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.
In early 2017, Rolf published the second edition of Public Information. It contained fresh historical information, included leads from veterans who read the first edition, and was edited for clarity.
The author is now, in mid-2017 working on a semi-satirical love story, murder mystery, scientific thriller, and a description of what can go wrong when you try to add years to the human life span and mess with Mother Nature. The novel is called Longevity.
Rolf Margenau lives in rural New Jersey with his first wife of 60 years and wild and domestic animals. He keeps fit by splitting wood, chasing his Cairn terrier, swimming, hiking, and drinking single malt scotch.
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.