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Novelists are supposed to have tortured souls and bleak personal lives. In those departments, Bill is an utter failure. His twenty-some-year marriage to Jill is blissful.

His family has no warring factions. To find conflict you have to go back to grandfather Ubald, who ran away from home and never returned. Or to father Harry, abandoned on a doorstep as a babe. To this day the Neugent sons know no other Neugent relatives and can only speculate as to Harry’s true parents. One possibility is that Harry was the illegitimate child of a wealthy interior designer who perhaps dallied with the next-door neighbor, a farmer named Neugent. Nevertheless, the Neugent sons rate themselves low on inquisitiveness for not realizing until after Harry died in his late sixties that he had been adopted. For pictures, see the family album.

The real story behind Bill’s writing lies with the spark and spritz of his mother, Irene. One of the most visited pages of this site is her eulogy.

Check out Bill's first classic video featuring the remarkable home-movie segment with Bill And The Car Trunk.

Popular Speker section

Bill currently is in great demand at conferences as a keynote speaker on cyberterrorism. Come join him for an upbeat visit to Armageddon (and back). Bill gives other entertaining talks on various aspects of cybersecurity and also on becoming a novelist and on publishing and marketing a novel.

Becoming a Novelist

Need an entertaining speaker for your conference session, writers group, social club, or business offsite?

Want a guest speaker for your writing class?

Or might your book club want to interview an author?

For five years, Bill has been in fiction-writing boot camp. Let him tell you in thirty minutes what he's learned.

If your group has new writers, he can save them a lot of time and might prevent a few novels from being interred in drawers.


Fiction writing is a calling, something you’re born with or bitten by. Fiction writing is an art. Magic happens. But most fundamentally, fiction writing is a craft, a discipline with a lot to learn.


Regardless of the nature of your group, Bill will keep them smiling as he fills their heads with interesting and useful information, such as:

  Why walking is unacceptable

  How much descriptive detail a real male will tolerate

  When sex and violence are boring

  The four steps and cliff that constitute the novice writer's emotional cycle

Contact Bill to request him as a speaker.

Bill, Bob, and John

Bill, Bob, and John - life is good

Life is good.
Look on the bright side.

Publishing and Marketing a Novel

Need a speaker for your conference session, writers group, social club, writing class, or business offsite?

Bill Neugent can entertain and inform them on his experiences in publishing his novel by print on demand and marketing it over this web site.

Bill's talk will get any group excited about publishing, regardless of the nature of their books:



 Church cookbooks


 How-to books

 Family histories

Your Book cover


Have your group learn how they can make their books available to family, friends, and a few million other potential buyers. Print-on-demand publishing is easy, costs less than two hundred dollars, can take as little as two months, and will put their books on amazon.com and other Internet booksellers, available for sale around the globe.

Which brings us to marketing. This is Bill's first Web site. Poke around it and check out Bill's shameless marketing gimmickry. Learn how he set it up, what it costs, and which of the gimmicks worked. Also, his marketing went beyond the Internet. Imagine asking a local hotel manager whether, if you staged some scenes in the hotel, the manager would buy a copy for each room. Imagine asking L.L.Bean whether, if you dressed your protagonist in their clothes, they would sell your book in their stores. Shameless. But did it work?

Contact Bill to request him as a speaker.

John and Bob

Bob and John -  marketing is about baiting hooks and setting traps

Fundamentally, marketing is about
baiting hooks and setting traps

Bill's Biography section

Bill's formal education began at a urinal near his first-grade classroom, where he tried for the altitude record but instead doused the boy in the next stall. The Fishers Island school was small and homey. Bill won highest boy in the second grade by beating out the other boy, also named Bill.

Our Bill went on to graduate from Hampton Consolidated School in Hampton, Connecticut, Windham High School in Willimantic, and the University of Connecticut, where for reasons he cannot explain he obtained a degree in Mathematics. He finished his schooling with a Master of Science degree in Technology of Management from The American University in Washington, D.C., and continued there as an adjunct instructor for ten years until one day he compared his salary to that of a garbage man.

He spent many years in the computer profession, where at one point he worked in an office with four other men, all named Bill.

Bill in his Kevlar Vest
at Murphy's Beach

Bill in his Kevlar Vest

Bill digs for
deeper meaning

Paula and Bill

Paula and Bill

Lord of the Ring

The first positive signs that Bill might not be perpetually surrounded by other Bills came in 1981 when he married Jill. Bill and Jill have since lived in Northern Virginia, except for a five-year stint in Heidelberg.

Bill's first novel, No Outward Sign, is a cyber-thriller published late in 2002. He's working on a fantasy novel, Daughter of Time, expected out in 2004. His short story, The Relic, was published in late 2002 in an anthology of writings inspired by a trip to Rome.

His non-fiction work includes an upcoming humorous how-to book, Guilt Games and How To Play Them, to which you can contribute ideas. He's published much technical non-fiction over the years, including several book-length works for the government on how to evaluate and approve the security of computers. Used copies of some of his ancient works are available at outrageous prices from Alibris (alibris.com). {Search on Neugent.} He's also published many papers, including a collection of seven humorous articles poking fun at the foibles of computer security. That set became a cult classic among computer security insiders.

By the way, Bill is no neophyte to cybersecurity.  Learn more about his techie background.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s digress. Bill and his brother Bob were born in the same year (Bill in January, Bob in December). As Irene said, “Don’t believe anyone who tells you that breast feeding is a form of birth control.”

Bill and Bob

Bill and Bob - younger brother

This kid needs an older brother

Bill and Bob

Bill and Bob - Cisco and Pancho

Every Cisco needs a Pancho

Bill and Bob

Bill and Bob - with lollypops

Hey, how come his is bigger?

When they were in their teens, Bill and Bob discovered they had ESP. Go ahead and roll your eyes; everyone else did. For about a year, Bob could send cards to Bill. The opposite direction didn’t work. Bob would concentrate first on the color of the suit, then on the shape of the suit, and then on the number of the card. Over the year, they nailed about half of their tries. That is, half of the time they got both the suit and the card correct. No one believed it, of course. They performed this stunt at family gatherings and folks would laugh and clap. Bill and Bob would say, “No, we’re really sending these cards.” And the family would laugh and clap all the harder, amazed only by their chutzpah.

Maybe this is what drove Bill to want to write fantasy, the frustration of being a kid with magic when the adults don’t believe. But Bill and Bob grew older and took their different paths. Today they might still do better than pure chance at sending cards, but the magic has faded.

One could wax philosophic about this, but that has never been a Neugent trait. What Bill knows, as a grown-up security person, is that some communication paths use ports that no firewall will block. What both Bill and Bob know is that had Fox TV been around in the 60s, a couple of Neugent boys could have cashed in big-time.

By the way, have you noticed that in these pictures Bill is always on the left and Bob on the right? Who’s to say that strange forces were not at work from the beginning?

Bill and Bob

Bill and Bob - nice outfits

Hey, how come he’s
got the nice outfit?

Family and Friends section

Some people hit the lottery; Bill found Jill. Soon to come are pictures from their first two decades. Meanwhile, check out old family pictures in the Neugent photo album or pet racoon pictures in Chip Chip's album.

Irene Neugent raised three boys, who when they misbehaved were called BillyBobbyJohnny. She passed away in December of 1999. Bill read a eulogy at her funeral.

And what about John, the youngest brother? John grew long hair and acted really cool for some years, before he went on to such modest titles as vice president and president. Lee Iacocca brought John into one of Lee's ventures due to John's market savvy. See what John is doing now at:




Today, the three Neugent brothers and their spouses remain as close as when Billy, Bobby, and Johnny played pitcher - catcher - batter with a ball made of rock and duct tape. Several of Bill's cousins have been involved in noteworthy activities.

Bill and Jill celebrating in November 2003 with Eugene, Beverly, Karen, and Debbie Ravenelle

Bill and Jill celebrating in November 2003 with Eugene, Beverly, Karen, and Debbie Ravenelle

If you enjoy modern bluegrass, check out the Village Jammers, featuring cousin Dan Ravenelle on banjo, dobro, and lead guitar. Their CD is terrific. Or check out handsome Dan himself. Dan's sister Deb Ravenelle was recently featured in a book on Vermont Farm Women. Every year the family looks forward to Deb's incredible maple syrup. She harvests the sap with her two workhorses (named Paul and Bert) and cooks the sap into syrup over a wood fire. Deb also gives horse-drawn carriage rides. If you think Dan and Deb are a lot of talent in one small family, check out their older sister Karen Ravenelle-Bloom. Karen specializes in traditional topeng Balinese mask dance, and interactive mask-making, shadow puppetry, movement, story-theatre and language arts.

