I come from working class America. I was born near the end of the baby boomers' generation in Holland, Michigan, on December 29th, 1961. My parents had four children with me being the youngest. My father was employed by the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad. Due to his job constantly being relocated, my family moved a few times to other hamlet
I come from working class America. I was born near the end of the baby boomers' generation in Holland, Michigan, on December 29th, 1961. My parents had four children with me being the youngest. My father was employed by the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad. Due to his job constantly being relocated, my family moved a few times to other hamlets in Michigan. Back then, my mother worked for several chrome plating factories that supplied the automotive industry. (That's when American automobiles were still flashy, and had chrome bumpers and other brilliant trim unlike the boring cars of today). My parents were both hard working people. They were good souls; may they rest in peace.
Moving on, I met my wife in 1980 during our senior year in high school. We graduated together and married in 1985. Like most young couples starting out, we both worked several menial jobs trying to eke out a living. We were in the midst of a terrible recession in the early 80s so we took whatever work we could find. My first job was actually working at a small grocery store after school during my junior year. (That reminds me of the time my mother showed up unannounced at the grocery store. She looked concerned. I'll never forget her calmly saying "Billy, I don't want you to worry, but your father has been hit by a train." OMG! I had just gotten my driver's license. I jumped in her car and drove us at almost a 100-miles-per-hour to the hospital located some forty miles away. My father was lying in a hospital bed banged and bruised, but he would live. Somehow, he escaped the wreck without even a broken bone. He was broadsided by the train, and his car was flipping time after time again in front of the locomotive. The engineer said he saw the driver's door fly open and my father get tossed out of the car. He went rolling through the grass just before the locomotive shredded his Ford Granada. The engineer told me it looked like the hand of God had reached in and grabbed him saving him from certain death. Had my father been wearing his seatbelt he wouldn't have survived the wreck).
After high school, I worked for several geophysical companies doing seismograph for the oil and gas industry. It was brutal back-breaking work. All I did for one solid year was wear a 75-pound backpack that consisted of a gasoline engine with a torque tube leading to handlebars with a throttle control atop a transmission holding a steel auger. I drilled thousands of five-foot-deep holes for dynamite charges. I worked drilling holes through the nastiest country you can imaging from dark to dark, no matter the weather. Gasoline was running down my back most of the time. It burned like hell, too! The money was good, but the work was merciless. I quickly realized I needed to find a new occupation. Soon after, I started my career in the automotive business before diving into the real estate business in 1995. It wasn't long before my wife and I owned and operated two real estate brokerages. We ran them until selling our offices in 2006. I'm still a licensed real estate broker and enjoy working in the industry. It definitely beats drilling holes in the middle of a swamp during the subzero chill of a Michigan blizzard!
Over the years, I lived through good and bad economies during times of peace and war. I've experienced all the emotions anyone else has over the trials of life with love being the greatest and betrayal being the worst. I've had enemies become friends, and friends become enemies. However, I've yet to meet anyone as loyal and loving as my dogs. If only humanity would behave like our dogs. Isn't it curious that human beings are the animals?
I find life is like a ship at sea sailing through calm waters one day only to be tossed about in a horrific storm the next. I've been around for a while so my ship is old and beat up. It has sailed through its share of storms. But I've survived them all. It's these good and bad life experiences that shape the people in my books. They are believable characters that we can all relate to.
You should know I never planned on being a writer. It's the last thing I ever thought I would do. So why did I suddenly spend years on end writing The Great Ship of Knowledge: Learning Earth's Deathly History? It was a prophetic dream I had that gave birth to the story. I'm serious. I write about the entire experience in the front matter of The Journey Ends. It's the chapter titled The Epiphany.
I've always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination. I'm constantly daydreaming about anything and everything. I love science fiction especially the classics such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I grew up watching Star Trek, and I'll never forget sitting in a moving theater in 1977 when I witnessed the Millennium Falcon make the jump to lightspeed. It was epic! The special effects in Star Wars were incredible at the time.
As for hobbies, I love camping and being outdoors. My wife and I like to canoe and hike. Northern Michigan is beautiful country, and the Great Lakes State has miles of public trails and dozens of fabulous State Parks to explore not to mention endless sugar-sand beaches to walk.
I also have a passion for classic American cars. I've had many of them over the years. In the summer months you might find me strolling through one of the many classic car shows held annually in northern Michigan.
To finish, I love animals especially our German shorthaired pointer, Mocha, and our Flemish giant house rabbit, Honey Bunny. My wife and I have been married now for thirty-eight years, and we live on our farm in Antrim County.