Welcome to Robert Banfelder's Website
Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Publications (Fiction, Nonfiction, TV, Articles, Interviews)
The All New for 2019 YouTube Channel Videos ~ Special Interests with Bob & Donna.
After seven (7) years presenting our monthly shows on Public Access Cablevision, limited to Suffolk & Nassau Counties on Long Island, our all new Special Interests with Bob & Donna channel now reaches the world!
Donna and I give you uncensored product information and opinion on topics such as fishing (spin, bait, fly, clamming, crabbing, canoeing, kayaking); hunting (shotguns, rifle(s) [air rifle, rim fire & high-caliber weapons]; muzzleloaders, handguns, compound bows, crossbows); telescopic sights & laser sights.
For my award-winning fiction & nonfiction literary canon of works, see the Publications Link above.
For serious writers: Please see The Essential Guide to Writing Well & Getting Published *Bonus Feature* Making Decent Dollars Writing Plus Little-Known Reward-Reaping Benefits.
Our criminal justice system (how it works and how it fails): Connivers, Con Artists, Career Criminals, the Death of the Death Penalty [New York State].
Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who in America
Stay tuned for much, much more.
TYING BOB B'S UNIQUE BULL'S EYE FLY FOR FLY-FISHING SUCCESS Go to YouTube. Posted March 21, 2019
WICKED EDGE LOW ANGLE ADAPTER FOR ASIAN CUTLERY & SMALL, NARROW BLADES Go to YouTube. Posted March 14, 2019
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WRITING WELL & GETTING PUBLISHED Go to YouTube. Posted March 11, 2019
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE TWO-WEEK HOLIDAY FROM HELL Go to YouTube. Posted March 5, 2019
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR KILLING HER MONSTER HUSBAND Go to YouTube. Posted March 1, 2019
BEST SERIAL-KILLER NOVELS PART THREE Go to YouTube. Posted February 27, 2019
BEST SERIAL-KILLER NOVELS PART TWO Go to YouTube. Posted February 25, 2019
BEST SERIAL-KILLER NOVELS PART ONE Go to YouTube. Posted February 23, 2019
WICKED EDGE PRECISION WE130 KNIFE SHARPENING SYSTEM Go to YouTube. Posted February 21, 2019
EDGE PRO APEX A4 KNIFE SHARPENING SYSTEM Go to YouTube. Posted February 21, 2019
LANSKY CONTROLLED-ANGLE KNIFE SHARPENING SYSTEM Go to YouTube. Posted February 6, 2019
INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT BANFELDER
Author: Robert Banfelder (left) and Interviewer: Brendan Byrne
Brendan P. Byrne is a licensed sales broker for The Corcoran Group in the Hamptons, former COO of Epiphany Trading, LLC
and President of Big League Entertainment
Good afternoon, Bob.
Good afternoon, Brendan.
Bob, I’d like to begin our interview where you would be most comfortable.
How about we go into the living room, Brendan?
Great. Lead the way.
Where were you brought up, Bob?
I was raised in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, situated in the north
central portion of the state. It was a small community of mostly summer
homes and recognized early on when Bobby Darin bought a home there for
his mom. Later, the town was put on the map—so to speak—when folks
learned that Mariah Carey spent part of her childhood there. Before
that, ‘you couldn’t get there from here.’
How did you spend your childhood in that area?
Well, being that I was out of step with Darin and Carey, I
listened to the song of the wild; fishing lakes, streams, rivers, and
reservoirs; hunting every wood, field, meadow, and marsh.
When did you first know—or thought you knew—that you were going to be a writer?
In grade school when my English teacher first told me that I had
potential. I really wasn’t sure what that meant, but I knew it had to
be a good thing by the smile of approval on Mr. McNowski’s face when he
handed back my writing assignment. Then suddenly that smile vanished as
he stated that I couldn’t spell ‘worth a crap.’ That phrase I
understood completely but chose to focus on the positive. Had I been
older, wiser, and quick on the uptake, I would have told him, “Thank
God the world has editors.” Today, thank God we have spell-check before
sending anything off to editors, agents, publishers, et cetera.
