Resolve, at its roots, is not a book about war as much as it is a book about a unique individual — there was nobody like Clay Conner Jr. — whose life played out for three years amid a war. And Bob Welch’s strength is writing about people.
He has twice won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ highest award for writing. He is winner of the Seattle Times C.B. Blethen Award for Distinguished Feature Writing. And he has won the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s “Best Writing” award the past two years.
His book about a heroic World War II nurse, American Nightingale (Atria Books, 2004), was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
Another book, Easy Company Soldier (St. Martin’s Press, 2008), was ranked No. 1 in the country among World War II/Western Front books. It’s about Don Malarkey, an Oregon-born member of the well-known “Band of Brothers” unit made famous by historian/author Steven Ambrose and the HBO miniseries produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
What makes Welch unique as an author is his versatility. In the fall of 2012, his new releases included not only a book about an officer in World War II, but a book about hiking the 452-mile long Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (Cascade Summer) and a book of nuggets of wisdom from American’s favorite holiday movie (52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life). As an author, Welch does not specialize in war. He specializes in character, courage, and resolve — on whatever stage they play out, be it a Philippines jungle, a high-Cascades hiking trail or Bedford Falls.
Inspirational articles of his have been published in more than a dozen books, including seven in the popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. In addition, he has had articles published in such magazines as Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated and Runner’s World.
Welch is a national inspirational speaker, his “pebble-in-the-water” theme reminding audiences that their lives matter significantly to the world. “Hands down, the most impressive speaker we have heard in years,” said Alex Rankin, archivist at the History of Nursing Archives at Boston University. “Forget the hyperbole,” said Julie Zander, organizer of the Association of Personal Historians conference in Portland in 2006. “Our 261 participants scored Welch a 4.81 on a 5.0-scale.”
Welch has spoken at the Massachusetts Statehouse, and at the National Military Nurses Conference and national Hadassah Conference in Washington, D.C. He has keynoted conferences coast to coast and appeared as a guest on “Good Morning America.”
A former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, he is founder and director of the Beachside Writers Workshop in Yachats (YAW-HOTS), Oregon.
He has spoken at the National Writers Workshops and served as a judge for numerous writing contests, including the Erma Bombeck Humor Writing awards.
He and his wife, Sally, live in Eugene where they are parents of two adult sons and grandparents of three boys and a girl. He enjoys watching UO football and basketball, used-book browsing, high-mountain back packing, sailing, and relaxing at a family cabin on the Oregon coast.