Friday, August 29, 2014

A Smorgasbord of Happiness!

Hello all! I hope you all had weeks that were more fantastic than the thought of a billion termites doing the Charlie Brown dance!

First off, "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" is available for pre-order on Kindle!!! Both the digital and the print version will be released September 7th, but you can pre-order it here!

In other news, I was recently interviewed about "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" by the wonderful Carla Sarett! You can read the full interview by clicking on this link.

I want to send out a hearty, raised pint of ale, thank you to everyone who downloaded the Kindle version of "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" during the free promotion this past week! Thanks to the 5,078 downloads, my book made it to #49 on Amazon's Kindle Book List, and #1 in Kindle Humor Books!

There it is!!!

Thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy during our promotion!

Remember, reviews are like tips for authors. If you enjoyed "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" do me a huge favor and leave a review! It will make me do a happy dance in my living room. So give my neighbors the gift of free entertainment and leave a review!

As always, I can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Goodreads!

Friday, August 22, 2014


Free Until August 26th for Kindle!
Hello everyone! I hope you all had weeks that were better than the thought of "The Princess Bride" reenacted by neon painted termites!

Well I have some rad-tacular news for you all!

To promote my upcoming book, "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor," my publisher, "Sweatshoppe Publications" has decided to give all of those who haven't read my first book yet a chance to read it free of charge!

That's right, until August 26th, "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" for the Kindle will be absolutely free!

So head on over to Amazon and snag a copy during this awesome promotion!

If you happen to enjoy the book, do me a favor and drop me a quick review to let other readers know how much fun you had reading it!

Don't forget to keep up to date on all of the news on my upcoming book "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

No Cover Charge

Hello everyone, I hope your weeks have been more fantastic than the thought of a thousand German Shepherd puppies barking in unison to "Bad Company."

Well I have some exciting material for you all this week; I have the new cover for "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor!"

I am absolutely in love with this fabulous collaboration between the splendid artist, Anthony Carpenter, and the incredible graphic designer, Paul Brand!

This amazing cover and the words contained inside will be voyaging to bookstores and online booksellers near you September 7th!

Don't forget to check for updates on the book's Facebook Page, on Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Goodreads.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Sneak Peek (with Dinosaurs)!

Hello! I hope everyone had a week that was better than the thought of a "Jurassic Park" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" mash-up!

This week, I am exuberantly excited to bring you a chapter from my upcoming book "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" which will be released September 7th!

If you haven't yet, quickly go "like" the book's Facebook page to stay up to date on more previews and exciting updates! 

So without further ado, I present the first public snippet of "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor!"

3. Everyone Follow Your Heart... Except You

There’s that age-old phrase that little girls are made from “sugar and spice and everything nice.”

Aside from having too many “ands” in it, that phrase could never have been used to describe me. I was more made from “wit and guile and everything wild.”

I was not a complacent little child. I refused to wear any dress that had ruffles or lace on it. The only way you could get me to sit in a chair for long periods of time was with a book, and even then my legs would be swinging away.

I never understood why in Sunday school I couldn’t color Jesus purple and draw green antennae on his head. Apparently, a four-year-old can commit “blasphemy” even though she can’t say it.

I also did not understand why it was weird for me to want to be Robin Hood as opposed to Maid Marian for Halloween. I mean, come on, Robin Hood had a bow and arrow. What did Maid Marian have, needlepoint?

And, though I was shy at first with most adults, if prodded enough, I definitely had an opinion on absolutely everything. I know, that last one is particularly shocking.

When I was in kindergarten I lived in Eugene, Oregon, a magical place where both the super conservative Promise Keepers religious group and the Grateful Dead once came to town on the same day and held performances two blocks away from each other.

Directly behind me lived a little boy about two years older than I, named Todd. Our back fences, which were actually just some super tall hedges, met with a gate in the middle. Every time I went over to Todd’s house to play it was like I was traveling through the portal to Narnia or the Secret Garden.

Todd wasn’t super popular with a lot of the other kids because he was extremely hyperactive. I loved him for it! We had the most amazing adventures and both ended up with some of the most fascinating scrapes and bruises. Of course, then we later had to explain to our parents how we got our injuries. The trick was doing so in a way that made it seem like playing Tarzan from the roof of the garage had a more logical thought process behind it than, “Let’s jump off the roof and swing from a bungee cord.”

