About Jeff Kildow
Jeff Kildow is the son of a World War II veteran and is an Air Force veteran himself. He retired after a long career as an aerospace engineer. He has had a life-long interest in World War II and has amassed a large library on the subject. He loves vintage warbirds and old cars. The undeclared war in Korea, involving as it did an amalgam of WWII and then -cutting edge warplanes, and complex political situations resulting from WWII led to the development of Red Menace, available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
A little more personal (excerpt from 2011 interview)
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Sometimes a lot more than I intend to; while I was writing America Under Attack, I had to guard against giving the protagonist too many of my characteristics, but I suppose that some of them inevitably showed up. Not surprisingly, he and I share a number of likes and dislikes; like me, he is an engineer; unlike me, he fearlessly pursues adventure.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
As a college student, I edited a science fiction magazine; sales weren’t so good, so I made a sandwich board advertizing it and toured a very conservative engineering campus wearing it and looking like a fool, but sales picked up briskly!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In Junior High school, where I had my first exposure to stories like Red Badge of Courage and Moby Dick. I began to write paragraphs describing scenes and soon expanded them to short stories. I have written in one form or another ever since.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love adventure stories, especially well-written techno-thrillers, as well as science fiction. For non-fiction, I devour histories, especially those about WWII and the surrounding eras. For a change of pace, I like light poetry and biographies.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am very active in my church. Being with my friends and fellow believers is a wonderful antidote to the crazy things going on in our world today. My five granddaughters and one grandson are the best stress relievers God ever invented!
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I collect names; I’m always on the lookout for interesting or unusual names and keep a 3×5 card in my shirt pocket to record them. I have found that using a book of names from other cultures and countries is very useful as well. For my WWII story, I researched lists of popular names given to babies 20-30 years prior, since names go in and out of favor – no Trevor’s or Traci’s here!
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I was able, by the Grace of God, to raise my two kids to become productive adults and mature Christians. Between them, my wife and I have been blessed with six grandkids.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The fear of criticism and ridicule really held me back. I took writing classes where everyone wrote something and then the whole class discussed it; I discovered I wasn’t much worse or any better than anyone else. Knowing that gave me the confidence to write more and encourage others to read it.
Original interview link