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My childhood paper featured their native son

So, grateful to the Silsbee Bee Team

For generations educators have encouraged budding novelists to write about what they know. While writer Timothy Gene Sojka, who grew up in Silsbee, embraces that oft-repeated mantra, he feels writing about where you know proves as important.

Sojka recently wrote: “I love Texas. Texas nourished me, and took me in when I was transplanted here at 5 years old. Texas felt like a different world, magical, welcoming, awe inspiring and terrifying at once.”

Sojka, who now lives in Cypress near Houston, attended Silsbee schools for 12 years and graduated from Silsbee High School in 1985.

He gives a lot of credit for his success to the teachers he had over the years and remembers a lot of them by name.

He said, “Thank you to the teachers at Silsbee Elementary, Junior High and High School for helping a child with rampant ADHD navigate twelve years. A special thank you to Mrs. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Atmar, Mr. Meldrum, Mr. Leigh, Mrs. Seabrook, Mrs. La Toof, Mrs. Voigtman, Mrs. Gaye Lokey, and all the teachers who took extra time with me. You should each be nominated for sainthood.”

His fascination and love for Texas ensures his current novel, and each of his novels feature or mention the cities of Beaumont, Silsbee, Winnie, Cleveland, Galveston, Houston, Warren, Fred, Orange, Port Arthur, Lumberton and area landmarks like the Astrodome, Village Creek, the Neches River, the Jack Gore Baygall, the Old and Lost River, the Galveston Ferrys and much more.

Readers’ Favorite recently awarded his latest book, “39: Your Last Birthday” the Silver Medal for Southern Fiction in addition to giving the Southeast Texas based novel a Five Star Review. The novel also won the coveted Maxy Award for Literary and Humor.

Sojka feels Southeast Texas seldom receives her due, as a great setting for epic stories.

“While Texas’s greatest storytellers, McCarthy and

McMurtry, have focused on the western plains, few novels chronicle Southeast Texas’ soaring pines, chocolate waters, and backwoods eccentrics,” he said. “The Big Thicket, Piney Woods, Neches River and the area’s misfits raised me. No one talks like us, survives humidity like us, and dies like us. I feel so blessed to be from here.”

Sojka’s previous novel, “Politikill,” won the Maxy Award for Best Thriller, while all three of Sojka’s novels have reached #1 on Amazon.

He has written a novel a year for the last three years: “Payback Jack” in 2021, “Political” in 2022 and “39: Your Last Birthday” in 2023.

Reviewer Lisa Aiello wrote about Sojka: “Hoooooo doggie!! This author could write the birds out of the trees (Is that even a saying? Because I feel like it should be a saying). You are immediately transported and dropped into life in Silsbee, Texas. You can feel the heat, hear the call of all the critters in the wild, and feel the cooling waters on the swimming holes. Life just feels good, even though it was tough work living on a working farm. The characters are larger than life, the storyline is thoroughly engaging and I could hardly wait to flip the pages and find out where this was going

Fellow author Luke Swanson said, “Sojka weaves a tale worthy of a back porch at midnight. As I turned the pages, I could almost see the fireflies.”

A line in Sublime Book Review stated: “Sojka’s outstanding writing skill evokes laughter, despair, fear, suspense and thrills. Another five-star read from a master of intrigue, suspense, emotion, and wit.”

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