 Todd introduced me to an amazing amount of pop culture. I first watched Power Rangers with him and quickly learned why no one wanted to be the blue Power Ranger when groups of us kids got together to pretend to defeat giant robots (cardboard boxes).

I first saw World Wrestling Federation, my eyes wider than one of Hulk Hogan’s biceps, from Todd’s parents’ couch. Of course, my four-or-five-year-old brain knew it was fake. That did not stop me from attempting to body slam Todd nor him trying to get me in an effective sleeper hold every chance
we got.

Probably the best and most influential piece of culture that Todd brought to me was Jurassic Park.

This was not a movie that I really was supposed to have been watching. However, at the age of five, I operated under the principle of “ask for forgiveness instead of permission,” more often than Keira Knightley is photographed with her mouth slightly open. I already loved dinosaurs, but that movie doubly solidified my adoration for the long dead creatures.

Dinosaurs were awesomely rad. They didn’t have to go to bed at nine, they didn’t have to listen to their teachers and they most certainly didn’t have to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Heck, dinosaurs couldn’t even be stopped by an amazingly good hunter, his skill being evidenced by his Australian accent, with a gun. What chance did parents have against that!?

My True Velociraptor Form
That movie was the true deciding factor; I wanted to be a dinosaur. To that end I quickly adopted my dinosaur persona, namely, that of a velociraptor. I would stomp around, making velociraptor calls and keeping my arms tucked in with two fingers protruding like claws.

Of course, at four or five years of age, adults tend to write this kind of behavior off as adorable. Somehow, I’ve discovered, as an adult people think it’s less cute when you
snarl at them.

I did not want to be “adorable.” I wanted to be fierce! This was a point that did not go over well when I chased after the other kids in Sunday school, roaring and snapping my teeth.

To answer your question, no, I did not have a lot of friends my age when I was a kid. Why do you ask?

Now, I had learned to read by the time I was in kindergarten, and not just little kid, “See Spot run” type books. I had chapter books under my belt by then and was happily working my way through books I found on Greek Mythology, dragons and, of course, dinosaurs.

Just because I could not pronounce half of the words I read, did not mean that I did not understand them. This was a fact my kindergarten teacher quickly learned when I asked her
for help with how to say a word and she said, “Oh honey, you don’t need to know what ‘peculiar’ means.”

I replied with, “I know what it means, it means weird. I just didn’t know how to say it.”

At first my kindergarten teacher was extremely excited that I could read, but then she realized how dangerous this truly was.

One day we had “Career Day,” where we were all going to talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up.

Looking back on this as an adult, it makes about as much sense to have a “Career Day” for kindergarteners as it does to have scrapbooking classes for sparrows. I am currently in my twenties and I honestly have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. How do you expect a kindergartener to know?

In any case, my teacher went around the room asking each little boy and girl what they wanted to be when they grew up.

“Remember, if you try hard enough and stay in school, you can be anything you want to be!”


She started at the front of the class.

Suzy said, “Doctor!”

Matthew said, “Fireman!”

Sarah said, “Figure skater!”

Devon said, “Truck driver!”

It came to my turn and, being absolutely honest, I piped up with, “Velociraptor!”

My teacher sighed and blinked at me, “No, honey, you can’t be a velociraptor when you grow up.”


“Because little girls can’t grow up to be dinosaurs, pick something else.”

I mused for a minute, “Okay, I want to be Pegasus when I grow up!”

The teacher blew out some air, “No, try again.”



“Mutant Ninja Turtle?”




We went back and forth like this for some time. I would list off a mythological creature or some strange alien being and my teacher would look more and more like she wanted to visit a
bar after work that day. Finally, she agreed to “President-ninja-Batman,” as it was at least human and moved on.

She may have moved on, but I was not giving up my dream of velociraptor glory.

A few weeks later, the kindergarten class was to put on a little mini-play about safety at our school assembly. Everyone in the class got a part.

My teacher, knowing my propensity to forget and then ad-lib things, gave me a part with one line. I was a random businessperson who was supposed to say, “I sell good veggies!”

Practices went well enough. I delivered my line and moved off stage and my teacher seemed to take fewer and fewer of the little white pills she kept in her desk with each passing day.

The day of our debut performance in front of a bunch of other elementary school kids finally came. I looked out at the crowds we would be performing for and immediately knew that my one line was too much for me to utter.

I was terrified. With all those little eyes watching me, I just knew that I was going to do something awful and embarrassing, like forget my line, walk off the edge of the stage or have to be the blue Power Ranger next time we were all playing together.

