Welcome to this, a new chapter in the book of my life.
For the past seven-and-a-half years, I’ve written the Hartford Books Examiner column for Examiner.com. In that time, I’ve interviewed hundreds of writers and reviewed hundreds of titles, found my pull quotes featured in dozens (and dozens) of books, appeared on radio & television, and moderated author/book discussions throughout Connecticut.
So much of my identity was wrapped up in that title: Hartford Books Examiner.
Then, on July 1st, I stumbled across the news that Examiner.com had gone defunct. (On Facebook, no less. Because isn’t that where all life-altering stories break?)
Just like that, the forum that legitimized my journalistic ambitions was gone.
And you know what I felt in that moment? Freedom.
(Okay, okay … also a momentary sense of panic. Will the books stop arriving on my doorstep? Will the invitations to appear at events stop being offered? Will the many, many people who’ve shared their stories so generously stop thinking I’m worthy of their time and thought?)
Though I’ve lost one virtual home, I’ve been liberated to create another (www.johnbvaleri.com). I’ve also regained the ability to indulge my book lust on my own terms. Yes, that’s right: I, I, I. I’m done sacrificing personality for professionalism. They can coexist.
So here we are.
I’m so excited to share the worlds that exist between pages with you!