We are sad to announce that Bill Wallace passed away Monday, January 30th, 2012.
Bill's ability to capture the hearts and minds of people, of any age, and take them on a journey through his beautiful writing, has produced 31 books. If flags were to be flown at half-staff for him it would have been that week.
We are dedicating this page to the legacy of love and kindness he left behind. A legacy that lives on for centuries in the same manner his books will live on. Bill's wife Carol is also a great writer and all the freinds, family, and fans of Bill, would like to express their thoughts and prayers for Carol and her family.
Carol is asking that if anyone has video footage of Bill speaking at their schools to please contact OCAI so it can be sent to her. She would like to have more to show to grandchildren who are too young to remember him.
Carol has also asked us to pass along to everyone that in lieu of sending flowers, she knows Bill would rather you donate books to the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center Library, a school dedicated to Bill Wallace or the Chickasha Public Library.
Please donate to:
Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center Library 1000 Minnesota Avenue Chickasha, Oklahoma 73018
The Chickasha Public Library 527 West Iowa Street Chickasha, Oklhoma 73018-3445
In honor of Bill Wallace, we at OCAI are donating a gift pack of autographed books to the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center, in Chickasha, OK:
The Santa Secret, by Carol Wallace
Twister, by Darleen Bailey Beard
Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover,
by Darleen Bailey Beard
The Cat Food Mystery, by Gwen Hooks
Poster--D-Day, American Character, by Chris Nick
Grady's in the Silo, by Una Belle Townsend
Let's Clean Up!, by Peggy Perry Anderson
Stealing Home, by Mike Wimmer
Bookmarks by Mike Wimmer
On a Road in Africa, by Kim Doner
Artwork donated by Mike Wimmer
Artwork donated by Peggy Perry Anderson
Cowboy Camp, by Tammi Sauer
From all of us at OCAI in memory of our precious Bill!
Chickasha Honors Bill Wallace with New School--Here is the Video!
Watch the above video to see how this Oklahoma school is honoring one of our most-loved children's authors, Bill Wallace. For an extended version of this video showing all the speakers for their ribbon cutting ceremony, click here http://youtu.be/25x7ctK7RBg
In Honor of Bill Wallace
Bill & Carol's latest book . . .
What happens when an uppity calf who thinks he has a royal pedigree tries to take over the job of a no-nonsense guard dog? Dust flies and so do some pretty hilarious antics.
Cookie, a black-and-white belted Galloway calf, thinks that he has come to the farm to be in charge of the herd of cows. Hoss, the German shepherd, figures that Cookie can barely keep track of his own tail. The only thing the two stubborn animals have in common is their loyalty to a young farm girl named Ann. So when Ann is in danger, the two rivals must figure out how to go from butting heads to putting their two heads together to save her.
Bill Wallace was born and raised in Chickasha, Oklahoma, where he attended West Elementary School which has now been renamed the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center. Growing up, the home he lived in was built, with the help of his grandfather, in 1922.His mother taught high school math and his father was an insurance adjuster.His sister was an only child for 10 years before welcoming him into the family. After a wonderful writing career, Bill Wallace passed away on January 30, 2012.
Bill’s family was eager for him to be a reader, but being a little bullheaded he fought it.He was “tested” and it was discovered that the little fellow was actually quite bright.His teacher still wanted to retain him, however, in second grade.The third grade teacher, a friend of the family, asked if she could help. Once established that Bill loved to read about reptiles, amphibians and other animals, he began to thrive.When Mrs. Nash, the third grade teacher became the fourth grade teacher, Bill discovered the beauty and adventure of fiction.
The true test came, though, when Bill became a fourth grade teacher himself.He had many opportunities to teach the love of science but he also had a class who pushed him to “read to us!” When he read books that they had already heard and even a few “duds”, his kids asked to hear about when he was a little boy.So Bill began sharing a few of his own personal stories and then, with their encouragement, began to stretch them out and add a LOT of fiction. Through his years of schooling, Bill experienced some excellent teachers, including Mrs. Nash and Mrs. Welch, his high school English teacher, howeverWilliam Foster-Harris, professor at the University of Oklahoma, was the guiding force in his writing career. He was as bullheaded as Bill!Although Bill changed his major again, before getting his degree from OU, the presence of William Foster-Harris remains today in Bill’s writing.
Bill has more books than you can shake a stick at! Literally. He also has six titles which he coauthored with his wife, Carol. Perhaps his most popular book, which happens to be his very first book, is A Dog Called Kitty, which has been in print since 1980. Specializing in writing books about animals, Bill himself has many animals including numerous dogs, one really tough cat, and a cockateel who continue to inspire his much-loved stories. He has receiveddozens and dozens of State Children Choice awards in Oklahoma, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida,Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and the Pacific Northwest Territory Award.In 2000, he was awarded the Arrell M. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Speaking Information
Being a public speaker since 1980, he still enjoys the refreshing atmosphere of a well-prepared group of students.He sometimes surprises teachers who are unfamiliar with his banter.The kids can sit and listen longer than their teachers ever thought possible.In heart and mind, he takes his fourth graders with him when he did his presentations.It is often a surprise to him that students of today share the same problems, fears, curiosities, and sense of humor as he did when he was their age.
