Local blogger publishes book of greatest hits

Friday, December 17, 2010

Brad Hollerbach is a mild-mannered Southeast Missourian IT director by day and blogger by night.

His blog, "The Irony of It All," has been a staple of the Southeast Missourian website's blog section for the last two years. He has posted more than 300 blogs.

Hollerbach has collected his favorite blogs and published a collection in book form called "Typos and Awl," available at www.lulu.com.

"Collecting them into a book made sense to me," Hollerbach said. "I like ink on paper. I like books. And with the cost of publishing being so low these days, you can produce a very nice looking book for relatively little money."

Hollerbach's writing takes influence from everything from local issues to everyday observations.

"Almost anything can be the spark for a blog, although most of mine are probably the result of some trivial thing that I observed or read," he said. "For instance, a recent blog on an auction of Queen Elizabeth's underwear by the estate of a Florida playboy was by no means front-page news."

Though his blogs are tongue-in-cheek, Hollerbach said he likes to have the facts before he writes. That's one reason he tends to avoid national issues.

"It's not that I don't have an opinion on these issues," Hollerbach said, "but I often like to write after collecting all the facts, and it is often hard to discern what is or isn't the truth on nationwide discussions."

Locally, he has touched on the casino issue as well as the proposed smoking ban, and can see that some hot topics get people commenting more than others.

"I'm willing to listen to arguments by readers and even if we don't agree in the end, I usually respect their opinion," Hollerbach said.

Micah Emmons, a regular reader and poster on Hollerbach's blogs, agrees.

"His humor is backed with an arsenal of facts. His blogs are like conversations," he said. "They don't speak at you, they are casual and the topics are interesting."

Emmons is a fan of Hollerbach's "Dear Doofus" blogs, which center on people who aren't always a shining example of wisdom and good judgment.

"Brad's blogs are fun, but some people read and respond to them in a serious tone," Emmons said. "That's when, I think, Brad really bares his sharp wit. His response to [a comment from] the Chicken Whisperer in a recent blog really had me laughing."

Gretchen Wolf-Yahnig is originally from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., but has lived in Ocala, Fla., for the past 21 years. She frequently reads Hollerbach's blogs and said her favorite entry is "Is It Wrong to Love my Trashcan?" about naming his trash cans and holding on to a very sturdy black one called 'Ol Blackie.

"I love Brad's take on everyday things that happen in Cape and beyond," Wolf-Yahnig said. "That's what keeps me reading the blog."

For writing hopefuls, Hollerbach suggests finding what interests you and focusing on that.

"Writing should be fun," he said. "That's why I don't write about technology and the latest gee-whiz gadget that came out, even though that is how I make my living. That type of stuff doesn't interest me to point that I want to write 500 words."

Hollerbach said one criterion he uses for most of his blogs is that they have to make him laugh.

"I have a fairly wide sense of humor, so I realize that not everything I publish will make everyone laugh. I don't take it personally if someone doesn't like what I wrote," Hollerbach said. "You can't make everyone happy and there is no point in trying, so I don't. I just have to answer to my own internal critic."

Hollerbach's blog "The Irony of It All" is available at www.semissourian.com, and "Typos & Awl" is available for purchase online at www.lulu.com.

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