John Doyle is an original Mad Man.
Doyle, 88, and living in Willow Grove retirement home in Mint Hill, spent the 1950s and '60s working at advertising agencies in New York City and Detroit on accounts including General Motors and Kroger.
Doyle is full of stories about his life in advertising, but maybe equally as interesting is his life since retirement.
Doyle has written four books since his retirement in 1980. One details his career in advertising, and the most recent, "Tales From the Tail End," is about life at his retirement home, named "Haven Lake" in the book.
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"Very few people realize what it is like to grow old in a retirement community," said Doyle. "No one knows what it is like to be old until they get here. I wanted to write about what it is like to be old."
Doyle says that since his days writing in high school, seeing his name in print has been addictive.
"I believe the saying that everyone has one book to write, but good writing does not come naturally or easily. I write, rewrite, edit, cut and revise.
"I never expected to get rich writing or write a best-seller. I just want to have someone say, 'I know someone that has written a great book,'" said Doyle.
Writing has helped Doyle share his many untold experiences with his three children and grandchildren and help them understand what it is like to grow older.
"My parents are the king and queen of Willow Grove," said Doyle's daughter Ginny Edelen.
"My parents have been an inspiration, not only because they have been together for 66 years," said Edelen. "My mother is an artist, but I didn't take up art until I retired, so I understand my dad starting something later in life.
"I learned from my parents it is never too late to do what you love."
Willow Grove residents already are asking for a sequel to "Tales From the Tail End," and Doyle has had several book signings at Willow Grove and The Levine Senior Center.
"I worked on 'Tales From the Tail End' for six months. Events and incidents were always occurring that I would have to go back and add another chapter," said Doyle.
"I thought the book was over until a virus went through Willow Grove, and I added a section on that.
"I wrote rapidly; it is hard work but you have to be motivated. I've re-read my books, and I can't believe I took the time to write them," said Doyle.
It took more than 16 years from the completion of Doyle's first book until it was published. Every other book and story has come very quickly after that.
"Every time you finish writing a book you say, 'Never again,' but I'm already dreaming of ideas for another book," said Doyle.