William Bell was born in Toronto in 1945. He has been a high school English teacher and department head, an instructor at the Harbin University of Science and Technology, the Foreign Affairs College (both in China), and the University of British Columbia. He has won the Belgium Prize for Excellence, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book AwardAssociation Award. He lives in Ontario and was once the head of English at Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute.The inspiration to become a writer came when Bell heard a speech by John Metcalfe, author of one of his favourite short stories. Some of Bell's books are used in high school curricula.
Bell says he likes to write for young people because they are "the best audience: they are loyal to the writers they like and they are enthusiastic readers". Mr. Bell has frequently been invited to give presentations at conferences and to speak to elementary and secondary school students on creative writing as a visiting author.
To date, Bell has written twelve books, and has been an innovator in the literature for young adults in Canada. Many of his novels are widely used in high school course study, including two set in Orillia area -Five Days of the Ghost and Stones, one in Barrie (Death Wind), and one in Guelph (Zack). His work has been extensively published outside Canada, and has been translated into French, German, Dutch, Polish, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Japanese. Mr. Bell has won the Belgium Prize for Excellence, the Ruth Schwartz Award, and the Mr. Christie's Book Award. Bell is the father of Dylan, Megan, and Brendan, and the husband of author Ting-xing Ye.
His novel Crabbe (Novel) was inspired in-part by his days as a student at Lakeshore Collegiate Institute.
Bell was also a teacher at ODCVI.