Aunapu, Greg 1960–
Aunapu, Greg 1960–
Born October 12, 1960.
Home— Miami, FL. E-mail— [email protected]
Writer, journalist, artist, photographer, and television news producer. Worked as a freelance news producer for Fox News Channel.
(With Kristopher Antekeier)Ringmaster! My Year on the Road with "The Greatest Show on Earth," Dutton (New York, NY), 1989.
(With Susan Billig)Without a Trace: The Disappearance of Amy Billig: A Mother's Search for Justice, Avon (New York, NY), 2001.
(With E. Howard Hunt)American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond, foreword by William F. Buckley, Jr., John Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2007.
Contributor to newspapers and periodicals, including Time, People, Life, Fortune, Time Europe, Time Asia, Time Latin-America, Time Digital, Time for Kids, Money, Travel Holiday, New York Daily News, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, XS Magazine, South Florida Magazine, Miami Metro, Public Citizen, Miami New Times, and the New York Times.
Author Greg Aunapu is a prolific freelance journalist who has worked extensively for magazines such as People and for various editions of Time magazine, including foreign and online editions of the venerable news magazine. On his home page, Aunapu identifies his reporting specialties as "crime, politics and popular culture," but notes that the nature of his work results in covering diverse topics and personalities. He has worked for numerous regional and national magazines and newspapers, and for a while served as a freelance producer for Fox News Channel's national broadcast. As a child, Aunapu developed an interest in art and photography from his grandfather. "I learned to sketch and paint about the same time that I was learning to read, eventually selling hundreds of drawings at arts & crafts shows before I was a teenager," he stated on his home page. Many of his works were nautically based, derived from what he observed from his father's work as a ship's captain. This interest in the visual arts evolved into later work as a freelance photographer, both as an accompaniment to his news reporting and as an artistic endeavor.
As an author, Aunapu has collaborated with several notable subjects from the news. In Without a Trace: The Disappearance of Amy Billig: A Mother's Search for Justice, he writes with Susan Billig, a woman whose young daughter, Amy, disappeared in March, 1974, shortly after a motorcycle club traveled through town. A reviewer on the True Crime Ink Web site remarked that the "book is so well written that you aren't just a reader but also a part" of the search party trying to locate Amy.
Aunapu also collaborated with a well-known figure from a notorious political incident. American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond, written with E. Howard Hunt, is a memoir of Hunt's life as a CIA operative and of his role in the infamous Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. The authors chronicle Hunt's early career during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services, the organization that became the CIA. They recount his role in the first days of the CIA, his twenty-year career, and his personal and professional life during that time. They explore his involvement in Bay of Pigs incident, a failed U.S. invasion of Cuba that occurred during the John F. Kennedy administration, and look at the circumstances that led to his involvement in Watergate. They also relate Hunt's later conviction and the thirty-three months he spent in federal prison over Watergate, and explore aspects of his life as the scandal and its repercussions continued to recede into history. Throughout, Hunt maintains that he acted honorably and always did what he thought was best for the United States. "Just how Hunt's moral compass malfunctioned—with such dreadful consequences to him, to the Agency he served, and to the country he loved—is the story he sets out to tell us in American Spy, " commented Mark Riebling in the National Review. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "breezy, unrepentant memoir," but also noted that it "breaks scant new ground in an already crowded field." Hunt, who was himself a prolific author of spy and suspense novels, died in January, 2007, at the age of eighty-eight.
Aunapu told CA: "My writing was inspired by a multitude of influences, prime among them being a love of reading and growing up in a creative environment. I was lucky enough to spend time as a child among a group of folk musicians on a boat my father captained called the Clearwater, which was the focal point of an environmental effort to clean up the Hudson River spearheaded by folk singer Pete Seeger. All of these folkies were at heart great storytellers—they just told stories through music and lyrics. Being, shall we say, vocally challenged, however, I focused on writing and artwork, instead of subjecting anyone to my voice.
"I am mostly influenced by real-life events, and try to illuminate the lives and adventures of interesting people. I like fiction that reads like fact and fact that reads like fiction. By that I mean novels that read more like real life (The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett being recent examples) and nonfiction where the story is as gripping as a novel. I like clear and straightforward writing about great characters in interesting situations, rather than precious and vain prose that is more concerned with style.
"While presently working on fiction, my published works so far have all been nonfiction in which I use the age-old techniques of the novelist to tell the story. In a way, they are all epics, stories that are larger than themselves, describing the archetypical conflict between what people think of as good and evil in the world. The stories describe the subject's courage in the face of adversity and tragedy, of greed and hubris, and the paradoxical human nature within all of us."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2007, Brendan Driscoll, review of American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond, p. 21.
Book Report, November 1, 1990, Carol Bomball, review of Ringmaster! My Year on the Road with "The Greatest Show on Earth," p. 52.
Boston Globe, May 6, 2007, Martin F. Nolan, review of American Spy.
International Herald Tribune, May 11, 2007, Tom Weiner, review of American Spy.
Library Journal, October 15, 1989, Anne Twitchell, review of Ringmaster!, p. 84.
National Review, April 30, 2007, Mark Riebling, "His Long War," review of American Spy, p. 46.
New York Post, February 25, 2007, Peter Pavia, review of American Spy.
New York Times Book Review, May 13, 2007, Tim Weiner, "Watergate Warrior," review of American Spy, p. 33.
Publishers Weekly, September 22, 1989, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Ringmaster!, p. 44; February 5, 2007, review of American Spy, p. 51.
Greg Aunapu Home Page,http://www.gregaunapu.com (November 27, 2007).
New Media Journal.us,http://www.therant.us/ (May 8, 2007), "Watergate's Forgotten Lessons," review of American Spy.
PR News Bank,http://www.prnewsbank.com/ (November 27, 2007), biography of Greg Aunapu.
True Crime Ink,http://www.truecrimeink.com/ (November 27, 2007), review of Without a Trace: The Disappearance of Amy Billig: A Mother's Search for Justice.