I am happy to have Timothy Donald Pilmaier as my guest today. Thank you, Tim,
for joining me on my website.
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.
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 to" Flight of the U-463
Here is a description of the book:
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
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
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.
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
Timothy Donald Pilmaier @timothypilmaier
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Timothy Donald Pilmaier @timothypilmaier
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:
2019 Foreword INDIES War & Military (Adult Fiction)
The 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award (Historical Fiction)
Photo from an
event or other
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.
and Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!