WEbooker of the WEek is Jersey Boy, Jan 20 Contributor04:27
Most of us found our way to WEbook because we love to write, to read, and to support our fellow writers. Many of us dream of getting published. WEbooker of the WEek Ardethbey is no different, but he also has another dream. “I grew up just up the road from Asbury Park, NJ. You know, the Mecca of Springsteen,” he says. “When I stopped to buy a Snapple, I could literally run into Bruce Springsteen any day of the week.” But it hasn’t happened. Yet. And now that he’s living out of state, well, Ardethbey mostly focuses on his writing.
“I spent the better part of 10 years saying ‘hey look at this metaphorical box of stuff I can do’, without actually pursuing any of it,” he explains. “A year and a half ago I started a blog and have spent every day since working on something related to writing.”
Here’s more of what Ardethbey had to say in response to a few of our typically hard-hitting questions:
1) What do you miss about New Jersey?
Most definitely I’d have to say the food. There is no better pizza in the world than on the Jersey Shore
(Yeah! I said it.) I consider myself to be a pizza connoisseur, so that accolade comes in high regard. New Jersey’s close proximity to New York City has to be mentioned as well. I grew up in Jersey and was always afraid of the Big Apple with all its craziness. The last year I spent in NJ gave me the opportunity to spend quality time in NYC and I loved it. My story ‘212’ is about me saying goodbye…for now.
2) In your WEbook profile under “Character You’d Like to be for a Day,” you list Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web. What would you do as Wilbur for a day?
There is nothing like getting existential about becoming a pig that talks to spiders. See, the thing is, I think I really am Wilbur right now. Not just because I have a “writers belly,” but the idea behind him. I am old enough to know better, but still walk around in a haze of innocence and naivety. The perpetual dreamer. I don’t want to see the truth just outside the barn, but am forever intrigued when the outsiders whisper of its wonders.
3) What was the inspiration behind your project Hitchhiking Naked: The Legend of Billy Wylde and can you explain the project a little?
I started a short story called "Recollect" about a man who loses his memory after a bus accident where he is saved by a young Billy Wylde. Billy is kind of a gypsy, a real ne’er-do-well, and even though he often breaks all your stuff, he has a heart of gold. The project was kind of a viral experiment. I started the story on one blog as straight up fiction, then created another blog that was “written” by the main character of ‘Recollect’, Rob Lucas. Rob’s blogs started about him (a year after the short story) and featured his crazy Billy Stories, like the time Billy left Rob a note asking if he should wake him. Long story short (too late), the readers of Rob’s blog loved Billy and quickly all attention was on him. So ‘Hitchhiking Naked’ is Billy’s “Odyssey.” He’s off to discover who his estranged father was after news of his death.
4) Your essay “Hussein” was recently published in the Jan 20, 2009 WEbook. What are your thoughts on being included in the collection?
I was overwhelmed when I was selected. This project was the very first I’d ever entered into with the chance of being published and I am so happy my words and thoughts were chosen. I am very excited and Barnes and Noble ordered my copy for me to pick up this weekend, which will be a real life moment for me.
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