Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Interview With Local Authors: John Keibel
How long have you lived in the Bay Area? Which parts?
I was born in southern California. Growing up years were spent in Martinez and Concord. Following college I moved around the state and country a bit. Most recently, Concord has been my residence 1996.
When did you get your first book published?
I published The Alhambra Valley Trestle Then and Now: A Centennial in 1999. As the title suggests, this is a history of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe trestle near the home of John Muir in Martinez. A prominent feature is my use of comparative ("then & now") photography.
What type of books do you write?
Both of my books (as well as newsletter, magazine and newspaper submissions) are almost exclusively of the non-fiction, history genre.
Why do you write?
An educator by training and profession, I enjoy sharing history. I find writing provides a means of making certain I get the history correct; it's too easy to make a mistake or to miss an important point when speaking.
How involved are you with the community?
I am a teacher and council-member at Eternal Life Lutheran Church in Concord, a member of the Concord Historical Society's board of directors and a volunteer tour guide at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez.
What challenges have you faced as an author?
I have found every aspect of the writing and publishing process to be rewarding challenges.
* Research is demanding. Imagine going on a treasure hunt where the map is less than clear. After successes and setbacks, there's the big find.
* Writing does not come easy, but write anyway and then polish, polish and polish some more.
* My books have been self published, so the whole creative process has been at my fingertips: writing, design, image selection, printing and marketing. Exciting! In the end, sola Deo gloria.
What types of books would you recommend for young readers?
As a young reader, I enjoyed biographies--especially of inventors; e.g., Edison, Marconi and Wright brothers. Good examples provide wholesome inspiration.
Do you have a website we can visit?
Where can we find your books?
The Alhambra Valley Trestle Then and Now: A Centennial is out of print (although a handful of copies may yet be for sale at Sheila Grilli Bookseller in Martinez, CA).
Behind the Barbed Wire: History of Naval Weapons Station Concord is available at a number of local bookstores and historical societies listed on the BehindTheBarbedWire.com website.