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Home > Author > Peter Bernhardt
Peter Bernhardt

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Member Since: Jan, 2010

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  Peter Bernhardt           

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Background Information

I was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany, where opera was an integral part of the school curriculum, though my real passion for it developed in adulthood. At age twenty-three, I came to the United States to attend Gannon College in Erie, Pennsylvania, as part of a work-study program. Two of my compositions written for an English class were published in the college’s freshman writing magazine.

I stayed in the United States and became a citizen. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa, I attended the university’s law school from which I graduated at the top of my class.
My legal career in the United States encompassed writing, editing and courtroom practice, from my law school days as editor-in-chief of the Tulsa Law Journal through years as litigator in private practice and for the U.S. Department of Justice. I drew upon this unique combination of life experiences to craft the plot and characters of my first novel, The Stasi File—Opera and Espionage: A Deadly Combination.
I had for many years dreamed of finally finding the time and inspiration to write fiction, especially mysteries and thrillers, but when I began I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. After a beginning that seemed to take forever, I was surprised when the challenge of creating characters and building a plot that was real and intriguing started to take over my waking hours, and a few sleeping ones too.
My skill and talent developed quickly, but I found there were many times they seemed almost superfluous—I was too busy holding on tight as “my” characters and their actions took over and went their own ways, leaving me to serve as their scribe and menial servant. What a journey!
Since moving to Sedona, I have been pursuing my passions of writing, running, opera, and tennis. I occasionally write articles forthe magazine "Opera Overture," and have attended the Maui Writers Conference, the New York City Pitch-and-Shop Conference, the Half Moon Bay Writers Conference, and the Society of Southwestern Authors Wrangling with Writing Conference.

"The Stasi File - Opera and Espionage: A Deadly Combination" was named Best-seller and Finalist for Book of the Year by YouWriteOn, the British Arts Council sponsored critique site for the promotion of talented new authors.

Additional Information

I’m now on chapter seventeen of "Tehya’s Kiss or The Shaman’s Daughter" (working title), in which Stasi File protagonists, Sylvia and Rolf, are pitted against ruthless smugglers of American Indian artifacts, interweaving as subplots Sylvia’s role at the Santa Fe Opera and the Pueblo Indian revolt that drove the Spanish from New Mexico in 1680.

Favorite Links

Peter Bernhardt - Writing Among Sedona's Red Rocks

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