“There’s a lot of brokenness in our world today, but a beautiful story can point us to the truth of our fundamental dignity and help us be whole again,” Bill says. “Last Summer Boys is about a kid trying to keep his family together during a time of upheaval, from unrest at home to wars overseas. So many are trying to do the same today. I wanted to encourage them – and tell a wildly entertaining story.”
Bill Rivers grew up wrangling snapping turtles and exploring the creeks of rural southeast Pennsylvania. While studying International Relations at the University of Delaware, he led First Amendment demonstrations to successfully reform campus speech codes and drafted legal protections for medically vulnerable patients that unanimously passed the state legislature.
In the U.S. Senate, Bill served in various communications roles beginning in 2012, shaping public conversations on national legislation. As a speechwriter for U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis from 2017-19, he developed messages on the most consequential national security challenges and traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.
In 2020, Bill founded Roundtop Writing Group, a values-driven communications company, to help purposeful leaders tell powerful stories and advocate for a healthier, freer American civil society. Clients include Silicon Valley tech startups, defense innovators, public servants, and JUNO-Award nominated recording artists, among others.
Bill completed Last Summer Boys while studying government as a Truman Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Blending the warm, intimate style of a Scots Irish American folktale with the intellectual tradition of his Catholic faith, the story is set against the tumultuous events of 1968 – an era remarkably similar to today.
Bill and his wife and children live outside Washington, D.C. When not writing, he enjoys public speaking, traveling, and listening to others tell their authentic stories.
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