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 working his way through college, 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.
Having always enjoyed writing, it’s been a long process to books. 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 authored a weekly column for a local newspaper, contributed to anthologies, and edited works for others. As a professional writer, he has done technical writing for the Cargill Company, prepared SOPs and procedural employee manuals for businesses in the construction business. All the result of 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 available to the public. In this mystery, the death of a local bully gets linked to an organization dedicated to universal knowledge and greatly impacts the lives of a rural sheriff, his family, and best friend.
His most recent work, Jess, Surviving Normal, is a coming-of-age novel about a young man, his family, and his friends. Moving from a rural setting to a large city brings not just the expected cultural upheaval but life-threatening turmoil. With his new friends, they meet their problems head-on thanks to their desire to excel and the support of family. This heart-warming and inspiring story focuses on what it takes to succeed in academics and athletics.