Check out Bill's first classic video featuring the remarkable home-movie segment with Bill And The Car Trunk.

To play this movie:

  Click Trunkated.rm (to open Real Player in a separate window).  <OR>

  Click to download a free copy of the Real Player.

To download this movie for viewing in players other than Real Player, RIGHT click:

  Trunkated.asf (158 KB file) and select "Save Target As..."

Youthful Foolishness section

In the years Before Jill (BJ), Bill was a regular at the Ski Club of Washington D.C. (SCWDC). His article describing ski clubbers was published in the club newsletter, SCWDC, Volume 43, Number 8, February 1978.

The Latest “In” Thing

     “But I don’t even ski!”
     “Ski? Who said anything about skiing? I’m talking about the Washington Ski Club.”
     How many times have you found yourself engaged in this conversation, trying to interest a friend in the Club’s many social benefits? Of course our skiing is great. But, after all, isn’t it the people that really make the Club?
     “And what kind of people go there?” your friend will finally ask.
     If you’ve been at a loss here, suffer no more. What follows are results of the first definitive sociological investigation of SCWDC.
     These revolutionary findings represent a radical departure from thinking. (There were a number of other small findings but these turned out to be from rabbits.)




“You only go around once in life so make a list of all those things you have to do.”

     These are the tireless workaholics. They delegate everything to themselves and prefer hopeless or, if available, impossible tasks. Their life goal is to finish paying off their funeral plots before they turn 35. Workers have an uncontrollable penchant for order. They always carry spare house and car keys and keep a can opener in their car. They separate nuts and bolts by size, save wrapping paper, fold lunch bags, and order pre-printed Christmas cards. They clean inside the rubber moldings of their refrigerator every Thursday.
     They arrive early and help clean up afterwards. {Thank God they don’t attend rock concerts.} They use doilies and 3X5 cards and always carry at least one pen. Workers have no understanding of humor but are trying to deal with this problem and will sometimes laugh when informed of great tragedies.

“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you get shut out.”

     The losers are anxiously trying to fit in, convinced that the Club is a tight clique. They think people don’t like them. They are right. They were Monday night regulars at the Officers Service Club before the ski club moved there. Losers are unique conversationalists with the knack of “boring” to the heart of a situation. They repeat all punch lines at least three times and have memorized the collected witticism of Bennett Cerf. Their mothers, ordinarily very cautious, took great risks with them but succeeded only in becoming big winners on Queen for a Day.
     Fond of saying the Georgetown people are plastic, losers do not yet know that these people are actually fiberglass. They have never in recorded time failed to respond to the question “Did you get a haircut?” by saying “No, I got them all cut,” and collapsing into convulsive laughter. They also enjoy reminding people that a broken clock is right twice a day.
     They own instamatic cameras and are frequently seen taking flash pictures of entire cities (often through windows). Losers have not been formally schooled in the arts, but they do know what they like and they enjoy discussing subtle levels of meaning in black velvet-based paintings. Their therapists won’t make eye contact with them for fear they’ll start a conversation.


Bill - the loser, wearing elevator shoes

The Loser, wearing
elevator shoes

“It’s whether you win or lose.”

     Lovers are physically attractive. They have one primary and no secondary interest. Late for work every morning, their first chore is always to retotal their diary, which is kept in an accounting ledger. Lovers are very touching people. They think platonic is something that goes with gin (and they may be right).
     Fascinated by zippers, they have had them installed in all their kitchen appliances. They consider dating a person after scoring to be inefficient and will not do so unless dared. Lovers think bed rest is a contradiction in terms and are constantly troubled by nightmares in which they are attacked by giant pimples. Male lovers can often be recognized by their paternity suits. They think apple turnover is a position. Lovers are very selective and will only date those of the opposite sex who are living.


“The agony of victory; the thrill of telling about it.”

