Myers, Bill 1953-

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MYERS, Bill 1953-

PERSONAL: Born September 9, 1953, in Seattle, WA; married; children: two daughters. Education: University of Washington, Seattle, graduated. Religion: Christian.

ADDRESSES: Home—Thousand Oaks, CA. Office— Alive Communications, 1465 Kelly Johnson, No. 320, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. E-mail—[email protected] com.

CAREER: Author. Worked as an actor on stage and screen; writer and director; voice-over narrator. Work includes projects for Child Evangelism Fellowship, Teen Challenge, Open Doors, World Missionary Press, Foursquare International, and Focus on the Family.

AWARDS, HONORS: Silver Angel Awards; two C. S. Lewis Honor Awards, one for "Forbidden Doors" series.

WRITINGS:

for adults

Christ B.C.: Becoming Closer Friends with the Hidden Christ of the Old Testament, Regal Books (Ventura, CA), 1990.

Blood of Heaven (first novel in "Fire of Heaven" trilogy), Zondervan Publishing House, (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.

Threshold (second novel in "Fire of Heaven" trilogy), Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1997.

Fire of Heaven (third novel in "Fire of Heaven" trilogy), Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.

Fire of Heaven Trilogy: Blood of Heaven, Threshold, Fire of Heaven, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

When the Last Leaf Falls: A Novella, Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

The Face of God, Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.

Fuego del Cielo, Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.

Also author of Dr. Luke Examines Jesus, Victor Books; and Nikolai, Marshal, Scott, Pickering.

for young adults

Faith Workout, Scripture Press (Wheaton, IL), 1986.

Hot Topics, Tough Questions, Scripture Press (Wheaton, IL), 1987.

Jesus, an Eyewitness Account, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1988.

More Hot Topics, Scripture Press (Wheaton, IL), 1989.

(With Michael Ross) Faith Encounter, Harvest House Publishers (Eugene, OR), 1999.

Eli: A Novel, Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 2000.

(With Angela Hunt) Then Comes Marriage: A Novella, Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

Just Believe It, Harvest House Publishers (Eugene, OR), 2001.

The Bloodstone Chronicles, Zondervan Publishing House (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003.

children's fiction

Baseball for Breakfast: The Story of a Boy ho Hated to Wait, illustrated by Frank Riccio, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1999.

"mcgee and me" children's series

(With Ken C. Johnson) McGee and Me!: The Big Lie, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL) 1989.

(With Ken C. Johnson) A Star in the Breaking, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1989.

(With Ken C. Johnson) The Not So Great Escape, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1989.

Skate Expectations, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1989.

Twister and Shout, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1989.

Back to the Drawing Board, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1990.

Do the Bright Think, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1990.

Take Me out of the Ball Game, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1990.

'Twas the Fight before Christmas, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1990.

In the Nick of Time, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1992.

(With Robert West) The Blunder Years, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1993.

(With Robert West) Beauty in the Least, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1993.

"allegory" children's series

Journeys to Fayrah: The Portal, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 1991.

Journeys to Fayrah: The Experiment, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1991.

Journeys to Fayrah: The Whirlwind, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.

(With David Wimbish) The Dark Side of the Super-natural, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

"the incredible worlds of wally mcdoogle" children's series

My Life As a Smashed Burrito with Extra Hot Sauce, Word (Dallas, TX), 1993.

My Life As Alien Monster Bait, Word (Dallas, TX), 1993.

My Life As a Broken Bungee Cord, Word (Dallas, TX), 1993.

My Life As Crocodile Junk Food, Word (Dallas, TX), 1993.

My Life As Dinosaur Dental Floss, Word (Dallas, TX), 1994.

My Life As Torpedo Test Target, Word (Dallas, TX), 1994.

My Life As a Human Hockey Puck, Word (Dallas, TX), 1994.

My Life As an Afterthought Astronaut, Word (Dallas, TX), 1995.

My Life As Reindeer Road Kill, Word (Dallas, TX), 1995.

My Life As a Toasted Time Traveler, Word (Dallas, TX), 1996.

My Life As Polluted Pond Scum, Word (Dallas, TX), 1996.

My Life As a Big Foot Breath Mint, Word (Dallas, TX), 1997.

My Life As a Blundering Ballerina, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1997.

My Life As a Screaming Skydiver, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1998.

My Life As a Human Hairball, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1998.

My Life As a Mixed-Up Millennium Bug, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1999.

My Life As a Walrus Whoopee Cushion, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1999.