My teacher, attempting to herd all of her kindergarteners into place (a task much like herding weasels on crack) quickly dismissed my fears by saying, “Just pretend that you are what you want to be when you grow up! Think about how much courage you have to have for that job!”

Apparently my teacher had forgotten, one week later, that my vocational goals were as follows:

1. Become a velociraptor.

2. Run around roaring and eating animals.

3. Never have a set bedtime ever again.

4. Generally be awesome.

The performance went smoothly enough and then it came the time for the shopkeeper to come on stage and say her one line.

I got up on stage, looked out at the crowd of other kids, and immediately channeled my inner-velociraptor.

My hands came up into their claw position, I bared my teeth and I roared. The rest of the teachers looked at my teacher for a minute, almost believing this might be part of the play. Their hopes that this was planned were immediately dashed against the jagged rocks of reality, as I roared again and proceeded to chase Jimmy off of the stage.

Despite the punishment waiting for me at home, I never gave up on my velociraptor dream. Granted, today I can’t really roar at non-compliant clients and chase them out of my office, but if you’re around me enough, you might catch me in a moment where just a little bit of velociraptor shines through.

So, what scraps of knowledge can be picked from the bones of experience?

1. If you want normal, rather bland children, don’t teach them to read early. However, if you want awesome children, with huge imaginations, who can solve problems and think things through, then teach them to read as early as you can!

2. The weirdest kids on the block oftentimes simultaneously have the biggest bruises and the most fun.

3. Don’t try to cage the velociraptor, it will only come back to bite you in the end. Sometimes literally.

If you liked this excerpt, the rest of "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" will be sailing to a bookstore shelf or online store near you! Don't forget to go like the book's Facebook page for updates!

Friday, August 1, 2014

You Can't Cage A "Free Spirit"

Hello all, I hope you have all had a more fabulous week than the thought of a battle between Donald Trump's toupee and a weasel!

First off I now have a release date for my second book!!! "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" will be sailing into a bookstore or online vendor near you on September 7th!!!

If you want updates about the book, please check out the Facebook page my awesome publisher, Sweatshoppe Publications, has put together here.

For those of you who don't know, this month I took a position as the head of security for the largest homeless shelter in Spokane.

Basically if I were to describe my job in a nutshell it would be, "I spend all day never knowing whether I will next be faced with someone who made a knife out of salad tongs or have to settle an argument between a man and the voices in his head."

It's an adventure and a half.

I've only been working there a month, but I already have enough fascinating and interesting moments to probably fill another two, or thirteen, books.

This past week, however, I had a "once in a great while" occurrence. I was sitting in my office writing up a report on another incident involving someone wearing pizza boxes as "armor" and trying to pick fights, when there was a knock in my door.

I opened the door to find one of our older clients who was looking shamefully at the floor. I had barely said "Hi" when he blurted out with, "I was smoking pot in the courtyard, I'll see you at sanctions next week."

I blinked as he wandered out. He had just admitted to something I probably would not have caught him doing and had kicked himself out. If they all did this my job would be ninety times easier.

Every week we hold a sanctions meeting, which is for patrons who have been banned to come in and give their side of the story. We then weigh their side of things and can adjust the length person's ban if need be. We had already decided to let this guy back in for willfully admitting his wrongdoing, but we still heard him out.

He sat in the chair looking extremely apologetic as he again and again said, "I know I shouldn't have, it was stupid."

We all thanked him for being willing to take responsibility for his actions. Then, suddenly, he turned to me, held up his hand and said, "Ma'am, you need to understand, I'm a free spirit, I don't follow the law."

I just shrugged as he continued, "I don't follow the rules ma'am, I'm a bad-boy, I just run with the wind, I can't be caged."

It took everything within me to not burst out laughing as I said, "I will remember that. Remember, if you're going to be a "bad-boy" you should do so at least two blocks away from our building, ok?"

He nodded, "Oh, of course! But remember, I'm a bad-boy."

"I'll remember, your bad-boy status is safe."

What lessons can be pulled from this little experience?

1.  "Bad-boy" has now been redefined to someone who feels too much guilt after doing something wrong and turns themselves in.

2. You can't cage a "free spirit." That's okay, though, as the "free spirit" is apparently likely to cage themselves. 

Would anyone else like to redefine a term or two for me this week?

Don't forget, you can always find me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads!