The Revere years
Welcome. Thank you for visiting The Z Section. I am Bobby Warren. I grew up in Revere, Mass., in an Italian family in an Italian neighborhood. I like to think it is because of my Italian heritage that I have a sense of humor that does not quit. You know that you cannot watch a movie about Italians without food, and I enjoy food. My father, Bob Sr., was an incredible chef. My mother, Carmen, is Italian and cooks even better than he does. I ended up working as a cook for my dad.
With my father being a chef, I like to tell people we moved around more than military families. A friend of my dad might become a general manager at a hotel and ask my dad to be his executive chef. So, we went from Massachusetts to Columbia, S.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., to Little Rock, Ark., to Daytona Beach, Fla.
The Daytona years
I finished high school at Seabreeze High (the alma mater of Greg Allman and Ron Rice of Hawaiian Tropic fame) and started studying computer programming at Daytona Beach Community College (now Daytona State University). I dropped out, started again, quit and then went back and earned a degree.
During high school, I began working at Daytona Magic for Irv Cook and Harry Allen. When I quit college, Irv got mad at me. I told him I would go back, but he told me people who quit tend not to return to school. What Irv said really stuck with me over the years. Eventually, I did return to the community college. This time, I wanted to write, and I was studying marketing and journalism. I even started working at The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal, which was a great five years. I learned so much about the business from the bottom up.
Fast forward nearly 15 years, I am living in Hillsboro, Ohio, a friend, Leland Pennington, tells me Harry Allen is having a lecture in Dayton, Ohio. I go to see Harry, and who is there? Irv Cook. The first thing I told Irv was that I finished college. I told him that I earned an associate’s degree in journalism at the community college, worked on a journalism and history double major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando before leaving to study at Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary (now known as Cincinnati Christian University). I wanted Irv to know that I earned a bachelor degree in the Bible and General Studies (similar to a liberal arts degree) with a minor in journalism. I also told him how I earned a master’s degree in Biblical Studies with a concentration in the New Testament. It meant a lot to be able to tell Irv I went back and finished college.
The Cincinnati/Hillsboro years
While at Cincinnati Christian University, I met the former Wendi Anita Breese. It only took me about a year to ask her out, but when I did, we were married about five months later. At the time of this writing (Jan. 9, 2013), we have been married almost 18 years, and it has been an absolute blessing. Wendi has been so supportive, it is unbelievable. I cannot imagine where I would be without her. Whether my studies, my preaching ministry at Mount Washington Church of Christ in Hillsboro, my magic, my journalism career, my blogging, whatever, she has been there to support and help me. She is a beautiful, amazing and talented woman, and I am so thankful God brought us together.
Writing, my passion
Writing has been a passion of mine, and I have been blessed to be able to make a good living through writing. I started my journalism career at The News-Journal, then later worked as an assistant editor at the Record Herald in Washington Court House, Ohio, and a reporter and city editor for The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio, where I am now gainfully employed. (I served as city editor for about 10 months and returned to reporting after some restructuring of the newsroom).
One of the reasons I enjoy working as a reporter is because I get paid to learn. It is like being a freelance writer with a steady paycheck. What could be better than that?
A life-long learner with varying interests
I am a lifelong learner and I have furthered my education since graduating from Cincinnati Christian University. I have taken additional online courses in journalism through The Poynter Institute and earned a certificate in business reporting from The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University. I also picked up a certificate in grant writing from The Ohio State University.
My interests are far-ranging, from theology to politics to magic to technology. Since joining the world of journalism nearly 25 years ago, my works have been published in trade magazines, regional magazines and in Christian publications. I serve as associate editor for The Linking Ring, the official publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
I am also an accomplished magician and mindreader, having performed for intimate and large audiences in the eastern United States.
I live in Wooster with Wendi and our pets. I teach an adult Bible study class at Parkview Christian Church, Wooster, where I also play bass with the praise team. I am occasionally asked to preach at churches, speak to church groups and talk to students about a career in journalism. I was just bugging our lead minister, Brian White, about letting me preach at Parkview. (He said yes.)
I am currently writing and working on three book projects. One is for mentalists, and I am currently in the writing process. I have outlined a book tentatively titled, “The Pursuit of You: How You Fit Into God’s Story.” It gives an overview of the Bible story and then shows how God has pursued you because he loves you. You can check out the outline and comment on it here. The other book will be a smaller effort looking at the basics of Christianity.
My Kindle books
My first offering via Kindle Direct Publishing is an inspirational story I wrote after my wife and I discovered an old, blind, deaf dog wandering in the road on a winter night. I wrote about the ordeal here and how that dog taught me lessons about God. It is available for purchase via Amazon.com.
What I am reading now
Other than the Bible, which I read every day, the books I am reading now deal with starting a business, becoming an author, blogging, writing, self-publishing and marketing. Below you will see the books I am currently reading. (Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and I will make a small percentage if you buy a book through my links.) I also wrote a blog post about the books I am reading now. Follow this link to learn more.