

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Author Interview – Sally Cronin

Please welcome, Sally Cronin, as my guest for November. 

I first “met” Sally through her WordPress Blog, and I have to say I admire her work. She has a great blog and is always supporting and promoting other authors as well as writing her own books. So when I asked her to be my guest, I was thrilled she agreed to participate, knowing how busy she is. 

Thanks again, Sally! Oh, and I too have won money on Friday the 13th… twice. 🙂

1 Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I read the usual fairy stories and Enid Blyton books and loved them, but I really only got excited about reading at about 8 years old when I began borrowing books from my two sisters, who were ten and eleven years older than I was.  The first book that I remember really making an impact on me was Whatever Happened to the Corbetts by Nevil Shute. It was set close to my home town, along the coast in Southampton, and featured a family who take to their yacht following the bombing of the south coast and onset of disease and civil unrest. I was about 11 years old, and didn’t fully understand the significance of the book until later. The novel was actually written in 1938 before war broke out, but was so detailed in events that did occur, that 1000 copies were distributed at the onset of bombing, to the air raid wardens as a guide to what would happen. I went on to read all his books and particularly enjoyed those set in his adopted home of Australia

2. Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas from stories come from all over the place… literally. I have lived, worked and travelled abroad since I was a child, following my father from posting to posting with the Royal Navy and then with my husband in his career. I seem to have a pretty good memory going back to about three years old, particularly for people who have played a part in my development. From my amah in Ceylon, my first teacher Mrs. Miller, through to the elderly friends of my mother who loved to talk about their lives… and illnesses! Location is important but it is individuals and their stories that get me excited about writing. Sometimes the most unassuming person is holding onto a secret, or an experience that is out of the ordinary. Winkling those tales out of people is my favourite pastime.

3. If you could jump inside of a book for oneday (as an observer) what book would it be?

It would probably be Clan of the Cave Bear by Jeanm. Auel. Provided I could steer clear of the cave bear and other such fearsome creatures. How amazing to walk in the footsteps of Ayla during her early days of learning to be self-sufficient, and to survive in such a hostile environment. Certainly would not mind popping into the other books in the series either… just for the day though… there are certain modern amenities I don’t think I could live without. However, it would be a huge privilege and a fascinating experience to see our early ancestors up close and personal.  A book set further back than Clan of The Cave Bear is Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray, but I think that would be far too tough an ask to visit. I don’t think you would get out of the book alive.

4. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I usually have a working title and then as the stories or the plot of a novel unfolds, I get a lightbulb moment and a title is born. Sometimes the working title sticks, such as with What’s in a Name?  Which is my two volume short story collections. Just an Odd Job Girl came from a comment someone made when I was telling them the story of all my temp jobs. They called me that from then on. Once I have a title in my head, I then google to make sure that there are not too many with a similar wording, and if so I work mine around.  With billions of books in the world, it is tough to be completely original.

5. What are you working on now and can youtell us about it?

My next project is going to be a departure from the books that have gone before. It is a new genre for me, new characters and hopefully it will develop into a series. I still need to get my head around it and will be spending the next few weeks writing it in my head and then come the New Year it is time to get serious. If I pull it off I think it will surprise those who currently read my books!

6. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

No official awards, but to my mind, anytime someone takes the time to write a review and share it, I have achieved what I set out to do. Of course it does help if you put your books forward to the various award sites. Everything that throws a spotlight on your book is a good thing and with so many book titles being published each week, it is another way to make your title stand out. It is also an accomplishment to be celebrated.

7. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I would love to go to the Oscars as movies are another passion of mine. Of course if the film of one of my books happens to be nominated, that would be the icing on the cake. I cannot imagine anything more exciting as an author to see your credits rolling through on a screen of an award winning film. Dream big or go home

8. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I was born on Friday 13th and when I was growing up people said that I would be unlucky. As it turns out I have won the lottery on Friday 13th several times (okay only a small amount, but better than nothing). I have been offered jobs on that date, and I have had some pretty memorable experiences too. So I decided eventually to make an effort on Friday 13th to push my luck as far as possible.I nterestingly, having lived in Madrid for 17 years, it is Tuesday 13thwhich is considered unlucky.

9. What makes you happy?

Apart from my husband and family, my happiness is definitely linked to online activities. I love switching on my computer to write a post for my blog, interacting with friends around the world across social media, writing stories and receiving instant feedback, and being part of a very special community of like-minded and generous people.  I hope to still be doing this until the time has come to hang up this life, but it would be really nice if I could get to those Oscars first. Having said that, being happy is not dependent on any particular person or event now or going forward, it is something I have decided to be here and now.

10. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

That would be reading, listening to music and watching movies. I used to do tapistries for many years, that now adorn the walls but unfortunately even with glasses my eyes don’t seem to want to co-operate with fine stitches and needles. Thankfully although my husband listens to all his books rather than read them, and likes classical music rather than my rock ‘n’ roll and country, we love the same movies. If anyone would like a recommendation it would be Alpha. The film reflects my fascination with the books of Jean M. Auel and is set 20,000 years ago, with the development of the synergistic relationship between man and wolf.

Thank you again Sandra for inviting me over… it is much appreciated.


I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. After a long and very happy career, I took the step to retrain as a nutritional therapist, a subject that I was very interested in, and to make the time to write my first book. Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70 kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.  As important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

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