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.
Higher Than Eagles: The Tragedy and Triumph of an American Familyby Maralys Wills
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
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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.
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Maralys Wills shares the poignant tale of her sons' coming of age and the shifting relationship between a mother and her boys as they become young adults. Any woman who has raised adventurous children will appreciate her telling of the slow dance we perform as we finally give them—sometimes wrenchingly—control of their own lives. We guide them, based on their needs, interests and personalities and, when they get older, we hold our breath and watch as they make their own decisions about jobs, friends and daring pursuits. In the end, we have to let them fly—usually symbolically, but in Wills' case, quite literally. Maralys and her son, Chris, deftly describe the serene beauty of hang gliding, along with the sheer terror it holds for those of us nervous at any height higher than a step ladder. But even more fascinating is their insider's look into the early years of the sport, as it evolved from reckless youngsters jumping off hillsides with homemade kites of sheet plastic and bamboo sticks, to skilled athletes performing unimaginable feats. Higher Than Eagles is both an intimate family story and an exciting page-turner. I heartily recommend it.
Be prepared for a breathtaking, roller coaster journey of human emotions. At her literary best, this award winning author engages readers of all genes in an amazing family memoir. Higher than Eagles will bring you to tears one moment while making you laugh the next. It will most definitely tug at your heartstrings. With incredible candor, Maralys and Chris Wills bring the reader into their close knit, fun-loving family. They share not only their family triumphs but also the tragic deaths of her two sons- his two brothers. From the opening page, Wills will have you hooked and wanting to read more. Darlene Quinn, Author of Twisted Webs.