5 MORE Things You Didn't Know About the Hank Series

Monday, August 01, 2022 | By Nikki, Maverick Books

5 more things you didn t know 1 5





In this long-awaited follow-up to a previous blog post, here we go with "5 MORE Things You Didn't Know About the Hank Series."  In it, we here at Maverick Books conduct our own little question-and-answer session with John R. Erickson!






1.    Where did you come up with some of the names for your characters?

    Some of the animal characters were based on animals I have known:  Hank, Drover, Pete, Miss Scamper, Beulah the collie, Bruno the boxer, Eddy the Rac, Brewster, and Jake the bird dog.  The other names I just invented.  I discuss this in more detail in Finding Hank.


2.    Have any big celebrities contacted you about the Hank collection?

    I seldom cross paths with celebrities or go to the places they inhabit.  When I perform in public, it’s usually at a school or a teachers’ convention.  I’m interested in cultivating readers, not editors, critics, celebrities, or other writers.  Now and then we hear of a famous person who is a Hank fan, but we don’t dwell on it. Over the years, we’ gotten a lot of calls from movie, television, and video producers, and we’re involved in negotiations right now (2022) with a director we trust and respect.  Maybe something will come of it.  We’d love to make a beautiful animated movie or series.


3.    What is the farthest you have traveled for a book signing or reading?

    Fairbanks, Alaska.  As I recall, it was thirteen hours by plane:  Amarillo to Dallas, Dallas to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage, and Anchorage to Fairbanks.  I performed in schools for a week in January and left a long trail of Hank books and tapes.  During one of my performances, I looked out the window and saw moose standing in the schoolyard.


4.    What is the one thing you have enjoyed most about writing Hank?

    Writing those books is fun.  I love those stories as much as the kids do.  But there’s also a serious side for me as the author:  providing kids with reading material that contains nourishment for the spirit.  I have an unspoken bond with parents and teachers.  When they allow their kids to spend time with my stories, I promise to take good care of them, as I would my own children.  The Hank series has established a brand name for quality, and I intend to keep it that way.


5.    What awards have you won or received for the Hank books?

    I don’t pay much attention to awards, but one that I’m especially proud of came several years ago.  One of the Hank stories was named Best Audio Book of the Year, and that was in competition with Disney, Barney, Sesame Street, and all the media heavyweights.  I did all the voices on the audio book, so that was a nice compliment.I’ve won two awards from National Ranching Heritage Center, a Wrangler Award for best magazine article of the year, and a Lamplighter Award for a novel called Moonshiner’s Gold.The awards I want are customers who pay their hard-earned dollars for my books and audios.  We get a lot of letters from parents and teachers who describe how much the stories have touched a reluctant reader, a boy with dyslexia, or a child with a terminal illness.  Those are awards that really mean something. 


We hope you enjoyed this post!


Tags: Hank the Cowdog books, Famous Texans, Writing, Ranching, Perryton
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