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Author Interview: Clabe Polk

Clabe Polk has written two novels, several short stories, assorted screen plays and has a couple of novels in process. Retiring after more than thirty-seven years of professional environmental protection, including criminal law enforcement and criminal law enforcement training, Mr. Polk has taken his professional experience, scientific background, and a lifetime of practical skills and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.
He currently lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with his wife, two daughters and the family’s cockerpoo named ‘Annie’.

  • : I've always loved to read. I've always wanted to write books that I would want to read. I believe strongly that writers must be readers first before they can be writers. A lifetime grab-bag of experience is a rich source for story ideas.
  • : No, I don't. I know it was back in high school or early college and all of that writing has been lost now. My current writing actually began as an attempt at screenwriting a couple of years ago. Our family has a rather unique story and I wrote a draft feature length screen play for the first part of our story, with the intention of writing a second script to go with it. I also wrote some short screenplays just for practice. Then, I put them on the shelf for a while and started writing short stories and novelettes. Now, I've moved on to novels.
  • : My latest book is "Collegial Conspiracy" and it will be released August 1st. It is about two older friends, Harry and Wiley. Harry is happily retired, owns a sailboat and has a successful thirty-five year marriage. Wiley is happily married but has a terminal illness and leaves his wife so she won’t have to watch as his illness claims him. Wiley enlists Harry to help him rob a bank because Wiley has a plan to finance his healthcare, and because he has an unsatisfied obsession with gangsters-especially Bonnie and Clyde. Harry wants to help Wiley, but must risk his marriage, his freedom and perhaps even his life.
  • : Actually, I started writing in college. I wrote short stories and poetry but none of that was ever submitted for publication. During my career, I wrote literally thousands of all kind of documents, including two books, a textbook and a field handbook and many training courses. The most interesting thing I ever wrote then was the text to a educational comic book. It was fun to invent comic characters for a good cause. However, even though I have been a life-long reader, I didn't start writing fiction in earnest until about three years ago...long after I'd retired from a regular career and my daughters were well into college.
  • : I grew up on a citrus and cattle farm in central Florida near Tampa. I grew up hunting and fishing in the Florida woods and waters, and fishing and sailing along the Florida West Coast. I loved boats, the lakes and rivers and the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I guess that’s why I got a degree in Marine Biology and Natural Sciences and spent nearly thirty-seven years in professional environmental protection where I was involved in every program from hazardous waste management to chemical emergency response and both civil and criminal law enforcement. During that time I wrote thousands of documents, including an environmental law enforcement textbook, a field handbook for law enforcement officers and the text of an educational comic book about environmental crime prevention and more than fifty online training courses. After retiring, I supported my two daughters through USTA Junior Tennis and through varsity college tennis. I began to do what I’d wanted to do; write fiction. I have written several screen plays, two novellas, two novels and numerous short stories and flash fiction stories. My books are three non-serial series (the stories do not depend on the previous book): The Detective Mike Eiser Series, The Adventures of Harry Morgan Series, and the Mark of the Beast Series.
  • : Anytime I can get into the proper mindset. However, I spend much more time with promotion, website maintenance and reading and reviewing for other authors than I do writing my own books. Through the my own CPMA Book Review Blog and through another blog that I review for, I’ve read and reviewed nearly one-hundred books for other authors in the fourteen months I’ve been doing it.
  • : My Mark of the Beast Series was originally planned to eventually become an anthology of short stories chronicling the Bishop family’s experiences surviving the tribulation in the end time described in The Book of Revelation. However, I’ve now decided to make it a novel instead and it has become my current project.
  • : Most of my time gets spent writing, reviewing, promoting, reading, working around the house, spending time with my family and going to college tennis matches.
  • : I have an idea. I visualize how that idea might play out in real life trying to be as realistic as possible. None of my characters are super-heroes; and none have extraordinary help from sources like James Bond's famous friend 'Q'. So, I try to make my scenarios believable. I visualize those scenarios play by play and type them down as they occur in my mind, editing and spell-checking as I go. Finally, I give the text a final spell checking, then a careful line by line edit refining sentence structure, spacing, correct punctuation, and incorrect words, etc. Then I send the manuscript to a great editor I know. She makes sure everything works together as it should.
  • : Seriously? They’re too numerous to count. My favorite authors range in breadth from Edgar Allen Poe to Mark Twain, to John LeCarre, to Robert Ludlum to David Balducci and John Grisham, and more recently to George Wier, Scott William Carter, Michael Grumley and Lee Child and many other mystery and action writers. From there to science fiction with classics by Andre Norton, Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Robert Silverburg and more recently, any number of modern science fiction writers. I read a lot, and I look for quality story lines and crave action in books.
  • : I own two well worn Kindles, an old Kindle keypad model and a Kindle Fire 8.9. My wife has an iPad that I use occasionally.
  • : For the novels I use well-known commercial book designers. I have found a talented one that I like and who is easy to work with. I identify the themes that I think the cover art should communicate and sometimes, I’ll search for stock art consistent with that theme and suggest it for the artist’s consideration. For the short stories, I try to think of a theme that dramatically summarizes the story or some part of the story while establishing a mood or an emotion. When I have an idea in mind, I begin to look for art that can fulfill that idea. Then, I go to work to bring it alive as a cover.
  • : I just write. I have the story visualized in my mind, so I focus on getting to, and through, the key points logically as I write. I’ve tried both typing and voice-recognition software, but I find, maybe because of habit and experience, that stories flow much more logically for me when typed, than when spoken.
  • : I've seen and done a lot of different things in my life. Authors need life experiences in order to have enough depth to write convincingly and to have the imagination to go into different directions than many others could go. Besides actual life experience, I love to read and I have used my imagination in every way I could conceive. To me, nothing in the world happens unless it is someone's thought first. Thought gives rise to action which gives rise to creation. Writing is sharing creative visualization in a form where it can be imagined by others as well. Writing expresses the joy of creative visualization.
  • : My website, My blog, The CPMA Book Review Blog at My Facebook site at My Tumblr site at And please follow me on Twitter, @ClabePolk
  • : Yes, I love and appreciate all my fans! I hope my books bring you a lot of entertainment and happiness. You’re the greatest fans on earth, so prove it and review every book you read no matter what the book is or who the author is…please never read a book without posting a review! Thank you for that!
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