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About David Wilk



   I am an author, journalist and entrepreneur with a diverse background in all forms of writing and editing.  My writing experience includes newspaper and magazine reporting, authoring 21 books and a screenplay, plus a long career in public relations and marketing.  Over the past several years I have concentrated on writing and publishing private biographies and family histories.  I have also coached and edited several book projects from other authors and lectured extensively on writing technique and writing life stories.  Following are books I’ve written or assisted with. 

  Author of "Amazing Dog Stories," my own non-fiction/autobiographical book about the dogs my wife and I have had over the years. How I tried to rescue Petey from going under in a nearly inaccessible tar pit and we both got trapped. How Gracie and Yosemite were swept away by a raging stream, only to miraculously swim out of it. How George Burns was not all that concerned with my safety when running downhill tied to my motor scooter. And plenty more. To be published in 2024.

  Author and editor of Bernie Novatt's book "Space and Time Will Never Come to an End (Because They Never Began), an interesting treatise on how the universe got started, the greatest scientists of all time, the endless cycle of everything, what happens when you die, the essence of all the world's major religions...and more. Published in January, 2023.

   Author of the biographical book A Father's Abundant Love, the story of Susan Stork, who managed to survive a near-fatal automobile accident, only to wake up with a life-changing brain injury. The book details Sue's life before and after the accident and the remarkable sacrifices her parents made to maximize the quality in her life. Her father, Dave Stork, quit his job as a top aerospace engineer to devote his life to Sue. Her family created the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County to provide assistance and socialization to thousands of brain injury survivors.

Published in March, 2022.


  Editor, layout and print coordinator for Cynder Sinclair's life story "My Wild & Precious Life." Cynder founded a non-profit in California's Central Valley to assist poor, immigrant farm workers. It was a success and she created another nearby...then launched a nationally-recognized career managing a variety of non-profits. Cynder tells about her colorful life, triumps and tragedies, humor and deep sadness and how she became an avid outdoorsperson, traveling all over the world. I helped her plan the book, determine chapters, edited her book and prepared it for publishing. Published in January, 2021.

  Author of Doug Halter’s autobiography “Give Me Time.” Doug Halter was stunned to learn that he and his partner had contacted AIDS. There was no known cure and they were told they would die within six months. His partner did succumb to sickness and death, but Doug miraculously got into the nation’s first drug trial that successfully blocked the ravages of AIDS. Doug dedicated his life to AIDS prevention and gay advocacy while establishing a dynamic career as a landscaper and community leader in Ventura, CA. His contributions to civic rejuvenation and cultural development have been instrumental in elevating Ventura to unprecedented heights. “Give me Time” is an inspiring testament to the power of determination and perseverance in the face of enormous odds. Published in November, 2020.


  Co-Author and Editor of the non-fiction book “Drought and Flood: The History of Water in Santa Barbara and Montecito.” I assisted noted geologist Michael F. Hoover in this thorough examination of Santa Barbara’s dramatic incidents of drought, floods and debris flows and the ongoing search for water via wells, tunnels, reservoirs, major water projects, state water and desalinization. This is the definitive exploration of all the forces and human efforts to produce sufficient water to handle the needs of a Southern California city. Published in October, 2020.


  Author of the Biography “First Generation: My Story”  --  the story of Dr. Richard Caleel who grew up in a poor neighborhood, the son of immigrants, worked his way to being a success as a general surgeon, switched to become a pioneer in the new field of Cosmetic Surgery, volunteered as a surgeon in third world nations, was a pilot, an entrepreneur in a number of enormously successful ventures, became a notable international polo player and raised a lovely family all at the same time.  Published in December, 2018.


  Editor, layout and printing coordinator for “Advertising Man:  the Life and Times of Arthur Schultz”  --  the memoirs of a poor young man who rose through determination and hard work to serve as a pilot in World War II -- and then worked his way up to becoming chairman of Foote, Cone and Belding, one of America’s elite advertising agencies.  Arthur later served as chairman of the University of Chicago, chairman of the Chicago Art Museum, co-owner and vice-chairman and part-owner of the Chicago Sun Times and a member of two different presidential commissions on the arts. Published in May, 2018.


  Author of the Biography “Man of the World: the Story of Bill Heller”  --  the life of Bill Heller, who traveled all over the globe expanding his family’s barrel business to a multi-million dollar worldwide enterprise.  Includes family history, Bill’s youth, college days and service in the Army just as World War II ended, plus his amazing career of 30 years sustained travel and the many friends he made.  Published in March, 2018.  Three previous biographers attempted to write this book but could not complete the project.  I did.


