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     Welcome to the official blog of Robert Stanek.  Robert Stanek is the author of more than 100 books and is best known for his Ruin Mist novels. This archive page is for December 2009 to June 2008. You can browse the blog by following these links:


Present to Jan 2010 | Dec 2009 to Jun 2008 |
 May 2007 to Jul 2005 | Jun 2005 to Nov 2003


Current blog entires are here.

December, 2009

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your many heartfelt words of support. Your flood of letters and emails really means a lot to me. To underscore the overriding sentiment, yes it is really sad that a few heartless, conscienceless people can do so much harm and there's no rational reason why other people would believe such nonsense. The Internet makes it easy for anyone to say any hateful, untrue thing they want. And when a small group of people with agendas do this for nearly a decade, I can see why otherwise smart people might start to believe the nonsense.

Clearly the originators, and perpetuators, of all this nonsense are enormous fans of George RR Martin. Going back to the beginning of this nonsense, back to 2002, they are the ones who started spreading the lies. In 2002, those lies knocked the books off Amazon's Top 50 lists after a 26 week run. In 2005/2006, those lies knocked the books off Audible's #1 Fiction and Top 100 lists after a 52 week run. But surprise, the books continued on the Audible Kids & YA list for another 120 consecutive weeks, with the first book holding a spot in the Top 10 for 182 consecutive weeks out of over 14,500 other Kids & YA titles.

Why have the books endured despite wide-spread smear campaigns led by fans/friends of other authors? Simple, they're good and beloved by people of all ages.

Why don't these haters want anything positive to be written online, or otherwise, about the books? Simple, they've invested a huge amount of time and money to ruin my reputation while pumping up the reputation of those other guys/gals.

If you don't think all the negative noise is about ensuring the success of a specific few other authors, you haven't been paying attention.

Please do look up my books in:

Popular Series Fiction for Middle School and Teen Readers: A Reading and Selection Guide (Children's and Young Adult Literature Reference)

Complete Idiots Guide to Elves and Fairies

Ancient Art of Faery Magick

These printed books, along with multiple professional publications, have recommended my books. The YA library staff at VOYA also had this to say:


Dramatic illustrations draw the reader into the Tolkienesque world of Ruin Mist, plunged into darkness after a Great War five hundred years past. Blaming magic for their demise, the Kings of Men have decreed that all things magical be destroyed. Yet despite their efforts, the magical Dark Lord is slowly returning to power. Another bloody battle is foreshadowed for Ruin Mist when Adrina, the spoiled and lonely princess of Imtal, is visited by a mysterious woman who predicts Adrina's ghastly future. Meanwhile in the kingdom of Elves, Seth, devoted First of the Red Order of the Queen Mother Elf, is sent on a journey across the Great Sea to prevent war. Stuck somewhere in the middle is Vilmos, a young magical boy-who-would-be-mage, abducted for his own safety by a Yoda-like guide named Xith. All three journey to an unknown fate against treacherous and sometimes supernatural foes. Stanek augments the beginning of this complex tale with illustrations that are sure to attract fans of graphic novels and classic Tolkien alike-the only weakness in the illustrations is their scarcity. Stanek will likely draw a cult following, but his work is not for the novice fantasy reader. A complicated glossary at the end includes twenty-two pages of "People, Places, and Things in Ruin Mist," complete with geographical references, family lineages, and extraordinary sketches. Despite the sophisticated plot, however, this cliffhanger guarantees fans, and those fans will be ready to wield their swords against the Dark Lord in Stanek's next installment.

In June 2007, The Journal of Electronic Defense gave my book, Stormjammers, their highest recommendation, saying:


EC-130s have participated in every significant combat operation US forces have been involved in for nearly two decades. Now, thanks to this book by former Compass Call "crew dog" Robert Stanek, readers can ride along with Stanek and his Grey Lady Compass Call crew during 32 combat missions from January to March 1991, during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.


Based on the author's daily dairy, Stormjammers: The Extraordinary Story of Electronic Warfare Operations in the Gulf War, published in 2006, allows the reader to experience the hours of boredom punctuated with moments of terror that are typical of combat flying. Although many of the stories are somewhat repetitive, this is what Compass Call life is like, and the book quickly becomes hard to put down. Even though the reader can anticipate what a mission will be like, the tedium gives over to an adrenalin rush of anticipation when things begin to happen. It is impossible not to share the relief and pride of the individual crew members when the attack missions they protect exit Iraq safely because the Iraqi air defense command and control nets were completely defeated by Compass Call's powerful, targeted jamming.


