Rolf Margenau


Rolf Margenau has had a varied career. He was a soldier in the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, a professional photographer, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit housing the homeless, a business manage, and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.

As an English Major in college, he published short stories but found the pay insufficient to support a wife and one and a half children. Being an attorney paid better. Later in life, he returned to writing when he discovered that his wife had kept the 300 plus letters he wrote her from Korea. They became the basis for a novel about the Korean War published in 2011.

Public Information tells the story of a hapless young soldier who comes of age in Korea in the midst of bloody combat. His story recounts in gory, ribald, poignant and accurate detail how he manages to survive his sixteen-month tour of duty. Public Information became an Amazon best seller.

Pistils and Poetry, the author’s second book, is a compilation of Elizabethan poems (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, and numerous others) juxtaposed with the author’s photographs of flowers. It is a rich and engaging poetry book, enhanced by luscious photos of flowers.

In March 2013, Margenau published Master Gardener, a satirical novel that explores conflicts between the benefits of engineered crops and their potential for ecological disaster. Wylie Cypher, the hero of Public Information, now seventy-five years old, battles malevolent BIG AG, and senior citizens band together as eco-terrorists to save the monarch butterfly. Any similarity between the hero and author is purely coincidental.

High Andes, published in August 2014, is a thriller involving a middle-aged Wylie Cypher and his daughter, Mercy, trying to elude numerous villains chasing them across the White Mountains of Peru. Set in 1980, the story deals with armed insurrection by Maoist guerillas, smuggling ancient artifacts, “disappearances” of troublemakers, a five hundred year old child mummy, and the CIA.

The Commode Companion is an adult humor book featuring more than 100 photographs of various creatures speaking their minds about numerous subjects. It exposes the innermost thoughts of animals, birds, bugs, butterflies, and frogs, and guarantees to cure constipation through laughter.

His 2016 satirical novel, National Parks, recounts what happens, in the near future, when Congress, having bankrupted the country through gridlock and inaction, decides to solve America’s economic problems by privatizing our national parks.

Rolf Margenau lives in rural New Jersey with his first wife of 60 years and both wild and domestic animals. He keeps fit by splitting wood, chasing his Cairn terrier, swimming, hiking, and drinking single malt scotch

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Hamden, Connecticut, a suburb of New Haven. We lived at the top of a hill that backed on to a large forested and undeveloped area, and my friends and I spent many hours exploring the "wild woods," building and destroying "forts" and generally causing adolescent mischief. There was much unsupervised activity and we invented new games. We also felt very much in touch with nature and enjoyed the flora and fauna - most of the time. There was an interaction with a skunk at about age nine that was not unalloyed joy. I believe the freedom to explore and make mistakes fostered a creative spirit and a deep love of nature. There are other aspects to my writing, but those two are always there.
When did you first start writing?
My first published writing was an essay about a couple of birds I observed in the woods - in the fourth grade. It was printed in the school yearbook and a local newspaper. I am pretty sure it was sappy and anthropomorphic, but what can one expect from an eight year old. I started writing seriously as a reporter for the Stars and Stripes in Korea and Japan in the early fifties.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Rolf Margenau online

Where to buy in print


Public Information
Series: Wylie Cypher, One. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 128,560. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
A novel about the Korean War and its aftermath as experienced by Wylie Cypher, a young soldier assigned to a combat Infantry Division Public Information Office. Scenes of combat, military humor, a coming of age as well as a love story. Explains the origins of potential for conflict in present-day Korea. Endorsed by many Korean War veterans.

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