Ronald E. Yates is an author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans from around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.

His award-winning book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014. He is currently working on Book #3 of the trilogy with an intended publication date in spring or early summer 2017.

Ron has been a presenting author at the Kansas Book Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, among other venues. He is also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. Other books include Aboard the Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.

Before leaving the world of professional journalism where he toiled 25 years, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places.

His work as a war correspondent resulted in several awards, including the Inter-American Press Association’s Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; three Edward Scott Beck Awards for International Reporting, and three Pulitzer nominations.

Ron is a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served in the Army Security Agency.

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles

The second book in a trilogy of novels about a man’s 100-year life of peril, adventure, tragedy, transgression, and redemption..

Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

bookAs Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots and his improbable journeys are just beginning.

The year is 1894 and Billy is aboard the S S China sailing to the inscrutable Far East. Trouble is not far behind. He has met a mysterious and possibly dangerous German Baroness. He has locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea.

Later, he is embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam. Then, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the brutal anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are just beginning.

As the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries, and an assortment of vindictive and dubious characters of both sexes. How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they present? The answers are just ahead.

Finding Billy Battles

The first in a trilogy of novels about a man’s 100 year life of peril, adventure, tragedy, transgression and redemption.

When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.

For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.

As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

The Kikkoman Chronicles

kikko-book-soloBookshelves today are lined with intriguing, inside stories of corporate success. None, however, can rival the more than 300 years of wartime intrigue, family hardships, and unprecedented success of Japan’s Kikkoman Corporation, one of the world’s most formidable global competitors.

The Kikkoman Chronicles is nothing less than today’s most innovative and informative guide to business in the international marketplace. From Kikkoman’s simply 17th Century beginning, producing soy sauce in the Japanese village of Noda, it has become a world leader in the production, distribution and marketing of more than 2,000 related products.

Translated into more than 10 languages, The Kikkoman Chronicles has found an international audience.

Text Books

International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents: The book explains how foreign correspondents work, how this fascinating job came into being, who some of the most successful and ground-breaking correspondents were and how the profession has changed in the past 200 years.

(ISBN: 1-58692-260-2)

The Reporter’s Handbook: The Reporter’s Handbook is a collection of ideas, techniques, examples of storytelling and a few secrets about the art and craft of doing excellent journalism. University of Illinois

Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy:  This book helps journalists understand the linkage that exists between domestic prosperity and foreign policy. It addresses the key issues facing business journalism in the new information/social media economy:

(ISBN: 1-58692-359-5)