By Ashley Emert
Although it sounds contradictory, experience and no experience whatsoever were the major elements to help Dr. Allen Bohl write his first book, Back Porch Swing.
Now a sport management instructor at Flagler, Bohl started out as a math major, and then became an athletic director at schools in Toledo, Fresno and Kansas. With that background, it may come as a surprise that Bohl has been writing for two and a half years.
“One of the things that my parents gave me was work ethic,” Bohl said. Since he had never had any formal training, Bohl just forced himself to sit down and write at least two pages a day. “I couldn’t even golf until I had my two pages written,” he said.
Back Porch Swing is about Lance Stoler, a senior in high school who gets the option of leaving his small town in Kentucky to go to a big school on a basketball scholarship. He meets a few unsavory characters on the way and faces some temptations that he must work through. Lance has his family, however, and they all overcome their obstacles together.
The book is not just about sports. Bohl emphasized that the story is one to which everyone can relate. “I wanted to make the reader feel like they were part of the Stoler family,” Bohl said.
One piece of advice that he learned from If You Want to Write, a book by Brenda Ueland, was to just write. Bohl loved writing, but he also cherished the editing stage. He said, “If you work hard, stay honest and maintain your integrity, you will go far.”
Bohl’s novel was published by Advantage Media Group in December 2005.