Willcott is a lapsed Texan with four degrees from the University of Texas, including a Ph.D. in foreign language education and a law degree. He has studied a number of languages, including four varieties of Arabic. He is an experienced magazine writer (Texas Monthly, Runner's World, and others), editor and publisher (Boulange: The Baker's Newsletter), newspaper columnist (Austin American-Statesman), and scholar ("Randall Jarrell's Eschatological Vision," for example).
He has been a regular contributor of commentaries and other material to North Country Public Radio, which broadcasts to northern New York, western Vermont, and southern Ontario. His work can be heard here. He writes a column “View from the Porch” for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. They can be read here. In 2007 his radio play adaptation of the novella, A Franklin Manor Christmas, was performed before a live audience at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake, NY.
He has lived in Baghdad, Amman, Tehran, London, Hong Kong, Zurich, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He and his wife, Ann, now live in Saranac Lake, New York, in a former monastery/tuberculosis sanatorium.