Saturday, November 9, 2013


Contrary to popular belief, the job can of a get pretty rough. The gruesome photo to the left clearly demonstrates my point. I had no idea things would get so ugly when I loaded up my truck and headed off to the bug wars that day. I had no intention of walking into an orange tree, but as you can clearly see, it happened, baby. Sure walking into orange trees is dangerous, but  danger is part of the job.

The job gets physical too. I've pulled muscles on various parts on my being. It's not something I tell my colleagues since most of them are in their 70s and 80s. Danger, pain and, humiliation, it's all part of the job, baby.

I am a bug man. It's what I do.

Actually, I'm a bug man/writer. Cheri Holdcroft was kind enough to invite me to read and speak to her English 102 class at Mesa Community College this week. What a rush. We talked about writing for almost two hours. Great bunch of students. They made up for my knock on the mellon.


You can buy my book at the following venues:

PAPA JOE'S BARBER SHOP in Chandler, Arizona

CHANDLER AUTO AND TIRE in Chandler, Arizona

ZIA RECORDS throughout California, Arizona and Nevada

THE BOOK FROG in Rolling Hills, California

I'll be signing books at THE BOOK FROG in Rolling Hills, California Saturday, November 30th between 2:00 and 4:00.

My books are available at the site below. Imagine, you can download both books for the price of a measly six pack of beer.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


"The Scout" is a masterfully written science fiction thriller. The characters are complete and believable. Descriptions of rural Indiana are vivid, almost poetic. Author, Eric Tozzi, weaves a balanced story about a young writer's struggle to deal with the loss of his father, his mother's Alzheimer's disease, and an alien invasion. Tozzi does a fantastic job explaining the science of this alien invasion story. Michael Crichton is my favorite contemporary sic fi writer because of his ability to include compelling science with in his great stories. "The Scout" has a Crichton feel to it. I under stand that Eric Tozzi is a bit of modern day renaissance man. He's an accomplished musician, editor, director and screenwriter. His most recent film is "Kaleidoscope," an award winning short movie based on a story in Ray Bradbury's "Illustrated Man." Bradbury worked with Eric on the project. I think some of Bradbury's sci fi mojo rubbed off on Tozzi.Can't wait to see the film version.To the point, Eric Tozzi's "The Scout" kicks ass.

As Tozzi tells his twitter followers, you can download the ebook for the cost of a latte.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Papa Joe, Joe Junior, and the boys at  Papa Joe's Barbershop in Chandler, Arizona were kind enough to host a book and a haircut event. The first 20 customers received  one of my books with their haircuts.

Five of my former students absolutely made my day by swinging by to partake in the festivities. So did my one of my all time favorite former colleagues Terri Glenn.

Two  the guys are studying to become teachers. Got to tell you, fellas like the one's pictured above and a colleague like Terri remind me why I lasted a quarter century in the education biz.

Yours truly with the most famous barber in Chandler, Arizona.

Here's a shot of Papa Joe telling one of his world famous penguin jokes. I'll bet you didn't know that nationally famous comedian Frank Calliendo gets his hair cut at Papa Joe's. The haircuts are top notch but I think it's the penguin jokes that keep him coming back.

I did a reading of "Dave Cruz" in the barbershop. The most exciting part was when an older guy wandered in half way through the story. He looked around, completely baffled, he shouted, "Hold on! What's goin' on? Can I get a haircut around here or what?

I think I really dig barbershop readings. A guy just never knows. You got to expect the unexpected.

You  can order THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR and THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON at THE BOOK FROG (My all time favorite book store)

My books are also available at PAPA JOE'S BARBERSHOP in Chandler, Arizona, where you can get a great haircut, Papa Joe will tell you a penguin joke and you might even see famous funny guy Frank Calliendo.

I'm busting my tail editing and revising my new book TEECHUR: CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT EDUCATOR, due for in 2014.

So Cal folks, come on out to THE BOOK FROG IN ROLLING HILLS on Saturday, November 30th at 2:00. I'll be signing books and participating on a panel with Tim Hallinan, Steven Jay Schwartz, and Denise Hamilton.

For my Arizona friends, I'm working on a couple of East Valley readings in December.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Talk with William Snyder #4

I'll make you a deal. Buy one of my books if the viking bit makes you laugh.

