Chattanooga educator is working on his 11th book, and growing a following
Greg Wilkey has worked in education for twenty-five years.
He's currently the Assistant Principal at East Side Elementary, but when he's not at school he spends most of his time most of the time in front of his computer. He's currently working on his eleventh book.
"I've sold close to 50,000 copies you know, and that includes the downloads," Greg Wilkey says
Mr. Wilkey writes Young Adult fiction. He has two series. The Mortimer Drake series, and the Edgar Flax series.
"Mortimer Drake, he sells the most although I have a strong fan base for the Edgar group," Mr. Wilkey says.
He was writing the first book in the Edgar series in 2014 when he got a call that changed his life forever.
"My wife Alicyn, she was a teacher in Hamilton County. That morning she went to work, and she seemed to be fine. She had no health issues that we were aware of," Mr. Wilkey said. "They called me and told me she collapsed."
Greg's wife Alicyn died of a heart attack. She was just 42 years old. Greg says he stopped writing. He stopped just about everything
"I felt guilty because I enjoyed writing so much and then she was gone," Mr. Wilkey said. "I had this whole conflict going on in my head you know enjoying life without her."
He said he wouldn't eat. He lost more than a hundred pounds. He didn't want to watch TV or go to movies, and he didn't want to write. When he finally went back to it, it helped him cope with his grief .
"The writing process much like school saved me because when I couldn't stand being sad any more," Mr. Wilkey said. "I would write. I was able to escape for a while."
So he gradually started writing again. Mr. Wilkey says he can tell a big difference between the things he wrote before and after his wife passed away.
He self published all of his books, but now he's getting more attention. He is now working with a publisher.
Greg says being at school and the writing helped him when he struggled the most, and these days they are the two things he looks forward to the most.
"I knew when I was younger that I wanted to do something with kids or young adults so teaching and writing I get to do both," Mr. Wilkey said. "I get to spend time at school working with teachers, working with parents, and then come home at night and write my novels. I get the best of both worlds. I mean I'm doing both of my dream jobs."