My Life As a Beat-Up Basketball Backboard, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2000.

My Life As a Cowboy Cowpie, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2001.

My Life As Invisible Intestines with Intense Indigestion, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2001.

My Life As a Sky Surfing Skateboarder, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2002.

My Life As a Tarantula Toe Tickler, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2003.

"bloodhounds inc." children's series

The Ghost of KRZY, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.

The Mystery of the Invisible Knight, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.

Phantom of the Haunted Church, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Invasion of the UFOs, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

The Case of the Missing Minds, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

(With David Wimbish) Fangs for the Memories, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

(With David Wimbish) I Want My Mummy, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

The Secret of the Ghostly Hot Rod, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

(With David Wimbish) The Curse of the Horrible Hair Day, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

The Scam of the Screwball Wizards, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

(With David Wimbish) Mystery of the Melodies from Mars, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

(With David Wimbish) Room with a Boo, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

"secret agent dingledorf … and his trusty dog, splat" children's series

The Case of the Flying Toenails, illustrated by Meredith Johnson, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2002.

The Case of the Chewable Worms, illustrated by Meredith Johnson, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2002.

The Case of the Giggling Geeks, illustrated by Meredith Johnson, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2002.

The Case of the Hiccupping Ears, illustrated by Meredith Johnson, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2003.

The Case of the Drooling Dinosaurs, illustrated by Meredith Johnson, Tommy Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2003.

"forbidden doors" teen thriller series

The Society, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1994.

The Deceived, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1994.

The Encounter, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1995.

The Guardian, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1995.

The Haunting, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1995.

The Spell, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1995.

The Curse, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1997.

The Undead, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1997.

The Ancients, Tyndale Kids (Wheaton, IL), 1998.

The Scream, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 1998.

The Wiccan, Tyndale Kids (Wheaton, IL), 2003.

The Cards, Tyndale Kids (Wheaton, IL), 2003.

screenplays

Cry for Freedom, Gospel Films, 1987.

Also screenwriter of Bamboo in Winter, The Choice Is Yours, The Weight, Brother's Keeper, The Winning Circle, A Cry for Light, and A Long Way Home.

Writer, and one of the actors for, Adventures in Odyssey radio series for Focus on the Family.

ADAPTATIONS: Hot Topics, Tough Questions became a fifteen-part video series, while the "McGee and Me" series has appeared on ABC's Weekend Special numerous times.

SIDELIGHTS: Bill Myers is a prolific author of Christian material for adults and children. He has won more than forty national and international awards and has sold more than five million copies of his books and videos. Born into a Christian family in Seattle, Washington, he moved with them at the age of ten to the Cascade Mountains, living in the country several miles from the town of Arlington. Myers admits in a short autobiographical sketch on his Web site that he did not like reading, preferring instead to play in the forest. He also loved sports, music, and acting in school plays, and his ambition was to become a dentist.

Myers became bored with Christianity as a youth, and it was not until his high school sweetheart broke up with him in their first year at the University of Washington that he gave his will over to God. "I told God He could be Boss of everything in my life," he writes on his official Web site, "that I'd do whatever He wanted regardless of how weird it was." Several weeks later he went to the third or fourth movie he'd ever seen, and it changed his life. He was "so amazed at its power" that he began telling God He must "raise people up in the film business to start doing movies for Him." Although Myers kept getting the feeling he was supposed to be one of those people, initially he denied the calling. Ultimately, he changed his major to film directing and shortly thereafter traveled to Rome, Italy, as part of his studies.

Although Myers got Cs in his writing classes—"[I] told God I could do anything for Him but write"—his first job was writing for a TV series. He finished writing several more series, becoming a director, and ultimately writing books. Over the years, he has penned a variety of popular works, the popularity of which has taken him around the world. "I'm having the time of my life," he comments on his Web site, "I often think none of this would have happened if I'd lived my life my way…. I might have been in somebody's mouththis very minute drilling away as a dentist."

Myers reveals on his Web site that writing the adult Christian novel Fire of Heaven changed his life. In it, he explores "end time themes, not events." He says that, upon studying Jesus' responses to questions from disciples asking for specifics about end times, he discovered that Jesus almost always answered in generalities, then "used the opportunity to springboard into a deeper, spiritual truth … like asking them, 'Are you ready?' … All I want to do with this one is to challenge us to examine our hearts as we make that journey and as we prepare ourselves for His return."

