By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
Popular children’s author John Erickson will perform a public reading of his quirky “Hank the Cowdog” books at Patrick Henry College on November 13, 7-9pm, in the Grand Lobby of the Barbara Hodel Center. These dramatic readings prove a favorite of families everywhere. RSVP here.
Hank the Cowdog and his dimwitted companion, Drover, are modeled after two dogs Erickson knew from his years working as a cowboy and ranch manager. Along with a host of other characters, the two canines live days of humor, occasional strife, adventure, and good-hearted common sense, as dogs do. So far they have survived fifty books’ worth of adventures, winning many awards and finding themselves acclaimed as ”the best family entertainment in years” by USA Today.
Along with his books, Erickson also has an interesting story of his own to share. He didn’t dream years ago that he would spend early-morning hours on his ranch every day crafting the adventures of a talking hound. He had always imagined he would write something more “influential.” When at last he started writing the Hank books, nobody would publish his compact volumes. So Erickson self-published his work and publicized it as he could, until word-of-mouth picked up. It hasn’t let up since.
Erickson has recently compiled a number of the lessons of the writing life in his new book, Story Craft (published in partnership with Patrick Henry College), which addresses the question: “What is a story, and what is it supposed to do?” Copies will be available at the public reading, Nov. 13. In addition, Erickson is presenting a writing workshop to PHC students on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9am to noon in Nash Auditorium.