Snow Day

September 13, 2010  

Snow Day cover comp2[1]I took a job at a local factory ten years ago.

I hadn’t been married long. My wife and I had just bought our first house and were planning on filling it with a child or two. Her teaching job at a local Christian school wasn’t far above minimum wage, and the job I had at a local gas station didn’t pay much more. Going to the factory was a choice based much more upon necessity than desire. To me, the thought of having to spend forty hours a week cooped up in noisy rooms with questionable air didn’t seem the right career path. But no one around here went to the factory because of the work conditions. They went there for the money. And so did I.

I was thinking about the future when I walked through those iron gates. I suppose that’s where my trouble started; we spend a lot of time thinking about the future, much of it at the expense of the present. Like everyone else there, I adapted to the working conditions and the shift work. It’s amazing what you can get used to if the money’s good.

Things were okay. Not good or great, but okay. For five years I chugged along in the noisy rooms with questionable air and repeated to myself the words the plant manager told me my first day there: “Show up, do you job, and you’ll retire a rich man.” My daughter was born. Then my son. I tried to picture myself sticking it out for another thirty years or so until retirement, but that was an image I could never really form in my mind. I soon found out why.

Recessions are like volcano eruptions—there are plenty of signs before the big bang. One of the first signs is a slow in manufacturing, and that’s what happened in 2005. Orders coming into the factory began to slow, then stutter, then stop. And in December, I was told I would likely lose my job.

I had a wife, two children, a mortgage, two car payments, school loans, and a thousand dollars in the bank. By then, all the local job market could offer was part-time positions either flipping hamburgers or delivering pizza. Not even the gas station could hire me back.

It was in many ways the worst period of my life. A man wants to work, wants to support his family, and I couldn’t. The faith I had in both God and myself waned. Dark thoughts crept into my mind. I thought my life was over.

That’s when I began writing. Not for publication or distribution, not for anyone’s eyes but my own. It was therapy, a means to try and make sense of what was happening to me and find what I’d lost. The memoir I started became the novel I finished, and through more miracles than I can count, what was once meant just for me can now be shared with you.

Snow Day will be published by FaithWords on October 11, and I can now officially announce pre-sales through just about every online retailer I can think of. Feel free to click on the Snow Day tab above to see the new and revamped book page, thanks to both Katdish and Peter Pollock.

Snow Day is the story of one day in the life of Peter Boyd, a husband, father, and factory worker who lives in the small town of Mattingly, Virginia. He, too, faces a job loss during Christmas. He, too, has a crisis of both faith and purpose. When Peter wakes on one December morning to find a sudden snowstorm has struck his town, the thought of schlepping off to work is too much for him to consider.

So he takes a snow day. Peter calls in not sick, but well.

But Peter’s plans to spend the day sulking about his job are quickly put to rest by the grocery list his wife hands him. Peter has to go into the storm after all—both the one outside in the world and the one inside his heart. What he finds there will not only bring him comfort, it will bring him healing as well.

Snow Day is an easy read for hard times. The truths Peter discovers are the ones I managed to stumble onto as well, though it took me a little longer than a day. If you’re a fan of my blog, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s full of small-town wisdom and colorful characters who will touch your heart and offer you hope.

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Read the first three chapters of my latest novel, The Devil Walks in Mattingly

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  • floyd

    Good for you, the passion you have for writing and sharing is a gift from God. It looks like from this perspective He just needed to nudge you out of your comfort zone. Isn’t that how God usually works? It never feels good at the time, but who are we to question the One that designed our path? I will look forward to reading your book and sharing it with my family. God has used you in a wonderful way and I thank you for your obedience. It truly is an inspiration.
    God Bless

  • Ronne

    Simply ready to read. That’s me!

  • PeterP

    YAY Billy!

  • Joyce

    So excited for you! Really looking forward to reading your book…enjoy this time of celebrating all your hard work and the finished product!

  • Katie Ganshert

    I was already excited to read this book, but now I’m even more excited!! Can’t wait to get my hands on it, Billy!

  • Marilyn Yocum

    Finally! Looking forward! Enjoyed the bit of background today, Billy.

  • Brooke McGlothlin

    I’m looking forward to reading it Billy. I love when a crisis of faith leads to something greater from the inside than the person even knew was there. That’s your real story :)

  • Annie K

    Can’t wait to read my autographed copy!

  • ginger

    Sounds like the story of my life right now. I have been waiting for this book and the comfort I know it will bring. Thanks for writing it Billy. Hopefully, this is a storm I will survive as you did.


  • Janet Oberholtzer

    Congrats Billy! Great reminder about taking one step at a time … and who knows what will happen. Look forward to reading Snow Day.

  • *~Michelle~*


    *high five*

    And for this “not-so-good” reader ……I am totally excited to get my hands on a copy!

