Readers > Bill MacWithey
Adversity builds character? Perhaps. More likely for a writer, adversity, along with life experiences, builds a wealth of fodder for creating enjoyable fiction. Not only have I had my share of adversity, I have survived many situations and experiences at which the average person would shake their head.
When my father disappeared, leaving my mother with seven children and in and out of the hospital with cancer, I pretty much became self-sufficient at a quite young age. My mother succumbed to the cancer when I was twelve. Being poor and, having no place to go but to an orphanage, I opted for living on the streets of Springfield, Illinois.
At age fifteen, I enlisted in the army, using a birth certificate on which I had changed the date of birth. After sixteen weeks of infantry basic, I went on to eight weeks of artillery basic, eleven weeks of jump school, plus other training. My time in the army is an entire book unto itself, but after many, many moons in the army, I found myself a civilian once more.
So, here I was, a civilian taking a long, long vacation, mostly bass fishing, and thought about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Early on, I wanted to write the truth about Vietnam, but people were churning out books on Nam in rapid succession. Who would want to read yet another?
But having always been a voracious reader of non-fiction and fiction, I was sort of fascinated with the idea of writing. My first attempt was as an editorial writer. Although I had but an eighth grade education when I went into the military, while there, I completed enough studies to earn a master's degree in sociology. It happened almost by chance that I was invited to write speeches for a local candidate, who had read my newspaper editorials.
I became a behind the scenes advisor and writer for only those politicians I thought were honest and would truly try to change things for the better. At the same time, I was being paid for weekly editorials in a number of newspapers.
In 1989, I began my first novel, then, I let it set around for some time before getting serious about fiction writing. Today, I write full time except when I am planting, weeding, watering etc. I enjoy seeing things grow, so do a good bit of gardening. Having lived in San Antonio since 1974, I met and married a San Antonio lady in 1987. She was a natural choice. She is a teacher. A fourth grade teacher at my school saved my life when I was in the eighth grade, after my mother died, so whom else could I marry? We have three little dogs we think of as our babies. We had four, but Fatboy finally succumbed to diabetes and Cushing 's disease. Lucky is a small poodle abandoned and who almost died from heartworms. We named him lucky after he survived the treatment that saved his life. Puppy is a beautiful little longhaired Chihuahua, and Tubby is her one and only pup.
As we grow, we change. Some for the better, some for the worse. I hope I have changed for the better. I also hope you enjoy my writing as much as I enjoy writing. If you do, we will both have fulfilled a need in our lives.
San Antonio, Texas