Tag Archives: privilege

Jul 01

“The Expendable Man” Author Peter G. Pollak Visits with Mike Angley

MA: My guest today is Peter G. Pollak. Peter is a retired business executive who has also been an educator and editor of two weekly newspapers. He also runs a web business where he interviews people, and he writes a blog on New York State government and politics.
Welcome, Peter. Please tell us more about your background.
PP: My working titles have included visiting professor, editor, publisher, CEO and lately chairman (of the company I founded), but what has characterized my professional career has been a willingness to take a risk in order to make a difference. After finishing my B.A., I spent a year as a VISTA Volunteer. Although I went back to school and eventually earned a Ph.D. (in history and education), in between I was editor of two alternative newspapers. In 1985, I said good-bye forever to being an employee and started a press release delivery service which is still in existence (under the name readMedia). I’m semi-retired now, spending most of my time writing.

MA: With your particular credentials in business and journalism, how did you end up writing fiction?

PP: I love to read fiction. To me fiction is on par with painting, sculpture and music as a higher art form. It requires both talent and dedication and good fiction rewards the reader by transporting h/h to another reality. In doing so, the reader can experience life’s horrors and its potentials.
MA: In your novel, did you create characters based upon people you’ve known in your personal and professional life?
PP: I don’t draw on real people for my characters. I suppose my characters are composites of people I’ve met, read about or come in contact with in some other way.
MA: Tell us about your novel.
PP: The Expendable Man is a political thriller. The protagonist is thrown into a bad situation for which he is ill prepared. He not only has to find a way out of that situation, but in order to regain his life he must find out why he was put there in the first place. He must survive the crucibles of being wrongly convicted of a crime and contracting a normally fatal illness.
MA: I love political thrillers. What makes your hero who he is? Strengths? Weaknesses?
PP: At the beginning he’s all about himself. He lacks family or friend. He’s not a bad person, but one who hasn’t allowed himself to smell the roses. No one can go through hell without being changed in the process. I hope my readers see the changes that take place in his personality as he struggles to regain his health and his freedom.

MA: Every good thriller has to have a bad guy, so I assume you have a unique one?

PP: Yes, of course. There is the person who sets the ball in motion and the one who has to do the dirty work of making my protagonist “expendable.” Readers may recognize their types.
MA: I imagine you don’t have any real life experiences that you drew from to create your story, or do you?
PP: I’ve been behind bars…for a few hours. I was arrested when I was about 19 for violating a local ordinance, selling without a permit. I was trying to earn money one summer selling encyclopedias. Later I had the privilege of teaching political science 101 to inmates at more than one NYS Correctional Institution (prison). What’s worse than being locked up? Answer: facing a deadly disease. What if you had to contend with both? That’s the fate of my protagonist.
MA: Well, I never saw that coming! What are your future writing plans?
PP: I’m working on a mystery which I hope to finish by the end of the summer and then publish a second mystery set in the same city using two of the characters from the first one. The protagonist of The Expendable Man has ridden off into the sunset. I’ll let my readers imagine what his life is like, but I think readers will like the main characters in my next two novels — Jake Barnes, a retired cop turned P.I., and Karen Battaglia, recently promoted to detective on her local police force.
MA: Excellent! Any parting thoughts for my readers?
PP: If you live in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region, I’d be happy to do a reading for your book club or other organization. Contact me through my website: http://www.petergpollak.com/

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Jan 19

Michael Cogdill, Distinguished Journalist And Author Of She-Rain Guests With Mike Angley

My guest today is arguably one of the most interesting writers I have had the pleasure to feature on the Child Finder Trilogy blog. Michael Cogdill is blessed as one of the most honored television storytellers in America. His cache of awards includes 24 Emmys and the National Edward R. Murrow for a broad range of achievement, from live reporting to long-form storytelling. His television credits as a journalist include CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Today Show, and Michael’s interview history crosses a wide horizon: The Reverend Billy Graham, Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Abby Hoffman, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Howard K. Smith, James Brown, Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops, and many other newsmakers. His coverage credits include Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States. Michael spent ten years writing She-Rain, letting it evolve into a world of fiction drawn from his upbringing in Western North Carolina but reaching far beyond. His other writing credits are Cracker the Crab and the Sideways Afternoon – a children’s motivational book available at www.CrackerTheCrab.com, and a self-help volume, Raise the Haze. Michael makes his home in South Carolina with his wife, Jill (a children’s book publisher), and their golden retriever, Maggie. He’s currently working on his second novel and works of non-fiction as well. Read More

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Dec 10

Mike Angley Guest-Blogs On The Author Exchange Blog

Don’t let his appearance fool you: in spite of his baby-face, Mike Angley is a serious adult. He spent 25 years in the U.S. Air Force as a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and not at a desk job, either. He also spent significant time in the Middle East, Japan, and South Korea neutralizing terrorist threats against the U.S. and other countries, as well as preventing theft of U.S. technology. Read More

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Oct 03

Mike Angley Op-Ed Article on MilitaryDegree.Com

With so many service men and women returning home from active duty, it is a time of transition and decision-making for young heroes in this country. Throughout my 25-year USAF career, I’ve seen thousands of airmen go through this transition and face the unique challenge of re-entering the civilian workforce. When I retired, I made this transition myself and witnessed first-hand the uncertainty and anxiety inherent in leaving behind the comfort and security of a military career. Whether you are retiring with 20+ years of service, or leaving after your first hitch, this transition can be daunting.

Arguably, the top three challenges military members face when they hang up the uniform one last time are: understanding the private-sector culture, translating military experiences into civilian terms, and possessing the right education to land that perfect job. The various installation Transition Assistance Program offices do a great job in preparing troops for the first two challenges, but oftentimes education is overlooked in the process. Read More

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Oct 03

Mike Angley Interviewed by Homeland Security Outlook Magazine

The greatest lesson I learned in the process is the value of preparation. That may sound obvious, but the reality is there is a whole lot packed into the word preparation when it comes to making the ultimate military-to-civilian transition. The sooner one begins to prepare, the smoother it will be when the time comes. One of the best things I did was to attend my host base Transition Assistance Program (TAP). During my TAP class I made a list of the main things to accomplish before I became a civilian, which were the long poles in the tent. As I inched closer to the big day, I took advantage of some of the specialized classes the Airman and Family Readiness Center–the USAF TAP people–provided, things like resume development and interview skills. The basic TAP course covers these very well, but I found the hands-on specialized classes held separately from the TAP course to be great skill enhancers. Read More

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