Otherwise, I might still be hearing that I have potential. In high
school, hope was elevated from potential to talent. I had a ‘gift,’ I
was told. In college, Professor Wallace Markfield informed the director
of the Queens College Creative Writing Program that, “Mr. Banfelder is
not simply a promising talent; he has arrived.” It was the inspiration
and impetus I needed.
Who are your favorite authors, past and present, and how have they influenced you?
Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck
immediately come to mind. Later in life, Jeffrey Deaver, James
Patterson, and Thomas Harris would head the list. The former group of
gentlemen shed light upon and offered brilliant insights into human
nature: Twain through the use of satire, Wilde’s witticism in turning a
phrase, Hemingway’s economy of language, and Steinbeck’s down-to-earth
dialogue. The second circle, really too many to mention, encompasses the
criminal mind—of which my genre is comprised. That led me into the dark
and terrifying world of the multiple murderer.
It’s a somewhat curious juxtaposition in that you paint a
rather positive picture with regard to those early writers by using
such words as “light” and “brilliant,” then on to “dark” and
“terrifying” to depict the essence of a modern stable of authors.
In light of your comment, Brendan, allow me to portray a
rather dark side to those authors of the first category. In the use of
Twain’s satire, I’m thinking specifically of a not-so-often read book
titled, Letters from the Earth,
largely a treatise on atheism in which the author lashes out most
vehemently against God and Christianity. Keep in mind that Mr. Samuel
Clemens lost loved ones both early and late in his life: two sisters,
two brothers, mother, father, wife, and favorite daughter. In Wilde’s
witty epigrams and often acerbic prose and poetry, I’m reminded of The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as his Ballad of Reading Gaol
(jail/prison), in which he was literally incarcerated, released, and
died shortly thereafter—a brokenhearted man. Then there is Hemingway’s
eventual suicide. Lastly, I’m left with Steinbeck’s somber examinations
of the downtrodden. Surely a world of darkness, at times, surrounded
these writers’ lives. Not as dark a world, I trust, as the world of the
serial killer—which leads us into the second group of masters: Deaver,
Patterson, and Harris. Ah, and keep your eye on an up-and-coming female
author who’s likely to give that trio a run for their money. Literally.
In fact, she’s already achieved international distinction with her
first novel titled Body Count. She’s Australia-born Phillipa Deanne Martin; abridged to P.D. Martin: easy on the eyes; pure dynamite on the page.
I understand that all your works involve one type of antagonist. Why serial killers, Bob?
The darkest of the dark. The most frightening by far.
In moving into that dark realm, what exactly is the difference between a mass murderer and a serial killer? There seems to be some confusion.
Number of victims, events, locations, and whether or not there is a
cooling-off period between homicides. There are two types of mass
murderer: classic and family. A classic example of a classic mass
murderer is Charles Whitman—having shot and killed 16 people and
wounding 31 from a tower in Austin, Texas. This style of homicide is generally categorized as
involving 4+ victims, 1 event, and 1 location. The murdering of these
groups is unrelated to the killer’s problems. Most recently, you'll recall Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech, who claimed the lives of 32 people.
The family mass murderer is as the name implies; example:
John List, from New Jersey, murdered his mother, wife, and their three
children. Again, this involves 4 or more victims, 1 event, and 1
location. The murdering of these groups is related to the killer’s
With serial killers, the main element that separates them
from other multiple murderers is the cooling-off period. It could be
days, weeks, or months. Also, the serial killer often selects a certain
type of victim. An example would be prostitutes. To be classified a
serial killer, we are generally talking: 3 or more victims, 3 or more events, 3
or more locations, with a definite cooling-off period.
What do you hope to accomplish by writing such psychological thrillers?
To entertain, educate and, hopefully, make money.
What are the titles of your next three novels that surround The Teacher in your four-book series that I’m hearing so much about? Also, tell us the theme.
The Author is the prequel to The Teacher, followed by Knots and The Good Samaritans.
My protagonist is Justin Barnes, an Afro-American maverick covertly
working for Long Island’s Suffolk County Homicide, in the capacity of a
terminator who hunts down these serial murderers.
What novels can we look forward to after The Good Samaritans?
The works that follow will fill the gap between my first published novel, titled No Stranger Than I, and those leading up to The Author.
May I ask their titles, too?
Certainly. Trumble’s Pond, The Signing, The Triumvirate, and Trace Evidence. I’m working on a current manuscript, titled 41º North~72º West. However, each novel may stand on its own.
I believe that’s a grand total of ten, yes?
That’s correct, Brendan.
How long did it take you to write the first nine novels?
Thirty-plus years, counting No Stranger Than I, which I labored over for a decade while honing my craft. A labor of love, I might add.
I’ve recently learned that The Teacher was awarded “Best Suspense Novel of the Year” for 2006, by NewBookReviews.org. Congratulations.
Thank you, Brendan.
I also understand that some heavy hitters may be looking to review The Author, which is scheduled for release this July.
That’s true. As we speak, Jean Hackensmith, Owner and Senior
Fiction Editor of Port Town Publishing, has sent off the galley to The New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and Newsday. Most of those reviewers request the galley three months in advance of publication.
Good luck with that end of the business, Bob.
Yes, Lady Luck! As you well know, there’s some real talent out there,
Brendan. Good timing—being the luck end of it, I suppose—is an
important ingredient in the recipe of one’s success, and I thank you
for that mention.
There seems to be a good deal of controversy as to why serial
murderers commit these heinous acts. Do you enlighten your readers as
well—meaning, do you explain, precisely, why serial killers murder—and
The jury’s still out on that one, Brendan. Nonfiction writers
on the subject, such as Dr. Helen Morrison—a world renowned forensic
psychiatrist and author of My Life Among the Serial Killers—will
one day answer those kinds of questions for us. If the answers do lie
in the complex studies of endocrinology and the pituitary gland, which
I tend to believe they do, maybe I can make a rather dry subject
enlightening as Al Gore did in An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps
I’ll give it a shot. But for now, I’ll just educate and entertain by
researching thoroughly and building verisimilitude—believability—into
Is there any statement you’d like to make concerning serial
killers? Any myths to explode? Any avenues to explore? Any area that
If you are of Morrison’s mind, serial killers are born to us,
not made. There are unquestionably ‘triggers’ that set these
individuals off later on in life, but the mechanism is there to begin
with. A time bomb, if you will. The cause may be equated to the taking
of a drug—the effect tantamount to its aftermath in that the body may
produce that very drug. There would, of course, have to be a
preponderance of evidence to support such a hypothesis before speaking
in absolutes. The danger would be to make sweeping generalizations
until the majority of the scientific community reaches a definitive
conclusion. I say majority for the simple reason that for every doctor
who prescribes a certain course of action, you will find another who
will proscribe that very treatment.
Being that there are apparently different schools of thought
on the subject, what elements with regard to the serial killer might we
be reasonably sure of?
To keep things simple, Dr. Morrison would tell you, as I will
tell you, that serial killers have no remorse—no compunction—whatsoever
for their actions. Too, there is no conscious motive for their
behavior. In my talks, lectures, and novels, I attempt to slip into the
mind and shoes of the serial killer, exploring apparent motives while
unveiling the essence of the beast through a maze of acts and events.
It’s a fascinating subject to be sure, and your approach appears quite sensible.
Baby steps, Brendan. Baby steps.
May I take a peek in the office where you create these characters for your novels, Bob?
Absolutely, Brendan. Follow me—if you dare—into a dark recess
of our humble abode. Donna, please lock the doors and pull the blinds
so that Brendan and I are not ... disturbed. :o) I use that word judiciously.