Tom Feller, Secretary
was born in St. Clares Hospital in Monroe, Wisconsin on September 28,
1954. His father was a dairy farmer living near Monticello, WI. When Tom
was twelve, his father switched to hog farming exclusively and farmed
happily until his semi-retirement. (His evenings were not occupied with
the nightly milking.) Toms mother was a farmwife until Tom went to college.
She then studied to become a real estate agent. After serving stints with
various firms including Century 21, she has become a partner in her own
firm, affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens. She sold her firm in 1998.
The parents retired to Florida in 2000, although the father returned to
Wisconsin this spring to help with the planting and plans to return again
in the fall to help with the corn harvest.
Tom has one younger
brother who stayed on the farm. The brother is divorced and has one son
and one daughter. Toms nephew is farming with his dad, and Toms niece
attends Madison Area Technical College.
Toms ancestry is
a mixture of Swiss, Norwegian, Pennsylvania Dutch (German), Welsh, and
Tom graduated from
Monticello High School in 1972 and then attended Ripon College in Ripon,
WI. He received his BA in 1976, spending one semester of his junior year
in Bonn, West Germany. He majored in philosophy with the equivalent of
minors in political science and German literature. He spent the next two
years as a graduate assistant in the philosophy department at Louisiana
State University in Baton Rouge.
Graduate school did
not work out, so when the assistantship expired, Tom got a desk clerk
job at one of the Holiday Inns in Baton Rouge. For some mysterious reason,
the managers liked his work and promoted him to night auditor and, finally,
to front office manager. In 1981 he was once again promoted, this time
to the position of internal auditor with the operator of the BR Holiday
Inns, Mississippi Management (now called MMI Hotel Group). This promotion
required a move to Jackson, Miss. Tom lived there until 1997 until he
moved to Nashville to marry Anita Williams. MMI allowed him to become
a remote worker. His current position is Director of Special Projects,
and it requires a lot of travel.
A few years after
moving to Jackson, an event occurred that led to Toms primary leisure
time activity. Up until then, he had not been successful in forming a
circle of friends in Jackson. Then he read the Mid-September 1983 issue
of Analog, a science fiction magazine. Among the classified ads
for ordained ministers and university degrees was an ad for a science
fiction club in the Jackson area. Out of the 100,000 or so readers of the
magazine, Tom was the only one to answer the ad. He discovered it was for
the Chimneyville Fantasy and Science Fiction Society. This was Toms
introduction to science fiction fandom. Since then, he has been a member of
more organizations than he can remember, president of two clubs, chairperson
of two conventions, and the editor of three fanzines.
In 1995, Tom broke into
professional writing when he contributed two essays to Magill's Guide to
Science Fiction and Fantasy, published by Salem Press. Since then he has
sold more than two hundred professional pieces.