Gillebaard received his Mechanical Engineering degree from California State University, Fullerton. "Getting that piece of paper was the hardest thing I ever did. In high school I was all about girls and sports. I had a rude awaking those first few days in college dealing with engineering calculus and physics."
Gillebaard migrated into technical sales after college, working his way up the corporate ladder from inside sales to national sales manager. He eventually started his own sales representative business, Gillebaard Engineering Corporation.
Gillebaard played football, basketball, and ran track all through high school, moving on to run the hurdles in college. After years of coaching his daughters in various sports, Paul was asked to be one of the local high school track coaches. "What a great experience that has been. I handle all levels for the hurdles and high jump. Originally I was concerned about working with teenagers, especially remembering how wild I was, but these kids have been wonderful--a joy to work with."
None. Nada. Zilch.
"Can you count being in a story?" Paul's mom wrote a book that had a section about the many times Gillebaard snuck into the Tonight Show, often getting backstage. The story was also published in the L.A. Times. "Johnny Carson called my mom to say what a great article it was. I met all kinds of Hollywood stars, both backstage and in the Green Room. It was the perfect place to take dates. Girls loved it."
Gillebaard's path leading up to his first novel was quite unorthodox. "I never had any aspirations of being a writer, let alone a novelist. Shoot, I was lucky to pass my English courses. I was a terrible speller, and according to my dad who's from Holland, I couldn't even speak my own language correctly." Though Gillebaard has always been an avid reader of the newspaper, he just wasn't much of a book reader, reading mostly non-fiction later in life. "The only fiction novel I've read since high school was Jurassic Park almost twenty years ago, and that was only after the insistence of my wife." Gillebaard believes his writing developed from the many years of business correspondence. "As a regional sales manager I worked out of a satellite office without a secretary. Thank God for spell check."
"Though I had no writing experience, I found I was a good story teller and had a deep passion for my subject matter. However, I do have a little guilt writing more novels than I have read in my life. I feel like a politician running for office who never voted. But my style is all my own, not having been influenced by other authors."
Growing up among astronauts in the late 60's/early 70's was no big deal to Paul, even in his later years visiting these family friends. "It wasn't until I was in my 40's and I realized what a special time those years were living in Nassau Bay. Soon my zeal for the Apollo era took off." Paul started searching the web on Apollo, spending hours doing research. He realized he needed to do something with this knowledge he was gaining and eventually came up with the idea for Moon Hoax.
"A book like this requires a lot of research, which was a joy for me. I was fortunate to have a connection with former astronauts, who graciously took the time to meet with me and answer my questions."
"I feel everyone can succeed at whatever they want as long as they have the passion, which will see them through the many obstacles they are sure to encounter."