Bernie Van De Yacht is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, the youngest of 12 children. He earned a BA in Psychology and Theatre from The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a MFA from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). After graduation, Bernie began working at an animation studio while he pursued his acting career. During that time, he was spotted by one of the artists and asked to pose for the character of Prince Derek in The Swan Princess. This opportunity allowed him to promote the movie all over the country, travel to the Cannes Film Festival, appear on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and even have a doll made in his likeness. During this time, Bernie did theatre in and around the Los Angeles area. He eventually became an animation casting director and has been casting films for over eighteen years including The King and I, Trumpet of the Swan, Alpha and Omega, all the Swan Princess sequels, Happily N’ever After II, Ribbit and Norm of the North. He has cast for Morgan Creek, Warner Bros., Columbia/Tri-Star, Sony and Lionsgate. He is a proud member of the Casting Society of America (CSA) and was nominated for an Artios award for casting the animated feature film, Alpha and Omega. He is also a screenwriter, director, and teacher. In 2004 he directed a short film called, There’s Something About Meryl, which was the Official Selection at many film festivals around the country. He directed his first full-length feature film, Salvation, from his original screenplay. He is prepping his next feature, Midwest Farmers’ Daughters, once again based on his original screenplay. He is also co-partner in a looping company called ProADR, which looped such shows as Fargo, X-Files, and the up-coming, The First, with Sean Penn. His first novel, A Man Walks Into a Hardware Store, was published by Solstice Publishing in October 2017. He and his wife have been married for twenty-one years and are the proud parents of two teenaged sons.
WHAT WOULD YOU SACRIFICE TO FIND TRUE HAPPINESS?Terry Boyle is your typical small town guy. Friendly, kind to strangers, a devoted husband and father. A gentle soul quietly moving through life. But still waters run deep, and Terry’s inner turmoil derives from a secret that he can’t share with anyone.As fate would have it, Terry’s guarded world is turned upside down the day he walks into a hardware store and meets Renee Patrick, a free-spirited beauty who is as tough as the nails she sells out of her family business. Unfiltered and unapologetic of her questionable lifestyle, Renee ignites a spark deep inside Terry.As these two lost souls embark on an unlikely relationship, they are both forced to face secrets they have long kept hidden in order to survive. Now, each of them must decide if they will risk completely destroying their fragile existence in a last attempt to find true happiness."Van De Yacht’s talents as a storyteller are solid and impressive. Well-structured, the appealing book delivers polished writing and multidimensional characters." -- Kirkus Reviews"An unassuming yet potent novel about the power and possibilities of personal transformation after traumatic events." -- Kirkus Reviews
A rich exploration of friendship and heartache in the Midwest.” – Kirkus Reviews
Val Van Dyke has just won a cruise to Alaska — and it couldn't come at a better time for this rural Wisconsinite. On the verge of turning the big 5-0, the former world traveler has found herself constrained in recent years — by her job and her marriage to a much younger husband, who has grown as distant as the far-flung places to which she once traveled. Her lifelong friends are facing similar ruts. Former prom queen Crystal Brenner now tips the scale at three-hundred pounds and has to balance taking care of a child with Down syndrome and a verbally abusive live-in-father. Penny Hansen, who has that typical "middle child" mentality of appeasing everyone, finds herself constantly at war with her obstinate teenage daughter. So, when Val invites Crystal and Penny to join her on the cruise, it offers the friends a welcome respite from their daily routine and the exciting chance to revisit the carefree days of their youth. But as they prepare to embark on their vacation, things begin to unravel in their personal lives, leading them to reassess choices, reveal long-held secrets and confront a life-or-death crisis that will change their friendship forever.
“Alternately humorous and heartbreaking, the novel is an incisive triple portrait of the way small choices shape the courses of people’s lives.” – Kirkus Reviews