  • Kelly Langner Sauer

    Really excited to hear more about the book; thank you for sharing some of its backstory. I think the stories that come from life are truly the most powerful. I am really looking forward to this read.

  • Jake

    Billy, I am beyond excited for you! I hope this is just the first of MANY, many of these. I’m also glad you shared a bit about the story behind it. Sir, you bloody rock!

    Best of luck!

  • Heather Sunseri

    I am thrilled and excited for you, Billy! if you blog is any indication of your gift for words, I know that your novel wil be both inspiring and uplifting. I can’t wait to read it!!

  • Joanne Sher

    Soooo excited, Billy. Incredibly so (and was it NOT cool to see your name in the latest edition of Writers’ Digest?? Made me smile big!). Looking forward to this read. VERY much so.

  • Richard Mabry

    Billy, I can’t wait to read Snow Day. Congratulations on the impending publication of what I’m sure will be the first of several novels. May your writing journey continue to bless others as it has blessed you.

  • Helen

    Congrats, Billy!

  • Marni

    I can’t wait!! I’m so excited for you and for all of us who get to read it.

    I may or may not be going to bookstores and moving copies of Snow Day to the premier spots in the store. Ditto for Helen ;-)

  • Preston

    Billy, do you know if Faithwords is going to be releasing an ebook edition as well?

    • Katdish


      It is available for Kindle on

  • David@RedLetterBelievers

    Gosh. We have all been excited about this for a long time. Billy, we are so happy for you and I for one can hardly wait.

  • prairielady72

    Congrats, Billy! Can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it. :)

  • karen

    Billy: A red-letter day for sure. So glad you lost your job. Cannot wait to read this book!

  • A Simple Country Girl

    Your faith in God, love of your family, and personal story are all an inspiration. I am excited to see how you wove all of that into this book.

    YeeHaw! and congratulations.


  • jasonS

    I’m proud to know you, Billy. It’s been amazing to watch how all these great things have unfolded. Praise God! So excited to read the book.

  • Maureen


    I hope you’ll do a reading in my parts.

  • T. Anne

    Can’t wait for my pre-order to arrive! God is good, isn’t He?

  • Katdish

    Oooo! Can’t wait to read it!


  • Wendy

    Really looking forward to buying this one.

    May God continue to bless your journey.
    ~ Wendy

  • Jason Jones

    Sounds awfully, awfully familiar, Billy …

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

  • Prem Rao

    Congratulations, Billy. Your book sounds really interesting. Wish you great success.

  • Amy Sorrells

    Wooooo hoooooo!!!!! Can’t wait!!! Congrats to a most deserving gentleman, most deserving, indeed!

  • Melissa Marsh

    Absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to read it, Billy. Congratulations!!!

  • Corinne

    Billy, I am so very excited for you :)
    Can’t wait to read it (and I have a feeling it’s right up my Dad’s alley.. so he’ll be getting a copy too…)

  • Sue Harrison

    Isn’t it amazing how God sometimes throws us a curveball, and it turns out to be exactly what we need to hit that homerun we’ve been hankering after. Congrats, Billy. Can’t wait to read SNOW DAY.

  • Candy

    How you can have such a magical way with words, yet redneck a truck, gnaw beef jerky, and pack a shotgun, I’ll never know. That’s raw talent. I’m so excited for this adventure of yours and pray you savor every precious moment. May God’s mighty hand continue to guide and protect you.

    And guess what my friends and family are getting for Christmas?

  • Kenny

    Can’t wait bro. Thanks for sharing your heart and gift. Congrats.

  • Brock Henning

    Billy, a HUGE congratulations, and I love yours and your family’s story. It’s been a pleasure following your blog since stumbling across it earlier this year. Great stuff. I love seeing God’s hand work this way in the lives of others.


  • Jennifer@GDWJ

    I’m not only a fan of your blog, but I’m a fan of you — and mostly I’m a fan of the Jesus who shines through you. I simply cannot WAIT to get my hands on that book.

    All the best to you, my friend. I celebrate with you today!

  • josephine

    It’s about time. I’ve had it on my Wish List on Amazon for months. Can’t wait to order it!

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  • Michelle DeRusha

    Super excited! Congratulations on a job well-done!

  • Bidemi

    Congratulations Billy!!!, I can’t wait to get my copy, also if you dont mind, I already know it is a book I will want to review in my magazine in Nigeria and see how sales will do based on that review.

    If you will like me to review it, then please do let me know as soon as I am able to read it!

    Congrats again, hope is all we need afterall.

  • Janna Qualman

    It’s wonderful. Wonderful, Billy. You’re an inspiration, and a gifted one at that.

    Best to you with this debut.

  • Dayle

    Billy, I’m so looking forward to buying and reading your book. You have a rare gift.