Former resident publishes novel throughout pandemic | life-style

Like many people, former Tehachapi resident Bill Brandweiner had time during the pandemic.

Based on what he learned from his life, military service, research, and many years of service as a contract officer at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Brandweiner used his time to write a novel.

“On Edge” is a fictional story about the Russian President’s intention to annex the Baltic States and how US and Russian intelligence agencies worked undercover to avert the potential for armed confrontation that could lead to nuclear war.

The hero is a character employed at the Neal Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base (formerly Dryden), Brandweiner said. But the plot in the book is a work of his imagination, not something he has personally experienced.

The author’s book was published under the pseudonym “Bill Brand” by RoseDog Books, a division of Dorrance Publishing in Pittsburgh, Penn. The publishing model required a financial investment on his part, but Brandweiner said he wasn’t so eager to recoup the funds as he wanted to have the satisfaction of completing the book and making it available to others.

Though fictional, “On Edge” refers to many actual events and portrays the current geopolitical and economic situation in Europe, while examining the dilemma of how the US and NATO are responding to Russia’s expansionist policies.

Brandweiner was born in 1947 in a small town in northeast Lower Austria that was occupied by Russian troops from the end of World War II until 1955. In 1966 he emigrated to the United States and joined the United States’ Army of the States six months later. He served for more than 20 years. According to its editor, his military awards include the Bronze Star for his services in Desert Storm, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal and numerous other medals of merit.

While in the Army, he also earned an associate degree in oceanography and a bachelor’s degree in general science. After retiring from the military, Brandweiner worked in the gambling industry before doing an internship with the US Air Force to train and work as a contract officer. He worked in this role at Dryden (renamed Neal Armstrong in 2014) for about 10 years until he retired in 2011.

“It was a passion and a great way to pass time when we had nowhere to go,” Brandweiner said of working on the book. “I enjoyed doing it.”

“On Edge” is a 140-page paperback book priced at $ 14 (eBook $ 9). The ISBN is 978-1-6376-4453-9. It is also available as a paperback or Kindle book on You can also find it in the publisher’s online bookstore at

Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email:

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