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Eric C. Williams' Biography

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As for me, I came upon this world on November 19, 1941 in a Shaker Heights, Ohio hospital along with, some moments later, a twin sister via a mother, who had left home, many years before, from western Pennsylvania to become an artist and a father, who had left home from a small village in Wales via London, England to come to Cleveland just months before the Depression. My early times were spent in Chagrin Falls, east of Cleveland.  By the fall of 1950, I was sent to a Country Day School in Shaker Heights because my father did not think I was getting the education needed to be successful.  For the first three years I had two hours each way from home to school and back. During my sophomore and junior years I became a boarder at University School going home to Edinburg, Pennsylvania for the summers. In the fall of my junior year my mother died after being ill for many years. When summer came, I joined my sister and father in an apartment in Shaker Heights. 

I was an upper mediocre student while playing Wrestling, Gym Team, Football, and Track. My classmates saw me one with an easy-going way with "a girl with in every port". My desire was to go East. Thus in the fall of 1959, I matriculated at Williams College (there is no known connection) in Williamstown, Massachusetts. At that time, my norms and ethics were maturing by means of a private boys school in an arena of conservative politics added by the modernization of both agriculture and industrial industries in Cleveland and Ohio. Familywise, I was learned by the culture of a successful non-formally educated Englishman and a mother who was an artist and a world-wide Doll Collector and Maker known as "Darcy". She fought many years with a myriad of infirmities which led to her death in September 25, 1957, leaving me with little knowledge of her wisdom. 


My first weeks at Williams seemed to be nothing more than what I had had in high school. I did not stay to find out. After three weeks and at 17, I hitchhiked from Northampton, MA to New Orleans which I achieved in less than two weeks. Then I found a job at an Oyster Bar and a place to live in the French Quarter. Having founded by my own two feet, a wildly, excitingly new arena was more interesting than any previous obsession. My broader understanding of the world came quickly and compellingly, but mononucleosis and the Draft Board orders due to the Vietnam war forced me back to Cleveland before the end of the year. As 1960 came to a start, I had slipped back into the norms I held before my Hegira by joining my sister and father in their Shaker Heights apartment and registering for a Bachelor of Arts at Western Reserve University.  I had, however, found that there was a broader and more interesting world in front of me and with my own wits I could survive and evolve.  

I studied economics and mathematics while switching from football to soccer but kept my wrestling. As an early sophomore I discovered computers. I walked into the Center for Document and Communication Research, a part of the Library Science at Western Reserve, and ran across one of the first General Electric 600 mainframe computers outside of government. My curiosity and excitement rather than education kept me working there for more than five years while earning my BA in Mathematics and Economics. My real interests in computers were what could be achieved with software rather than the mechanical and electric aspects that allowed software to work. When finishing my BA, along with many other young men, I had a choice of joining some aspect of the military or staying in school - it was Lottery Time because of the Vietnam war. My main interests were how computers and software could help develop peace across the world and as such I was successful in winning a five-year U.S. Federal Scholarship to achieve a PhD in International Economics at Western Reserve University.

As the year went on, I longed once again for a different approach to the path I had agreed to accomplish. I wanted to learn my interests in economics, mathematics, and artificial intelligence but I wanted to follow a different and broader environment. I convinced my advisor  that a second year at London School of Economics would be productive. LSE said yes.  Western Reserve agreed, while demanding I come back with the ability to pass all the requirements needed to earn a Masters of Arts of the International Economics program within the first two months of my third year. Thus, my college girlfriend and I were married as we left United States for the United Kingdom. Living in London provided an exciting mixture of students, teachers, and environments along with marriage that dramatically provided new touchstones and thoughts. LSE opened a variety of statistical theories, mathematical statistics, and the development of econometrics, all of which were germane to dealing with the international economics I was investigating. When the academic year ended, my wife and I, driving a VW Squareback and carrying a tent, covered the cities and country sides of seven European countries in three months. We examined both of the antiquity along with the re-emerging Europe after World War II with fascinating people in unknown languages. Doing what we wanted to do for ourselves while we were living up to what we had agreed to accomplish was prudently fulfilling.

