|Posted by EHancock2 on September 27, 2019 at 2:45 PM||comments (13)|
It has been a month since Buddy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Life for the cats was not really rocked. They seemed to have moved on without a care, though I know they both adored Buddy. They loved to cuddle up to him and Oscar in particular showed genuine concern when Buddy grew sicker near the end. Alas, their life has rocked on.
Lucky seems to come and go. He rocked on for a while. The Pyrenees in him had to continue to look after the remaining members of his herd. But he has sniffed the bed where Buddy was once commonly found and has whimpered on multiple occasions. Buddy was a literal mentor to him. In a very real sense, Buddy taught Lucky how to "dog". Yeah, I know there are certain inate characteristics that sort of make this naturally occur, but pups have teachers that teach them what's acceptable in the pack and what isn't. New pups have to learn their place in the pecking order and good, patient Buddy was great about showing Lucky a thing or two. It was Buddy's calm demeanor, I think, that ultimately helped the rambunctious Lucky discover the gloriousness that is the afternoon nap.
As for me, I'll always miss Buddy. If I live another 100 years and own 500 more dogs, I'll always miss Buddy like no other. He is just that special. That different. That much higher. One third of my life was devoted to that dog's care and 100 percent of his life was devoted to mine. it scarcely seems fair, when you put it like that.
I should have had more time with him. Alas, I did not. But I have said it before and I'll say it a thousand times. I am ever grateful for the 15 years God granted me with the sweetest face that ever faced. I was sitting in the kitchen the other night, just kinda lost in thought. Not really thinking of anything. Lost in thought might be the wrong term. I was just kinda blank. Not really anywhere, my mind not really on anything. Randomly, I blurted out, "I love you, Buddy."
Now, I'm fully aware he isn't here. I'm fully aware he awaits me on the other side and may or may not be able to see the things I do or hear the things I say. That's for God to decide, not me. But I know his physical presence is no longer with me. But it just felt good to let Buddy know I still love him. Maybe just in case God allows him to check on his Daddy from time to time.
I love you, Pup. I always will. I don't expect you could read "human" when hindered by your earthly form. But, if by some weird chance, you've slipped those bonds and are free to understand me on every level, I hope that maybe you'll read this little note, direct from my heart, and know that I still miss you. I still love you and I still intend to greet you in Heaven one day.
Until next time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on August 23, 2019 at 8:20 PM||comments (7)|
Today is the first day of life without you. Today, I woke up and you were not there with me. Today, Lucky strolled around the house and from one end of the porch to the other sniffing the spots where you lay just yesterday, awaiting your final goodbye.Today, I didn't have to give you give you a bunch of pills or feel sorry for you as you lumbered outside just to go for that first morning pee. Today, you're free of pain, walking like you did when the world was new and both of us were a lot younger. Today was the first time in 15 years I realized I would never see your smiling face or feel your sweet sweet puppy kisses this side of heaven. Today, I felt like a 7 year old boy. But I'm not seven. Today, I'm a 45-year-old man grieving the loss of a dog I'd had for 1/3 of my existence on this planet.
Yesterday, after you'd taken your final breaths, I posted the following to Facebook: "When a dog has no collar, you go out and buy him one. When a collar no longer has a dog, it's not nearly as simple."
And it's not simple at all.
I've never had a dog that wasn't sweet and/or protective of me. I've never had a dog with which I could not bond on some level. But you were something extra. The inexplicable bond we forged through the last 15 years is unlike some bonds I've known with humans. You were there when my granny died in 2009, and again when I lost my home and my second wife left me just month or two after that. You were there for me in 2010, when I lost my second grandmother and again in 2015 when my last grandpa went home to be with God. You were there for me the day we moved into this house. I've only ever known this home with you in it. You even welcomed Lucky when we found him under the porch. A little 2.2 lb scared baby became your shadow -- at times, an unwelcome one, I think -- even as he grew into a 150 lb annoyance. Your patience and persistence has rubbed off on him. You'd be proud of how he has handled your loss. He's being a brave brave boy for Daddy as I'm trying to be strong for him and the cats.
I don't really know what the cats think of your absence to be honest. You know Emmitt. Mr. Crabby Pants is still Mr. Crabby Pants, seemingly oblivious to anyone that isn't him. Oscar is a bit more clingy than usual, but you know he likes to sleep on my chair anyway, so most people would hardly notice. I didn't really notice til he followed me to the bathroom. If it's not morning, he doesn't do that. He sure has today. And it's not just that. But it's subtle things. He's far more vocal that normal. Maybe he's looking for you? Calling out to you? Come out! Come out! wherever you are!
I want to honor your memory somehow. I don't know how yet. I just know you were the best dog a man could have had. My world was made better for having you in it. You were never a loud dog. You were content to nap the day away, if that's what Daddy wanted to do. So, why is it that the silence of your absence truly IS deafening?
I promised you that I would have another dog in our home again... and I will. But it will be a while, Buddy. I need it to be you. And it won't be you. Until the grief passes, I won't be any good for another dog. But I will give a home to another puppy. And, like Lucky, he won't be you. He or she will be their own dog. But, if the movies can be believed, I truly hope that maybe a bit of your spirit will live on in any future dog I may have. If you come back, find me. Find your way home. If you don't come back, just rest easy. I'll see you in Heaven. Because it won't be Heaven without you, Pup.
I love you,
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 8, 2019 at 5:50 PM||comments (6)|
For all the people who don't seem to get it why people are up in arms over the Ariel race debate, it's complicated, but I'll simplify it for you, in 2 ways. First as a fan.... a few years ago, a bunch of racist non-whites got together and protested the Oscars being "so white". Rather than improve their talent, minorities wanted Oscars to be the movie equivalent of participation trophies. Nevermind the fact the Alma awards are "so brown" and BET awards are "so black." Whites have to now shrink. Be less. Do less. Ignore our potential because SOME lazy actors of color don't want to be Sidney Poitier and put in a performance so perfect that even our country's most heated racists couldnt deny him his award. And what performances do they want awarded??? JAMIE FOXX usurping the white role of Daddy Warbucks from the comic and other audiovisual depictions of little orphan Annie. Now we are supposed to give out awards because of LACK of originality. Same thing they'll be screaming about if this new Ariel movie isn't nominated. You don't get it. The award is supposed to be about originality and the strength of that performance. Not about "well we've given the award to white people 3 times now so let's find a minority to give it to this time. Yes i know this one is better but we have to be fair to people who refuse to act as well as their white counterparts."
Now i will say this.... 2015s Straight Outta Compton deserved more recognition than it got.... particularly Corey Hawkins, who played Dr. Dre so expertly i literally had to remind myself it wasn't him at times. Hawkins is an alum of Juilliard and knows what he's doing. And it shows. Hawkins was not even nominated. It was the year that DiCaprio won for the Revenant and, while I'm happy Leo got his long-overdue recognition, a case could have been made for Hawkins. But, going back to Jamie Foxx, duplicating what white guy number one already did is lazy. And not award-worthy by itself. Period. You gotta give me a stand out performance. And Foxx just didnt. Not to pick on Foxx. He's put in great performances in movies like Ray. Even Denzel has had some stinker performances, but he BECAME Malcolm X in spike Lee's 1992 hit movie about the slain activist. Al Pacino won that year for his performance in Scent of a woman. While i agree he did great in that movie, the award should have gone to Denzel. I'll wholeheartedly say the academy got it wrong. (Keep in mind Rami Malek recently won for his stellar portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Washington should have, in his own right, won for portraying this larger than life figure so expertly.) I'm sure other examples could be cited. I just wanted to point you to the difference between making a role yours vs phoning it in on a role that's meant for a white man. One is award-worthy. The other is not.
My second point won't take as long. I'm an author. I created the characters in my world. I created Alex Mendez and his wife Lisa, their kids, families, work associates and friends. Alex should not be portrayed by Jackie Chan. Alex is described as having Hispanic skin and features because, well, hes got Hispanic genes in his makeup. I don't want him portrayed by a blind irishman named Lou. Likewise, Lisa is caucasian. She should never be played by an actress of any other race. Period. I created her caucasian. If she's not portrayed by a caucasian actress, i will not approve. Kellan is a black man. I often picture the actor/rapper Common when he's in the story, but a suggestion by a friend has also made me picture someone like a Morris Chestnut. Chief Steelman is a white man i picture as a mixture as looking like the love child of James Woods and Eugene Levy. While there's wiggle room on the actor that might play Steelman, hes a white guy. These races should not be changed. They're deliberate. In one of the books, Kellan tells a young, angry, black teen he does understand him because he WAS him. He faced a vital choice in his youth (something we've yet to learn much about) and chose the path that would make him a police officer. A simple twist of fate that had him on one side of the bars instead of the other. If you change Kellan's race in that scene, just that one change ruins the entire subplot and sequence. His role and importance is diminished by removing his race.