Stanek, whose Gulf experiences are given credit for launching his successful career as an international writer, bookends his story by relating a gut-wrenching experience many of us can relate to, telling one's wife that you are off to war. He shares arriving in Turkey to temporary quarters (old military classrooms) that "quickly began to smell like an old sweat sock," getting to the showers before the hot water runs out, as well as the joy of finding out that the commissary got a shipment of real steaks and trying to coordinate a mission to get there while they last.


Another side of the book lets the reader ride along when Stanek's EC-130H has two engines quit in the war zone, and just when bailing out seems a certainty milking the hobbled airplane back to base only to have to argue with the tower over who has the worse emergency, Grey Lady or the aircraft critically low on fuel just ahead of it. There are also the missions when AWACS, the key to Compass Calls' protection, had to bug out because of maintenance problems, and the entire crew gives a thumbs-up to stay on station and continue their protective mission even though the risk is much, much higher.


In April 2009, the Publisher's Weekly Cover Story, Good Worlds and Bad - Pure Escapism and Dystopian Visions, selected Ruin Mist Chronicles over dozens of other books to feature and write about in the article. The article also features commentary from editors in the field and books of other authors, including Wastelands, The Living Dead and The Stranger. Kingdom Alliance: Special Illustrated Edition (ISBN: 978-1-57545-510-5) was one of eight books singled out in the article (out of a field of dozens of candidates) and featured right up front.


Must be terrible books indeed when so many professionals and regular-joe readers enjoy them. Do me a favor next time you see the hatemongers spreading lies: set the record straight. The books are pretty good, thousands of readers have said so and dozens of professionals have said so as well.


In closing, I'd like to point you to the Wall Street Journal interview between Jeannie Kim and Sarah Nassauer, and the dozens of letters from kids who love Bugville Critters and Buster Bee. Parenting Magazine recommended Bugville Critters in September 2008 as part of their audio & story selections in partnership with Audible Kids. Specifically, the magazine recommended "Bugville Audio Collection 1" / "Bugville Critters Storybook Treasury Volume 1" which include the stories "Visit Dad and Mom at Work," "Go To School," "Have A Sleepover," and "Visit Garden Box Farms."


Addendum: Several readers have told me about discussions of my books on Pat's list, wert, and best f books. Generally, there's no point in responding to such nonsense, and I never have. There's not much point. I will say this, however. The people at the sites are likely the same ones who thought it was funny to stalk and harass readers of my books who voiced opinions online. They knew most of my readers are children, and also knew most of the readers they stalked and harassed online were children. They did not care. They did it because they think they can do or say anything online without repercussions. Well, someone someday will give them what they deserve, I'm certain.


November, 2009


Dear Reader,


For the record, there are three Robert Stanek's who gave their all to their country and how dare anyone claim any one of us is a fraud. We earned our military honors through blood and sacrifice. During the Korean War, LCDR Robert Stanek was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for action on May 3, 1953, also the Bronze Star w/Combat Distinguishing Device, and four air medals. He passed away Sept 3, 1966. Cpl Robert Stanek served in Vietnam and was killed in action on Feb 4, 1968. He is the recipient of the purple heart, the navy achievement medal with valor and more. I was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for my actions during the first Gulf War, along with seven other medals including the air medal, the air force commendation medal, and the humanitarian service medal.

I earned every one of those medals and then some. The only reason anyone would claim otherwise is because they were trying to destroy my good name and my good reputation. Though they succeeded in their smear campaigns and dirty tricks, at the end of the day, I have something they'll never have: dignity and honor. So again, I am not ashamed of having served my country in dark hours. I went when called. I gave when asked to give. I pressed on when others turned back. The shame is on those who have said otherwise and spoken hateful words against me--and someday someone is going to give them exactly what they deserve. Let's hope it's soon.

Here's a picture of my DD Form 214. Not one of you hatemongers earned the right to see it and if you have any heart or soul or conscience, you who have caused great harm through your actions will strive to your last breath to make amends. But I'm not holding my breath that that will ever happen because I believe not a one of you has heart or soul or conscience. You ruined my reputation for your amusement, decimated sales of my books because you could, hurt my children and my family because you didn't care what the backlash you created caused. Your God, or someone someday, will judge you and find you wanting. For all the pain and misery and suffering you've caused, I again hope that day is soon.





