The family was changed by a boy-a stubborn, relentless, infuriating-but ingenious and creative boy. He was the first in a family of six children, with parents who initially balked at his fantasies. Yet almost everything that captured the world’s attention-double-decker bicycles, international hang gliding records, the drama of “flying” a motorcycle, a British championship won by landing on one foot-all these were part of young Bob Wills’s singular vision. Prevailing against all the people who called him impractical, a dreamer, Bobby Wills became a legend in the fledgling sport of hang gliding. Sports Illustrated wrote of him, “Like Paul Elvstrom, the great Danish sailor, he seems now to own a special part of the wind that not even he can see and no one else can find.” In the end, Bobby not only profoundly changed his family and the pilots who flocked to emulate him,he did what he’d intended all along. He lived a life that had never been lived before.
Maralys Wills is the author of 14 books, scattered like birdseed over six different genres. But she can never say which work she likes best. "It's always the last one I wrote."
However, she freely admits that a highlight of her writing career was the critique she received from author Sidney Sheldon. In one of his last letters, he wrote of her writing book, "Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead:" "Maralys Wills, genre-hopper exraordinaire, will make you laugh and cry and laugh again in this gripping, how-to handbook for writers everywhere. She is clearly a force to be reckoned with."
Among Maralys' three memoirs is the recently re-published "Higher Than Eagles," which gathered five movie options (including from Disney),a review in the Los Angeles Times, (reprinted in 56 newspapers), and a visit from the newsmagazine 20/20. "Eagles" is once more in the hands of a Hollywood producer.read more
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Sometimes tragic, always exuberant, this family saga revolving around hang gliding is movingly recounted in alternating sections by sorely tried but indomitable mother Maralys ( Manbirds ) and son Chris, now an orthopedic surgeon, one of the family's two hang gliding champions. The authors focus on the oldest son, daredevil and problem child Bobby, and his passion for inventing, building and flying gliders. He won the American, Canadian and British championships--flights thrillingly and poetically described here--and in the process infected the entire turbulent, sports-mad California family of eight with his obsession. Even the fatal gliding accident of the youngest boy, Eric, at 20 and Bobby's own death in a glider a few years later--we're not told the dates of either death--failed to put an end to what had become the thriving Wills Wings family business--now operating as a memorial to its young victims. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved