Author Joseph Heywood
About Joe
Woods Cop Mysteries
Other Novels
Non Fiction
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About Joe

Joe Heywood


Let me briefly introduce you to the site.

  • About Joe: That’s what you’re reading right now.

  • Woods Cop Mysteries: Depictions of all covers from the Woods Cop series.

  • Other Novels: Depictions of covers of my novels not in the woods cop series. Let me point out that the first time you meet Grady Service and Luticious Treebone of the  Woods Cop series, they are minor characters in The Snowfly. Include it in the series or not? I flipped a coin.

  • Non Fiction: Depiction of the cover of my one memoir, which is more about not fishing than fishing, which is pretty much the story line and theme that attach to most of our lives.

  • Poetry: I use poetry to help sharpen my prose. Poetry requires economic use of language, words, and utilization of sharp images and metaphors. Most of my stuff is fairly light and I try to bring a few smiles.

  • Photography: These appear in a couple of groupings, which you will find inside the tab. One group will be photos taken while I’ve been on patrol with conservation officers around the state. The second group depicts fishing and outdoor things I’ve done and seen, and want to share. Click on the thumbnails to get an enlarged photo and  caption.

  • Paintings:  I’ve been doodling in text-books, business meetings, and classes all my life, much to the chagrin of my teachers, bosses, and parents. My only formal training consists of a one-hour-a-week-after-school oil painting class in the fifth grade at St. Rita’s in Alexandria, Virginia. The nun didn’t ask for a volunteer. She said, “Mr. Heywood, you WILL take this class.”  I can’t remember her name and wish I could; she did me a great favor because it awakened something in me that has remained lit for a long time. I also took a couple of life drawing classes at Gilmore Center in Kalamazoo in the late 70s. Bottom line: I like to draw and paint and thought I would share some of my work with you. It dawned on me in the past year that I was seeing things with the DNR that most people don’t see, and that some of these things might make interesting paintings. There’s a section of those. And a section of my other work, mostly outdoors. Finally there’s also a section on Bullshidos fishing camp. Open it up and see what that’s all about.  Paintings not listed as " property of" are for sale. Inquire through website for price.

  • Events: If I have speaking engagements, or book signings, these will appear in this section. 

  • Joe Roads: This is my blog, complete with photos, with experiences, drawings and photographs from outings.

  • Contact: Toggle this button and you can contact me.

  • Links: Here you will find a list of people who have supported me and who you also may want to consider supporting in their efforts in behalf of our natural resources.

Thus concludeth the “tour.”

I don’t plan to update the site daily or even weekly, but will from time to time and will use the “Joe Roads” blog section  to share some of my observations and experiences. If you leave messages I’ll try to do my best to answer every question or note, but be patient please. I’m not quick, but I’m fairly reliable.

Okay, About Joe: I was born 10-18-43 in Rhinebeck, NY, son of a career USAF officer. My dad was from Rhinecliff, New York on the Hudson River in Dutchess County, and my mother is from Mize, Mississippi in Sullivan County. Talk about unlikely connections! Here’s an even more unlikely one. My mother’s maiden name was Hegwood and she had only to change one letter to convert to her married name.

I’m a 1961 graduate of Rudyard High School in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Chippewa County). I played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track.

1965 graduate of Michigan State University (BA-Journalism). I played on the Michigan State Lacrosse Club for three years, crease attack, tri-captain in 1965. I was in the last class of mandatory ROTC for land grant universities and predictably chose the Air Force.

In 1965, I married Sandra V. Heywood (1943-2002) of East Lansing.  Five children, all grown, one dog. 

1965-1970, USAF Instructor Navigator, KC-135 tanker, honorably discharged as captain. Vietnam veteran. Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Graduate studies, Western Michigan University, 1974-75, completed course work for MA in English Literature; no degree.

I worked for The Upjohn Company [now Pfizer], 1970-2000, retiring as vice president for worldwide public relations.

I walk every day in all weather conditions, and have hunted and fished Michigan since 1958, mostly alone.

March 20, 2010, I married Madelon Louise "Lonnie" Richardson-Miars.

My Woods Cop mysteries are based on the lives of Upper Peninsula conservation officers, and for going on ten years I’ve spent about one month a year on patrol with officers, in all kinds of weather, all times of day and under sundry conditions. I’ve worked in all 15 Upper Peninsula Counties as well as in another 20 counties BTB (Below the Bridge).

In preparation for work with COs, I often hike alone at night (flashlight for emergencies) using only ambient light. I have spent nights alone in jungles and on mountains. Have canoe-camped in Michigan, Missouri and Arkansas, over the years I have had one close encounter with a wolf (six feet away in tag alders on the Iron River), and with a cow elk and her calf (in Idaho). In both cases we all smiled at each other and kept to our own business. Too many close meetings with black bears to count, no injuries. Several underwear cleanings resulted.

I take photographs while walking, hiking and fishing, and use some of the pix for my paintings.

I always carry a ruck with emergency equipment, compass, etc. even for short sorties on foot in the U.P. It’s too easy to get under cedars and old growth in an overcast and get hopelessly turned around. I don’t use a GPS. When it comes to lost in the woods there seem to be two categories of people: Them that have been and them that will be. Iron ore deposits can make compass navigation interesting….

The Upper Peninsula is not just a setting and base for me but serves as a character in many of my novels. When I write, I try to take readers to places and events in the U.P. they might not have occasion to visit or experience on their own. For me, the U.P. is a natural jewel and I am always surprised by how little people from BTB know about it.

On the one hand I want to extol its virtues, but not too much….

The day we arrived in the U.P. to report to Kinross Air Force Base (later renamed Kincheloe, and since decommissioned) my mother cried as we drove up the several-mile two-lane to the front gate; looking at all the woods passing by, I had a feeling I was coming home.

Boy was I right. Thanks for all your support. Enjoy the site.

Regards, Joe Heywood

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