William Robert Heaton was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1973. He is the only child of Joann Mueller and did not know his birth father while growing up. As a young child, he enjoyed art and singing. At the age of 5 years, he and his mother moved to Sarasota, Florida. In 1980, he gained the father he knows today when his mother married Robert Heaton. Robert adopted Will when he was 7 years old.  

One summer, Will’s imagination was sparked at a very young age when his Uncle David, a graphics artist, came to Sarasota. The wheels started to spin in his head as they created an imaginary world of aliens and spacecrafts. They created a history, pictures, and a timeline of alien races and how their lives would be. A couple of years later, his mother gave him a series of 24 books written for young readers to read over the summer.  This series included “The Adventures Tom Sawyer,” “Huckleberry Finn,” “Moby Dick,” etc.   This introduced Will to classic literature. At the age of 10 years, he returned to Springfield for a summer visit.  His great-grandmother Lelia Smith read Will poems out of a little maroon poetry book she had since a young woman. This developed his love of poetry. In his teens, his mother gave him Homer’s the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” and a fantasy world of words began to spiral through his mind. You will find these influences in his writings today.

Dealing with certain tragedies and losses in his life, Will started to write his thoughts down on paper which later inspired his poetry.  One of these great losses was the loss of his great-grandfather Gerald Smith who taught him to excel and meet his challenges head on.  He graduated from Riverview High School in 1992. William furthered his education at State College of Florida to graduate with an Associate in Arts degree. In 1996, two of his poems “Number Ion” and “Searching” were published in the local Eclipse Magazine. With his great-grandfather’s teachings to guide Will’s pen and the encouragement of his loving wife, Gwen, he released his first poetry book, “Simplicity in Words,” in February, 2008.

In April of 2010, his second book, “Reflections of Words,” was published. In his first book, Will’s poems focus on his feelings and personal experiences. In his second book, he expands his poetry to stimulate your senses and to paint a picture with words.  


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