Now, should Ariel be white? The original disney cartoon -- geared at children -- made her a white redhead. By that standard -- a Disney remake of a Disney movie -- yes, she should be white.
HOWEVER.....DISNEY itself changed the source material. In the original tale, published in the 1830s, Ariel's skin has a greenish tone to it and, as part of the deal, she gets legs but her feet experience horrible pain and bleed constantly. It's not quite the cutesy Disney Tome some of us (myself included) have been defending. Original Ariel was not a redheaded white girl. While I'm dismayed that everything is an effort to see who can pander to blacks, gays and women the hardest, Ariel was never meant to be a redheaded white girl. So let's Gamora that gal and tell the story the author intended. That'll shut everybody up.... for a minute.
|Posted by EHancock2 on June 11, 2019 at 1:25 PM||comments (6)|
I waited on this blog for many reasons. One, because there's just not much I can say publicly about what's going on behind the scenes. But, second, I wanted to get well into my touring season before I offered a true update. Well, I'm into my touring year, so I think now's as good a time as any to update.
At the end of May, we had Kilgore Geekend. It was originally scheduled for a couple weeks earlier, but weather did not permit the event, so rescheduling put the event the weekend before Longview Comic Con. First, two weekends in a row is a lot rougher on me these days than it was in 2011, when Patty Wiseman and I were running up and down the roads, telling the world about our books. Back then, it seemed easier. I would get tired, but I bounced back. These days, bouncing back doesn't happen like it once did. And two events in a row like that killed me, physically and mentally. I don't know why, but I was just beyond spent. I guess my friend and fellow author, Bill Keith, is right when he says, "Gettin' old ain't for sissies." Now, I'm not 85 years old. I'm a mere pup of 45, but you have to understand I also have spina bifida and I've broken my back twice in my 45 years of life. Tired has a deep meaning to me now, and I experienced the seventh level of Tired Hell. Sold a lot of books. Made some really cool contacts. I probably shouldn't announce it, but I'm in the process of setting up an event at Half Price Books in Tyler, Texas. They sought me out at Kilgore and suggested I come out for a signing! Can you believe that!? They sought ME out! Wow! Honestly, it's an honor for me to sign there. I haven't done book stores since Hastings closed down. The big boys that are left just haven't been too friendly to us indy guys. So, having Half Price Books be willing to play host to the author of the Mendez Series is MAJOR for me. Truthfully, a much-needed ego boost!
This coming weekend, I travel to Arlington, Texas for ArlingCon. I have to be honest and say that I'm very nervous about this one. Not because of the fact it's a new event for me or anythign like that. Not because of the travel per se. Mostly, I'm nervous because there will be more tired, y'all! This is Arlington. Essentially, DFW area. Nearly 3-hour drive one way! Then 3 hours home. Then an all-day event! Oh there will be tired!
Being disabled, I guess it's not wrong to say I'm getting old before my time. But I can say that 2019 marks a year of slowing down for me. I've always said I'd leave the road when it stopped being fun. It's still fun, in many ways, but it's harsh on my body. Not just hard. It's debilitating on my body. So, I will be looking at other means to promote from 2020 onward. Oh i'll still do Kilgore Geekend, Tyler Comic Con, Longview Comic Con (if they keep doing it) and maybe a couple others here and there, but no I have already proven this year that I can't stay constantly on the go. That's okay though. A couple of opportunities are opening up for me and I hope my fans will like what we will have gone on.
Question: Does anyone even read these blogs? No one comments. No one asks me questions or anything anymore. There's no interaction from my many great fans. As I shift my efforts, do I keep the blog as a part of that or no?
As always, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 20, 2019 at 5:25 PM||comments (7)|
Well, I swear I've posted multiple blogs since the NOVEMBER, 2018 blog that shows up on my page. I'm not sure where they went, but they're gone now, so it is what it is.
I wanted to take this time to update some folks on all things Edward. Kilgore Geekend is approaching in May. I'll be in attendance. In June, I'll be at the Longview Comic Con and the ArlingCon. There's more after that. The year is a good level of busy. Not packed, but busy.
Facebook has re-doubled their efforts to censor people who lean conservative and/or preach the word of God on their service. I hate to see that happen, but it is what they're doing right now. I'm making contacts with prominent conservative leaders and political figures in hopes of fighting my (currently) permanent ban from Twitter and the frequent bans I've been getting from Facebook as of late. Free speech is under attack in America and I'm going to fight it. I don't care if you're conservative or liberal. You have the right to speak in this country. What you don't have the right to do is threaten me on Twitter. Unfortunately, TWITTER seems to think that I should be permanently banned after reporting three different people who sent me death threats via twitter. Think about that. Twitter PERMANENTLY banned me for RECEIVING a death threat.
In Islam, a woman can be legally killed for the "crime" of "letting" herself be raped by a man.... She can literally be MURDERED under Sharia tenents for being forceably raped. NOW, Twitter is banning people (like ME) for the "crime" of RECEIVING death threats. Tell me how that is NOT internet Sharia? Because that's exactly what it is. Our CRIME is espousing views that fall outside of Liberal lunacy and then receiving threats on our lives FOR those views. Those are our crimes. Twitter is going to suffer greatly for their internet sharia.
As to Facebook, yesterday, they banned me (30 days!) for a post they said fell outside their terms of service (It didn't, but they're liberals, so they get to pick and choose what breaks their rules and what doesn't) Here's the kicker. The 30-day ban they gave me??? It began 3 days after a 7-day ban ENDED...and they banned me for the SAME post! A post they deleted before the 7 days began! So. They banned me. Deleted the "offensive" post. I served my 7 days. Then 3 days later they decide to heck with me, I get another 30 just for a kick in the testicles? I cannot let that stand. And I won't. I let a lot go in my life. I'm a very patient and forgiving man, most days. This will be answered, and through the most powerful legal and political channels I can access. I'm tired of this abuse of power. I'm tired of rules being applied willy nilly. I'm tired of liberals on facebook getting away with 100 times the stuff we conservatives do. I'm tired of the hypocrisy. If you want to support Obama, Hillary, Nancy, Chuck and any other liberal on the block, that's all well and good. But when you do so while demonizing a person that supports Trump or Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or whoever, there's no longer a free society.
I love all my readers. I've got readers all across the demographic spectrum. Every color. Both genders. Young and old alike. I've even had liberal and conservative read my books. They like and dislike it across each spectrum. There's absolutely no uniformity there. Liberals like it and liberals dislike it. Conservatives like and dislike my books. Men, women, young old, black, white, brown, yellow, red, etc etc.... They like and dislike my book series in equitable measure. So, if we can appreciate the same movies (Marvel, DC, Star Wars, for example) or the same books (Mine, Stephen King's or J.K. Rowling's for example) Why do we have to be jerks because this or that person likes a different political candidate? And why do social media platforms have to push an agenda that is ultimately leading toward ANTI-SOCIAL behaviors? Answer: They're weak.
Weak companies led by weak leaders fail....
But... um... so do weak COUNTRIES.
Something to think about.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on November 14, 2018 at 2:30 PM||comments (8)|
So, my last two blogs mysteriously disappeared. Don't know that there was necessarily anything groundbreaking in them, but it is weird that they would just up and disappear like that. Oh well.
Anyway, a lot has happened since I last wrote. A month ago, Twitter decided (in the infinite stupidity) to ban me. Not just ban me for a day, or a week or even a month. Apparently, twitter has decided to ban me PERMANENTLY. I tried creating a new account with my information. I tried using a new Email address. Even created a profile meant for my mother, using her information and they said I couldn't do it. After writing them upwards of 10 times, they said they decided I was "a danger to other twitter users." Me. I'm "DANGEROUS" Y'all. Yeah, I know. I laughed too. I turn 45 in March. I was born with Spina Bifida. I'm about 80 lbs overweight. I can barely see at night. But I'm "DANGEROUS." I don't know whether to be flattered or insulted, to be honest... A couplel of my author friends contacted twitter in my defense, but let's be real. I'm not James Woods, Kris Paronto or Donald Trump. They're not afraid of me. They know I don't have the following of these other guys.... yet. But I'm gonna. And Twitter will understand the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword."
