Author's love of sports has roots in Warwick teams

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Bob Hocking has an early memory of picking up and reading a sports book at his grandmother’s house as a boy. That memory, plus the influence of his uncle and father on his love for the subject, have remained with him. On April 18, Hocking released his book, Title Town, a collection of essays about sports.

He is, of course, excited, but Hocking said knowing the book is released and the work on it is finished is a “breath of fresh air.” Many of the essays in Title Town had already been released on his website, inmybackpack.com, and were “spruced up” to remain exciting for current readers. However, Hocking also wrote a few exclusively for the book that haven’t been seen anywhere else.

“Most were selected based on the idea of [the book] being fun and enjoyable,” like sports are supposed to be, he said.

Hocking grew up in Warwick and attended Park, Gorton and Vets schools. He currently resides in upstate New York with his wife Terry but still comes back to visit his hometown where his parents reside. Sports were always a big part of Hocking’s life as he grew up, and all the sports he played were based in Warwick. He recalls playing in the Warwick American Little League and participating in soccer at the Boys and Girls Club in Oakland Beach.

Not all his sports memories include playing them. Hocking also humorously remembers his St. Bernard dogs beating him in bets when he made his seasonal football picks.

Hocking attended Syracuse University and graduated with an English degree. He had worked on the campus ambulance service, which led him to spend some time teaching for the American Red Cross. His writing efforts kicked off in 2003 with the establishment of his website In My Backpack, where he chronicled many of his interests. Hocking has also penned other books, including Time Just Drifts Away, the three volume Strange and Unexpected: Backpack on the Road, Thirty Days in November and Something Old, Something New. He hopes to release another novel in the fall, but it won’t be sports related. Title Town is his first sports-related book, and he says it will be the last for the foreseeable future.

As he tried to write his book in the same fun way sports can be enjoyed, Hocking hopes readers will be entertained by Title Town.

Title Town is available online at Hocking’s website inmybackpack.com, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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