Exclusive Interview with Bill Wallace (September/October, 2011) :
OCAI: Bill, we're sooooo happy to have you as our "Featured Author" to help kick off the new school year! Thanks for talking to us. First off, we know you've had some health-related problems lately and many of our viewers have been concerned about you. We trust you're on the road to recovery and feeling better. Will you and Carol still be available for school author visits this year? How about conferences and festivals?
Bill: Carol and I, both, hope that my cancer is gone. We walk every ... okay ... most every morning. We both feel pretty good for old fogies, and we finished up last school year by visiting some wonderful students, librarians, and teachers right here in Oklahoma. At the present, we do not know whether the cancer is gone or not. Two doctors thought I was going great -- the third was worried about a couple of enlarged lymph nodes. Right not we're not sure. The one thing that I do know is that a lot of people have had me in their prayers. We are very VERY thankful for that!!!
OCAI: Bill, you've said before that you get hundreds of fan letters on a regular basis from students, teachers, and parents all over the U.S. Could you share just a portion of one of your favorite fan letters with us? And why did this particular letter mean so much to you?
Bill: I always like getting letters from students who tell me they didn't like to read until they read one of my books. I guess that is because I didn't like to read until I read Old Yeller in fourth grade. One of the letters, closest to my heart, came from a college professor who was my teacher at O.C.L.A., right here in Chickasha. It arrived on June 21, 1985. "Dear Bill, You recently autographed a book for my nephew, Noah. His older brother, Joel, had leukemia. Joel read A Dog Called Kitty, and for the first time my brother says, Joel was freed to face his own coming death. Joel died today. Jerry, my brother, when he called me the second time today, asked me to tell you how much Kitty meant to them.
OCAI: So what new book(s) are you working on now? Any new ones coming out soon?
Bill: The book that I'm working on now is tentatively titled Absolutely Worthless. It's about a boy and a dog, and I've been working on it for two years, now. Hopefully it will come out before summer, but probably (if I'm lucky) by next school year.
OCAI: With all the many books you've written throughout your career, what book is closest to your heart and why?
Bill: The closest book to may heart is a three-way-tie between Beauty, The Backward Bird Dog and A Dog Called Kitty. Beauty was my horse (and my best friend) when I was growing up. J.C. (in The Backward Bird Dog) was real, and probably the best dog we ever had -- and we've had a LOT of dogs. A Dog Called Kitty was the third book I wrote for my fourth graders (back when I was a fourth-grade teacher), but the first one published. It's been around in hardbound and paperback for a LONG, L O N G time.
OCAI: Bill, thanks so much for answering our questions. We LOVE your books! We LOVE you! And we CAN'T WAIT to read a new Bill Wallace book!
An Oklahoma Today Magazine journalist wrote an article about Bill Wallace and won an award for his article...
Congratulations to all of our winners of the 2010 Society of Professional Journalists annual awards.
OCAI:We see the 'dynamic duo' has a brand new book called, That Doggone Calf. Can you tell us how you two collaborate on your writing?
Carol: With books that we do together, I usually come up with an idea, then I talk to Bill about it. Bill helps me figure out what needs to be in each chapter. Every day when I finish writing, Bill and I sit down together, do some spot editing, and possibly some rewrites. When I think I'm all finished, we go through it again, edit, then see if there are more rewrites that need done, or if it is good as it is. Ta duh!!!
OCAI: We've just got to know . . . living together, writing together, do you ever get tired of each other? What do you both do to create your own space? Any tips for those out there who are thinking of collaborating?
Bill:We've been married for 43 years, so we have learned how to "dance" with, and around our partner. Our offices are in different parts of the house, but Carol's office is the only one with internet service. Sometimes Carol has to disappear while I'm doing research. When we get off the road, we have our own "cool down" spaces. Not too long -- just a little while not listening to each other. ; ) What is our advice to those who wish to work together? Make sure you like and respect each other's work before you start. Take time, (at least a week) when you are finished writing the entire book to "cool off" before you start editing again. OCAI: Who's the better writer? Just joking, you donít have to answer that question! Instead, can you tell us about upcoming works?
Carol: No doubt it's Bill! He can use words in a way that makes people "feel" a story instead of just reading it. But with the beginning readers, I'm absolutely the better writer. My writing is short and crisp, and I can visualize what the illustrator is going to do with my words and ... I have to be brief. Bill can't be brief!!! As for upcoming books, our newest title, That Doggone Calf, is now out and I have a new beginning reader that will be out next fall. We're both working on other projects but no titles yet.
OCAI: Thanks! You two are a special couple and we appreciate all that you do for students everywhere!
Bill has invited you to join the Facebook group "A Dog Called Kitty".
Bill Wallace --For those of you who could not attend, the opening ceremony at Encyclo-Media on Oct. 7 was blessed with a special treat.Bill Wallace discussed two important 30th anniversaries-- Encyclo-Media's AND his novel, A Dog Called Kitty. To see photos of Encyclo-Media, click below the Encyclo-Media logo to your right!