A Conversation With a Bookblogger: From French Cuffed Z. Cavaricci’s to the Art of Indie

I never really connected to the whole blogging phenomena, not until I recently attended a Blogger Conference in conjunction with Book Expo America (BEA).  Following a full day of hanging out with the bloggers at the Javits Convention Center in NYC, I left impressed with the community, impressed at their passion for books and need to talk about them.  I found people who are actually more interested in promoting literacy than making money.  What?!!!

Lori Hettler is one of the bloggers I met.  She’s a fellow Say Anything obsessive who also likes Nick Hornby and talks of French-cuffed Z. Cavaricci’s.  Remember those?  I had a purple pair about the time I graduated from high school.

William Torgerson, Bill, Torg, Love on the Big Screen, The Next Best Book Blog, Bloggercon, Blogworld,

Lori Hettler, author of The Next Best Book Blog

It was Lori’s use of the words retro and indie that caught my attention and so I asked her if she’d be willing to talk to me about her little niche of the blogosphere.  She agreed and I plan to share our conversation over several posts.  First, I asked Lori to give an overview of the bookblogging world, to tell us what we might be missing out on if we don’t participate.  Here’s what she said:

There are so many levels to book blogging. As a blogger, you can choose to participate at any or all levels. For starters, it’s your own personal space to dish about books in any way, shape, or form you wish. There are no rules, no parameters, no boundaries – only those that you set for yourself. It’s also a community. There are bloggers out there for every genre and niche you can imagine. They are welcoming and supportive. They share ideas and join forces. Nothing makes me happier than seeing bloggers come together to support a cause. Twitter hashtags, book tours, you name it, and they can and will do it!

As a blogger, you can also begin to build relationships with authors and publishers. You can host giveaways, develop features or meme’s, conduct interviews, gain access to ARC’s (advance reading copies) for reviews. It’s all out there, and it’s all what you make of it. I think, most importantly, book bloggers spread literacy. They get the world talking about books!

William Torgerson, Bill, Lori Hettler, Cherokee McGhee, Love on the Big Screen, St. John's University, I am a product of my generation. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s… my fondest memories include Cabbage Patch Kid dolls (and those god-awful but so cool Garbage Pail Kids stickers!), slinkys, Pogo-balls, French cuffed Z-cavaricci’s , teased out hair, cassette tapes, the Fraggles, Sea Monkeys, the Rubik’s Cube.  Today’s music cannot touch the stuff that came out of the 80’s – I’m talking about bands like R.E.M., U2, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure. Movies like The Goonies, Labyrinth, Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me – they are untouchable, they stand the test of time. I love books that steep themselves in retro-ness – books like High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, Totally Killer by Greg Olear, Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis, Banned for Life by D.R. Haney.

Check out "The Next Best Book Blog"

Link to The Next Best Book Blog Here

Look for more conversation with Lori in future posts.  If you’ve got questions or thoughts connected to book blogging, I’d love to hear from you.

Why call a book HORSESHOE?

If you know my character “Zuke” from Love on the Big Screen, I wrote that he was from a small town called Horseshoe.  In my mind, Zuke’s hometown is a fictionalized version of Winamac, Indiana.  The word “horseshoe” as the title of my novel-in-stories comes from the way my small hometown of Winamac sits on a horseshoe bend of the Tippecanoe River in North-Central Indiana.   This geographical feature is something you can see for yourself on Google Maps:

William Torgerson, Bill, Torg, Love on the Big Screen, Horseshoe, St. John's University

From Google Maps: See the Horseshoe Bend in the Tippecanoe River?

Winamac is the town where my parents are from and their parents are from before that, and even though I wasn’t born there, it’s the place where I graduated from high school and the place I say I’m from if anyone ever asks.  When people in Winamac say the horseshoe,they mean the road that runs along the outer edge of the town park which is almost pinched into an island by a sharp-hook bend of the river.  I lived in two different houses when I lived in Winamac:  one right on the river where I could look across the water, see the road everyone called the horseshoe, and also the basketball courts.  I was a bad cross-country runner in high school, and practice was often held in the park where we ran in packs and did repeats of the three-quarter mile loop.  The second house I lived in is the house where I placed the character Matthew Walker’s family.  Pam Scott, a woman haunted by the sound of a knocker, lives in the house my grandmother lives in today.

William Torgerson, Bill, Torg, Love on the Big Screen, Horseshoe, St. John's University, winamac, Indiana

The Swinging Bridge in the Winamac Town Park