Friday, August 9, 2019

Retired teacher is on a fast track to publishing

By Lorraine Glowczak

“Sullivan's eyes were closed, feet on the desk and he was grateful for a few quiet moments. Digging his phone out of his shirt pocket he listened to a message that just came through.

‘It's time to put your detecting skills to a real test. You have been involved in solving three serial killing sprees as of late. You will soon see, they are child's play compared to the challenge I am about to pose. Be on guard and watch the family. We shall meet again... soon.’”

Russ Warnberg
And thus, the mystery begins for Detective Cole Sullivan. Mystery/crime writer, Russell Warnberg of Windham, who retired last year after 41 years of teaching history and English in the Gray public-school system with the last nine years at Windham Christian Academy, has dedicated his life this past year to creative pursuits. Penning mysteries and crimes are among those artistic endeavors – and Warnberg has had very productive year.

“I’ve published six books with two on the way,” Warnberg stated. “I have to always be doing something creative and writing is one way I enjoy spending my time.”

Warnberg is originally from Minnesota. At the age of 17, he joined the Navy Reserves and was stationed in Brunswick where he met his wife. After the Navy, Warnberg and his wife moved back to his home state and, while there, he attended the University of Minnesota. “I was never really a great student while in high school, but I was surprise at how well I was performing academically once I was in college,” Warnberg said. “But I was even more shocked to discover that I did really well in an English course. I wondered then if I should become a writer.”

His first attempt at writing, a novella, occurred in 1980. “It was my first time to write a book, but I have to admit it wasn’t very good,” Warnberg said.

Warnberg, who moved to Windham to be near his wife’s family 40 years ago turned to other creative outlets while working full time. He spent his free time painting and designing/building furniture, which he has sold on a number of occasions. But it wasn’t until retirement that he decided to put his author’s hat back on and give publishing a try. Things have been going very well ever since.

His first novel in the Detective Cole Sullivan series was “Edge of Redemption”. His latest book, which is not a part of the Sullivan series is “Mystery on Twin Lakes”, set in his hometown in Minnesota. And speaking of town settings – Warnberg hasn’t forgotten Windham. “My book, ‘Gateway Murder’, is set here in Windham and is based upon an old retired detective who just wants peace and quiet, so he moves to Windham, ME to get that. But no sooner does he get here, someone is murder and he is called to help solve the crime.”

Murder mysteries are not the only books he’s written. Warnberg has also penned a “1984”-esque dystopian novel entitled, “2064”.

For those who wish to publish their writing, Warnberg advises that the only way to really do it, is to sit down every day to write. “If you are passionate about writing, you must do it. Even on the days you don’t feel like it.” He admits that there are times he doesn’t feel “inspired” every moment he sits down to write, but most often, it has been an easy process. He also admitted, that this summer, he has taken a sabbatical from writing to spend some time painting. “But I plan to get back to writing soon. I still have too many novels in me that need to come out.”

If you are interested in reading Warnberg’s novels, they are available on and

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