Dangerous? Yeah, Twitter. I'm dangerous. Because I'm going to expose your abuse of power and singling out a disabled man as a "danger" to your supression of truth and free speech. You ain't seen dangerous yet. But it's coming. From the little engine that you didn't think could.
In the meantime, I'm working on trying to figure out my writing future. My big plan for 2019 and 2020 was to shift a lot of my efforts from the road toward a more online presence. Twitter's ban has definitely put a monkey wrench in that plan, but I'm looking at other online platforms to try to expand my presence. I have a Tumblr that I never use. I'll probably try and figure out how to implement Tumblr into my online presence. I had a Pinterest, but it just wasn't anything I found useful to advertising. Someone suggested MeWe, but another friend said there was a lot of trolls and scammers there. So I dunno. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... maybe a couple of imitators is just what my career needs! LOL! j/k!
Anyway, I thought about getting back on TAGGED.com as well, but I was on it years ago, and it had basically become a dating site, not unlike plenty of fish. I can't say I got much out of it, to be honest.
SO, if you have any suggestions on web forums or social media sites I should try, let me know. They do not need to be writing related. They can be just general social media sites like Tumblr or Facebook. I have to replace a heck of a platform with the loss of twitter.
Oh and don't think the fight is over there. Like I said, I don't have the audience some people do, so they think I'm going to be ignored. I'm not. But, revenge is a dish best served cold. I'm going to build my audience. Before long, twitter will be begging me to be a part of their service. But no I won't. I'll buy twitter and fire every idiot there that bans people like me. In the meantime, I'm moving forward. I am not going to consume my life with revenge. I'm going to move forward and know that it'll happen. Twitter will either die on the vine or they will lift the ban. But twitter will need me one day. Mark My Word!
Until Next Time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 2, 2018 at 12:10 AM||comments (5)|
Fair Warning! This entire concept just came to me in a flash of what I hope to be brilliance, but I haven't planned anything out. As with most of my blogs, I keep the ideas fresh, raw and unfiltered. I hope the message is as helpful to you as the idea is logical to me.
People often ask me how do I choose what events to do and which to avoid. The answer is mostly trial and error, but it's also a matter of knowing myself, my books and my audience.
Now, if you've known me or read my blog for any length of time, you know I don't believe in limiting my audience to some meaningless demographic meant to prove to some random agent that I have a viable marketing plan when really I'm just hoping they'll sign my book. No, I'm not talking about marketing in that sense. I'm talking about knowing where to find your readers.
You do that in one of two ways. (And occasionally in each of these two.) You either go the places that appeal to your personality, interests and hobbies or you go see and do the things you've never tried or never cared for. More than likely, if you're talking about marketing books you like, you're going to be going to places and experiencing events you will enjoy. That enjoyment will almost invariably translate to sales. (Not always, but it sure helps when people see you having a good time.)
Usually, when marketing books, people will advise you to go places that tie in to your books. If your books involve a skydiver, go to a skydiving school and sell books. Only problem? they're not there to buy books. They're there to skydive. So you might sell a few. You might not. There's no guarantee. If your books are about a police detective (as mine are) the "experts" might advise you to go to your local police station and ask them about celebrations, events or planned formal affairs they have on the calendar. Ask if you can set up a table and sell your books. It's not a horrible idea by any means. All they can say is no.
Now, let me be clear. By no means am I telling you to ignore the advice of the supposed experts. What I am telling you is that I've been on the road. Many of these supposed "experts" have not. I've seen what works for me and I've seen what works for authors with which I've toured.
I've been at music festivals. I've been at festivals celebrating the deliciousness of peaches, yams, pecans, syrup and watermelon. I've been to holiday-themed events, patriotic events, balloon races, even a KITE FEST! (That was fun, but it sure was a windy day!) I've been to festivals where 500 people showed up all day and I've been to BIG events in the Dallas area where I never say the same person twice because 80,000 people lends itself to quite the sea of faces.
Over the course of about 4 years traveling, this is what I've learned. I've learned I'm a serious nerd, but I know nothing about Indy music. I may be a geek master supreme but I can't knit, sew and know zip about delicious jams and jellies. Too, I've learned my genuine love of Christmas seems to be infectious to others.
What works for me are comic cons, Anime fests, Geeky fairs, Christmas festivals, holiday in the park, and cultural events such as theatrical plays. Occasionally, Library events work well for me. I love libraries. It just depends on how well (and widely) they've been advertised and the community involvement as a whole. The more your community loves its library, the more likely people are to turn out. (EDDIETOR's Note: Libraries need people... VISIT YOUR LIBRARY OFTEN!)
These things work for me because I'm passionate about the tie in to those things. I'm a geek. I love Christmas. They often occur in-doors or during a time of year when it's not too hot outside.
Want to have a writing career you can enjoy? Choose events you enjoy. Even if you write detective stories, as I do, you may not enjoy the formality of a Policeman's Ball. You might prefer something more informal like a City-sponsored fun day benefit, celebrating the police. Even if your books aren't about delicious jams and jellies, if you are into canning and the likes, who's to say you wouldn't do well there? You're talking to your people. You're talking to people who share your interests. No, they're not going there for books. But you have a common interest. There's always a chance they'll buy your book simply because they enjoyed the conversation about Elderberry Jam.
Maybe you're into sewing. Do you have a sewing club? Ask the leadership if you can come talk about your book at the next gathering. Or just invite folks over to your house for a book party.
That's another thing. Don't be afraid to get a friend to host a book launch party for you. Invite your friends, sure. Maybe offer a special deal like "Bring a friend and each of you get the second book free when you buy the first one." Yanno, whatever floats your boat there.
Now, maybe you're not comfortable doing that. To be honest, it doesn't appeal to me, really. It's a lot of books to buy ahead of time. People have family emergencies or get sick. You just can't guarantee that every book you purchase is going to find a home that night, so it runs a risk of leaving you with a lot of books to tote home at the end of the night!
That's a good time to mention this very important fact. No event is a guarantee. I've had events where I completely sold out of books and the next year I had another book out but only sold two the entire weekend. On the other hand, I've seen an event I expected to go poorly be one of the hottest events of my year.
That's why it's important to go places you're going to enjoy. If you're having a good time, sure it'll still suck if you don't sell books. That's why you're there afterall. But you'll make good friends and, all too often, you might just get a contact for the next pecan festival or Catfish Eating Contest or Comic Con. I can't tell you how often that has happened to me. I've been at an event where the books just were not selling, but I'd get leads on two events that just about singlehandedly saved my year!
Like I said when I began this particular writing, I wasn't exactly sure where I was going to go with it. I know I've been a bit scattered and all over the place, but I hope that the main point has not been lost. You need to not just go to places that "tie in" to your books. Sure, try it. See if it works. See if that appeals to you as something you'd like to continue. THEN go to places that you enjoy. Maybe you're an outdoor girl that enjoys fishing and hunting. Even if you write romance, you might do well at a gun and knife show. Why? If you write romance but enjoy guns and knives, what are the chances that you're the only person in the universe that writes or reads romance but likes guns and knives? Chances aren't very good. You just physically can't be the only person. Think outside the box!
Now, something else to consider are booth fees. You have to look at fyour available books. How many books have you written? Have you written one book or ten? Maybe twenty? Okay good if it's ten or twenty. Maybe you can afford to pay the $300 to $500 booth fee of some of the bigger comic cons and events. If you're looking at maybe 1 or 2 books to your credit, you have to ask yourself can you make enough sales to get that money back, plus gas, hotel fees and any food for multi-night stays? By the time you pay for all that AND buy the books to stock up, you're starting out maybe $1,000 to $1,500 in the hole. Can you sell enough books to climb out of that hole? Do you have other supporting merch like shirts, mugs, keychains, etc? Can you move enough product to make up for the hole you've dug yourself into? Enjoying the event is great, but you do still have to pay the bills. So don't let your excitement for a certain event pull you down into the poor house.