October, 2009


Dear Reader,


A reader from Michigan wrote to ask me about my meeting with Brian Jacques in 2005 and also to ask me about my military service. Apparently there's all sorts of scuttlebutt about the picture and my military service going around and every bit of it designed to ruin me. Like most nasty rumors there are just enough grains of truth in the rumors so they seem real as well as supposed testimonials from persons who've said that both Brian Jacques publicist and his webmaster have said the photo is fake or that so and so has "seen" the original (without me in them). I guess I'm supposed to have photoshopped myself into the picture.

I'm also supposed to have not served in the military and if I did, I certainly did not earn the distinguished flying cross. To raise the ludicrous smear tactics to new heights, I am supposed to have "alter egos who prowl the net writing fluff reviews and commentary about my books." 

 An early Christmas gift indeed! And where does one start in trying to address Internet absurdity, fan boys, hatemongers, and crazies? Why does one even want to bother trying? And oh yeah, and apparently, I'm crazy too. So I'll just start in the beginning...

Back in 1998, I rented the movie called Multiplicity (the one starring Michael Keaton, not that other one). It was either during, or just after (I can't recall which), that I decided to clone myself. I spent the next 1101 days (that's 3 years and 6 days in case you were wondering, unless of course 1998, 1999 or 2000 were leap years [which they probably were knowing my luck]) working in my secret laboratory. Then presto! I perfected the art of human cloning and created 3 clones. (One of which was evil, of course, but that's another story for another time; and it's the two good clones who do all the work anyway).

So where was I... Oh yes, the clones. The clones and I developed a plan for world domination (or was it a plan to open a Domino's; I forget which but the world domination one works better here so let's go with that). So by 2000, there I was with all these clones, and a plan for world domination (or maybe hankering for a pizza; or maybe this is all a flashback episode of Pinky and the Brain [the Brain always has a plan for world domination]).

So the plan for world domination rolled on... A funny aside, but nothing that's happened to me is funny. Nothing. Everything that's happened was meant to ruin my reputation and sales of my books.

In 2001, my first fiction books were published as e-books, where they topped e-book bestseller lists. In 2002, my fiction books were first published in print and they spent a combined 26 weeks on the Amazon.com Science Fiction & Fantasy best-seller list. In 2005, my fiction books were first published in audio and they spent over 52 weeks on Audible.com's Fiction bestseller list with The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches eventually became one of the Top 100 all-time Fiction bestsellers on Audible.com. The books became so popular, they were featured on the Audible.com home page for eight weeks (throughout July 2005 and August 2005) and went on to spend 180 consecutive weeks on the Kids & YA best-seller list. Must be horrible stuff indeed?! Shame on me for writing such beloved, best-selling books! Whatever was I thinking?

Seriously, if this wasn't so ludicrous, I'd be crying and perhaps I should be as some of the things that have happened to me both personally and professionally over the past few years now make sense. I don't know what I ever did to warrant such negative attention but it does bring things that have happened to me and to my family into focus.

Why anyone would make up such nonsense about me, I don't know. Why people would believe such nonsense, is even harder to fathom.

My body of work from 1995 to present, which encompasses some 10 million words on the printed page, should speak for itself. I shouldn't have to say anything, but I apparently I do have to say something.

As the author of more than 100 books,  I've written 5 to 7 books a year on average. Most authors write one or two books a year and anyone who has can tell you writing one or two books a year is a full time occupation. Writing 5 to 7 books a year, there are times when I don't have a free moment to eat or pee. That's gospel. That's truth. You try it and let me know if you even have time to sleep.

I've given the past 15 years of my life to the craft of writing, as I gave the previous 11 years of my life to my country and military service.

I don't just believe in the words duty, honor, and country, I devoted much of my life to them, and to ensuring that freedom is not just an idea but a reality. In my 11 years of honorary military service, I gave more of myself to my country than I'm certain those speaking hateful words against me ever will. I gave my youth, my health, and a large part of myself. I served my country in war time, I went to war, I did my part. My duty over battlefields and in countless skirmishes. After two tours in Iraq, I came home broken and left disabled. My wounds in my heart and in my soul deep and my disabilities very real and very much within me. To say that I did not earn my military honors is to attack my very soul, to cut into my heart, as surely as any blade ever could.

