David L. Robbins (Virginia writer)
|David L. Robbins|
David L. Robbins
|Alma mater||The College of William & Mary|
|Subject||World War II|
David L. Robbins (born 1954) is an American author of several historical fiction novels, and founder of the James River Writers and 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 to keep an agreement that he made with his father regarding the money spent on law school. When that time was up, he turned to freelance writing. He did not devote his time to writing fiction until 1990. After the sweeping success of War of the Rats and his subsequent novels, Robbins was able to become a full-time novelist.
In 2007, Robbins returned to his alma mater, this time as the Writer in Residence. He was so popular among the students that they petitioned for him to return an extra semester before passing the torch to Tom De Haven, author of Funny Papers and It's Superman!.
Robbins co-founded along with several other writers the James River Writers in 2002 to encourage creative expression in the Richmond area. Since its founding, the nonprofit organization holds literary and art contests, newsletters, and a yearly conference, as well as exposing readers to contemporary authors who come to speak.
After the success of the James River Writers, Robbins was appalled by the lack of opportunities for urban students in Richmond Public Schools in creative expression and writing. In 2008, he started the Podium Foundation, creating a literary magazine, ongoing instruction and workshops for students and teachers, and activities to provide a public voice to these students who aspire to rise above societal expectations. Currently, Podium has published five volumes of student submissions drawn from thousands of entries. The organization has a weekly presence in every RPS high school and has grown to include numerous opportunities for city students of limited means to showcase their talent and hone their writing skills. Today, Podium students have published opinion pieces in the Richmond Times Dispatch, online journals, and other school publications. Through this work, Robbins has exposed thousands of inner city students to the power of the written word and the potential they have within.
When not traveling to research his novels, he lives in his hometown of Richmond, VA.
Robbin’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 thrilling recounting of the Russian and German sniper duels over the city of Stalingrad. Adding meticulously researched details and vibrant human depth to the historical records of World War II, the novel won Robbins recognition and praise.
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, bringing Cossack traditions and partisan warfare to life for 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 on November 10, 2009 by Simon and Schuster. In this novel, Robbins explores the Pacific Theater and the atrocities committed upon the so-called “comfort women” enslaved by the Japanese military.
His tenth novel, an adventure tale of Somali pirates and international intrigue, influenced by Mary Shelley, The Devil's Waters, was published in 2012. It's sequel, The Empty Quarter was published in 2014.
World War II novels
- War of the Rats (Bantam, 2000), ISBN 055358135X
- The End of War (Bantam, 2000), ISBN 0553581384
- Last Citadel (Bantam, 2003), ISBN 0553583123
- Liberation Road (Bantam 2005), ISBN 0553801759
- Broken Jewel (Simon & Schuster, 2009) ISBN 9781416590583
- The Assassin’s Gallery (Bantam, 2006) ISBN 0553804413
- The Betrayal Game (Bantam, 2008) ISBN 9780553804423
USAF Pararescue Thrillers
- The Devil's Waters (Thomas & Mercer, 2012), ISBN 1612186068
- The Empty Quarter (Thomas & Mercer, 2014), ISBN 1612186068
- "Virginia War Memorial has teamed up with bestselling author David L. Robbins to host ‘The Mighty Pen Project’ - WTVR.com". WTVR.com.
- "Fiction Book Review: Broken Jewel by David L. Robbins, Author . Simon & Schuster $25 (414p) ISBN 978-1-4165-9058-3". PublishersWeekly.com.
- "The Empty Quarter". washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com.