Friday, October 11, 2013

How does an undercover FBI agent write about Christmas?

Today I'm welcoming a guest  John Wills.

This ex FBI agent is a dynamic speaker. I've heard him play the role of a crook in the "hood" at a Public Safety Writers Association meeting. Granted I'm no expert, but he sure convinced me. I bet he was good at undercover activities while an FBI agent.

Here's what John has to say.

Thank you, Janet, for hosting me on your blog.  
I’ve always wanted to write a feel-good story about Christmas. My story, however, is gritty and deals with some pretty tough topics: PTSD, homelessness, and alcoholism. The Year Without Christmas is the story about a family living in a small town in Michigan. After a tragic accident, they spiral down into the darkest time in their life.
As Robert Frost noted, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” That describes my journey as I crafted Eric Doyle’s story. Based on my life experiences, and those of family and close friends, I often found myself needing to pause as I wrote certain segments of the novel. My Catholic faith also played a large role in the story, although it never interferes with the stark conditions Eric faces as he winds up homeless on the streets of Chicago.
My bio begins in Chicago. Born and raised there, I was the second oldest of six children. We were a blue-collar family, my parents both worked to afford to send all of us to Catholic schools. I attended from kindergarten through college, and graduated from St. Xavier University in Chicago. I also spent a brief stint in the seminary, studying to become an Augustinian priest.
Instead of the priesthood, however, I spent two years in the Army, and then became a Chicago police officer. Twelve years later, I left the CPD and became an FBI agent. I worked all over the world, and was undercover on several occasions with the FBI. I spent my last six years teaching at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. I retired in 2004 and hired on with a training company in Seattle to train military and police throughout North America. I spent the past eight years training and travelling.
I am now fully retired. I continue to write novels, articles, short stories and poetry. Most often, I can be found spending time with my beautiful wife of 43 years, Christine, and my four grandchildren.
My reviewer page on the New York Journal of Books:
My articles on