I list my military honors in my books and in my biography because I am not ashamed of having served my country in dark hours. When called, I went. When asked to give, I gave. When others turned back, I pressed on. Day by day, bit by bit, piece by piece, I'm still giving as health and youth slip away. But I'm a fighter and so I trudge on. The shame is on those who have said otherwise and spoken hateful words against me. 

As far as the rest goes, authors do meet with each other from time to time at events, and yes, we do take pictures together from time to time. In 2003, when I met with RA Salvatore, I was already an international best-selling author with over 40 books to my credit, published in over a dozen languages. Rob and I met when he toured the West Coast for his book The Lone Drow. We did, of course, take pictures together. Oh gosh, the horror!

From 2005 - 2006, Brian Jacques and Terry Brooks were two of five popular authors who had book tour stops in Olympia, Washington. Do you think it was a coincidence that they visited my hometown? No, it wasn't. 

In 2005, I met with Brian, introduced my family, and my wife took pictures. Here are several other pictures taken with Brian that day. In case you need it spelled out for you, that's me with the ball cap, squatting down next to Brian. My knees are blocked by the table support. My son is behind me and my two girls are to my left. The terrible, terrible thing I've done here was to have favorite authors visit my home town. Oh gosh, the horror!

With my three children in the pictures and my wife taking the pictures, why in the world would any rational person claim they're fakes? Why in the world would anyone believe such a thing?




Addendum: Below is the picture I posted that caused the ruckus. Look closely under the table, you'll see the vertical table support and below the table support are my knees. On the table are 5 of Brian Jacques books. I point that out because the newest lies include one that says I somehow tried to make it look like I was touring with Brian by adding my book to the picture. The tribute to Brian is here http://www.themagiclands.com/brianjacques.htm and it clearly states I met Brian when he was on tour and visited Olympia Washington, and that my family is in the picture. In case you're wondering who keeps making up this nonsense designed to damage my reputation: friends/fans of several specific authors. Those particular authors have also been participants in this nonsense to boost their own careers while damaging mine. If they sleep well at night after what they've done, they have no heart, soul or conscience.




June, 2009


Dear Reader,

    Just a quick update to tell you about an important milestone in my writing career: my 100th book is being published this year. I invite you to celebrate with me and share the news with others. Thank you for being a reader!


Robert Stanek


May, 2009


Dear Reader,

   Once again, a Huge Thank You for the emails, letters of congratulations and such since my last posting. Your outpouring of support and congratulations are deeply appreciated. I especially appreciate the emails/letters from indie authors. Time and again, I've said that indie authors are misunderstood and underappreciated--we celebrate indie music; we celebrate indie films; indie books should be celebrated too!
   To indie authors who wrote, I'm glad you feel my success (albeit moderate) helped to enable you and has helped to create an environment where indie voices can be heard. A David in a world of Goliaths can sometimes win. Your support really means a lot. I will add that there is a place in the marketplace for big, small and indie. Big press, small press and indie all have their place. Big publishers are doing some exciting things, as are small press and indie, and we should support authors and books we like irrespective of "big, small or indie" labels.
   To readers who wrote and are still hopping mad about what Patricia Briggs and Stephenie Meyers did (and you who wrote know what they did and when they did it), I'm not sure it was as hateful or mean spirited as you seem to think. I know there was backlash; I'm not positive that was the intent. Still, apparently they not only noticed my books but read them. Cool! At the time, Patricia wasn't getting marketing backing from her publisher, so I can understand her venting and frustration. I also can understand some of the mudslinging. She wanted her publisher to stand behind her work and market it. Perhaps she took a roundabout way of getting it done, but I can understand. Her publisher finally did back her aggressively and her books took flight. As far as Stephenie goes, I can understand as well. But isn't it time you both gave a little back? Maybe something positive? Hope so!
   Thank you for reading. God bless and take care,

Robert Stanek

April 2009


Dear Reader,


A Huge Thank You to everyone who has written and emailed me over the past year! The wealth of daily emails and letters are something unexpected and I truly appreciate it. The biggest surprise has been the widespread interest in Bugville Critters. I've received hundreds of emails and letters from kids (and parents) who are asking about the books. Some of the letters are posted online at www.bugville.com. While you're there, watch the first official Bugville Critters video.

