David L. Robbins
David L. Robbins was born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 10, 1954. He grew up in Sandston, a small town east of Richmond out by the airport; his father was among the first to sit behind the new radar scope in the air traffic control tower. Both his parents, Sam and Carol, were veterans of WWII. Sam saw action in the Pacific, especially at Pearl Harbor.
In 1976, David graduated from the College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia, with a B.A. in Theater and Speech. He didn’t know what to do for a living, having little real theatrical talents, so he decided to attend what he calls the “great catch-basin of unfocused over-achievers,” law school. He received his Juris Doctorate at William and Mary in 1980. Robbins practiced environmental law in Columbia, S.C. for a year to the day (his father demanded back the money for law school if David practiced for less than one year – he quit two weeks before the anniversary but got Sam to agree that the two weeks vacation David had accumulated could be included) before turning his energy to a career as a freelance writer in 1981. He began writing fiction in 1990.
Robbins has published eight novels: Souls To Keep, a cosmic love story (published by HarperCollins in 1998); War Of The Rats, set during the battle of Stalingrad (Bantam in 1999); The End of War, about the fall of Berlin at the end of WWII (Bantam in 2000); Scorched Earth, placed in the American South, about a church burning and contemporary racism (Bantam, 2002); Last Citadel, an epic of the great tank battle of Kursk on the Eastern Front of WWII (Bantam in 2003); Liberation Road (Bantam 2005), a sweeping tale of the battle for France in WWII told through the perspectives of two minorities in the U.S. Army, a black truck driver and a rabbi chaplain; The Assassins Gallery (Bantam, 2006) an alternate history political thriller supposing the assassination of FDR; and The Betrayal Game (Bantam, 2008), a follow-up to The Assassins Gallery, set in Havana during the dangerous days leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion, detailing the CIA’s attempts to kill Fidel Castro. His latest book, scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster in the fall of 2009, is Broken Jewel, the story of the great airborne rescue of the Los Baños internment camp in the Philippines. Broken Jewel also invokes the tale of the Comfort Women, the still-unresolved Japanese atrocity of sexually enslaving a quarter million conquered women.
Robbins is an accomplished guitarist, studying the works of Latin classical. At six feet six inches tall, he stays active with his sailboat, shooting sporting clays, weightlifting, traveling to research his novels, and as founder of the James River Writers, a non-profit group in his hometown of Richmond that helps aspiring writers and students work and learn together as a writing community. He is currently engaged in co-founding The Podium Foundation, a non-profit which will bring writing and critical reasoning programs to the students of Richmond’s city high schools. He also teaches advanced creative writing at his alma mater, the College of William and Mary. He resides in Richmond.