So, this happened…

A few months ago I read a selection from “The Source of All Things” by Tracy Ross, that was originally published as a feature article in Backpacker magazine. It details her step-father’s abuses, as well as her need for a cohesive family.

My sentence-long synopsis does it no justice. Read the Backpacker article now, and order the book.

It’s riveting.

At any rate, I tweeted about her article a while ago, and she just got back to me the other night, which opened up a dialogue between us.

tracy ross 2


From there, she must have looked at my recent tweets, because then this interaction occurred:

tracy ross conversation


Tracy Ross is a powerful writer. Her work is powerful and moving. For her to say that my work has left her speechless is about as high a praise as I can imagine. As well, I apparently set the bar rather high, if a writer of her caliber is interested in it.

Oh Lord, please let me live up to my own hype!


About Joseph F. Berenato

Joseph F. Berenato obtained a B.A. in English and spent four years as the entertainment editor of The Hammonton Gazette before returning to his roots at his family's blueberry farm in Hammonton, NJ. In 2014, Joe conceived, edited, and contributed to New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics. He also co-edited three books examining Star Wars and two books examining Planet of the Apes for Sequart with Rich Handley. Joe wrote the introduction for IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Volume 3 as well as retrospective essays for that company’s Star Trek #50 and their Star Trek Gold Key 100-Page Spectacular. He also contributed to ATB Publishing's Star Trek anthology Outside In Boldly Goes. He holds a Master of Arts in Writing from Rowan University, and is an adjunct professor with Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing, NJ, where he teaches freshman composition and serves as advisor for the school’s student-run newspaper, the Atlantic Cape Review. You can find Joe at or at, and on Twitter at @JFBerenato.
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3 Responses to So, this happened…

  1. zeilma45 says:

    Joe, I am so sorry it took me so long to read this as well, but first I want to say, congratulations. As I know we have discussed in class before, you have this wonderful talent to be so vivid with your storytelling as well as your description in the pieces that you write. Tracy Ross’s piece was one of my favorites as well. I am so glad that you got to talk with her. You have an amazing way of being serious, while also weaving humor into your writing where you can. Don’t ever lose that.

  2. Kouroupoc1 says:

    Hi Joe,
    I came across some interesting information regarding PTSD. It appears that children suffer more from the disorder than veterans do. Have you seen this information in your research?

    • I have — refer to my ex-wife, actually.

      But the scope of the project is about combat vets in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, so it doesn’t really fit in with the scope of my research.

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