On Thursday, September 25, author Josh Hanagarne visited the Taylorsville Redwood Campus to speak with hopeful and interested writers about his book and personal life. He also answered questions regarding faith, family and working at the Salt Lake City Main Library.
His book, “The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Book Lovers Adventure,” takes the reader into the world of someone who has severe Tourette syndrome. He knew at a young age that his life would be altered by his ticks, of which he has personified in his book as a woman named ‘Misty.’
Misty made it hard for Hanagarne to create relationships, keep jobs and finish college (of which he did after 10 years of going to school off and on). Raised as a member of the LDS church, his faith and his family played a large part in how he dealt with his problems.
His Tourette’s continued to affect his work as he began writing the book. It took Hanagarne four and a half years and eight full drafts before it was published.
He worked with his literary editor and cut nearly 300 pages of work to create what is now a 288 page book. He didn’t feel bad about losing the 300 pages either.
“I never pretended there was a best way to do it,” said Hanagarne. “I just thought there was a lot of good ways.”
His blog, which has the same name as his book, is what really started this journey. It was such a big surprise, he talks about how it was completely pressure-free.
“Because I never saw myself as a writer, I never had the pressure,” said Hanagarne. “I did it for fun.”
He went on to answer questions about his personal life and talked about his passions, which include training and reading.
Hanagarne refers to his training habits quite often in his book, explaining to readers that it helped with his ticks that were, and still are, rapidly getting worse.
Reading has been a passion for him since he was very young, his favorite book being Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
Throughout the open Q&A, Hanagarne stayed calm and answered with a sincere and genuine demeanor.
He answered questions about his son who is showing signs of Tourette syndrome and about his divorce with his wife.
He talked about his persisting ticks and their progression as well as how that affects his training. However, his last comment seemed to hit home with the students of the Creative Non-Fiction class.
“[Writing memoirs] is not reporting, it’s not a life,” said Hanagarne. “It’s a look at a life.”
Hanagarne’s book is exactly that; a look at the Tourette’s, reading and training of someone who questioned everything and searched for answers.
Hanagarne continues to post on his blog, The World’s Strongest Librarian, about his upcoming books as well as his progress in training and reading. More information about his book can be found on his website.