Vivian Zabel is my Talented Guest


I’m so happy to have Vivian Gilbert with me. She is one talented lady. I thought I’d share a little of her background with you.

Author, Publisher

Vivian Gilbert was born to Raymond and Dolly Gilbert, July 28, 1943, on Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. The base for years was outside the city of San Antonio, but now the city surrounds the base.

With a military father who was transferred around the world, Vivian often changed schools, in fact when she graduated from high school in Limestone, Maine, she had changed schools twenty-two times.

Wow Vivian, my dad was stationed at Randolph in 1945 and my husband’s father was career Air Force and stationed in Main when he was a little boy. We have a somewhat shared background.

After graduating from high school in 1961, Vivian returned to Oklahoma where she enrolled in Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University, in Bethany, Oklahoma). During the one semester she could afford to attend, Robert Zabel visited his sister, and Vivian and Robert met. They married February 18, 1962 and are still together.

During the next few years, Robert and Vivian had four children, three of whom lived. A story that shows the love and closeness between the couple is found in the short story “Romance Midst Tragedy,” published in Hidden Lies and Other Stories (

That is wonderful that you would be willing to share your story with others. I know that losing a child is a very, very difficult thing to go through.

As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published.  Once her children were in school, Vivian returned to college and, in two and a half years, earned her BA with two majors (English and speech).

It’s always a challenge to find time to write while working and raising a family. I’m so glad that you were persistent with your goals as a writer.

Vivian attended workshops, clinics, conferences, and classes about writing during her twenty-seven years of teaching. The further education helped her better teach her students and helped her hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001 she was able to write full time and write longer works, after she retired from teaching.

And now she is completely involved in writing and publishing.

At present, Vivian has six books to her credit, two co-authored. Her latest books are Prairie Dog Cowboy (written under the name V. Gilbert Zabel) and Midnight Hours (written under the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel).

Her interests besides writing include her family (husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren), reading, helping other people publish their books (through 4RV Publishing), and traveling (which she can’t do much any more).


4RV Publishing

Vivian Gilbert Zabel

Midnight Hours

to order or

Prairie Dog Cowboy

to order or Amazon. Com

Vivian’s books are wonderful. Below, she shares information about both of these treasures. I’m sure you’ll want to add them to your must read list.

Description of Midnight Hours by Vivian Gilbert Zabel

Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC

Genre: Mystery/suspense/thriller

ISBN-13: 978-0-9797513-3-2

ISBN-10: 0-9797513-3-0

Pages: 228

Starting Price:  $27.99

2nd place in the OWFI unpublished manuscript competition, May 2008

Martin Rogers, a homicide lieutenant, positions his power chair at the end of the parallel bars in the therapy room. Over the past months, those bars have become an enemy that cannot be conquered, but which creates agony and despair.   He glares at his enemy as they silently wait to conquer him again.  An orderly in white stands beside the left side of the bars. Martin fights to overcome the damage caused by a bullet in his back.

After Martin returns from another “wasted” therapy session, the whish of the power chair’s wheels on the carpet and the low hum of the computer create the only sounds in the room as he positions himself at the desk.  He closes his eyes before laying his fingers on the keys to type in the code which would connect him to the refuge he so needed.  The Internet and the game room give him an escape from constant pain.  The woman he met and visits nightly adds to the ability to flee.

Midnight always appears around midnight each night.  She tantalizes him, giving him little information about herself; although, she finally tells him her name, Norma Fields.  After Martin threatens to cut off the months-long cyber relationship, she offers to send him a picture of herself.  She sends an email attachment: a picture of a beautiful woman.

Martin’s interest changes to one that’s professional.  An identical copy had been found, folded in the pocket of a paraplegic who had gone over the rail of a hotel room balcony.  As soon as he sees the picture, he calls his friends and fellow detectives, Kyle Stone and Frank Thomas.

The three men meet at Martin’s for breakfast and discuss the photo.  Kyle mentions that the woman looks familiar.  The men decide to find what information they can about the case and about Midnight, Norma Fields.

After Kyle and Frank return to Martin’s house after their shift, the doorbell rings.  Kyle answers the door and invites a young woman to join them.  Martin gasps as Midnight walks into the room.  Kyle introduces Assistant District Attorney Lisa Harris, telling the others, “I told you the picture reminded me of someone.”

Lisa studies the photo and agrees the head and face are hers but not the rest of the body.  She joins the investigation.

In the days that follow, the “Midnight team” discover that several men with large accidental death insurance policies, all with Norma Fields as the beneficiary, have “accidentally” died.  The search for Midnight intensifies.

Description of Prairie Dog Cowboy by V. Gilbert Zabel

Genre: middle grade/ young adult / historical fiction

Publisher: 4RV Publishing                                             

Hardback, 180 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-9797513-5-6

ISBN-10: 0-9797513-5-7

Time passes so quickly and history is getting rewritten all the time. So much of our heritage is lost with those changes.  It is refreshing to see a slice of reality portraying the daily life of 1899 Oklahoma in V. Gilbert Zabel’s latest literary work, “Prairie Dog Cowboy”.