   As you probably know, my books are available in many countries all over the world and have been translated into many languages. The latest translations, into Czechoslovakian, will be available soon, and I'm very eager to see the covers and receive my copies of the books. It was nice to get emails from the translator and hear that the translation work had been completed.

   As far as Ruin Mist goes, I have some exciting news to share. On May 9 2009, Kingdom Alliance: Special Illustrated Edition will be released. The book blends aspects of graphic novels with traditional novels, and has about 70 full-page illustrations from paintings as well as 50 additional pencil drawings. This book's publication ends a 7-year effort to illustrate the original Ruin Mist books. My work on Dawn of the Ages, the graphic novels and the traditional novels, continues. I've completed work on multiple graphic novels and the traditional novels are complete. Recently, I received back from my editor the first half of Dawn of the Ages Book 1. I should have the second half back from the editor later this year.

   I wrote last year that I was closing in on a significant personal milestone—published book 100. That milestone is coming ever closer and I'm nearly there. The official "100th Book" is in the works and will be published by Microsoft.

   Finally, thank you again to readers for all the support. I will try to make more frequent updates but between CTS and TMJ switching between microphones and keyboards has not been as productive as it once was. I needed to slow down, cut back and get in more daily R&R time. That meant cutting back on communications of all forms, reducing letter writing and emails, phone calls and the rest so I could keep focused on the work of writing—because the writing pays the bills.

      Thank you for reading. God bless and take care,


Robert Stanek



June 2008

Dear Reader,

Every week I get requests from readers who are looking for updates. Everyone wants to know what's next for Ruin Mist, when is the next book coming out, how come I haven't posted responses to Robert Stanek Chat #5 over on the Robert Stanek Message Board, how come my blog has only fifteen entries in five years, etc. Well, the short answer is that I've been meaning to post an update, get over to the board, etcetera, but there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I'd like to do.
     Those readers who have been watching closely know I'm closing in on a significant personal milestone--published book one hundred (100). I thank readers who quip, “Not many writers can say they've written and had published a hundred or more books; not many writers can say they've had as varied or as successful a career.” I'll quibble over the unchanging addition of things like, “How come you don't get out more to conventions or such, or on tour? How come book X or Y or Z isn't out yet?”
     It all comes down to time (or more specifically lack there of). I write across genres--everything from fantasy fiction to mysteries to history to nonfiction. (Yes, the secrets out Robert Stanek is the name of the more familiar William Stanek. You can read more about it here') Most of my nonfiction books weigh in at 500+ pages, a few at 1500+ pages. I've written six nonfiction books over the past 18 months (for a combined 4500 pages!!!!!). At an hour a page, that's two+ years of work crammed into one and a half, so finding spare time isn't easy. For those who are interested, books #99 and #100 are in the works and will be published in 2009 by Microsoft.
     In 2007, after more than 10 years of part-time effort, I was finally able to finish the first set of Bugville Critters books and open a new chapter in my writing career. The first set of Bugville Critters books includes 8 original stories (Visit Dad and Mom At Work, Go To School, Have a Sleepover, Visit Garden Box Farms, Rush to the Hospital, Play Their First Big Game, and Adventures with Letters and Words) and five collections (Too Much Sweets, Make New Friends, Vacation Surprise, Bugville Critters Storybook Treasury #1, and Bugville Critters Storybook Treasury #2). I've found that creating one picture book takes about as much time as creating a 300- to 500-page nonfiction book, so it's been an enormous investment in my time.
     In 2007, I completed Art of Ruin Mist: Heroes and Villains, Keeper Martin's Guide to the Fantastical Beasts and Faerie Peoples of Ruin Mist and Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ruin Mist. These were published in 2008 and are books Ruin Mist fans had been asking for along with Battle for Ruin Mist: The Role Playing Game (so why aren't they selling better? ;-). As far as an update for the RPG, the player's guide has been done since 2006; I'm working with various player groups to refine the rule set. As far as an update on other Ruin Mist endeavors, the next series, Dawn of the Ages, is complete in its entirety. There are six novels and six (or more) tie-in graphic novels. The graphic novels are not complete; it will take much time to complete them. I'm working on Battle for Ruin Mist, a series of eight books that I will complete around 2012.
     Finally, I'd like to share with you, the latest Hollywood's come-a-knocking story. You'll find it here' ...but I'm sure you already know guys like me don't catch the big breaks.

     Thank you for reading. God bless and take care,

Robert Stanek


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