By Kathryn Rice
The novel is a spiritual coming-of-age fantasy for teens and young adults set in the post-Vietnam War era during a Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday.
“One of the themes of the book is no one is an island and we all rely on each other,” Wilmes said.
Wilmes shares stories of hope, reflecting his status as a six-year cancer survivor. In 2010, he was diagnosed with invasive bladder cancer. Due to a misdiagnoses he was given a year to live. He said getting that news made for one of the longest Thanksgiving weekends of his life.
He started the book when he was a student at Northwest Missouri State University in the late 70s and early 80s. He used parts of it for classes until his graduation in 1982 with a broadcast journalism degree. He continued work on the novel until it was finished in 1985.
He put it aside in 1992 and it sat at the bottom of a drawer until he rediscovered it in 2014. After taking it out and reading it, Wilmes said he decided it was good and worked on rewriting parts of the story.
He said he has plans for one more novel in the Golden Key series. He is currently working on the sequel to his first book, “Beyond the Horizon.” It is tentatively titled “Chronicles: Journey Toward Hope” and will be published next year.
Wilmes plans to retire from CDS Global customer service next year.
“I’m looking at retirement as now I get the chance to pursue my passions,” Wilmes said.
Both of Wilmes’ books are available for sale at the Nodaway News Leader. “A Quest for Freedom: A Golden Key Novel” is $15 and “Beyond the Horizon” is $10. The new book may be purchased by sending a check or money order for $15 to Key Publications, 320 Crawford Street, Boone, IA 50036. The books may also be purchased at Amazon.com.
“The Kindle revolution has opened up opportunities for authors,” Wilmes said. “The downside is anyone can publish. I want to get into traditional publishing for my books.”