Buddy Roberts is but a small boy at the start of the story. It isn’t clear right away why his mother is set against the child. Although he has an older brother, he’s tending to the cattle at the age of five, all alone with only his dog to keep him company. Buddy is a mindful child, doing what needs to be done, even at such a young age, hoping some day to grow up to be a cowboy. Instead of him and Patch doing the work on foot, he dreams of herding cattle on horseback someday.

Neighbor rancher Caleb Hyman is impressed with Buddy.  He wonders, too, why the child works hard while his older brother, Jake, is doted on and spoiled. But, Caleb can see the man that Buddy will become, encourages him, and teaches him to rope. Once Buddy can rope a prairie dog, Caleb promises he’ll give the boy a job on his ranch.  Not an easy thing to do, but Buddy works hard to reach his appointed goal.

Through the years, Buddy becomes a part of Caleb’s family, a friend of Caleb’s twin sons, and the unknowing object of affection for their younger sister, Katie. Life begins to take a turn for the better as he approaches manhood.   An ironic twist at the end brings the cycle of life in full circle.

Thanks to my guest, Vivian Zabel, for being with us.

Author: diannegsagan

Dianne G. Sagan has written over 25 books and more than 300 articles in her 20 years as a ghostwriter and published her own work traditionally and indie. She writes fiction and nonfiction. She's an experienced speaker at writers' conferences in the region and an experienced facilitator for writers classes and workshops.

30 thoughts on “Vivian Zabel is my Talented Guest

  1. Nice feature post! I always enjoy reading more about Vivian – we go back quite a ways now. I may have said this before, but I really like that book cover.

    The Old Silly

  2. Thanks for the fascinating interview with Vivian, and for the information about her books. Midnight Hours sounds terrific .. it’s definitely going on my “to read” list.

  3. Nice interview. Prairie Dog Cowboy sounds very interesting. I suspect that roping a prairie dog is both literal and symbolic to Buddy’s greater challenge in his young life. Best of luck with that, Vivian.

  4. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Vivian. She is a remarkable woman. So nice to learn more about her!

    Thanks, Vivian and Dianne!

  5. Thank you, Dianne. I like how you make my information seem so much more interesting.

    Hey, we’ll be meeting in April, won’t we?

  6. Wonderful post, Dianne.

    I’m reading Midnight Hours and look forward to reading Prairie Dog Cowboy!

  7. Some people like Midnight Hours better, and some, Prairie Dog Cowboy. Please let me know what you think of the books.

  8. Very informative post. Vivian is a busy lady. Her books are excellent. I’ve read both and can highly recommend them

  9. What a coincidence, Vivian, we were just emailing one another and this note comes through about this blog. I enjoyed going over and learning more about you. What a small world!

  10. Vivian is an amazing individual and writer. I can relate to the challange of writing while raising a family. One must have their support if they are to pursue their dreams and passions.

    Stephen Tremp

  11. Be careful, you’ll give me a big head with all the wonderful comments.

    But I do appreciate you coming by and leaving them.

  12. With every new interview there’s something new I learn either about Vivian, her books, or her family. I’m in awe of her and everything she accomplishes.

  13. Your books sound just wonderful. I look forward to carving out some time to read them.
    Martha Swirzinski

  14. My new book, coming out in 2010, is based on my missing grandchildren. I use my life, my emotions, my observations to write. My family is wonderful material.

  15. Wow, I had no idea Vivian was so accomplished.

  16. Vivian seems to be an amazing person and her books sound wonderful.

  17. I’ve read both of your books Vivian. They are so very different-I liked them both. Midnight hours had me guessing more. I love to solve mysteries!!

  18. Great post. I just keep learning more and more about Vivian. Prairie Dog Cowboy is a wonderful story for young readers and older readers both.

    Looking forward to the new book, Vivian.

  19. I’m glad you liked them both, Kathy. Yes, they are quite different. I guess I have multiple personalities that come out in my writing. *laugh*

  20. Thanks to you, Vivian, for being my guest and yes I’ll be seeing you at the Book Festival in April.

    Thanks to all of you who have dropped by and left comments. Keep going and follow the rest of the tour.

  21. Thank you for hosting me, Dianne, and thanks to everyone who stopped by.

  22. This was an interesting interview. Thank you for sharing your love of writing 🙂

  23. Wow Vivian, your books look great! I loved the idea of making time to write because it is what you love. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  24. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed being Dianne’s guest.

  25. Excellent interview. Best wishes for your success Vivian. And Dianne, are you still interested in our mutual Twitter book interview. Just send me a Tweet at qlcoach….Gary

  26. Midnight Hours sounds like a powerful character sketch! And I love the concept of Prairie Dog Cowgirl! Keep up the good writing.

  27. I have once more enjoyed reading about Vivian! She has been such a hardworking writer-she deserves every success!
    Great post!

  28. Thank you for visiting. I’m glad to see so many stop by.


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