Bob Bancks writes about what he knows. His novels feature Muscatine and some of the surrounding towns. Bancks said he writes based on his experiences as a farmer and his knowledge of eastern Iowa.
“I have written five novels. The three were romance novels about a farm couple living north of Muscatine. The last two featured cops and robbers. One was about a corrupt sheriff’s department in Muscatine, which was taking bribes from a woman in Wapello who ran a call girl service out of a packing plant. They were exposed by two DCI agents, who became the subject of my fifth book, set in Jackson County,” Bancks said.
Bancks first took an interest in writing in 1960 when he attended Muscatine Junior College, then picked it up again after retiring from farming in 2008. “My wife and I farmed for 48 years. We raised corn, soybeans, and hogs. We raised three sons, all of whom have successful occupations elsewhere,” Bancks said.
Bancks still resides on his family farm. He said, “I live in Muscatine County on the family farm. It has been in the Bancks name for 149 years. The farm is located in Montpelier Township, five miles north of the village of Montpelier.”
After retiring from farming and rediscovering his love of writing, Bancks finished his first novel. “I started on the traditional route of book publishing. After several rejections, I attended a writing conference. One of the speakers encouraged me to try self-publishing. This a hobby for me and not an occupation; therefore, I do not have to depend on my writing skills for income.” While Bancks’ novels contain some mature content, he prides himself in “not using any off-color language.”
Bancks feels the best part of his writing is that he gets to do something he enjoys. He said, “This has been a fun ride for me, and I am flattered by the interest in my writing.”
Bancks’ novels are available for purchase at the Little Red Hen gift shop in Muscatine.