Taking the glass is half full road, I'll point out that you can order The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son or The Spirit Guide Bar by clicking on this link:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

One Minute Book Talk #3

Here is the link to the  third installment of One Minute Book Talk.

Click here: One Minute Book Talk #3

While I offer no excuse for the content, the technology is markedly better than the first episode. This is because I am now working with a Mac. The first episode was created with a brand new HP computer. Within one week the thing picked up a virus. I took the HP to the Geek Squad at Best Buy. They had the thing for a week and couldn't figure out how to install high end virus protection. Got my money back and bought a Mac.

My first week as a writer bug man was enjoyable. I have no second thoughts about leaving my teaching gig. No more waking up in the middle of the night. Nice colleagues and customers. Real smooth. I did walk into a cactus while I was spraying a yard.

Bug Fact: An ant can survive up to two weeks underwater.

You can order The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son and The Spirit Guide Bar by clicking on the link below.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I'm still anxiously waiting to start my post teaching bug man career. The bug wars begin August 5th and I've been plugging away at the insect manuals every day. Here's a neat little factoid: scientists believe ancient scorpions were eight feet long. I know. I really need to start back to work. August 5th seems like a long way off, especially to my wife and kids. I've been peppering them all with bug trivia for weeks now. They tell me I'm driving them nuts. They're such kidders.

I've settled into a productive writing routine. Most of the stories for TEECHUR: CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT EDUCATOR are finished.  Test readers have told me that my teacher stories might be a little dark. That has something to do with the fact that the state of education in America is a lot dark. Still, I don't want to drive my readers to utter despair.  I've been trying to come up with glass is half full stories. Last week I was able to write 1,500 to 2,000 words a day. The hardest part has been the concept of writing optimistically about my most recent position, especially the last year. The last year was in many ways the most difficult of my 25 year career. It looks like my thoughts about my recent teaching experiences are going to need some time to simmer.

I'm considering releasing TEECHUR in four parts, as affordable Ebooks and then the releasing a complete bound version. I understand Indy writers are finding some success at this kind of thing.

If you're new to this site, I've published two books. The first is THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON, a mostly true collection of stories about growing up in 1970s Southern California. The second is THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR, a mostly true account of a bona fide transcendental journey.

The best place to buy these books is at THE BOOK FROG in Rolling Hills, California. If you live 500 miles from Rolling Hills you can by the Ebooks or bound versions at the link below.

Monday, July 22, 2013


A local bug control outfit has agreed to bring me on board to do battle with cockroaches, fire ants, bees, and scorpions. The boss even said he will let me wear the bee suit. I always wanted to wear a bee suit.

MUSINGS OF A BUG MAN WRITER. Sounds like a book to me.

I've been reading up on bugs and I've been picking up some interesting tidbits.
Bees and domesticated dogs kill more American's than all others combined. Bees killed 55 while Fidos and Rovers killed 33. And you are most likely to be bitten by a black widow while sitting in an outhouse.  Fascinating, huh?

My kids headed off for their first day of school today. This is the first first day of school that I did not stand in front of a classroom filled with teenagers in a very long time.  This is a good thing.

My bug man gig doesn't start for a couple of weeks. In the mean time I will work  on my new book, TEECHUR: CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT EDUCATOR.

THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR and THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON are available at THE BOOK FROG in Rolling Hills, California.

You can order eBooks or bound versions by clicking on this link

Monday, July 8, 2013


I've been a former teacher for five weeks now. Hopefully, I will begin my new career as a bug man/writer within the  next week or so. Last week I applied for a job writing humorous educational study guides. I was asked to write a cover letter that would cause the reader to LMAO in the first paragraph. If the reader did not "LMAO by the end of the first paragraph, I was assured the cover letter and resume would be shredded.
Here is what I sent them.
When I was twelve I accidentally threw a dart into the side of the head of a kid by the name of Cary Blazjowski. He ran home with the dart wagging up and down from the side of his head and I followed, hoping to convince him not to tell on me. He told. His sister, Astrid Blazjowski, gave me the beating of my life with a yellow Con-air hair dryer while Cary watched, the dart still hanging there on the side of his head. But it wasn't as bad as you might think. Astrid Blazejowski was sixteen, and she was hot, and she was wearing a purple bikini. Astrid might have killed me if Richard Milhouse Nixon hadn't been on hand to pull her off of me and administer some basic medical attention. Okay, the President Nixon part didn't happen, I was just trying to make this whole thing sound a little more academic.
I spent twenty-five years as a teacher. That makes me – old. Sure I'm old, but I know stuff, man. I know that many Emily Dickinson poems can be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island. And I know the opposite of Thoreau is Ca-atch. I know that John Hansen, not George Washington, was the first president of the United States – under the Articles of Confederation. A lot of history teachers are aware of John Hanson and the Articles of Confederation, but very few of them know that the Hanson Brothers of MMMBop fame are direct descendants of the first president. Okay, no they aren't, but it would it would be pretty funny if they were. I relate to the youth of America because I was be the best rapper in my old neighborhood. It's true. The parents in my hood always asked me to wrap their Christmas gifts because I could do tight bows and I used the sickest wrapping paper. Man, I could wrap.
Finally, I spent a few years researching, writing, creating and hosting humorous educational television programming. As a matter of fact, I once did a live broadcast as Abraham Lincoln and I wasn't wearing any pants. If your still reading, I assume you no longer have an ass and look forward to discussing my quirky qualifications and can be reached at or 480-867-5309.
Thank you,
Bill Snyder
I must assume that the folks at the educational study guide company do indeed still have their asses as I have not heard back.  I guess you can't make 'em all LMAO.
You can order copies of my books "THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON" and "THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR" by clicking on the link below.
Thanks to my former student Mike I. for the kind words about "THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR." You made my day, Mike!
Finally, the four major cockroach species found in North America are the German cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, the American cockroach, and the brown-banded cockroach - also known as the person at the humorous educational study guide company who didn't LMAO when he read my cover letter cockroach.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bug Man/Writer?

It's been a little over a month since I last stood before a classroom of teenagers and I've been wrangling for a job as a bug man. I jokingly told my students I was leaving teaching to become a bug man and now here we are. It looks like I may very well be on my way to becoming a bona fide bug man. There just might  be a book in this mid-life career change.  Make way for the bug man/writer. I'm narrowing my niche. How many bug man/writers who sell their books at auto repair shops and barber shops could there possibly be?

By the way, the  mouth parts of insects are divided into four categories: piercing and sucking, siphoning, sponging, and chewing. I know. I'm showing off, but I can't help it.

And you can order my books THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON and THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR by clicking on this link:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

tHE coMedY GuyS

I give you the COMEDY GUYS. The five of us did a lot of comedy in the 80s. But now we don't care what the temperature is. More often than not, we performed well past midnight, for a handful of drunks, at the smallest of small-time clubs of LA and Hollywood.  We had a few adventures. For example, we were with Rosanne Barr the night before she got her big break on the Tonight Show. I should clarify that when I say we "with" Rosanne Barr I mean to say we were having a beer with her. Our comedy careers all ended a couple of decades ago. We've all moved on with our day jobs audience members suggested we refrain from quitting. One of us is a TV news cameraman, another is an airplane engineer, one of us is some kind of rocket scientist, another is a school district muckety-muck, and the last just quit his teaching job to write books and find a better direction in life and is writing this little blog entry when he really should be seeking for gainful employment.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


These  photographs were taken by the talented writer/photographer Bryan Frank.
Find out more about Bryan's photography and writing here:
Bryan and I have been good friends since 1981. That's...a long time.

My wife, four of my five daughters, four grandbabies, and a whole lot of old friends, classmates, neighbors and colleagues filled up that little book store.

Like any other red blooded American author, my pre reading routine includes a hard slap across the face. Really gets the blood flowing. Man it's the only way to go. The young man behind the hand is Adam Rodriguez.

This was my third Book Frog reading. Bookstore owner Pete Ledesma always takes care of me. Pete's a writer, stand-up comic, radio DJ, musician, and former teacher. Man, he does everything but sell popcorn.

It was a good crowd, upwards of 60 people and they even laughed at the funny parts.






I read three selections from Spirit Guide. I even had something for the kids, a detailed description of an exceptionally painful vasectomy procedure at the hands of a man hating lady doctor.

