The latest:

For the Love of Books

funny, documentary film, Nick Hornby

This documentary film is about Kathy Patrick, and the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. Featuring the work of musician Jeremy Vogt and photographer Natalie Brasington, you can watch the trailer here.  If you’d like to order the film, it’s $10 and you can write to me at <>.

Love on the Big Screen

Eighties music and movies themed novelMeet Zuke, a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-eighties romantic comedies such as Say Anything and Sixteen CandlesRead the first chapter of Love on the Big Screen as a (downloadable pdf). Listen to a sample from the audio book. Read a sample and purchase from Amazon or purchase a signed copy from me.


Midwestern Gothic, after Flannery O'Connor, Updike, Empire Falls, Winamac, IndianaThis Midwestern Gothic novel explores themes related to sin, guilt, redemption, and belief in God.  Read a Horseshoe story “Sanctuary” as a (downloadable pdf) or listen to it here.  There are also sample pages where you can purchase from Amazon or a signed copy from me.

The Twilight Rate

Flushing Queens golf sports New York

I’ve got a story in this sports anthology. Six years ago when I first moved to Queens, I worked at the cash register in the pro shop of a golf course. The events of this story are fictionalized but certainly were inspired by some of the cultural tension I sensed working at the course. You can purchase the collection from me here or through the website of the Main Street Rag.



If you know Audible subscribers, would you share?

If you’re a subscriber to Audible, (or you just can’t get enough of my voice in your head) you might want to check out my 80s music and movies themed novel Love on the Big Screen as an audio book.  I’m the reader and my voice is just now recovering in time for the start of the semester.  By the way, I do some light singing in one scene.

It’s tough to get the word out about this audio book, and so if you think some of your friends subscribe to Audible, I hope you’ll consider sharing this post.

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William Torgerson audible good book, great book, 80s romantic comedy Cusack Ringwald


Click on the Audible icon or here to listen to me read the opening.

If you don’t know the novel, here’s a little about Love on the Big Screen:

You’ll meet Zuke. He’s a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-eighties romantic comedies. The story is set at a fictionalized version of Olivet Nazarene University and while creating the story, I reflected on my own romantic life and special obsession for films such as Say Anything and Sixteen Candles. My adaptation of this novel won the Grand Prize of the Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition.

80s romantic comedy, Cusack, Ringwald, Dobler, Nick Hornby, Olivet Nazarene

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Torg Has Moved

I’ve moved into some new digital digs. Please click here to say hello. When you get to the new place, I hope you’ll take the time to subscribe for updates.  Thanks!

William Torgerson Winamac, Indiana Olivet Nazarene University Cusack Say Anything John Hughes Sixteen Candles Faith God fag writing teaching St. John's University

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The Real “Cheese” Behind the Fictional One: Covington High School Coach and Olivet Nazarene University grad, Kent Chezem

Looks like Hoosiers Jimmy Chitwood?

In my novel Love on the Big Screen, the protagonist Zuke has a sort of love rival named “Cheese.”  It’s a name I took from real life from my friend and former teammate, Kent Chezem.  I remember that one of the coaches at Olivet Nazarene University where we were teammates used to always call Kent by the name “Jimmy,” as in Jimmy Chitwood from Hoosiers.  Kent was an excellent basketball player, the all time leader at Olivet Nazarene University in assists, and now he’s the head basketball coach at Covington High School in Indiana.  Kent has been a head coach in Indiana for seventeen years and last season he recently won his 200th game.  I asked him the following question about an event that I once witnessed when we were teammates: 

When I was on the Olivet Nazarene University basketball team, you became the all-time leader for assists.  I remember that when you broke the record, lots of students threw cheese slices onto the floor.  Was that the first time the students did that?   

Bill Torgerson Kent Chezem Love on the Big Screen Covington High School St. John's University Frankfort, Indiana Jimmy Chitwood

Looks like a young Coach Chezem?

No, I guess it actually started my freshman year before you arrived at Olivet.  As an ONU grad, you know that the best and worst part of being a freshman is living in Chapman Hall.  As much as I hated living in that old run down dorm, some of my fondest college memories originate from there.  Some of my friends in Chapman decided it would be cool to start throwing cheese when I was introduced during starting line-ups.  They stole the idea from Cleveland State whose student section did the same thing for their starting point guard:  Kenny “Mouse” McFadden.  Mouse McFadden had become famous for leading Cleveland State in an upset win over Indiana University and Bobby Knight in the NCAA tournament back in the 80’s.

What started out as a nice and simple gesture by a group of my friends (about 25 Kraft singles) grew quickly into a campus-wide fad.  Within a few games, it seemed like everyone was bringing cheese to throw during introductions.  By the end of the season, each home game started out with a “delay” prior to tipoff so that Godam Sultan (Birchard custodian) could clear the floor of cheese.  As much as I enjoyed the attention, the mess on the floor was really starting to become a problem.  At the end of the season, the conference instituted a rule declaring that a technical foul would be called at all future games where fans threw objects on the floor before or during the game.  That was the last of the cheese to be thrown in Birchard, at least that’s what I thought.

Bill Torgerson Kent Chezem Love on the Big Screen Covington High School St. John's University Frankfort, Indiana Jimmy Chitwood

Celebratory Confetti or Dangerous Projectile?

My buddies did bring back the Kraft singles one last time my senior year.   They knew that I was very close to breaking the school’s career assist record, so they came to the game armed with a “Cheese-O-Meter” to countdown the assists, and a whole bunch of Kraft singles.  After my roommate Mike Carr missed 3 consecutive chances to give me the record, David Grasse finally hit a jumper to push me over the top.  The student section let ’em fly.  As  expected, the referees did call a technical foul, but luckily we were well enough ahead that it didn’t have any bearing on the game.  I still remember having a conversation with one of the opposing players during the technical free throws about why our students were throwing cheese onto the floor during a basketball game.

Olivet was a pretty conservative place.  Am I right to remember that you got in a lot of trouble for painting a speed bump to make it look like a candy cane? 

Bill Torgerson Kent Chezem Love on the Big Screen Covington High School St. John's University Frankfort, Indiana Jimmy Chitwood

Candy Cane Speed Bump Prank?

Painting candy stripes on a speed bump would have been a funny prank, but you are giving me credit for something I didn’t do.  I am guilty of setting off fireworks in the quad, dropping water balloons out of dorm rooms, and among other things…dressing up in a gorilla costume and stealing candy from the girls’ dorms at Halloween.  I even remember a night that started with a bunch of my buddies, a few dozen water balloons, and a pickup truck.  It ended up with us getting hauled in to jail and Grover Brooks (Dean of Students) picking us up from the police station at 4 am!  That fiasco got me kicked out of the honors dorm for the remainder of the semester, but it was one of the funniest nights of my life.  Luckily nobody got hurt and nobody was formally charged with a crime.