Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I wrote one book at this time with plans to start my second book sometime in 2019. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. I went to Cardinal Mooney High School. I attended Youngstown State University, The Ohio State University, Evangel College, and Liberty University Online. I took the least amount of English classes and avoided writing as much as possible while in college. I took mostly engineering classes, math classes, and some criminal justice courses. My gambling addiction caused financial instability, and I became homeless. I am 54 while completing this interview. I have been a born-again Christian since I was 17. I was on active duty in the US Navy from January 1989 to December 1990 and acquired 16 months of sea service aboard the USS New Jersey (BB-62), the navy’s most decorated battleship. I was a naval reservist sent on active duty for a disciplinary action. The New Jersey did a WESTPAC (Western Pacific deployment) in 1989 while I was aboard including a short stint in the Persian Gulf. I received an honorable discharge. My life is exciting, tumultuous, stressful, and challenging. Youngstown is a declining Rustbelt town with a checkered past because of the Mafia’s influence. My mom grew up in Vienna, Austria under the Third Reich, married a WWII veteran, and moved to Youngstown. My dad grew up in Youngstown. Many of my life’s experiences are included in my first book, an exciting memoir while living on the streets as a homeless vet with all my triumphs and tragedies.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Praying Psalm 143:8-9 & Surviving on the Streets, a Veterans Story is the title of my first book. The inspiration to write this memoir comes from Psalm 107:2, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeeemed from the hand of the enemy” (KJV). I faced many dangerous situations while living on the streets, and living in Youngstown. God has answered many of my prayers, so I decided to write a book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think so. I try to keep some blank paper with me in my backpack when I get some ideas to write down.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I like Tom Clancy novels. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing has motivated me in the past and still motivates me today. Adam Makos wrote a great book called: A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II.
What are you working on now?
I haven’t written anything down yet, but I have some ideas for my second book which will focus on a serious issue, anti-Semitism. My mom grew up under the Nazi government in Vienna, Austria before moving the the United States in 1947. My grandfather was in the Luftwaffe during WWII.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Since this is new to me, I tried Digital Book Today with limited success. This is my second attempt at using a website to promote my first book and I am optimistic.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My first book took me about seven years to complete including uploading it on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. If you can afford a good editor, I recommend this. I had to edit my book mostly by myself with the help of Grammarly. I could have finished a lot sooner with a good editor. Endure and make it happen. I only have one review for my first book, but it is four stars out five.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Stand your ground. Face dogs when they come at you. Walk like you own the street. This has saved me from getting mugged. I also believe God had and has guardian angels protecting me.
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Prophet of Revolution Karl Marx by Alfred Apsler.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am researching how to promote my book.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
1. Bible 2. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing 3. A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander.
Author Websites and Profiles
Robert Korchnak Website