AK22-28. Bill VanPatten author. “As a gay and Latino Author,”

Authors Kiss, with Sara Troy and her guest Bill VanPattern, on air from July 12th

Bill VanPatten is a brilliant expert on language acquisition and bilingualism, he tells hilarious jokes on stage, creates movies and a telenovelas and writes well-crafted mysteries with a social message. Meet Bill VanPatten. Language has been his life’s passion for nearly four decades. He taught linguistics, Spanish, and second language acquisition at Michigan State University, Texas Tech University, and University of Illinois for over 30 years, traveling around the world to deliver over 1,000 lectures, publish 200 articles, and inspire thousands of students. He retired in 2018 from that chapter in his life, only to write another. His third novel, A Little Rain, was just released. 

“Language is a very powerful means for expressing who we are,” says VanPatten. “After teaching about language for so many years, I love the freedom to now use it to tell stories that both enlighten and entertain readers.”

“As a gay and Latino man,” says VanPatten, “my books shed light on two communities that are often marginalized and misunderstood. But I also provide a great escape to readers who want to enmesh themselves in the lives of others, who struggle to find their way in a complex world.”

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  • How his books provide opportunities to share meaningful messages and address social issues 
  • Why Americans enjoy tales of murder, revenge, and secrets
  • How he transitioned from being a scholar to a writer of mystery novels and thrillers
  • How he uses the power of language to deliver realistic, intense scenes
  • Why gay and Latino characters are central to his fiction


Bill VanPatten has been an internationally-acclaimed professor and scholar of language acquisition and bilingualism. In his career that spanned three decades, he has presented over 1,000 lectures, written over 200 academic articles, and has hosted two podcasts for five years. Bill VanPatten now writes fiction in English and Spanish.

His first novel, Seidon’s Tale, received the 2019 Kops-Fetherling International Books Silver Phoenix Award for “Best New Voice in Fiction.” His second novel, Looks Are Deceiving, has garnered positive reviews from KirkusReedsy DiscoveryPrairie Book ReviewsWriter’s Digest, Readers’ Favorite, SPB, Indie Readers, among others. A Little Rain was released this Spring and is his newest book.

As an #OwnVoices author, gay and Latino characters are central in his fiction. Bill has always had a passion for stories and is the award-winning academic who co-wrote the best-selling educational telenovela, Destinos, as well as the movies Sol y Viento and Liaisons.

His work in academia led him to lecture in almost every state, as well as Europe, Australia, South America, and Mexico. A former professor of Spanish and Second Language Acquisition at Michigan State University, he specialized in second language acquisition, which he investigates on both theoretical and practical levels, using approaches from linguistics, psycholinguistics, and cognitive psychology. Bill earned his MA and Ph.D. from The University of Texas, and his BA from The University of Santa Clara.

While living in Chicago, he performed as a stand-up comedian at comedy clubs on occasion, and is known to always be ready to tell some jokes. Bill lives in the Central Valley of California.






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