I taught at San Lorenzo Middle School in King City, California for thirty-six years before retiring in June of 2006. I still substitute often in local schools. Phyllis, my wife of 47 years, and I still reside in King City. We have two great sons, Jeremy and Jon.
I am a life-long rock-climber and mountaineer. I’ve made numerous ascents in the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite. Much of my writing reflects my time in the mountains. Most notably, three of my short stories about climbing were published in the Sierra Club’s Ascent. Other stories and poems have appeared in “High” magazine, “Loose Scree” and in “The Climbing Art”. I converted a story named “Three’s a Crowd” into a radio play and it was broadcast on KUSF on November 22nd, 2006. It was later broadcast several more times on PBS. My short story “Don Francisco Rides to La Paz” won the 2008 Saturday Writers short story contest. My “Dogwood Dream” won the 2011 New Millennium short fiction competition and most recently “Duck Plucking Time” won the 1930’s decade of Saturday Writers’ 2020 historical fiction contest.
My Civil War historical novel Dawn Drums was published in 2013.
It was awarded both the New Mexico Book Awards 2014 Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction and the Arizona Authors Association 2014 First Place Award for published fiction. Dawn Drums was originally inspired by my middle school students. I was dissatisfied with all the things that weren’t in our history books about slavery, women and ordinary soldiers. I spent decades finding primary source materials to fill these major gaps in our story. The novel was born of these researches and I’m very proud of it. Half a dozen main characters – women, freed slaves, historical figures – tell their intertwined stories and are the main characters. Quite to my surprise, Abe Lincoln became one of them. If their narrative interests you, here is a link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Drums-Robert-Walton-ebook/dp/B00C4ZH1VU
I’ve had four children’s books published prior to Dawn Drums. They are Chaos Gate, Joel in Tananar, Flower Tumbles, and The Dragon and the Lemon Tree.