I didn't mean to get off topic there, but it's important to mention and, at the end of the day, very related. Because I've been advising you to go places you enjoy, but I also want you to be smart about it. Ultimately, your goal should be making money. Making your career viable. Don't be afraid to build your audience slowly. Trust me when I say it's better to be a big fish in 7 small ponds than be a small fish that gets overlooked in the ocean of a larger event.
In short, go where you enjoy, but be smart about it. build your audience. After a number of years doing event after event, going places I would never have thought to go if Patty Wiseman or some other author hadn't suggested them to me, I've found where my best audience is. I no longer need to go every weekend. I probably should go more than I do. Maybe 2019 will have me busier than I am now. We'll see. For now, I'm good. For now, I have a good, loyal following and a structured schedule that allows for slow, steady growth and discovery by new fans. It works for me. As with anything, you need to find what works for you. The first year I set out with a group of authors, we were on the road 50 of 52 weeks that year. We were literally somewhere every weekend except a birthday weekend and once when I frankly just needed a rest. Every year since, we slowed down a bit more.
Eventually, we all separated, as our writing libraries got too much to allow 3 and 4 authors to crowd into one booth. I miss them but the freedom of being allowed to go and do as I please has increased my sales tremendously, as it has theirs, it seems.
As with a number of things I write about here, I think Bruce Lee deserves the final say when he advises, "Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is uniquely your own."
I hope my advice has been useful. I want you all to do well with your chosen career, and part of doing well is feeling good about the career choice to become an author.
Til next time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on June 14, 2018 at 4:30 PM||comments (8)|
So, for this post, we have comic con updates and site updates. There's really more than 2 updates all together, but the focus is in those two areas, hence the admittedly misleading title. LOL!
Site updates: I've gone through my links and deleted (I think) all of the dead links on the page. I'm also in the process of adding a few things to the page that will help me in a goal of being more cyber-friendly to my readers and fans. I want to add a store to my page for one. That'll be coming, but I don't know when yet. Initially, it'll just be for my books. It may, in the beginning, contain amazon and other such links rather than a link to buy the book directly from me. HOWEVER, my ultimate goal is to work with my team to enable us to get set up where you can buy books directly from me. I know Amazon and what not are easy and familiar, but there are so many taxes and fees that are just horrendously egregious. You wind up paying about twice the price for the books than you really should, by the time you buy them from Amazon. (Speaking specifically of the paperbacks). The kindles are still very reasonably priced, so there's no need to rock the boat there. But the paperback prices charged at most online markets are just inappropriate on my personal opinion. So, I'll be working on a way you can get the books from me. I may give you the option of buying them from Amazon OR from me. I know some people would just rather buy from Amazon. I get it. It may cost more, but by god, it's amazon.We'll think about it on this end and see what we can do.
I may have some other surprises for the site, but I don't want to say too much until I'm sure they can be added to the site directly.
After my Dallas post, I attended Kilgore Geekend and Longview Comic Con. I have been a fixture at the Kilgore Geekend since its inception. It's a small con, but always fun to do. Had a great time this year, as always. It's not a con where you meet big celebs or whatever. It's an opportunity to celebrate geekdom, comic books and shop cool products. Don't go to this con unless you're planning on spending a lot of money. This year alone, I was one of four authors there. There were several voice actors too, including Josh Passmore. If you haven't heard of him, google him. Great guy and very talented person.
Just a couple weeks ago, I attended the Longview Comic Con. A new event put together by AVC Conventions. They also run Alabama Comic Con, Mississippi Comic Con, Louisiana Comic Con and Arkansas Comic Con, as well as several Anime Festivals and I think some other events. These guys really have their stuff together. On top of having my own booth, selling books and such, I also gave 2 presentations. As a fan, I enjoyed it because I was also able to meet WWE Legend Jake the Snake Roberts!
So, needless to say, I've had a wonderful time over these past two months. The rest of June and July are freed up to write and do some of the web work I spoke of above. August, I'm planning to go to Geek'd Con, but only as a fan, not as a vendor/artist/guest. As of now, I don't have anything planned in September, but that's subject to change. I have a busy October, though. More on that as it approaches. November and December are up in the air at the moment. I don't have anything planned but, again, that's subject to change as we get closer.
That said, i'm already looking into events for next year. It'll be a repeat of this year on some level. Many of the events I did, or will be doing, this year are on the calendar for next year. But I hope to add several others that I was just unable to do. ArlingCon for one.
I have a couple of health issues that I have to get in check. My doctor recently diagnosed me with Low Testosterone. Not a surprise, honestly. I've known that since they found a pituitary tumor in 2004. I was on Testosterone previously and it helped me a lot. Recently, I've noticed brain fog and general weakness, poor sleep. Just a ton of symptoms. But the brain fog and lack of focus has really been a detriment to my writing career.
I go to the doctor on the 20th and hopefully I can get the testosterone flowing again. Ideally, that'll help me think more clearly, opening up the creative flood gates. I can tell you the books I'm working on, even amid the brain fog, will ultimately be great books. I won't finish them (purposely) until after I've begun the Testosterone treatments. That way I can look at them with clear eyes and work without brain fog.
I want the books to be their best and, frankly, I just cannot deliver that in my current state.
So, for now, I look forward to the future. Lots of changes, but all fo the good!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM||comments (68)|
Life has been very busy the last couple of months. Fact is, if you're a writer that's not busy doing something, you're probably doing it wrong. You can be busy writing, busy promoting, busy researching, busy reading, or just busy living life, so as to refill the well of experience from which to draw. But you better be busy.
For the last several weeks, I've been writing. I've also been prepping for what was to be the biggest stage I've ever attempted. The biggest mountain I've ever climbed, so to speak. I'm not going to sit here and say it was a rousing success and I'm a millionaire and signed by RandomHouse or inked a movie deal, blah blah blah. Nothing like that occurred. But I was able to meet with and make innumerable potential fans.
One such fan was a firefighter, Chris Macias. During a pleasant conversation, he felt compelled to buy the entire series, which he will now be able to read in what he describes as "down time" at the station. Firefighters have down time? Apparently they have a lot of it, from what Mr. Macias tells me.
The whole experience was a major test for me, personally. Having broke my back (for the second time in my life) 2 years ago, I had to see how I would hold out on such a stage. I'm proud of myself, to be honest. I hurt. Today, my bones and muscles and joints are reminding me all too loudly that I am 44, fat and crippled, and still not fully recovered from a broken back. Physically, I wasn't ready for such a taxing event at such a large facility. Physically, I feel like I failed, to a degree. But then there's the number of faces I saw, conversations I had and books that i sold. I loved it! I can't call that a failure. It wasn't.
I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but the pain was too great by Sunday morning. That said, I did enjoy myself. I enjoyed proving to myself that a big stage like Fan Expo Dallas was accepting of a virtual unknown author.
Next up is Kilgore Geekend in May and Longview Comic Con in June. I have nothing scheduled in July. I've decided to keep it that way. I was planning another big event in August but, after the results of Fan Expo, I have decided to let my body rest and get stronger. My PLAN is to pick up again with Ark-La-Tex Comic Con and in October with Tyler. Sure, there may be other events as well. We will see.
The rest of my year is going to be spent writing. I've been unable to keep the schedule I had hoped, but I want to get back on track, so that's the plan from here.
Folks, I want to encourage you to live your dreams. You've seen me write, in this very blog, about suffering broken backs and intense pain as I work to become better known. The fact is this is important to me, so I MUST do it. If something is important to you, don't let anything stop you. I have spina bifida, a pituitary tumor and have broken my back twice in my life. I'm 44 years old and greatly overweight (though that's about to start changing). But here I am living the dream. Working my butt off to build a better life and a better future. You are your own worst enemy, but you can also be your biggest fan. Change your "Bah Humbug" into a "Rah Rah Rah!" Change your fears into CHEERS!
Am I hurting today? Yes. Am I re-evaluating? Yes. Did I say I was putting off a large event, due to health issues? Yes I did. But this is not an end. I'll be back to Dallas and I'll be at other big venues in the future. In the meantime, my energies are going to be focused elsewhere. Don't worry. You'll enjoy what you see!
Follow those dreams, boys and girls! And remember a detour is not an end. Even a dead end is just a chance to take a u-turn and blaze a different path!
