I was born on February 13, 1952, in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating high school, I wandered through life, taking numerous jobs, until finally settling into an assistant engineer job in a Nashville recording studio. When the studio went out of business, I joined the Army and was sent to the Defense Information School where I studied journalism. The training and experience I received in the Army has been invaluable to my writing. As military journalists, we were prepared to go anywhere in the world and use whatever was available to us to get the news out. Writing was simple and clean, no gimmicks, no computer, no Internet, just a pad and pencil, a typewriter, and a 35mm camera. We learned to do it all.
In 1974, I was transferred to Germany where I met Monika, and we married in 1976. I separated from the Army in 1982, stayed in Germany, did some freelance and consulting work, and then took a government job. After a couple of years, I got tired of being a bureaucrat, so I quit my government job and, again, did some freelancing and consulting. I spent 8 years teaching college part-time, 15 years tour guiding part-time, and 6 years working for the Red Cross part-time. During that time, I managed to complete my BA in English, BS in Journalism, and MS in Public Administration.
I wrote and published K-town: A City Guide in 1987. It was the first English language book about Kaiserslautern (a city in southwestern Germany with a large U.S. military population) and sold very well locally. Since the book was a local guide, I self-published it and sold it locally. That was quite a feat in those pre-electronic, pre-digital days. Again, my Army training paid off.
In 1994, I went to work for the USO in Kaiserslautern where I’m currently the tours and marketing manager. I also publish the monthly USO magazine, Kaiserslautern Kabel, for the English language community here.
Several years ago, Monika and I bought an old (built in 1875) farm house in a small village in the Palatinate Forest area. We spend a lot of time working on the house and in the garden. We share our home with ten dogs and a farmyard full of cats, hedgehogs, fish, birds, and other assorted creatures that come around for a handout. We’re also active in animal rescue.
I’ve spent most of my life writing nonfiction professionally. Though I’ve always enjoyed poetry and fiction, I never seriously considered publishing my work until a few years ago.
I published my first book of poetry and short stories, Things I Remember, in 2010; my first novel, Finding What’s Lost, in 2012; and my second novel, The Reality of Being Lovers, in 2013. I’m currently working on a few other writing projects.
Now here’s the unofficial version of me: https://wordpress.com/post/winfree-writes.com/83.