     Jocks live on the animal courts and expert slopes of life. They think in terms of Wheaties, knee pads, and Superheroes trading cups and enjoy slapping their friends on the fanny. They do not jog, they run. They drink only Gatorade, preferring to have friends run beside them squirting it into their mouths.
     They do quiet isometrics in the office, sometimes inadvertently ripping their specially mounted desks from the floor. Until their office coworkers get to know them, they sometimes cause quite a stir by unleashing ear-shattering Tarzan yells into air-conditioner ducting. Jocks obtain psychic protein by inviting their smoking friends for “hikes” which turn out to be grueling mountain races.
     Obsessed with time (particularly fractions of seconds), they are heard to utter phrases like “a 9.7 hundred.” Their life goal is to sprint up the Empire State Building by strapping toilet plungers to their ankles. Thinking among jocks is rare and is typically preceded by hyperventilation.



Bill - the jock

The Jock

“What, me worry?”

     Regulars live in a world of spit balls, water pistols, hand buzzers, and whoopee cushions. If there’s one thing they enjoy more than drinking beer, it’s throwing it. Regulars are not happy unless they have at least 300 close friends to whom they can talk at every Monday volleyball, Wednesday Tennis, Thursday Party, and Weekend Trip of the year. They can be recognized by the indelible ink stains on the back of their hands.
     Last week, 25 regulars were arrested in front of a local newspaper editor’s home for creating a public nuance. Luckily, they gained control of the paddy wagon by telling the driver that his mother was calling. They stopped for beer and were then driving down of Washington’s famous no-way streets when they ran into two cops shooting craps. The cops had already wounded several of the craps and were reading them their rights when the group arrived. They discussed Kirlian photography and ski wax but interest waned. Then the cops’ patience waxed thin and was severely tried but acquitted. The group was subsequently charged with disregarding life and liberty in return for a frantic pursuit of happiness. A party followed.

     In summary, Workers are dangerously stable, Losers are dangerously unstable, Lovers belong in a stable, Jocks smell like a stable, and Regulars would bus to visit a stable.
     Real comfort can be derived from this categorization. After all, when you know a person’s type, you have a good idea how they will act and react. They’re like old friends. People who do not readily fit into one of these categories are much less predictable and cannot be trusted. Some have been known to kill. This knowledge will give you the comfort of knowing when to shoot first.
     Now there certainly are cheap shots here but, after all, that only means we can afford more. {This is similar in principle to the cruise missile concept.} Finally, those of you who feel that this is in poor taste will find that if you simply swallow the whole thing, you’ll hardly notice.

Note: This work was partially supported by a grant from the National Endowment for Partially Supporting the Work of People Without Any Particular Talents Who May Not Even Use Deodorant For That Matter.

© 1978 by the Ski Club of Washington D.C. Reproduced with permission

Burmese Cats section

Gemma, Tawni, and Pippin

Gemma, Tawni, and Pippin

a classic Burmese pile

Gemma, Coy, and Bill

Coy, Gemma, and Bill

Laptops and lap cats
can coexist

TaleCatcher™ is a bustling company. You can find much in these pages about Bill the author and speaker and Jill the webmeister, graphic designer, book promoter, muse, and reviewer. This page tells about the other two employees, Tawni and Pippin. Their role is to see that Bill and Jill get enough physical play-time and affection, as well as occasional belly-laughs. They come from blue-blood stock and professional breeders:

  Tawni (European red): Lou Keim, Jarrettsville, Maryland

  Pippin (American champagne): Lynn Thompson, Oviedo, Florida

Below are two of their stories.

July 2003, Tawni Visits A Nursing Home
Old timers were thrilled to discover that Tawni loved them. They didn’t realize that Tawni loves anyone who gives her attention. See Tawni's visit.

December 2002, Tawni and the Christmas Stocking
Even a cat can savor special holiday pleasures. Check out Tawni's Stocking.

During the writing of Bill's novel, No Outward Sign, two Burmese cats patiently endured the additional presence of a laptop on their human lap. Unfortunately, these sisters have passed away:

  Gemma (American sable): Marie Denoyer of Fairfax, Virginia

  Coy (American sable): Marie Denoyer of Fairfax, Virginia

Below is one of their stories.

March 2002, Gemma Finds a Family
What do you do when two Burmese sisters have been together since they were littermates and one passes on? Find out in Gemma's family.

To learn more about American Burmese cats, check out the National Alliance of Burmese Breeders (NABB) web site.



Updated: 04-Mar-2003