In the "Fire of Heaven" trilogy for adults, Myers explores both modern science and religion. All three books are described by John Mort in Booklist as "fastmoving tales" exploring the idea that Christ's DNA is available, and antichrist may be on the rise. Several characters appear throughout the trilogy, including a prophet and a prophetess from the biblical book of Revelation who must name the Antichrist and then be sacrificed. Mort commented that this couple, who marry but are forbidden to procreate, are "quite believable," that Myers writes with "passion," and that his "metaphor for God's love is extraordinary and violent." Mort said Myers demonstrates that while "God has promised retribution, and it will be brutal … it will also be loving, even if we cannot immediately understand such love. Myers's apparent conclusion to his trilogy is subtle yet compelling and deeply felt." Melanie Duncan commented for Library Journal that the book is "thought-provoking, challenging and timely."

Reviewing Eli: A Novel for Publishers Weekly, Therese Borchard wrote, "Bill Myers isn't the first to retell the Gospel story in a modern setting, but he may be the first to redraw the man of Jesus as a '70s baby born in the back of a motel laundry room." She commented that Myers "goes beyond the message to the man" and combines his "passion for the Bible with his knack for storytelling." Another critic for Publishers Weekly was disappointed by the book's handling of the crucifixion and resurrection as "afterthoughts," but still concluded that it "is a refreshing departure from the usual clichés of popular Christian fiction."

When terrorists flew passenger jets into the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, Myers was working on a thriller titled The Face of God. The story revolves around an American pastor whose faith in God is crumbling following his wife's murder in an Istanbul spice bazaar. Meanwhile, an extremist Islamic group plots to release biological warfare worldwide. The militant leader postpones the event, seeking advice from Allah. To summon the power of God, however, he must find twelve long-lost stones—each representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel—and place them, together with two other specific stones, in the breastplate of an Israeli high priest. However, one stone is found by the grieving pastor, Daniel Lawson, who reunites with his estranged teenage son, then teams up with an archeologist and a beautiful Muslim university student. This group also goes in search of the missing stones. "Strong writing, edgy violence and a made-forthe-movies sensibility" characterize this book, according to a critic in Publishers Weekly. The critic added that the "abundance of violence may shock CBA [Christian Booksellers Association] readers, but Myers uses it to show the potential dangers of religious fundamentalism." Shawna Saavedra Thorup commented in Library Journal that the collision of faiths provides a "gripping denouement that is as beautiful as it is frightening," but that "the negative portrayal of Islam mars this otherwise suspenseful and actionpacked effort." Mort wrote in Booklist, that, "strikingly, [Myers] portrays Islam with reverence" and called the book an "up-to-the-minute, exceptional thriller."

When the Last Leaf Falls was described by a Publishers Weekly critic as "a sweet and salty story of a pastor struggling to reconcile his faith with the possible loss of his [seventeen-year-old] daughter to cancer." Much of this very personal novella was written through tears while Myers sat with his dying father. In an entirely different vein, Myers depicts in the film he wrote and directed titled The Choice Is Yours how seemingly small decisions can create huge consequences. He achieves this by bringing viewers into the life of serial killer the Son of Sam.

Myers writes on his Web site, "Today I live in California, not too far from Hollyweird (where I'm still trying to make a difference) with two cats, two kids, one dog and one wife."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Booklist, December 1, 1998, John Mort, review of Threshold, p. 659; August 1999, Mort, review of Fire of Heaven, p. 1987; June 1, 2000, John Mort, review of Eli: A Novel, p. 1798; October 1, 2000, John Mort, review of Eli, p. 302; August 2002, John Mort, review of The Face of God, p. 1927.

Library Journal, September 1, 1999, Melanie Duncan, review of Fire of Heaven, p. 174; June 1, 2000, Melanie Duncan, review of Eli, p. 106; February 1, 2001, Melanie Duncan, review of Then Comes Marriage, p. 77; September 1, 2001, Melanie Duncan, review of When the Last Leaf Falls, p. 156.

Publishers Weekly, July 10, 2000, review of Eli, p. 45; August 21, 2000, Therese Borchard, review of Eli, p. S20; August 6, 2001, review of When the Last Leaf Falls, p. 61; July 15, 2002, review of The Face of God, p. 56.

online

Bill Myers Home Page,http://www.billmyers.com/ (October 7, 2002) "Bill's Biography."

Coolreading,http://www.coolreading.com/ (October 8, 2002), overviews and first chapters of many of Myers's books.*