Bill Branyon's bio
I'm a free-lance historian and was one of about ten people who helped get the Mountain Xpress newspaper going in its first couple of years when it was called The Green Line. Since then, I've had over a hundred articles and editorials published in it and the Asheville Citizen, many about Buncombe County government. (Google the Mountain Xpress or the Asheville Citizen for examples.)
As a member of the Fourth Estate for over thirty years, I've had the privilege of analyzing Buncombe County’s movers and shakers, as well as protesters and activists, all while maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity. My interviews or commentaries have included Senators, Congressional members, developers, entrepreneurs, artists, activists and County Commissioners and City Counselors.
The interviews include a two-hour one with aforementioned Jack Cecil, first cousin of the Biltmore Estate owner William Cecil and the primary developer involved in the Pratt Whitney plant. That resulted in what I consider one of my journalistic masterpieces, King Cecil’s Serf City, which you can read in the Xpress online archives.
In order to help support my career as a writer I've worked in factories, construction, hotels, restaurants, secretary and many other jobs. Thus, I have a comprehensive view of the Buncombe County work world.
I'm 67 years old and though I've lived the last 40 years in beautiful Buncombe County, I spent my formative years in mountainous Anniston, Alabama and musical Nashville, Tennessee. In 1977 I was awarded a cum laude BA with a major in History and a minor in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University, and in 1991 received a Masters in History from Western Carolina University.
I've had three books published: Asheville NC, circa 2,000 AD — a historical "faction" about Asheville politics and culture with over 200, almost recognizable, local characters; the political and philosophy book Liberating Liberals: A Political Synthesis of Nietzsche and Jesus, Vonnegut and Marx (Groucho, not Karl), Gandhi and Machiavelli; and the respectful sci-fi history of modern American religion, Billy Graham Does Heaven.
I am currently marketing a coauthored book with New York-based LMFT Lauren Eavarone called Advanced Romance: Transforming 16 Mating Rules That Are No Longer True. You can find free chapters of all these books and some of my journalism at the website, www.BranyonsUltimateFreethinking.com
For recreation I foozle golf balls, whack tennis balls, bounce basketballs (Go Heels!) and strum guitar (Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and James Taylor!). I’m a hyper-activist, when not lazily lounging with a good book, a good show, or a gorgeous, Blue Ridge sunset.