About Bill

 

 

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Bill lives in just outside of Phoenix with his longtime partner, Chuck. They have two Australian Labradoodles who complete them.

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Mabel, the older sister, can jump very high and head a ball like a champion soccer player.

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Her brother Buford is a bit of a rascal.

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When Bill is not busy talking about his dogs as if they were his children, he writes fiction, which is his dream job. Except when it makes him crazy and impossible to live with, which is about 36  41 percent of the time.

He is also the Assistant Professor of Practice at the Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, where he coordinates and teaches in the Your Novel Year online certificate program.

Bill has a husband, Chuck. Bill and Chuck have so many anniversaries due to the wacky marriage laws that keep changing that they often forget them. In case you wish to send presents, they started dating on Dec. 24, 2003, they had a civil union in Vermont on Sept. 16, 2006, and they got married in New York on Nov. 16, 2013.

Second time's a charm? Bill and Chuck's Marriage 2.0, in Central Park, Nov. 16, 2013.

Second time’s a charm? Bill and Chuck’s Marriage 2.0, in Central Park, Nov. 16, 2013.

Bill has three published books: The Porcupine of Truth, Openly Straight, and Out of the Pocket. All three have won major awards, which is something he thinks about mostly when he can’t seem to write a sentence. Then, he thinks, “How the hell am I an award-winning author? Was this some sort of conspiracy his mom set up, like telling kids to pretend to be his friend in elementary school (did not happen) or telling the counselors at camp that he’s ‘a little sensitive’ (may have happened) or buying ten zillion copies of his not-so-well selling debut novel (definitely happened)? Out of the Pocket won the 2009 Lambda Literary Award, Openly Straight won the 2013 Sid Fleischmann Award for Humor, and The Porcupine of Truth won the 2016 Stonewall Book Award and PEN Center USA Literary Award. So if she did dole out cash for those awards, she’s probably broke now, and he thanks for her it.

His fourth novel, Honestly Ben, will be released in March of 2017.

Before Bill was a fiction writer (and long before he ever referred to himself in the third person), he was a sports writer. As a sports writer and editor for The Associated Press from 2005-08, he covered the New York Mets and his weekly fantasy baseball column appeared in newspapers across the country, from the New York Daily News to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In May of 2001, while working for ESPN.com, he came out on the front page of the website in an article entitled “Sports World Still a Struggle for Gays.” That article won him a GLAAD Media Award the following year.

As an openly gay guy working in sports, he spoke at countless venues across the country on what it’s like to be a gay person in the world of sports. He has written for The New York Times, New York Daily News, North Jersey Herald and News and Denver Post, to name a few. His work has also appeared in Out Magazine. In 2011, his coming out was named the #64 moment in gay sports history by the website Outsports.com. His story was included as a chapter in the book “Jocks 2: Coming Out to Play” by Dan Woog.

Ancient History:
Upon graduating from Columbia University in 1994, Bill become known internationally for simulating out the remainder of that year’s strike-shortened baseball season and writing about it for the New York Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle and Miami Herald. Coverage of his simulated season was seen on NBC World News Tonight, Dateline NBC, CNN, and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. His world series, won by the New York Yankees in what many believe to be the greatest fix since the Black Sox scandal of 1919, was dramatized on Dateline NBC using actual college players.

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6 Responses to About Bill

  1. Jack Dunsmoor says:

    In the 2nd to the last paragraph (the 6th word) under About, did you forget the …ing after the word, work?

    I’ve enjoyed reading about you (good/funny author bio on Goodreads) & on your website, thus far. I haven’t explored all the pages yet (I’m a slow reader). And I will read both your books, too, but right now I’m having to verify the sexual identity (on the Internet, apart from Wikipedia, as requested by my publisher, but not to be mentioned in print [only about their books]) of my list of allegedly gay guys with regard to their published biographies, in my soon-to-be self-published book, OK2BG, hopefully in the next couple of months, on Lulu.com.

    I only mention this because of a comment you made in an interview posted on rucoming out, about young gay guys needing validation in literature –

    ‘I think it’s terribly important for teens to have reflections of themselves in literature, and to have those available in schools and libraries is an affirmation that we owe the younger generation. It says ‘this person exists. People like you exist.’ Shouldn’t that be the least we do for kids who are going through something as difficult as coming out?’

    My book will list 2,000+ gay biographies by or about 1,000+ gay guys, as a resource for gay kids/students & school libraries, again hopefully.

    I am listing your 2 books as coming-of-age novels which are semi-autobiographical, as indicated by the author (indicated on Wikipedia perhaps).

    Have you considered writing a memoir or biography about your own life, thus far? If so, I would definitely read it.

    Thanks for listening & I hope it isn’t too hot in Phoenix today!
    Jack

  2. Craig K. Hassler says:

    Dear Bill and Jack,
    Thanks so much for your work. Just began reading “Openly Straight” last night and couldn’t put it down. Love your humor!

    Over the last four years I’ve had everything (property, auto, personal items) taken from me in North Carolina then Maryland but have never been happier. Now I’m working on and off rehabbing/bioremediating a warehouse space in Harrisburg, PA for free.

    I’ve also been making bicycling/camping trips from Harrisburg to DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Montauk and back to Harrisburg hand-harvesting what I need from grocery stores along the way since we live in this amazing time of abundance…kinda long story based on my experiences over the last four years posted on Facebook under my name, Craig Hassler.

    Best wishes,
    Craig K. Hassler

  3. Pingback: 2016 ALA Youth Media Awards | Crazy QuiltEdi

  4. Wanderson Dias says:

    Ok, I’m not young anymore, but I read “Opengly Straight”, the brazilian version, something like “Just a Boy”. It touched me deeply… I couldn’t help to spend sometime remembering the 90’s and how awful was all that!!! So, I’m here just to congratulate you and send a hug from Brazil!!! Write more, you’re good!!!

    PS.: Sorry for my poor english.

  5. PBittner says:

    I just finished “Openly Straight” and I loved your humor, candor, emotion ….l could go on and on and on…………..but I won’t . I honestly thought that the other gay person in this small Georgia town suggested this book and “outed” himself/herself….then moved to San Francisco!! I couldn’t put the book down and have recommended it to every one!!!

  6. Thomas says:

    Loved loved loved loved ‘openly straight’ and ‘openly/honestly’, now waiting for ‘Honestly Ben’ to be delivered. TAKES TO LOOOONG!

    Ok, bye

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