Here's my Camia Frank, an up and coming LA writer.

That's Kerry Anderson of the Groundlings improve troupe. Her son William the Kid is in the middle. And that's film maker Eric Tozzi. Eric worked with Ray Bradbury to produce a film version of the Bradbury short story "Kaleidoscope." It's a great little film.
In the background is Margie Galindo Lopez. We went to school together from first grade through high school. We hadn't seen each other since 1978. Margie informed me that when her young children asked what BS really meant she told them it meant Bill Snyder.  She said that even her husband has been known to say, "Awe, that's a bunch of Bill Snyder."

Here are a few members of Hawthorne, California's Frink family. Debbie, on the left, has been singing in the Saint Joseph church choir since the 60s. Debbie and the Frink ladies gave me a lot of scoop on the history of Hawthorne and Saint Joseph's Church that would have come in handy when I was writing The Spirit Guide Bar.

Here's the man who convinced me to publish my writing. He is the face behind CACTUS SURF BOOKS. He's Clif the Lawyer. I call him Clif the Lawyer because he's a dentist.

Here's yours truly with three Saint Joe's Catholic School vets.

We sold a whole mess of books.
It was a good day.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Writer, Photographer, Producer, Diana Garcia shows off her books with style. 


             I was actually reading a memorized portion of Fifty Shades of Gray. Nobody caught on.

With friends and former students
Cruz-Boy digs pizza.
You can't beat a book and a cookie deal.
The plastic tip to a shoe string is called an aglet.
                                                 JFK was not the youngest president.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


The Spirit Guide Bar Pizza Joint Book Signing Event went down May 18th.  I'm still processing the good vibrations my family, friends, colleagues, and students brought to that funky pizza joint.

The photo above represents a mini Educational Management Group/Planet Think reunion: Diana Garcia, Yours Truly, Tom Hamblin, Clifton Batchelor, and Val Batchelor. We worked together to produce educational television programming some 15 years ago.

Wendy Fry Zeller was in attendance. I don't think I had seen Wendy since the 1970s. Like me, Wendy came to Arizona from Hawthorne, California a couple of decades ago. Like me, Wendy is a high school teacher in Chandler, Arizona. She recently became a teacher after a 21 year career as Phoenix police officer. Things were somewhat chaotic in that pizza joint, but we got the chance to talk for a few minutes. Wendy reminded me or we figured out, I don't remember which, that we lived less than a block from  each other as kids. She remembered many of the characters described in "The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son." Small world, huh? Pretty cool stuff.

A few students and former students dropped by, leaving me with a solid understanding that my 25 years in the teaching business has been a legitimate privilege.

A pizza joint is a great place to do a book signing, but maybe not so great for a reading. There was a little league team party going down 20 feet from where I attempted to do a short reading. Projecting with everything I had, I gave it my best to read louder than 15 jacked up nine year-olds. I don't know that anyone was actually able to follow my reading but it was pretty quirky, pretty funny, pretty much perfect for a reading of "The Spirit Guide Bar."

I will post more pictures soon...

Oh, and "The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son" and "The Spirit Guide Bar" are available at

Friday, March 8, 2013


I took the opportunity to snap the above photo after doing a reading of "Dave Cruz" for Kathy Och's English class this week  in Chandler, Arizona. Good thing I'm calling myself a writer and not a photographer. Good looking group. Energetic too.  Yeah, I really dig doing these readings for high school and college classes. The process never fails to teach me something about myself and my writing.
I'm feeling major appreciation mojo to Kathy Och for allowing me to spend the time with her students and Big Dave Cruz for providing the inspiration for this increasingly popular story...

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Ian Johnson was kind enough to give me the opportunity to read "Dave CRUZ" for his English 101 classes at Gateway College in Phoenix. The Q and A sessions were enjoyable, providing me with a boatload of insight.
A few students asked about Createspace.
Here is the link.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I believe I've found my book reading groove! Kim Morgan's high school creative writing class was an outstanding audience. I enjoyed the heck out of reading "Dave Cruz" to them. The Q and A session was electrifying. These students were obviously serious about writing and they asked fantastic questions.

