Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Blogger: Robert Shaines

Please join me in welcoming author Robert Shaines as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

Robert’s current release is COMMAND INFLUENCE. Here’s a brief blurb about the book: “George C. Schreiber was a twenty-five year old second lieutenant in charge of an Air Police guard unit in Pusan, Korea. A year earlier, in 1951, he had innocently been teaching fifth and sixth grade children in Brookfield, Illinois. A year later, he was convicted by a general court-martial of premeditated murder. The unconscionable injustice made no sense to twenty-three year old Air Force lawyer Robert A. Shaines and Schreiber’s story has haunted his thoughts ever since. COMMAND INFLUENCE chronicles Shaines’ first hand observation of the dramatic events leading up to the trial of Schreiber and two of his contemporaries and shows how he, Schreiber and others became pawns in a power game among ambitious and vindictive men eager only to please those who could advance their military careers.

This series of events would ultimately involve the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Governor of Illinois, the President and the Supreme Court of the United States and bring about a change in the law which would reach the highest levels of government. A fascinating tale of military and legal history, COMMAND INFLUENCE is also a captivatingly personal vindication of the conscience of the author, who comes to understand that he and Schreiber were a couple of dedicated, but naive and trusting young fellow officers whose lives and characters became permanently shaped by these events. Both were victims in their own ways."

Robert joins us today to answer some questions about his book and his writing.

Mason: What inspired you to write this book?

Robert: I had a need to clear my conscience and tell about the extreme injustices caused by the military to expose what I have always perceived were political reasons to charge and try a young Air Force officer with the crime of premeditated murder in wartime Korea.

Mason: Do you have a writing schedule?

Robert: Yes, I like to write in the morning and early afternoon.

Mason: What type of research did you do for the book?

Robert: I obtained the trial and appellate transcripts and researched old newspaper stories as well as kept my own notes from 1953.

Mason: What was the best/worst thing about writing?

Robert: The best thing is to finish a chapter and be satisfied that it says what I intended as the author and to make it interesting for my readers.

Mason: Did you encounter 'writer's block'?

Robert: I procrastinated in writing the book for several years and then one day I determined that I would finish the book, so I did.

Mason: If so, how did you overcome it?

Robert: By paying close attention to the story outline which I had composed and kept at it.

Mason: What message would you like readers to take away from your book?

Robert: That the price of justice does not come cheap. It is necessary for people to stand up against any injustice from whatever source and in that way proper reforms can be implemented within a system of justice like military justice to avoid a situation such as I wrote about.

Mason: What can readers expect next from you?

Robert: A very interesting and fast paced novel of intrigue and danger to world survival based on facts, but in a fictional account. I would like to seek out other stories of injustice within our system of laws and tell those stories.

Robert, thanks for sharing your story with us. It does sound like a story that needed to be told. Best of luck to you and your writing.

Now a bit of background on Robert. He is a practicing attorney in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal in 2010 by the President of the Republic of Korea. His next book is a work of fiction based on his experiences working for the Defense Nuclear Agency in the former Soviet Union from 1992 to 1996. More can be found at his website.

Here is a book trailer for COMMAND INFLUENCE, enjoy.



  1. Robert, thanks for guest blogging here today. Your book sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. Glad you worked through the writer's block, Robert. It's so important to put the story on paper.

    Mason... nice interview. Thanks.

    Have a great day.

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Robert.

    Robert - I admire the way you took real events, and your own experience, and wove them into a novel. Thank you for sharing your own inspiration to do this book, and I wish you much success with Command Influence.

  4. that's a very unusual book cover for such a topic and such a plot.

  5. Real life offers the best inspiration for our words, doesn't it. It's interesting how an event in our lives does live on with us, becoming a prominent part of our days. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Good luck, Robert, and congrats on finishing the book you started long ago. Thanks for hosting, Mason.

  7. Thank you for the courage you had to write your book. Not everyone will write about what they believe in. I actually love the cover.

  8. That was a great review and I would like to read this book. It is definitely going on my list of books that I want. Good job Robert getting the book finished. I admire anyone that can write a whole book.

  9. Good on you, Robert, for writing what you believe. Sounds a very interesting read.

    Thanks for hosting Mason.

  10. Thank you for hosting, Robert, Mason. My uncle was in Korea, in the Navy, but he never shared about his experiences. Robert, your book sounds interesting. Best of luck.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author


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