    Author of the family history/biography “Journeys and Adventures”  --  the story of Leone Murphy, her late husband George, and her colorful family history.  Her family dates back to one of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and includes adventures in both the California and Klondike Gold Rushes.  Over 150 years in Santa Barbara are chronicled.  It progresses to this day, with information on Leone’s nine children and 28 grandchildren.  Published in June, 2017.


  Editor, layout and printing coordinator “The Impossible Dream and Other Short Stories”  --  arranging the publication of Margaret Perutz’ charming collection of short stories.  Published in April, 2017.



  Author of the biography “Our Journey Together”  --  the lifetime love story of Bernie and Dottie Novatt, how they met, their 60 years of marriage, colorful family histories, adventures of youth, Bernie’s impressive business successes and their energetic public service over the past two decades.  This book also tracks the stories of key family members and includes historical background that sets the scene for their respective family origins.  Published in March, 2017.


  Author of the biography “Love and Faith:  the Romance of Ron and Ann Arragg”   -- the story of a loving family whose world was turned upside down by a brain injury that threatened permanent disability…but who refused to let it keep them down.  This is another charming lifetime love story and Includes their rich personal histories that traverse a colorful American era, a deep religious faith and their devotion to a most diverse and distinguished family.  Published in April, 2016.


  Editor and story coach of “Dear Sophie” --  the story of Dana Kent and her journey around the world in the late 1950s.  Dana signed up to be an American guide at the 1958 Brussels World Fair, then continued on with three fellow female guides to traverse a world that was far different than today’s.  Developed the full writing strategy, helped formulate the chapter breakdowns and supervised the writing of the book; edited the text and photos, laid out the book and coordinated publishing.  Published in April, 2015.


  Author of the autobiography “Fred Perutz:  From Anschluss to America”  --  the exciting story of  a Jewish teenager who barely escaped from Austria as Hitler marched in and took over his beloved country. Fred made it to the U.S. and enlisted in Army Intelligence when America entered World War II.  He went back to Europe and helped the Allies by interrogating top Nazi officers and creating propaganda programs to undermine the Nazi war effort.  Then he returned to America to raise a family and build a successful business here.  Published in December, 2015.


  Editor, story coach, layout and printing coordinator of “Time Was” by Doris Kuhns.  Helped develop the strategy and chapter planning for Ms. Kuhns’ charming autobiography; supervised the writing; edited the text and photos, laid out the book and coordinated publishing.  Published April, 2014.


  Author of the biography “George Adler and the Story of Transamerican Auto Parts” -- the rags to riches story of a remarkable young man with no education whose first job was selling surplus World War II Jeep parts, and who went on to pioneer the off-road auto parts industry and create a national dynasty.  Published in August, 2013.


  Ghost writer/editor of the biographical book “Forever Sunshine”  --  the story of David Gershater, a remarkable young man lost to a tragic accident, his legacy and the impact of his life upon his family and friends.  Published in 2012.


  Lecturer and Teacher  --  “How to Tell Your Story”  --  Lectures, seminars and workshops around California on writing one’s life story, family history or the biography of a loved one.


  Life Story Coach and Editor  --  Assisting individuals who wish to write their memoirs, autobiography or family history.  Project planning and supervision, productive methods and strategies, writing techniques, use of photos, editing the client’s material, physical book layout and assisting with publishing.


  Author of the biographical book “The Continos”  --  the story of  Dr. Ray Contino, a world famous innovator in dentistry, and his wife Phyllis, a talented artist who raised six children.  Includes their colorful family history, their youth and romance, and traces Dr. Contino’s career as he advanced to the forefront of his field.


  Author of the biographical book “Castana” -- a biography about Leroy Smith, his family background, achievements and the history of the extraordinary Iowa town where he grew up.  Published in 2009.



Author of two novels:  “Big City Fish” and “Gridlock”


  Big City Fish was published in 1994 and Gridlock was optioned for development as a motion picture in 1996.  I also collaborated on the screenplay for Gridlock.  The movie project stalled in development.



Other Writing Projects


  Gear, Gifts and Gadgets -- Co-creator and author of a syndicated newspaper column that introduced and evaluated new consumer products.  The column accompanied our website                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  



Newspaper Experience


  Have reported, written, edited and done other projects for the Hollywood Citizen News, Valley News and Valley Times, all based in Los Angeles.  Have written articles and columns for the Ventura County Star and Ventura County Reporter.


Magazine Experience


  Have written, edited and done other projects for Forum Communications, Volleyball Magazine, Southern California Golf World, Surfer Magazine and Beach Volleyball Magazine.





  Journalism degree from California State University Northridge.  Served as editor-in-chief of the award winning Daily Sundial newspaper and then president of the student body.

David Wilk

             (805) 455-5980

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