Billy Van was born on December 11, 1975 in Eldorado, Illinois at Ferrell’s hospital. He was raised in a middle, working class, environment. His father, Arval Van, did factory work while his mother, Anita Van, earned her degree in nursing and worked at Loretta nursing home in Shawneetown, Illinois from the time she was a teenager to the time it shut down back in ’98.
Billy is the youngest of three. At that, he would become the prodigy child.
As a kid, Billy involved himself in the arts: drawing, writing, music; he enjoyed them all. However, the only two that stuck with him as he grew older was writing and music.
At sixteen, Billy was encouraged by his mother to get his Nurse’s Aide certificate and come to work with her. He did just that—he earned his certificate at Loretta while working there as a student. To this day, Billy still holds his primary means of employment in the healthcare field while moonlighting as a security guard. He takes pride in assisting those who can’t do for themselves.
When Billy isn’t working or writing, he enjoys playing the piano.
Billy is a hobbyist. He is constantly getting involved in something new. From pirating FM radio to computers, Billy enjoys learning new trades. One of Billy’s biggest interests is that he’s a tarantula enthusiast. He studies them, handles them, and has even done some writing on them. He owns several species, new and Old World. He also enjoys going on an occasional expedition to capture his own.
With that being said, Billy is a naturalist and has joined a coalition in efforts to stop the destruction of tarantulas and their habitats due to their threats of extinction.
Billy began writing as a hobby at a very young age. He would write poems and submit them to his grandmother for a penny. The more he wrote, the better he became, and as he grew older his writing abilities grew as well.
On October 31, 2010, Billy Van created Gold Hill Press.