This is Ian Johnson's English 101 class at South Mountain Community College. Again, there was a boat load of energy in the room as I read "Dave Cruz." The class was kind enough to laugh at the funny parts. Ian's class was a unique college reading experience in that many of the students were older. Their life experience was evident in their questions.  The Q and A session went longer than I expected  and I sold every book I brought. 

Doing readings is the one of the most rewarding aspects of this writing venture of mine. It seems that every time I do a Q and A session I learn something about my writing and my writing process.

A note to Ian and Kim's students: I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the readings and Q and A sessions. THANK YOU! If you would like a copy of THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON  let your instructor know and I'll get you a signed copy at the discounted price.

Here is the Createspace link we discussed in class.

Also, here is the link to my website. We'll be updating it for the release of SPIRIT GUIDE BAR soon.

You can send me questions about writing, promotions, or publishing at my website.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Ray Bradbury once said something about jumping off cliffs and making wings on the way down. Ray, wherever you are, I took your advice. I told the boss I will not be returning to Basha High School next year. My wings are books. THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON is available on and at THE BOOK FROG and THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR is on track for release in March. 



You can purchase a copy of THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON by clicking on this link.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


So I wrote this book. It's called the Spirit Guide Bar. I'm sending the manuscript off the the editors this week. God willin' and the creek don't rise, the book will be released in March.


My first book, THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON, is available on You can buy the ebook for a measly 5 bucks.
You can find THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON at the following locations:
THE BOOK FROG, Rolling Hills, California!/TheBookFrog
PAPA JOE'S BARBER SHOP, Chandler, Arizona


ZIA RECORDS, 10 locations in Arizona and Nevad

Monday, January 21, 2013


The photograph above hasn't really got anything to do with this week's posting. It's just that blogger has switched things up and I can't figure out how to post new images. I'm wondering if any of my fellow bloggers are experiencing similar problems.

I'm still editing THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR. My father-in-law read 50 pages of the book to me out loud Saturday. It helped me catch a few glitches, especially with flow and pacing. The book is still on track to be released in March.

I'd like to extend my congratulations to Richard Rios on the success of his new book SONGS FROM THE BARRIO. The book is available at the link below:

My first book THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON is available at the following link. You can download the ebook for a measly three bucks.

THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON received its first so-so Amazon review this week:
"It was a good read; just not that exceptional in my opinion. I've talked to people who thought it was hilarious and a must read, so maybe it's just me." (3 of 5 stars)

We had a cold spell here in Chandler, Arizona. The temps got down to the low 20s last week. My ficus trees took a beating. It 'll take them a couple of years to recover. We're looking at temperatures in the mid-70s today. Excellent kite flying weather.

I don't even own a kite. Did I really just write a paragraph about the weather? Guess I'd better get back to editing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Books, Education, Garbage Trucks and the Pizza Delivery Biz

I usually upload a picture but the function isn't working. Don't know if it's my computer or Blogger.

Beats me.

I'm still slugging away at the writing biz. The plan was to submit THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR to the editing team today. Didn't happen. Looks like I'll have to push things back a couple of weeks. SPIRIT GUIDE should still be ready for release in March.

I recently created a StumbleUpon page.

We'll see if it helps me sell a few books. Facebook has been my best social media marketing tool. This blog is a sketchy marketing tool, but it did put me in contact with California Rick Rios and Florida JJ Botta, a couple of formidable teacher-writers. Word on the street is I should be focusing on Twitter. While I have an account, I haven't figured how to use it to sell books.

After 25 years in the high school teaching business, I'm looking to make a change. I recently learned that the salary of a first year garbage truck driver is equivalent to the salary of a high school teacher with 25 years'experience and an MA. The garbage truck drivers get yearly raises. My school district hasn't given out raises in six years. In fact, we just got nailed with a pay cut. I have a student who delivers pizzas. He makes more per hour than I do and he said he's willing to put in a word for me.  If the garbage truck gig doesn't work out, there's always the pizza racket. Ray Bradbury something about jumping off the cliff and building wings on the way down. I guess the concept worked out well for him, didn't it?

There might be a new book in my second career, whatever it turns out to be.

You can download my first book, THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON for a measly
3 bucks.
It's a funny book.
I promise it'll make you laugh...

Sunday, January 6, 2013


                               Here is the finalized cover for THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR.