J.W. Bell’s life reads like an adventure story. He was a Field Artillery Officer in the Army for ten years, is well-versed in long-range and large-caliber weapons, and is an expert with small arms — handguns, rifles, machine guns, and, oh yes, he trained in explosives and is excellent with hand grenades. His military thrillers use actual terminology, weapons, and military courtesy. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the U.S., living in Hawaii for several years. He coached gymnastics for a time and worked for years as a roughneck in the oilfields of Oklahoma. He became a teacher and still holds a lifetime teaching license to teach music and drama. He composed his first symphony and now has a good start on his second. Currently, he lives in Arkansas on a small acreage with his wife Catherine and their ten children, five boys ages six to eighteen and five girls ages six years to sixteen. He has two older daughters who live in Little Rock with their own families. The family of twelve has four dogs and cats, two horses, one pony, and two pet pigs on the acreage. Additionally, there are four cows and one sheep in an attempt to become self-sufficient. In keeping with that theme, the last inhabitants of the property are the goats; they are prolific, so it is hard to give solid numbers for them, somewhere over ten and not quite fifty.
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