I wanna thank you all for your wonderful support!
Onward and upward! Look out, Kilgore, Texas! Ed's on his way, this May!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on February 11, 2018 at 7:25 PM||comments (6)|
There can be no victory without sacrifice and a lot a lot a lot a LOTTTTTT of effort. This past weekend, the efforts I've been making for the last several years really began to pay off.
Thanks to my sister and her husband -- owners of Davill Kitchens -- I was able to get booth space at the Home Show event at the Maude Cobb Activity Center in Longview, Texas. Honestly, I didn't expect much. A home show? Who goes to a home show to buy books? Well, nobody. Let's be honest. Nobody goes to a home show thinking, "Yanno, I really hope some random local author I've never heard of is at this show so I can buy all of his books."
Most people go to look. they go to see what this and that window shop has. They go to see the deals on kitchen cabinets my sister and her husband have. They go to look. They go knowing that most of the things they're going to see cost thousands of dollars and require a lot of work to create and/or install. And this weekend they found my books..................................................
And boy did they buy! Oh my Lord did they buy! I met so many wonderful people this weekend, y'all and, if you were one of those that I met this weekend, THANK YOU for taking a few precious minutes to talk to me. You made my weekend so wonderful! You will just never know what each of you meant to my life this weekend. You were each such a blessing to me.
One of the best things about the event was the complete lack of the bickering that so often occasions social media interactions. Nobody cared if I was black or white or brown or yellow or red. Nobody asked about my relationship status, politics or preference as it related to religion. Nobody asked my feelings on DACA, taxes, Trump or what toppings I like on my pizza for that matter. (Pineapple does NOT go on pizza, dangit!). Nobody asked who I voted for in 2016 and nobody asked who I was considering in 2020.
This weekend, I had such wonderful interactions with people who, on facebook or twitter, might blast me for my feelings on any number of topics. And it reminded me of the importance of human contact. Putting the social back in socializing. And respecting the differences of others.
I am an unapologetic conservative. If you've read any of my blogs, you would know that about me. What you might not know is that several of my best friends are diehard liberals. A guy I went to school with -- someone I consider to be like a brother to me -- is a black man, born to black parents, raised in a black family, living a black life. He was an athlete in high school and both a veteran and gang member after high school. He and I could not be more different if we tried. But we are friends to the end. Brothers from different mothers.
There needs to be more of that in this world. Can we all just stop letting ourselves get divided just because GOP can't get along with DEM and Liberal can't seem to get along with Conservative? Can we all just open ourselves up to being kind again? I don't care if our president is blunt and brash. I'm blunt and brash. Sometimes, I would make him look kind by comparison. But I've never been mean as an action. Only as a reaction. SO here's a thought. Let's let kind words escape our lips from now on. Kind words begat more kindness. Let's be kind...
Kind doesn't have to be soft or weak. Kind is strength. So be kind. And, yes please, be grateful when others show you kindness, as person after person showed me kindness this year. Y'all, A ton of people showed me kindness this year. Without knowing a thing about me, they were simply kind. And I was kind in return. And yanno what? It felt awesome!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on December 29, 2017 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
With only 2 days left in the year, I find myself looking back over my accomplishments, failures, dreams, hopes and tragedies and triumphs. I also want to look forward to the coming year. I've made a great list of comic cons and events, many of which I hope to attend in 2018. My books have enjoyed marked success and the next books will be released in reasonably quick succession. That is, assuming I get them done like I hope to! LOL!
The next book is almost done. A few editing passes on my part, then I send it off to be edited. I have to work on the cover. That's something I have been putting off, because it's not an uber pressing matter. But I will work on it while my editors handle their part.
I expect to release 2 books next year, with one following rather quickly in 2019, but I MIGHT be able to squeeze that third one in, as these next ones will be somewhat on the shorter side. But, I'm not going to rush it just to get a third one out. If it's not quality, it won't be released.
So, here's hoping 2018 is a wonderful year. Not just for me, but for all of us. God Bless and May the Force Be With us All.
Until next YEAR, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on December 13, 2017 at 1:35 PM||comments (2)|
So, this past weekend, I wrapped up my touring year at ShreveCon in Shreveport, LA. It was a small con, compared to Dallas or San Diego CC, but it has grown a lot over the last couple of years. This year, they expanded from one day to two. That expansion allowed for a lot of people to come out and see the event that couldn't have otherwise made it out on Saturday. While I don't have any numbers to reference, I personally believe the crowd looked bigger on Sunday than on Saturday. But, it is difficult to judge when you're a busy author, greeting fans and making new ones.
I really enjoyed my year. It felt good to return to the road in Kilgore and it was interesting to break my usual tradition by scheduling a tour date after Thanksgiving. I feel blessed to have been able to explore new Cons and events. I feel really good about the year to come, as I near the completion of (the first draft of) the next book in the Mendez Series. My goal is to put 3 books out next year, but that may be ambitious. The next few books will be shorter than my usual tales. That's the plan. That's intentional. The stories just lend themselves to brevity. But my fans know this and they seem really excited to see what's to come.
Initially, I planned to do 3 stories in one book, and I may honestly have that option eventually. But writing the three stories will take time. Releasing them individually allows for a bit of instant gratification, albeit a brief moment thereof. LOL!
My plans for 2018 are forming even as we speak. Aside from releasing the next books, I am already looking at dates, marking my calendar and what not. I will be busier than I was this year, but how busy will just have to depend on my back.
For now, I want to wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you ALL so much for your help and encouragement this year. Without you, there is no me. Never forget that!
As usual, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on November 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
Well, you know the year is winding down when the East Texas Rose City Comic Con is in the rearview mirror. I'm both elated by the experience and really sad to have it end for the year. The ETRCCC is truly a family. There are people who are from every walk of life in that group. There are gay, straight, able and disabled, black, white, brown, yellow and red, male and female, married, single, dating, divorced and "complicated". There are Christians like me as well as agnostics, atheists and every other walk of life.
I had a very long conversation with an atheist named John. Great guy. Hard worker. I believe he said he had three jobs. Very creative guy too. Entered the short story contest, though he never came back to my table to tell me how he did. I shall have to ask him next year.
Met a really nice woman, Kacee, and her husband. While not anti-christian by any means, their policial and world views are in rather stark contrast to my own.
But there was none of that at the con. Sure, I met some rude people. Some socially awkward people, who weren't really sure where the boundary was. But overall, it was a family environment, as it always is. I enjoyed seeing my fellow author C.N. Pinckard. She's just about as busy as I am, and she drives to cons I often consider to be out of reach for me currently. I have mad respect for her work ethic, lemme tell you.
Honestly, though, I couldn't have done it without my friend, Jennifer. She kept me sane throughout the whole three days. She is very valuable to my career. As much as she is to my life as a whole. Something in her just sets her apart from much of the world. She is genuinely giving. Selfless. How many of you can say you have a friend in your life that is GENUINELY selfless? I can and I am grateful.
So, now it's on to ShreveCon in December. That will effectively end my 2017 touring season. I have not finalized any 2018 dates yet, but you can bet I'll be in Kilgore for the Geek Fest in May and be back in Tyler next October. I would LIKE to do certain other events, but we'll have to see.
For now, I'm gearing up for the holidays and working steadily on the next Mendez books. There are a couple of things I'm not quite ready to announce there, but there will be another series I'm going to work with that ties into the Mendez Series. It opens up a new market and opportunity for me to experiement with some different types of stories. I believe people will like it.
In the meantime, I hope to see some of you in Shreveport in December! For the rest of you, stick with me. 2018 is going to be a banner year for the Mendez Series!
Till Next Time, This Blog Is Brought To You By The Letters W, E and H...AND By The Number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on October 19, 2017 at 2:50 PM||comments (2)|
Yeah, I know, I'm usually better about my titles, aren't I?
Well, actually, that one is pretty creative too, given the subject matter. I finally got around to updating the website with the NEW covers and information for Mourning Reign and Heart Beatings. All of my books are home again. That is to say, I own the rights to all of them and am fully a self-published author now. After the less than ideal experience in traditional publishing, I am so glad to now say I can control the works. I control release dates, editorial teams and promotional efforts. I control supplementary merchandise such as T-shirts and I control distribution and movie rights or TV rights. I don't have to ask permission to do this or that. I don't have to run anything by a publisher or negotiate through a middle man that doesn't care if I have something to leave behind when I'm gone. I don't have to check with anyone on my work anymore and, honestly, that's a great feeling.
