Jim Billman has followed an interesting, albeit somewhat erratic, career track that has included military service, teaching at the high school and college levels, and owning a building and remodeling business.
Whether a pay-as-you-go college student, a Vietnam platoon leader, an educator or employer, Billman has been given a precious trove of information from people he has met and the experiences they have shared. Most importantly, he learned that virtually everybody has lived a life worthy of a book.
Knowing that he enjoyed writing even as a grade-school student, it was a slow process until he became inspired to write for others. As a soldier, he described a personal account of the war in Vietnam with near-daily letters to his wife. He was a teacher who wrote his own exams and instructional sheets, and he won an award for writing a course of study for a new class. He has volunteered for secretarial duties on the many ad hoc committees that community colleges are famous for, and he wrote a course of study for Technical Mathematics that included a chapter on Boolean Algebra. He wrote a weekly column for his local newspaper, letters and opinions to editors and magazines, and resumes for students and friends. As a professional writer, he did technical writing for the Cargill Company, prepared SOPs and procedural employee manuals for businesses in the construction business. And possibly his most cherished award was the blue star his teacher put on an essay he wrote in the fourth grade.
To commemorate a local milestone, Billman compiled his newspaper columns that pertained to community affairs into a book entitled Headwinds. Upon leaving teaching, he wrote and self-published Reform School!, a book of his experiences as a teacher addressing the need for change in the public schools of America. This book is presently being revised and will be republished in the future.
Dead Man in a Lincoln is Billman’s first full-length novel and is now in its final stages before becoming available to the public. In this mystery, the death of a local bully gets linked to an organization dedicated to universal knowledge and creates a major impact on the lives of a rural sheriff, his family, and best friend .
Billman is also working on a coming-of-age novel about a young man in Jess. Detailing the life of a high school student whose family moves to a large city, Jess is confronted with both change and upheaval as he meets the challenges that fate has brought him.