In Finding Beauty in the Gray, readers are guided through a
diverse array of settings, from living rooms to mountain apple orchards to coastal boardwalks, reflecting on the experiences of Third-Agers, that is folks in the second half of life. Differing from the typical self-help style format to a more free and thought-provoking flow, this book is replete with stories from cocktail parties, counseling sessions, and encounters with wooden trolls in coastal Maine. Adding depth to the narrative, Willard intersperses the essays with his own
powerful and poignant poems that touch on themes of love, loss, and legacy.
Degotoga is a fantasy novel about Degu, an oversized misfit with borderline selective mutism. He is acutely self-conscious about his alopecia, and suffers from obnoxious, self-absorbed parents and a broken family heritage. Degu had just turned 18 when El-li-si, his Cherokee grandmother, was brought to live with his family due to her increasingly bizarre behaviors. She recently had taken to flopping around on the ground in a ritualistic dance and then urinating on herself. El-li-si hadn't spoken in 13 years when she turned to Degu with an urgent plea that his brother was in trouble. “Degotoga, you got to listen to me good,” she said raising her stare and holding motionless. “You got to come with me. Your brother is in trouble and we got to help him. We got to find him afore more bad stuff happens.” “El-li-si, what are you talking about? I, I, I don’t have a brother. I’m an only child.” Degu would soon embark on his first vision quest, entering a parallel world, one in perilous imbalance, to search for his long lost brother, Wohali. Along the way, he will accompany his new friend, Ebony, as she seeks to bring peace to the restless Cherokee souls that died along the infamous Trail of Tears. He will also come face to face with the Raven Mocker, the omnipresent malevolent life force that is seeking to maintain dominion over him. Degotoga takes Young Adult readers through a maze of shifting realities to a poignant and triumphant conclusion.
"Hugh Willard has written a provocative young adult fantasy novel, filled with memorable characters, colorful dialogue, and engaging prose." Padgett Gerler, Author of The Girl Who Feared Trains
Clive’s Crossing, a YA dystopian novella, leans heavily into the humanity of Clive, its protagonist. Against all expectations, the civilized world’s collapse resulted from the loss of language. Clive was one of the scant few individuals to retain his capacity for the written and spoken word. And yet, raising his daughter, AJ, in the deep recess of a cave, he intentionally never spoke to her; never shared any fragment of language with her. He loved AJ and her missing sister, Mary, deeply. He would sacrifice everything to protect them from harm. The Post-Modern Troglodytes were encroaching on Clive’s secured lair. It’s possible that they had kidnapped Mary when she was an infant. Or was it another nefarious group, led by someone Clive thought he knew well, and loved? Clive’s first clue in nearly 13 years, emboldens him to leave AJ in the care of her faithful canine companion, and the oversight of his one, enigmatic and alcoholic, neighbor, Brendan. Clive sets off to the East, to the ruins of Chicago, his adopted hometown, determined to find and rescue his precious Mary.
“A heart-warming story of a boy who learns that while some see his disabled pet vulture as ugly, others can see her as inspiration and joy. The story of "Buzz" and Rob is a lesson in acceptance of disabilities as normal, not different." – Mark Lawton Thomas, author of My Lemonade Stand Can’t Stand Me and Amazon Best Seller, When Farts Had Colors There is no shortage of heroic stories laden with love and loyalty between humans and their four legged friends. But there are very few about vultures - at least not the kind with wings. In The Goodwill Vultures Club, Roberta, AKA, Rob, is just such a furry friend. – Ann Eisenstein, author of Hiding Carly (2012) “You’d better keep that wrinkled-headed, alien freak away,” was not an uncommon thing to hear when 10 year old, Elton “Buzz” Stewart takes his pet vulture out in public places. Roberta, who prefers to be called Rob, is a gentle spirit and often misunderstood by people who don’t see beyond her outward appearance. The Goodwill Vultures Club is the story of Buzz and Rob who learn that even an ugly, ailing bird is capable of bringing life and happiness to the lives of others.
Book 2 in The Goodwill Vultures Club: No Time to Play. When Sergeant Geoff Murphy returns home, he is still haunted by the memories of his army tour in Afghanistan. Does the sight of Buzz’s pet vulture, Rob, make things worse for him? Come along for this uplifting story of courage and redemption in the face of threat and uncertainty, for both Buzz and his new military vet friend. The Goodwill Vultures Club is the story of Buzz and Rob, who learn that even a bird with special needs is capable of bringing life and happiness to others.
The members of the Goodwill Vultures Club meet some new friends who are very sick and in the hospital during the holiday season. Will Buzz and the others find a way to give them a joyous and meaningful Christmas this year? With the important day drawing near, they are short on both cash and good ideas. Follow along as a man steps out of time and into Mrs. Clemmens class and points the way for Buzz and his friends to discover the true gift of giving.