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Friday, December 18, 2020

Guest Author: Timothy Donald Pilmaier



I am happy to have Timothy Donald Pilmaier as my guest today. Thank you, Tim, for joining me on my website.



Timothy Donald Pilmaier

Guest Author Timothy Donald Pilmaier





Timothy, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?


I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After joining the United States Navy at 19, I spent six years in the Naval Nuclear Power Program. I served aboard the ballistic missile submarine, USS Tecumseh SSBN-628. After leaving the Navy, I had a 32-year career in the domestic and international commercial nuclear power industries.  During that time, I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bellevue University.

My wife of 36 years, Joni, and I have raised two beautiful kids.  Samantha and Joseph are both in the medical field. My daughter is a physician, and my son is a nurse.  We have one grandson, Jack, who is a year old.

I am now retired and write full time.  When I am not writing, I enjoy hunting, fishing, golfing, and cooking.  I am the cook in our house and truly enjoy making a meal for friends and family.  A perfect day starts with a cup of coffee and the smell of homemade tomato sauce simmering on the stove.  Beyond that, I enjoy reading, specifically, WWII history and historical fiction.


What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?


My first novel, titled "Flight of the U-463," is the first in a series of historical fiction adventures. The book was a finalist for the 2019 Forward INDIES (Fiction-War & Military) and the 2020 Next Generation INDIE (Historical Fiction) book awards.  The book also reached #1 on Amazon for Military Thrillers. The story chronicles the daring escape of a young American, Peter Teufel, from Nazi Germany.

The book "Flight of the U-463" is a coming of age story and an escape story.  Against his parents' wishes, Peter stays in Germany to finish college as the European war breaks out. He meets a beautiful female Associated Press photographer, Marilyn Miller, and their relationship grows. Unfortunately, he is mistakenly identified as a German, detained by the German Army, and conscripted into the Kriegsmarine.  Stationed aboard a U-boat, he must find a way to escape back home to the woman he loves before his true nationality is discovered.

I am currently working on the second, third, and fourth books in the series. The series follows Peter as he enters the Office of Strategic Services and takes on hazardous missions for the United States during WWII.  The entire four-book series interweaves the fictional Peter with real events and real people during the second world war.

The book is intended for those who love WWII history, those who enjoy fictional thrillers, and those who like well-developed characters.  It is much more than "just a war novel." I have received tremendously positive feedback from women and men concerning the book.



Book Cover Flight U463

 Book Cover to" Flight of the U-463 "



Here is a description of the book:


In the dark days before World War II, a young American named Peter Teufel makes the fateful decision to remain in Europe as the clouds of war descend. Steamrolled by the Nazi onslaught and mistaken for a German citizen, he finds himself conscripted into the vaunted German Navy. Forced to serve on a U-boat, his odds of escaping back to America are slim. If his true identity is discovered, he would be executed as a spy.

​Peter must find a way to escape, yet he is thwarted at every turn. Hounded by a brutal Nazi, Klaus Lübeck, who suspects that Peter is not what he appears to be, the American avoids detection at all costs. A chance meeting with the head of German Military Intelligence, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, may just be the key to his deliverance. With the odds of escaping stacked against him, the young American devises a bold and daring plan. Once in motion, there is no turning back.


What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do you want readers to take away?


I have long been interested in WWII history, especially submarine history.  As a former submariner, it seemed logical to write about something that I am very familiar with.  I knew that I wanted to write a book that involved submarine operations, but a storyline didn't materialize until a random discussion with my Father.

I was inspired to write "Flight of the U-463" after discussing it with my Father over coffee.  We routinely have coffee together every Saturday and talk about the books we have read. On one of those Saturdays, Dad recounted the story of Yang Kyoungjong.

In June of 1944, during the invasion of Normandy, an oriental man wearing a German uniform was captured by the Americans.  First thought to be Japanese, it turned out that the man, Yang Kyoungjong, was a Korean conscripted into the Wehrmacht.  During the war, he was captured in Manchuria by the Japanese and forced to fight for the Imperial Japanese Army.  He was subsequently captured by the Russian Army and then the German Army.  After each capture, he was conscripted into the Army of his captors.  As such, he unwillingly wound up defending the Normandy beaches on D-Day.

This story got me to consider a "what if" scenario. If a Korean could wind up in the Wehrmacht, could that also happen to an American?  That is how the book's main character, Peter Teufel, the son of an American diplomat who gets caught up in WWII, came to be. 

When his parents return to the United States, Peter is attending college in Germany. He elects to stay behind.  Defying his parent's wishes, Peter remains to finish college and, as a result, is caught up in the outbreak of the war.  Mistaken as a German citizen, he is eventually conscripted into the Kriegsmarine and forced to serve onboard U-boats. After realizing that he has made an error in judgment, he secretly tries to find a way to return to the United States.

The story of Peter Teufel is a coming of age story and a harrowing escape story.  My intent as a writer was to intertwine real historical people and events into a fictional account of a plausible outcome that differs slightly from recorded history. I want the reader to believe that the story is possible and that the places, people, and equipment are accurate.  I believe that it is a fun and exciting story.


Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?


While I have dabbled in writing most of my life, "Flight of the U-463" is my first and only published work so far.  I have a web page, Twitter account, and Facebook presence.  They can be accessed at:


Facebook: Timothy Donald Pilmaier, Author @timothypilmaier

Twitter: Timothy Donald Pilmaier @timothypilmaier

Instagram: @timothypilmaier


What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?


The hardest part of writing a novel is the editing process.  For me, every word that I wrote was perfect in my mind.  I knew exactly what I intended to convey to the reader, and once I had written it, I didn't want to go back.  My editor read the draft that I considered "finished" …she had a different opinion. 

She carved up my draft pretty good.  I will admit that I had a few hurt feelings, yet I could not fault her comments when I cooled down.  As painful as it was, I revised and rewrote many sections of the book.  It was ultimately a tremendous learning experience.  She basically had me rewrite the main character throughout the book to clarify its involvement with the escape.  I had a fundamental plot element that was weak.  She helped me with that.

The most natural part was research.  I love reading and learning about WWII, so conducting the research to make the book accurate was a complete joy.  I pulled information from books, naval archives, a WWII U-boat web page, the internet, and of course, my Father.  I even used submarine video games as a source of information. All of that was just a blast to do. 

I tried extremely hard to make the historical places and military hardware correct.  For example, not many people know that the Nazis conducted flights during the war from Petsamo Finland to Japan.  This was a too-long flight, but it was accomplished with an FW-200 Condor variant fitted with extra fuel storage.  It took me hours to find this information and only minutes to write about it.  The effort was worth it to make the book historically accurate in a fictional story.


What's next for you after [Your Book]?


Great question!  The "Flight of the U-463" is the first in a series of books about Peter Teufel.  I currently have plans for three additional books in the series. I have started writing books 2 and 3, tentatively titled "The Valkyrie Variant" and "Flight from Flossenburg."  As yet untitled, the fourth book has been mapped out in a timeline, but I have not started writing it.  The four books take Peter through WWII.  After those four books, I intend to have Peter involved in the cold war, but I have not developed any storylines for subsequent novels.

Book two, "The Valkyrie Variant," has Peter, now an OSS agent, interceding with the July 20th, 1944 bombing plot to assassinate Hitler.  The villain from book one, Klaus Lubeck, and several fictional and historical figures, return for this book. 

Book three has Peter entering the Flossenburg concentration camp as the European war comes to an end to rescue a high-ranking Nazi intelligence figure about to be put to death. Again, Lubeck, with eyes on revenge, seeks to foil Peter's mission.

Book four sees Peter returning to Japan's boyhood home to rescue an American nuclear scientist being held at the infamous Ofuna prisoner of war camp.

That is the plan…after that, we shall see. 


What special thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?


Wow, a rare moment to reflect on my life. Let's see, I am a proud Navy veteran, serving six years, one month, and 24 days on submarines.  I am quite pleased that I served my country and feel that my government owes me anything.  In fact, my military experience was a crucial part of my education.  I earned two years of college credit in the Navy.  I took those credits, completed a BS in Marketing, matriculated onto an MBA, and was the Graduate Student Speaker at commencement for my MBA.  My two children were there to witness that.  To this day, one of my prouder moments.

I have been lucky enough to travel the world for work and fun: South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East.  My wife and I lived in the United Arab Emirates for 18 months.  It was a unique cultural learning experience for me.

I guess that I would want readers to know that I am a lucky guy.  I have been fortunate in my life so far, and I believe that it has been a combination of hard work and a bit of luck.

Finally, I am thankful for my relationship with my Father.  At 84, he is a tremendous source of information and inspiration.  We play golf together every week and coffee together on the weekends.  He always asks me, "how is the next book coming"?  A real motivation for me.


How can we follow or contact you?


Facebook: Timothy Donald Pilmaier, Author @timothypilmaier

Twitter: Timothy Donald Pilmaier @timothypilmaier

Instagram: @timothypilmaier


Where can readers buy your books?


The "Flight of the U-463" can be purchased on Amazon in Hardback, Paperback, or Kindle form.  You can find a link on my webpage at https://www.pingerpublishing.com


Awards / Recognition


I am proud to announce that my first novel has been named a finalist for two independent book publishing awards. "Flight of the U-463" is a finalist for the following:

The 2019 Foreword INDIES War & Military (Adult Fiction)

The 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award (Historical Fiction)




Flight_U463 Book Cover



Photo from an event or other


Below I have attached a couple of photos from recent book signings.  The first is from an Omaha neighborhood book club who enjoyed the discussion of the book.  The second is from a presentation that I conducted at the Waterloo, Nebraska Public Library.  I am always honored and humbled to speak about my novel.




    Omaha Book Club







  Waterloo Book Presentation



 Thank you for joining me to meet Guest Author Timothy Donald Pilmier, until next time.



 Merry Christmas and  Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!










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