I have written about screenplays in the past. My original vision for the books were a series of big screen movies, with explosions and visual effects and full on movie theater distribution. In the past several months, that vision has changed. A series of dreams has truly pushed me in the direction of pursuing TV or streaming services... i.e. the small screen... as the way to go. I actually see it. I've even dreamed about the intro to said "TV SERIES". (That was actually the first dream I had. A couple years ago. But I ignored it as I pursued the idea of a movie.)
I feel like God is pushing me toward a TV deal. I just feel it. There's no POINT in pursuing a movie deal because TV or streaming services is where I belong. With the success of books like Outlander and Game of Thrones, and the adaptations of things like Agents of SHIELD and Inhumans, TV is becoming a power player in the book adaptation industry.
Yes, you have movies like Twilight and Hunger Games. But you also have the example of the Divergent series. With the third movie being labeled a box office flop, producers are looking to move ahead with some sort of TV movie or I've heard possibly a series based around Tobias. (Just a rumor but I have heard that.) I've heard many things about it. PERSONALLY, I think you made 3 movies. The third was a lead-in to the 4th. It's OKAY that it suffered. Wrap it up with a 4th movie and recoup your losses from the 3rd. That would be my theory. I think it's too late now. They needed to make the movies together and release movie 4 a year after. That way they could have bank-rolled. But they didn't. Oh well.
As for me, I can't announce that I have a TV deal. I wish I could, but that's still a dream at this point. But it is a dream. A SERIES of dreams. Dreams I believe will prove prophetic. I haven't yet dreamed of the actors playing the roles of Lisa or Alex. I can't see their faces or anything. But what a hoot that would be if God gave me that dream, eh?
For now, I'm hard at it. and I have to get back to it. These things won't write themselves and I'm a one-man show now.
I hope you are happy with the series, as I am to bring it to you. I know there's some negative commenting going on. That's okay. Even the greats have their detractors. Ultimately, it's about finding my audience.
At the end of this month is the Tyler Comic Con. That will be fun. ShreveCon in December will be new. I sure hope to see some of you there! In the meantime, I'm hungry and I need to write. So, here's to lunch and hard work!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on September 25, 2017 at 8:15 PM||comments (7)|
More people need to watch the shows I grew up on. Or the shows my parents grew up on....The shows I shared with my grandpa in the years prior to his death..... We need to get back to watching Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Welcome Back Kotter, Dukes of Hazzard, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Archie Bunker/All in the Family, Eight Is Enough, Diff'rent Strokes, A-Team, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Cheers, Magnum P.I., Knight Rider, Three's Company, Perfect Strangers, Punky Brewster, Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Laughin, Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, The Love Boat, WKRP in Cincinnati, Fantasy Island, Dallas, One Day at a Time, Charlie's Angels, Trapper John M.D., Bonanza, Benson, Mork & Mindy, and who can forget Saturday Morning Cartoons? There are a ton of shows I watched that I haven't listed here. There are probably a ton I didn't watch or maybe never knew existed back in the day.
But we need to get back to that..... Those were family times. We gathered as a family to watch the M*A*S*H finale.... and wept as one. We gathered to watch the Dynasty cliffhanger and we asked that age old question as a nation.... WHO shot J.R.? (Lost a bet to my sister on that one btw.)
You really wanna know why this country is erupting into chaos? We don't do family time anymore. Not as a nation. We don't Universally gather to watch the Walton's Thanksgiving Special or a Dukes Of Hazzard Christmas. We don't gather, in our homes, in a universal "Yes". We don't gather with our kids and our parents and just spend that time NOT absorbed in the politics, religion and he said, she said of the world. I know some of you do. When I was with my second wife, I insisted on family time. I believed then (and I believe now) it was important for us to spend time together and time apart. It was important that my wife and I have time AWAY from my son, to just be us for a little bit AND I believed then (as I believe now) it was important to be at every practice and every game and every scout meeting my son participated in. I believed in He and I having father-son moments with ice cream, homework and The Wiggles or whatever show he was into at the time and I believed it was a great thing when his mother took him on her walks in the evenings. But we had our time. Not a day went by without my son going to bed KNOWING he was richly and deeply loved by both his mother and by me.
He graduated with honors. He is now a United States Marine. Even though my ex and I split when he was 12, and she forbid me to see him after that, I can say unequivocally that I contributed greatly to his current life. I loved him. I guided him, I educated him, I supported him, I disciplined him and I encouraged him. His mom and I had many differences, and she did not like it when I wanted to spend time "away from him". She saw it as more a slam against him than needing to get to know her and experience her and bond with her as something other than his parents. So, we argued about that. But I will never say, in my life, that she didn't love him. That's not in question. She loved him different than I did and it took me a while to figure that out, acclimate to it. But she loved him. And so did I. And no matter how much SHE and I fought, my SON never doubted our love for him. He did ask me once if we were arguing because of him. He even apologized for getting in trouble that day. I told him flat out that no matter what his mom and I didn't agree on, we both agreed that we loved him. On the day that his mother took him away for what turned out to be the last time I would see my boy, I held him as he cried, not wanting to go. And I told him no matter how much time passed, no matter what was said or done. No matter where he was or where I was, I was going to love him until the day I died. And I also told him that I was his dad until he told me otherwise. It took a couple years, but I realized I lied to him that day, unintentionally of course. But I lied just the same. When I told him I was his dad until he told me differently, it was a lie. I am his dad because my heart tells me I am. Even if, at 19 now, he were to tell me he was a man and didn't need me to "play daddy" or whatever, he's my son. And will be till I die.
And I will always have the memories of the family time we shared, just as my parents shared it with me as a child and their parents did likewise with them.
We've lost that. Can we please get it back? Please?
Till THAT time, this blog continues to be brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on September 14, 2017 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
Well, I wouldn't call this "More Disciplined" but at least I didn't wait 47 months before my next blog, right?
Anyway, I decided to write this afternoon about a topic that has really been bothering me for years. In a nutshell, it's Amazon's practice of deleting VALID reviews while leaving reviews that contain personal attacks and NOTHING about the product being sold via Amazon's platform.
For years, I've been an outspoken conservative. I do NOT apologize for that. I never have. I never will. Many authors tell me I am alienating part of my audience. I tell them quite bluntly, No, I am DEFINING it.
That aside, many people who disagree with me PERSONALLY, POLITICALLY, RELIGIOUSLY or what have you have spent many hours posting fake reviews on Amazon. One star reviews bashing me as a person, not the book that they never actually read. Over the years, I've managed to get SOME of them taken down, but it's been horribly taxing on me to try and keep up with all the bull. When I was less busy, I had the time to check amazon every single day. Nowadays, not so much. Still, I found something yesterday that caused me to check myself on my book numbers.
As of 2 weeks ago, Mourning Reign had over 70 reviews. Doesn't seem like many, and it's not, compared to authors of greater renown. But, to me, it was phenomenal! I'd passed 50 and was on my way to 100! As of the writing of this blog, I now have 57 reviews showing on Mourning Reign. more than 13 LEGITIMATE reviews, most from strangers I met at book signings, speeches etc, deleted by amazon, because they woke up with a burr in their saddle for ol' Edward Hancock II! And that's not all. When I saw that, I started to check my subsequent books.
Sure enough, they were hit too.
Heart Beatings (released in paperback JUST this year, despite being second in the series) had a whopping 3 reviews. As of this writing, it has ZERO.... ZERO! NOT A SINGLE FREAKING REVIEW!? are you kidding me, Amazon? So now I can't have ANY?
Connection Terminated had just crossed 10 a few days ago. As of this writing, it stands at 6, including one that is, in fact, a valid 3-star review by a reader that just didn't connect with the book. I'm okay with that. Fine. It's a legit review. But, they deleted 4 reviews of 4 and 5 stars that were also LEGITIMATE readers. People I'd met at various book signings and such. So, their reviews are not valid because they bought it from me instead of paying Amazon's exorbitant prices, taxes and shipping fees? Really?
I dunno if they've finished with Target: Mendez, but I had 4 last time I checked. Now I'm down to 3. The one they removed was LITERALLY an amazon VERIFIED PURCHASE! I can't even complain that Amazon is picking on people that bought from me here, because they bought from AMAZON and yet AMAZON deleted a legitimate VERIFIED PURCHASE review? It's like they're drunk at Amazon and are just like throwing darts at a dartboard or something to decide which reviews to remove.
Here's where we really get crazy. Last time I checked, Mendez Genesis had 7 reviews. As of this writing, it still has 7 reviews. But I have tried getting them to remove a review which reads as follows: (Titled "Unfair Review") I am not into this super naturar stuff, so I did not finosh the book. Not a fair review.
Not into "super naturar stuff" and thus didn't "finosh" the book. So, I'm guessing reading is likely not a common hobby of this person, or they just are not concerned with editing their own comment. They just wanted to be heard. One, they SAY they didn't finish it. I'm assuming "finosh" means finish. They say they didn't FINISH it because it was (I assume) supernatural? Yes, and it says that right in the intro and BACK COVER COPY.
The back cover copy of this Two-books-in-one story reads as follows:
SPLINTERED SOULS: Tina Miles is a young girl starting a new chapter in her life. When she encounters Devin Snow, everything changes. Deep down, she believes there is more to Devin than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Det. Lisa Warner is convinced there is more to Tina's story. People are dying. No one has answers. What mysterious force binds these Splintered Souls?
BREATH OF GOD: After a horrible accident leaves him partially paralyzed, it takes the enigmatic power of heaven to bring Lieutenant Alex Mendez back from the dead, unlocking a secret as old as time that may have been hidden inside his four-year-old daughter. To make matters worse, Detective Lisa Mendez, Alex's wife, confronts her own demons, all the while chasing the most unlikely of suspects in connection with multiple homicides. Is it possible a seventeen-year-old boy with Spina Bifida is singlehandedly responsible for the worst crime spree to ever hit the small east Texas community? Lisa Mendez believes it is possible, though a thousand questions remain. As with Alex, the answers to Lisa's questions lay buried deep within the innocent soul of her daughter. While Alex searches himself for strength to battle physical and emotional uncertainties, Lisa must search inside herself, taking charge of courage and faith she never dreamed existed.
Enigmatic Power. Demons. Mysterious Force. Answers buried deep within their innocent child. None of this clues a person in that you MIGHT not be dealing with natural forces? Really? You couldn't read that and put 2 and 2 together that MAYBE you might wanna skip it? And the title of the review is "UNFAIR REVIEW." So why is it Amazon will not delete this UNFAIR REVIEW but will delete LEGITIMATE reviews from VERIFIED FREAKING PURCHASES!?
I'm tired of Goliath taking advantage of all the Indy Davids out there. And I tell you, it's about time we unite and do something. Take note Amazon. Publishers are a dime a dozen. You need us. We can publish and sell our books on Barnes and Noble and untold other websites, including our own. We can do as I do, publish our books and then sell them in person at any number of events. You would do well to let your policy of deleting legitimate reviews die. But, hey, that's for you to decide.
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on September 5, 2017 at 5:40 PM||comments (12)|
Well, we've reached September. In 6 days, we will mark another year since the tragic events of 2001 that saw our country put aside political divides and sing "God Bless America" on the steps of our government's capitol.
Why does it always take a tragedy for Americans to cast aside partisan bickering and just be Americans for once? As seen in the recent Hurricane Harvey, tragic events often bring us out of our political foxholes under a flag of truce in order to rebuild what God, Nature or an outside evil (depending on your perspective) has destroyed or sought to wipe out. Now I'm neither here to bash religion nor wax poetic about God's existence. Fact is God exists. I believe. I don't know if He is behind Harvey or not, because I don't concern myself with that discussion. My point is that it took those tragic events for people to quit worrying about statues and debating which lives mattered to an omnipotent God. (Jesus settled that argument for me. He didn't die for one race or another. Jesus didn't die for this or that race to have forgiveness of sin. He died for the WORLD.... "for God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten son...." Again, that's the end of it for me.
As of this writing, Hurricane Irma is churning and burning, making her way toward an as yet unknown location. Will she hit Texas again? Maybe curve in the gulf and hit Alabama? Maybe she'll punch Florida, lose steam and crash into Texas as a Cat 1. And there you go. Kumbaya in the Senate all over again. Two weeks later, it's more partisan bickering.
Just today, President Trump announced the rescinding of the Executive Order enacting the DACA program. He did so in an effort to encourage congress to make official laws governing the treatment of illegal immigrants and their resulting offspring of an illegal border crossing into America. People are still under feet of water in Houston, but the partisan bickering was loud and proud. Now there are those that will argue that Trump should have waited to do something about DACA. It's an irrelevant argument at this point. It's done. Whether or not he should have waited, he didn't. So now here we are bickering when we should be helping Texas Flood Victims and prepping for Hurricane Irma. Oh we'll sing songs and offer prayers, probably hold Moneythons after Irma does whatever she's going to do. But then we'll be bickering soon enough. Unless a fat Asian idiot in North Korea gets twitchy with that trigger finger, in which case we won't have time to sing songs. We will have to bend over and kiss our butts goodbye.
But therein lies the point maybe. At any moment, we could suffer another 9/11. At any moment, we could be the ones picking ourselves out from under the rubble of an atom bomb, large enough to make the hiroshima bomb look like a bottle rocket. Is that what it's going to take for us to finally get it? Is that what it's going to take for us to finally understand that United We Stand, Divided We Fall?
I read a quote attributed to Napoleon in which he said, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Years ago, I adapted it to "Never interrupt your enemy when he is tearing himself apart." And let's face it, we are on the verge of doing that very thing. We should worry about North Korea, Iran and Russia, sure. But we should also worry about our capacity to tear ourselves apart. Because, as Abe Lincoln said, If we ever falter, it will be from within. Our greatest strength is our unity.
In the Civil War, many nations considered aiding the Confederacy. Few really aided them on any helpful level, but the fact remains, Nicholas Cage was right (In National Treasure 2) when he states a divided confederacy would have been weaker."
Folks, it's still true today. We are a group of 50 states and multiple territories. We are stronger together. That is our strength. That is not our weakness. We are strong because of our diversity AND in spite of it. Not just one. We literally are strong BECAUSE OF and INSPITE OF our diversity. I know a lot of people won't get that, but it's not something that can really be explained. It simply must be observed.
So get off the computer. Get off facebook or whatever social media platform you are surfing these days. Get off, get out and pull the dang headphones out of your ears. Plug in to life and experience the fullness and richness and depth of America. Because, in the flash of one bomb, she can be gone.
Don't let that happen, okay?
Do your part to make us what we are...The United States of America.
Til next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 22, 2017 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
Daniel J. Nations was my 2nd cousin 6 times removed. He was born around 1835 and died in 1863. He died as a prisoner of war, following an attempt to capture a fort in Louisiana during the Civil War. One report has him dying unmarried and childless. (Though another suggests he may have been married and possibly had children.)
Got me to thinking. Many young men have gone off to war in this country. Think about the thousands of 18 and 19 year olds that stormed the beaches of Normandy. Think about the young men that served with my great grandfathers in WW1, including the biological father of his stepson, George Beene. (My great Grandmother's first husband, who died in WW1.)
Some of those young men never returned home. Many of them died unmarried and childless. I want you to think about that. I really want you to think about that. I've made this analogy for Anne Frank before, but it's applicable here too.
Let's use Daniel J. Nations as an example. He died in 1863. Had he survived the war, he would have returned home by 1865. He would have been 30 at the time. Old enough to start a family for sure. So let's say he had 6 children over the next decade or so. Large families were common at this time. The more children you had, the more hands you had in the field picking corn, cotton, peas and wheat. So let's just give him six hypothetical children. His last would be born in 1875. By 1895, 60 year old Daniel would be a grandfather many times over. If he was lucky enough to see 80, 1915 would bring about Daniel's Great Grandchildren. His grandchildren would fight the "Great War" just 2 years later, perhaps leaving behind a wife and children. They return home in 1918, making more babies as often happens. So, between 1918 and 1928, more babies are born. My grandfather (Hancock) was born in 1926. My grandmother in 1928. Both would be in this generation. By 1942, My grandfather and namesake was in training for war, having lied about his age to enter early. But let's say Daniel had descendants in 1941 that are 18 to 20. We now have his great great grandchildren fighting ww2. His Great Great Great grandchildren would have fought (Possibly) in Korea or Vietnam and his Great great great great grandchildren could have possibly been in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Think about that for a second. his 4th greats would have fought in the 1990's Iraq war. His 5th greats could be in Iraq and other theaters of combat today as we speak.