In the fall of 1965, we returned to Cleveland filled with new impressions and understandings. My wife started her senior year, I passed the promised requirements and began to define my thesis. This was the first time I attempted to write a formal document like a book. While writing, I went back to the Center for Document and Communication Research and then, anticipating my profession, I went to work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as an Economist in their Research Department. For my thesis, I discussed theories associated with one of the principal aspects of Foreign Exchange Markets known as the Gold-Exchange Standard. My characters were the countries operating with their sovereign fiat money. The Exchange Market provided the plot. Various subplots popped up as Countries as they managed to keep their money as valuable internally and externally when all accepted monies used notes and metal coins which themselves are almost worthless. Words, sentences, and paragraphs were combined with mathematics, formulas, and graphs as the story of one precious metal, gold, was about to be dramatically removed and abandoned obscurely. The title was called "Restrictions on the Forward Exchange Market: Implications of the Gold-Exchange Standard".  In the fall of 1968, my work was accepted, and I was presented with a PhD in Economics by Case Western Reserve University.

I understood the audience for my thesis\book was limited.  But as most, if not all, authors, I wondered how long my book would remain of interest. In my case, the timing was easy to determine. The day-to-day importance of the Gold-Exchange Standard lasted less than three years. On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would no longer convert dollars at a fixed value. This completely abandoned the Gold-Exchange Standard and therefor placed the assumptions of my thesis out of interest. Whether it was seen to be useful, it was no longer of immediate interest.

This is not the reason I didn't attempt to write books for another 50 years.  It was that I did not see myself an author even though I continued to write proposals, marketing strategies, and the mediums of explaining how econometrics, computers, telecommunications, and software could be used. When my second wife, the one who encouraged me to write fiction, and I came to Chicago in the Spring of 1990, I took up her idea while trying to find jobs. I started "The Game" in 1991 and continued until I could not find an ending. As learning to teach myself, I wrote two short stories and a mystery. Economics of the family kind, lead me to consulting to small companies and Federal Banks by formulating databases and developing operational econometric models. 23 years  later,  the work I offered as an individual consultant became better provided by larger leading software and equipment corporations.  Thereupon, I decided to use my computers for myself. Several months later I had scanned the 1991 "The Game" version into a 2018-word processor. After that, it took me a year and a half to rewrite and develop an ending.

My wife and enough friends were sufficiently interested in my story that I decided to see if a broader market might enjoy the read. I always had been at ease as a reader rather than a watcher or a writer, especially during the times I was travelling a lot. In the shelves across from my desk are books written by Tom Clancy, Steven King, Michael Lewis, Stephen J. Dobyns, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Frank Herbert, Jean M. Auel, James Patterson, John Fowls, Scott Turow, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert Ludlum, Ken Follett, Graham Green, Alistair MacLean, John Dick, John Updike, John Le Carré, William Goldman, Thomas Harris, Ayn Rand, Danial Silva, Garth Stein, James Gleick, Michael Lewis, Dennis Lehane, John Grisham, Stieg Larsson, James Clavell, Neal Stephenson, etc., etc. I've enjoyed almost all of these and some have been read more than once. Also, new books seem to find their ways into my bookcases on a steady trip. Furthermore, I find it exciting and remarkable that a book I wrote has joins such books in my bookcases.

My first understanding of norms and ethics matured by means of a private boys school in an arena of conservative politics supporting the modernization of both agriculture and industrial industries in Cleveland and Ohio and my parents of a successful but non-formally educated Englishman father and a known artist more than a mother just after World War Two was only a starting point. In the 60 years of my first leaving home, I have attempted to expand my understanding of norms and ethics so that I could use them broadly and correctly. I studied the reasons why they are important and why they are ignored knowingly or accidentally. It is how I have tried to live my life and to build into the characters of my stories. For me it is not so such to follow in other authors' footsteps as much it has just started to keep me interesting and alive. Writing for me is a wonderful enjoyment even though it is getting more and more difficult while learning to deal with PPA (Aphasia). My in-house editor, wife, and companion continue to provide positive persistence to write some more. I hope you find your reading of my work as enjoyable as I have found in my writing.

Eric C. Williams

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