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Chapter Notes

Former Green Tree Borough Resident Turned Author
Date published: 7/05, Green Tree Library Chapter Notes, Pittsburgh, PA

Michael Aubrecht, Civil War author and baseball essayist, is a former resident of Green Tree who fondly recalls times spent at the library.

"As a child, trips to the Green Tree library (especially the one in the old Borough Building - where Boston Market is now located) was a regular part of my life and I vividly remember borrowing the same set of Civil War books (especially "On Hallowed Ground") over and over and over. In fact, I also recall that the librarian had to demand that I return them so others could check them out."

Aubrecht has written two non-fiction, Christian-based biographies, one on Stonewall Jackson (pictured above) and a companion volume on J.E.B. Stuart due out this fall.

Onward Christian Solder is a story about faith. A story filled with the kinds of heartache and hardships that would leave many of us questioning our own beliefs. It is a love story that is filled with sorrow, testimony, hope and despair. It is a story that reaffirms the power of prayer and that all things in Him are possible. Ultimately, it is the story of a man who suffered greatly, but chose to embrace the Will of his Savior as the foundation for a legendary life.

Check out this book from the library today!

If you are interested in Mr. Aubrecht's books, you can find out more information on his web site at...

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Fredericksburg Front Porch

Between The Lines Book Review
By Derval C. Brown, Date published: 7/05
Fredericksburg Front Porch, Fred, VA

Onward Christian Soldier: The Spiritual Journey of Stonewall by Michael Aubrecht
ISBN 1-4137-6189-5: 2005: 75 pages

Two books, one sent me by the author, a local writer, the other lent me by my neighbor.

While there are easily noted differences: long/short, fiction/non-fiction, mostly America/mostly the Congo, and importantly, military-evangelical/evangelical-military, there are also touching points. Both use facts and records.

Aubrecht's book includes events and words seen as the building blocks of Jackson's spiritual edifice, whose stated faith is "Duty is ours. Consequences are God's."

Aubrecht shows how the strategist evolved, how he became important to the troops, how his death affected the outcome of the war. In this story of an apparently humorless man, the only comedy was the fatal comedy of errors: shot by his own forces, dropped from his stretcher as he was being evacuated.

This story of a southern icon, a top tourist attraction in our day, is a bold statement about the power of faith in the struggle of good vs. evil. Not everyone will be of the same mind about it.

Aubrecht's work also resonates as we wage yet another war, for new ambiguous reasons.

Derval C. Brown is unambiguous in her reviews of long or short fiction and non-fiction, using facts and records as well as her unique insight.



Upcoming AIP Alumni Newsletter

Michael Aubrecht VC'92
Date published: TBD, Class Notes, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

1992 Visual Communications graduate Michael Aubrecht has stepped out from behind the drawing board and in front of the typewriter to publish several books on Civil War history.

Michael was originally hired as a Senior Designer for Lockheed Martin back in '94 where he provided multimedia and interactive design for the Naval Surface Warfare Center for over 6 years. In 2000, he was hired as an Associate Art Director for Selling Power magazine where he resides to this day. Michael's design work has been recognized for multiple Creativity Awards.

He credits AIP with his success. "The Art Institute really helped me to build a foundation in computer illustration that has carried me through my entire career. The knowledge base that I learned in school helped me to tackle any assignment they threw in front of me. No matter what platform, program version, or technical limitation, the problem solving skills I gained there enabled me to create whatever they needed - whenever they needed it."

The same year he left Lockheed, Michael turned his writing hobby into a second career and was commissioned as a contributing historian for Baseball-Almanac, where he has researched and written over 375 studies (to date) on the history of our National Pastime. Over the years he has also been published in multiple magazines, newspapers, newsletters and periodicals.

"I'm probably known better as a writer than a designer nowadays," he said.

In 2004, Michael bridged his love of Civil War history and faith-writing for Onward Christian Soldier, The Spiritual Journey of Stonewall and in 2005, he added a companion volume Christian Cavalier, The Legacy of J.E.B. Stuart.

Both books have been well received and are available online and at several Civil War museums around the country. Michael's work is also featured in several newspapers including the Free-Lance Star and Richmond Times Dispatch.

This fall, he will be speaking at the Museum of the Confederacy on the triumphs and tragedies of Stonewall Jackson.

Michael is currently at work on his third book, a fictional piece entitled Battlefield Believers. Surprisingly, he does not do any of his own design or illustration for the books.

"The research and writing required to produce these books takes all of my energy," he said, "I would much rather commission an artist who can spend the time required to get it right. For my third book, I have partnered with Oklahoma artist Vicki Talley McCollum. Vicki is blessed with an amazing talent in a variety of different mediums. She will be providing panoramic pen and ink illustrations for this wide-format book, which will be published as a joint venture."

"I approach my books just like the magazine I work for. The key to being a good art director (in my opinion) is not to over-art-direct. Instead of putting up "walls" around them, I empower my illustrators and photographers to submit their own ideas. By including them in the creative process, I always get the best they have."

Michael has also used his experience in the publishing industry to help him promote and market his books. "I have found that being a successful author is about 20% writing and 80% marketing," he said.

Michael lives in "the heart of Civil War country" in Fredericksburg, VA with his wife and three children. For more information on Michael and his books, please visit his website at...


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