See this is who died, folks. One man did not die in that camp. Generations died in that prison camp. GENERATIONS. Literally hundreds of people died in that camp, much the same as generations died when Little Anne and Margot Frank succumbed to hunger, disease and untold horrors.
I think of the Hatfield and McCoy feud post-Civil War. Tolbert, Alafair, Calvin, Randolph (Bud) Jr., and Pharmer McCoy were killed as a direct result of the fued. They all died between 1870 and 1890. And, with them, Generations of McCoys.
Generations, folks. I cannot let that go. I can't not think about that. When you take a life, whether by war or an Abortion, you are not killing one person. You are killing them, their children, their children's children and so forth.
I believe in fighting for what you want in life. I believe in struggling. I believe, if somebody threatens your life you need to defend your life with everything at your disposal. Even if it means killing them. But I really believe we all need to think about what we're doing. Actions have consequences, folks.
When you eat 19 tacos at lunch, and don't exercise, you're gonna get fat. That acttion has a consequence. When you rape a woman and are caught in the act, you're gonna go to prison for a very long time. If you charge the arresting officer with intent to harm him or her, you're gonna be six feet under. Actions have consequences. But, when you take an innocent life, you take that life and every life they were going to be responsible for. Was Daniel J. Nations an "Innocent" Life? He was, afterall, a soldier. He was fighting in war and those in the opposing army were charged with the task of stopping him and the men with whom he served. I can't really say that Daniel was innocent. I can't say he was not. I can say his death meant the deaths of generations of family members I will never have. For me, that sucks.
till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 1, 2017 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
I didn't do a single update in June. Wow! Well, it wasn't from laziness, I can tell you that. Neither was it for lack of trying. There have been a lot of projects going on recently. While that's good, the bad side is it's taken me away from blogging to let people know what's going on.
First, I've decided on my schedule for the rest of the year. I'll update more as it gets closer, but my next event will be scheduled in September. For now, I'll just stick with that.
When not writing, I've been working on my genealogy a lot lately. Not sluffing off, mind you. A couple of new projects have come into being that involve my family history. They'll involve some books that most of you will not be interested in reading, but I suspect some of you might.
I don't know when they'll be written though. There's a lot of confusion, particularly in the Hancock line. For years, I was stuck with my Great Great Great Grandfather, Isaiah Hancock. I had no idea who his father was. I "believed" I knew he had been married twice, first to a woman who bore him three children. Following this marriage, he appears in Texas, where he has a son I have come to know as my Great Great Grandfather. And from there my family line descends.
HOWEVER, some confusion has arisen recently. Perhaps that is why I blog today. to clear up the confusion. See, the first family lists their births in Mississippi, while Isaiah was, himself, born in Alabama. A recent suggestion is that he married his second wife while IN Alabama in 1855. And I know that, from his father's death records, Isaiah was in Sherman, Texas sometime between 1875 and 1879, because the paperwork tells me this. He's listed as an heir, and his location is Sherman, Tx. It is suggested that my Great Great Grandfather was born in 1866 and was born in Gregg County, Texas, which is not far from Sherman in Today's standards, but was a bit of a jaunt back then. Still, not impossible that Baby Hancock was born in 1866 and then Isaiah up and moved the gang to Sherman. It's also entirely possible that he abandoned this family and moved to Sherman on his own. No wife is listed for him among the papers, but no wife is listed for his half brother either.
Here's the weird part. In Isaiah's first suggested family, he had a son named George Washington Hancock, born circa 1845. When George later married, he had a son named George Isaiah. Coincidence or honoring his father? Truth is I just don't know. Letters between my Great Uncle and a descendant of George in the 1980's strongly suggests they were confident Isaiah was George's dad. But, was he? And if he was, how is it there's no divorce from his wife? She was very much alive in 1880.
So, you see, Genealogy is a fun "game" of sorts. I am drawn to the mystery of it all...probably why I write mystery and suspense books. I am drawn to the mystery of it all. Who am I? That whole thing. Too bad so many record were destroyed during the civil war and in various fires. If I could go back in time, I would do so to meet the people from whom I descend. And I would spare the records that perished in the fire.
Would that I could...
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the searching letters W, E and H and by the curious number 2.
|Posted by EHancock2 on May 17, 2017 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
Recently, I have had several people (mostly strangers) tell me that prayer doesn't work. That it's garbage. That it's just talking to yourself, etc. That prayer is pointless. This is not new. I've heard this my whole life. Over the years, I've responded in many different ways. Most recently, I've noticed a new answer departing my lips, when someone tells me prayer doesn't work or is ineffective. The last several times this has happened, I've said, "No, prayer is ineffective for YOU. Prayer doesn't work FOR YOU. That doesn't make it universally ineffective. Prayer works quite well in my family. My grandmother and grandfather could move storms with their prayers. A 104 degree fever left my body while my mother and grandmother were still on the phone.
Folks, you are talking to a guy that medical science gave up for dead when I was born. I would not live past my 2nd birthday they said. Probably wouldn't even SEE my 2nd birthday. To date, I've seen 43 of them. As a baby, I survived more surgical procedures than even I probably know. I survived at least one serious infection at 8 months old that, by my doctor's own words, should have killed me. I've been in countless car wrecks. At least 4 where I was driving, 3 within a year of each other. I survived a broken back TWICE now. The first one led to a kidney infection which had me in bed to the point I got pressure sores the size of my FISTS on my hips. IF that wasn't bad enough, the sores got infected, the infection went into my blood and to my lungs. I very literally should have died in that moment. I was living in Oklahoma City and that weekend my first wife (now ex) had chosen to strike out to Kansas to meet some guy off the internet and cheat on me.
I've survived multiple suicide attempts, including one attempt at hanging myself from a tree, but the branch broke.
Folks, I should be dead 100 times over, but I'm not. And why? Because, from the day of my birth until the day she left this earth in 2009, my granny was covering me in prayer. From the day of my birth, until he left this earth in 2015, my grandfather was covering me in prayer. From the day of my birth continuing even today, my parents care covering me in prayers, as are my aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and, yes, probably many of you.
Prayer doesn't work? Folks I'm a living example that prayer works. And my LIVING IS the example. I'm not going to sit here and talk about prayers I've prayed. Some of them have come to pass. Some have not. But, on the day of my birth, DOCTORS told my mom and dad to prepare to bury me. And only my granny said no. Only my granny, HOURS away from the hospital in which I was born, had the faith to declare "God has a plan for this boy." And only Granny was right.
If prayer doesn't work for you, all I can say is I'm sorry you haven't seen the miracles I have witnessed in my life. But I have seen the proof. It isn't chance. It isn't accident. It isn't even fate or whatever. It's God's power that has kept me alive. God's mercy and God's Grace and God's will. The same will that takes a 2 year old home to Glory following a Seven-car pileup on the freeway. The same will that allowed my grandfather 100 years of life on this planet -- far more than I believe I will get, but who knows? God's will and faithful prayers.
The Bible says God doesn't change. He is the same today that He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He is not a man that he should change His mind, nor a son of man that he should lie. Does prayer change his mind? Jesus said if we have faith and tell a mountain to be moved, it will move. So, can God's mind be changed?
When Abraham pleaded for Sodom, he bargained with God. God, for the sake of 50 righteous men will you spare the city? What about 20? What of ten? God agreed. For the sake of an agreed number, He would not destroy Sodom. What would have happened if NOAH had made a similar request and found 10 righteous men? Would the whole of the earth been spared? I dunno. So, I dunno if sparing me was in God's will all along or was He moved by prayer, but I believe it was a little of both to be honest. But who was praying for me when the branch broke? Who was praying when I held the bottle of pills in my hands? I dunno. my point is Prayer Works. I don't understand why it works. I don't really understand the mystery of how, truth be told. But it works. Because this world gave up on me. Too, I gave up on the world. But God....
Two of the most powerful words a believer can ever speak....
I should have died...BUT GOD...
I should not be here...But God...
What is your "But God"? And how does it shape your view of faith and prayer?
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.