Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.
This week we are joined by author and comedian (though I’m not sure that last bit is an official title), Bill Kirk. Bill is a fellow “angel” at Guardian Angel Publishing. Bill tell us about yourself.
Since retiring from professional life in 2008, the bureaucratic writing I did for nearly 40 years has changed to plain old fun, pure and simple. Now I get to write fiction, satire, contemporary humor and rhymes, poetry and anything else that comes to mind. I’ve been fortunate to see some of my rhymes in popular children’s publications, like Boys' Quest, Fun For Kidz, Grandparents and Wee Ones magazines.
Other publications include the North Dakota Horizons quarterly journal, the University of South Carolina Health Center Newsletter, the SacBreathe website and The Baseball Almanac website, among others. I also wrote news and features for The Suttertown News and the Old City Guardian in Sacramento, CA in the early and mid 1990s. As for my rhyming manuscripts, several have been published as children’s picture books by Guardian Angel Publishing. Others are in the pipeline to be released during the next two or three years.
Outside of writing, in my retirement I am the Scoutmaster in Boy Scout Troop 259 in Sacramento, a deacon in my church, a Certified Massage Therapist and a long distance runner (although the distances seem to be getting a bit shorter these days). My wife, Rita and I have made Northern California our home since 1985. But in 2012 or 2013, we plan to move to Gulf Breeze, FL near Pensacola to be close to my parents and to live our long term dream of having a house on the water—we already have the keys to the house and our next trip is in October.
Wow, Bill! Impressive resume, active lifestyle, and realizing your hopes and dreams. You’re an inspiration.
Tell us your latest picture book release, Muscles Make Us Move.
My latest book published by Guardian Angel Publishing is actually the third book in a series of children’s picture books written in rhyme on several of the body’s anatomical systems. The first two books are titled “No Bones About It” and “Circulation Celebration”. The series (titled THE SUM OF OUR PARTS) is illustrated by Eugene Ruble, who combines his technical drawing skill with quirky and playful artwork to make learning human anatomy fun.
The muscles book leads the reader through the names, physical locations and functions of the major muscle groups. The book is also filled with interesting facts about the muscles and how they work. If you have wondered about the weird names, locations and functions of your major muscles, you will stretch your knowledge with this unique and fact-filled learning tool.
The series sounds fun and educational. Great for classrooms, libraries and homeschooling. Oh, and pediatrician waiting rooms!
Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.
- Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business. (1) learn basic computer skills needed to build a blog and design a website (2) be a stickler for spelling, grammar, punctuation and how to use language to express ideas (3) learn and practice discipline, jealously guarding your time to write and trusting your creative imagination.
- Top 3 locations to work. (1) alone in our home-office at my computer, preferably with no distractions, (2) in a small café, the kind where people come and go but where you can sit at a table uninterrupted for a couple hours—if possible, do this at least once in a café in Paris and (3) on an airplane flying cross country, which gives you four or five hours for word play.
- Top 3 leisure activities. (1) backpacking pretty much anywhere—I was in a group that recently spent six days backpacking 66 miles in the High Sierra, (2) camping in tents or under the stars—you can actually see the Milky Way as a cloudy disk across the night sky when it is undimmed by man-made light, and (3) running almost anywhere but on trails is ideal. The common theme in these activities is experiencing a simple and unfettered connection with nature.
- Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up. (1) I wanted to be a doctor for the longest time—I built models of the skeleton, the heart, even the whole body (with a clear plastic “skin”)—then I ran into Organic Chemistry, (2) a political scientist, which I dabbled in during two careers and (3) a journalist, which I also practiced briefly along the way, if only as an amateur—although I did get paid $25 once for gas and expenses on a story about the northern California Senior Rodeo.
You did four! But they are all so great, far be it for me to eliminate one.
Where can our readers learn more about you and your writing?
Facebook as Bill Kirk
firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail address)(916) 531-7746 (cell phone)