David L. Robbins (Virginia writer)

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David L. Robbins
David L. Robbins
David L. Robbins
Born (1954-03-10) March 10, 1954 (age 67)
Richmond, VA
Alma materThe College of William & Mary
GenreHistorical fiction
SubjectWorld War II

David L. Robbins (born 1954) is an American author of several historical fiction novels, and a co-founder of the James River Writers. He founded the Richmond-based Podium Foundation.


The son of two World War II veterans, David Lea Robbins was born on March 10, 1954, in Richmond, VA. He received his B.A. in Theater and Speech from the College of William and Mary in 1976, then his Juris Doctorate from the same school four years later.

He spent one year practicing environmental law in South Carolina and then turned to freelance writing. He did not devote his time to writing fiction until 1990. With the publication of War of the Rats and his subsequent novels, Robbins was able to become a full-time novelist.

In 2007, Robbins returned to William & Mary, this time as the Writer in Residence.

Robbins co-founded James River Writers in 2002 with Dean King, Tom De Haven, and Phaedra Hise to encourage creative expression in the Richmond area.[1] Since its founding, the nonprofit organization has held literary contests, newsletters, and a yearly conference as well as exposing readers to contemporary authors who come to speak.

In 2015, Robbins, with sponsorship and assistance from the Virginia War Memorial, founded "The Mighty Pen Project," a university-style writing class offered at no cost to veterans to encourage and teach them to share their stories.[2][3]

Following his experience with James River Writers, Robbins became interested in creating opportunities for underserved students in Richmond Public Schools through creative expression and writing. In 2008, he started The Podium Foundation. Podium is a grassroots non-profit organization that provides youth in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area with the skills to become confident and capable readers, writers, and communicators. Podium holds weekly after-school, in-school, and summer programs and publishes both a quarterly zine and annual journal composed of students’ work. In recent years, Podium students have had opinion pieces published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, online journals, and other school publications. The organization gives thousands of inner-city students the opportunity to experience the power of the written word and uncover their potential.

In addition to writing novels, Robbins is an avid sailor and sportsman. He studies classical guitar.

When not traveling to research his novels, he lives in his hometown of Richmond, VA.[4]


Robbins’s first book, Souls to Keep (pub. 1998 by Harper Collins), attracted little attention. His breakthrough came in 1999 with the publication of War of the Rats, a recounting of the Russian and German sniper duels over the city of Stalingrad.

Robbins followed up War of the Rats with The End of War, another World War II-era tale of the approach of the Allied forces and the fall of Berlin, this time adding civilian perspectives to his narrative. His fourth novel, Scorched Earth, addressed contemporary racism in the American South. Robbins returned to World War II with Last Citadel, describing Cossack traditions and partisan warfare during the tank battle of Kursk in August 1943. Liberation Road deals with the experience of black and Jewish minorities in the U.S. Army during the war.

Branching from historical fiction into alternate history, The Assassin’s Gallery features the assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is the first of Robbins’ novels to have a direct sequel, The Betrayal Game, in which an American teacher visiting Havana is embroiled in a conspiracy to assassinate Fidel Castro before the Bay of Pigs invasion.

His novel Broken Jewel was released in 2009 by Simon & Schuster. In this novel, Robbins explores the Pacific Theater and the atrocities committed upon the so-called “comfort women” enslaved by the Japanese military.[5]

When the waters of traditional trade publishing turned tepid, Robbins turned to Amazon.com to publish his work directly, under their imprint Thomas & Mercer. He also packaged a series of novels called "USAF Pararescue Thrillers." His tenth novel, an adventure tale of Somali pirates and international intrigue influenced by Mary Shelley, The Devil's Waters, was published in 2012. Its sequel, The Empty Quarter, was published in 2014.[6] The Devil's Horn is another in the series.[7]


World War II novels[edit]

  1. War of the Rats (Bantam, 2000), ISBN 055358135X
  2. The End of War (Bantam, 2000), ISBN 0553581384
  3. Last Citadel (Bantam, 2003), ISBN 0553583123
  4. Liberation Road (Bantam 2005), ISBN 0553801759
  5. Broken Jewel (Simon & Schuster, 2009) ISBN 9781416590583

Alternate history[edit]

  1. The Assassin’s Gallery (Bantam, 2006) ISBN 0553804413
  2. The Betrayal Game (Bantam, 2008) ISBN 9780553804423

USAF Pararescue Thrillers[edit]

Other books[edit]

  • Souls to Keep (HarperCollins, 1998), ISBN 0061013005
  • Scorched Earth (Bantam, 2002), ISBN 0553801767
  • The Finger: A Novel of Love & Amputation (Amazon, 2014)


External links[edit]