Ryan Weston’s career in the diesel industry has included more than 24 years working as a logistics supervisor, department head, parts driver and ASE-certified technician. He describes most of his professional career as “turning a wrench,” but this Moraine Valley graduate, who studied history and literature, also managed to write and publish a book reflecting his love of history along the way.

His book, “P is for Pickelhaube,” is a work of historical fiction, set during the first World War, and focuses on struggles his characters face, including addiction, abuse and violence. It was recently added to the Moraine Valley Library and in the Moraine Valley Bookstore. It is also is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other global retailers, as well as from his publisher, Austin Macauley.

Born in Hinsdale, and raised in Brookfield, Weston graduated from Lyons Township High School, in 1998. After graduating from technical school, he found himself driving directly past Moraine Valley’s campus for 14 years on his way to work.

“I became increasingly jealous as I’d drive by the college, seeing the students walking on campus and having opportunities I did not have,” Weston said. “My wife, Sarah, finally challenged me to either step up and earn a degree myself or quit complaining about it, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Quite nervous about returning to the classroom after 16 years, Weston recalls the professor he had for his first class, William Hogan, assistant professor of Communications, immediately put him at ease.

“It was Jim McIntyre, [assistant professor of history], who was responsible for planting the seed for me to pursue writing professionally,” recalls Weston. “And Kristine Van Baren [history instructor] challenged me to expand my understanding and knowledge of history.”

One of Weston’s deepest influences was his parents, who shared their love of books and reading with him at an early age.

“I actually wrote a short story in the first grade that was published in a District 102 literary competition, so I feel that my trajectory to write has been a long time coming,” Weston joked.

Recognition for his outstanding writing continues as he was recently awarded silver in a new author competition after receiving a literary review. He plans to write at least two more books as part of a series spun from “P is for Pickelhaube.”