OREM Bruce Goldwell has been homeless since 1998, but in his mind that's a minor point.
The author of "Dragon Keepers," a fantasy with fairy-tale creatures and moral messages, sleeps in a van, which beats the compact car he had just a few weeks ago.
Until recently he did his work at the Provo library, but when he lost three chapters of his latest book on a library computer, it was time to get an office. A home can wait.
If he had a home he wouldn't have the money to promote his books. He plans seven in the series, which is being promoted by a Utah County schoolgirl, 9-year-old Maggie Borland.
When Borland read the book, she wanted a copy of the limited edition. She offered to sell 100 copies of the book to get it, which would then be auctioned with the proceeds going to Rock Canyon Elementary. She also intends to donate $1 from the sale of each book to a charity for homeless animals.
The concept was Borland's, Goldwell said. He's offered it to other schools, and a special education teacher in New York has signed on.
So far Borland has sold fewer than 20 copies but is persevering, her father said.
"She's just having a lot of fun with it," David Borland said.
So far, many of Goldwell's friends have bought the book, available in local bookstores and on Amazon.com.
Goldwell has two other books out: "The Power of Choice" and "The Door to Super Achievement." His Dragon Keeper series teaches the success values in the latter book, the power of visualization. Merlin, the magician of King Arthur fame, begins as a 13-year-old boy. As he learns about success, so do Goldwell's readers, primarily kids.
"They're not going to read a self-help book," he said.
"I visualize the end from the beginning, and it all comes to me," he said. "There's no struggle. It just comes to me. You have to visualize and be open to receiving from people."
Being on the receiving end was something he had to learn.
While he was writing the first book at the library he was also making connections to illustrate and publish it. All of those connections were made over the Internet. Saga Books of Calgary, Canada, is the publisher. The illustrator is Emerson Ward, who lives in Australia.
"It's Harry Potter, but gentler," publisher Mary Thompson said. "It's a lovely story for children, but good for all ages."
"Dragon Keepers" reads more like a movie script than a novel. The storyline follows Merlin in a tale of adventure with the success principles from the other books imbedded.
Goldwell lost his home in 1998 after three divorces, stress and illness. Except for a time when he lived with his daughter in Spanish Fork, he has lived on the streets. In 1999 he went to California.
"If I was going to live on the street it might as well be there," he said.
For a time he slept in the alley behind actor Dennis Hopper's house. When he acquired a vehicle he slept in front of Hopper's house. He considered that moving up.
Goldwell chooses to live in his van so he can use his meager income to promote his book and other projects.
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