Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Author Maralys Wills Releases Higher Than Eagles, The Award Winning Memoir of Bobby Wills

Bobby Wills, a legendary hang gliding champion, was featured in an issue of Sports Illustrated, a movie by Twentieth Century Fox and in a film shown in the Smithsonian Institution

[DATE CITY] Author Maralys Wills recently re-released Higher Than Eagles. The award winning hang gliding memoir is now under consideration for major studio movie. Higher Than Eagles won 5 movie options in the 90s, including from Disney, Finnegan-Pinchuk, (the producers of 'Northern Exposure') and Greg MacGillivray (of Imax fame). It has once again attracted new movie possibilities. The book is centered around the family of the late Bobby Wills, hang glider extraordinaire who became a living legend in the sport.

"I wrote this book," stated Ms. Wills, "because my son became famous in hang gliding, and I didn't want the world to forget him. Since the book underwent endless revisions and took 14 years to find a publisher, I was able to live with my son 14 years longer than everyone else."

Sports Illustrated featured Bob and his brother Chris in the December 10, 1973 issue. In 1973, Chris Wills won the First United States Hang Gliding Championships, and Bob was runner-up. In 1974 Bob was the Champion, and Chris was runner-up. When Bobby was killed in 1977 by a helicopter filming a commercial for Willys Jeep, he was the British, Canadian, and United States hang gliding champion. 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.”

Both Bob and Chris were featured as the primary pilots in the 1975 Twentieth-Century Fox movie, “Skyriders,” featuring Susannah York, James Coburn, and Robert Culp. A young Bob Wills still appears today as the sole hang glider pilot featured in the Smithsonian Institution’s Imax film, “To Fly.” A writeup about Bob appeared in the Los Angeles Times and was reprinted in 56 newspapers across the country including The Chicago Sun Times, The Atlanta Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Orange County Register, The Huntsville Times, The Greensboro News and Record and many others.

Seldom does a single book garner the attention of the likes of Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Finnegan-Pinchuk, Imax, Sports Illustrated, The Smithsonian Institution and the Los Angeles Times. The fact that this book would do so is extraordinary, but Bob Wills was an extraordinary individual and athlete. Gil Dodgen, editor of Hang Gliding Magazine called Higher Than Eagles a 'stunningly totally captivating book . . . the story of a remarkable family, an extraordinary sport and an amazing son who became a living legend. It is a brilliantly written drama about a family alternately inspired and torn apart by the sport.'

"It is my sincere hope," stated Ms. Wills, "that readers will enjoy spending time with a young man who lived by his own lights--and who, in the end, was transformed by the sport he loved."

More information regarding Ms. Wills and her books are available at her websites at DamnTheRejections.com, HigherThanEagles.com, LifeStoriesBooks.com, ClownsandElephants.com and at Maralys.com. Ms. Wills is available for media interview and can be contacted using the information below or by email at maralys@cox.net.

Higher Than Eagles
The Tragedy and Triumph of an American Family
Stephens Press
ISBN 978-1-935043-25-6


Maralys Wills’ twelve published books span several genres and publishers. Her fiction works include four romance novels published by Harlequin and Silhouette, and a techno-thriller about airplane sabotage. The N.Y. Times called SCATTERPATH “exciting, down-to-the-wire stuff . . . her cockpit sequences all but put the reader at the controls.”

Among her non-fictions is MANBIRDS: HANG GLIDERS & HANG GLIDING (Prentice-Hall), a party game book (Price/ Stern/Sloan), and her family story about hang gliding champions, HIGHER THAN EAGLES (Longstreet Press). Sadly, the Wills family lost two sons to the sport, and Wills’ account of those years--initially exhilarating, then tragic--earned her high marks in Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. HIGHER THAN EAGLES garnered five movie options, including from Disney.

Wills’ book on addiction, SAVE MY SON, is the result of years of trauma with an addicted son. Research in four states proved that other locales do offer real solutions.

Her recent, light-hearted memoir, A CIRCUS WITHOUT ELEPHANTS, earned a national award from Writer’s Digest. In 2008, Stephens Press published the sequel, A CLOWN IN THE TRUNK, (an Indie award winner), and in 2009, her writing book, DAMN THE REJECTIONS, FULL SPEED AHEAD, which won two national awards.

Wills is the mother of six children--five boys and a girl. Her husband is a lawyer. She studied at Stanford and UCLA, earning a B.A. and a teaching credential. She once helped her sons run a hang gliding manufacturing business, but after the family tragedies she went home to write books.

For the past 22 years, Wills has taught college novel-writing, and in 2000 was voted “Teacher of the Year.” In addition to frequent speaking engagements, she has given numerous writing seminars---at UCLA, UC Riverside, UCI, Orange Coast College, Cerritos College, and at writers’ conferences across the country. She is a past president of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America.


Maralys Wills
1811 Beverly Glen Dr.,
Santa Ana, Calif., 92705.