Alex Willis

Alex spent his early years listening to the sound of riveting hammers on the Clyde ringing in his ears. At the tender age of 17, Alex left school and joined the Royal Navy. This was not a mutually happy arrangement and after three years being trained as an engineer, Alex left to explore other avenues for a career.

His family emigrated to the USA in early 1967, and he joined them later that year. He was hired by the local phone company to maintain the switching equipment and short haul carrier systems.

Not being challenged enough with his full time job he took to building and racing motorcycles on the clubman circuits of Northern California. One engine blow up to many saw him changed direction and declare he was going to build a boat and sail the oceans of the world.

Plans for a 45 foot ferro-cement (later stretched to 51 feet by adding a bowsprit) ocean going ketch were purchased. As the building of the boat progressed he met and married Nancy. Three years after starting construction, the boat was launched and suitably named, Nancy L. It wasn’t long before the sound of tiny feet could be heard running up and down the deck.

After sailing the San Francisco bay and short trips up and down the Pacific coast it was decided to sell the boat and relocate to England and a re-establish a career in telecommunications.

As a hobby Alex took to making acoustic guitars. From his love of making guitars came his love of writing, and talking about guitars. The highly successful book Step by Step Guitar Making was the result of this endeavor and the inspiration for his present career in creative writing.

Alex now spends his days writing, giving talks, being a househusband and gregarious grandfather, going for walks with his wife, cycling, and tending his allotment.