For writers: getting out of your comfort zone

Play it safe or get out of your comfort zone?  Here’s a two-part essay I wrote on the topic, drawing on my own experiences.

Part 1

Part 2 

A wonderful day at Lynn English High School

Oh… my… God. What a response at Lynn English High! The school adopted my novel Offside for its summer reading and on Friday, September 30, I spoke at two assemblies (one for Freshmen/Sophomores, the other for Juniors/Seniors). Those kids loved the novel and they loved me coming there to speak to them.

It took my breath away. The applause was thunderous, especially with the juniors and seniors, and went on and on and on, with one group chanting, “Offside! Offside! Offside!

After the talk, I signed copy after copy after copy of the novel, with the students telling me how much they loved it, and for those students who didn’t have their books with them, I signed agenda books, post-it notes that the students were going to put in their books, and–no exaggeration– about a dozen bare arms and a couple backpacks.

This was Writers’ Heaven. There can be no drug possible to induce a high like the one those students made me feel. Just unbelievable. Thanks to everyone at LEHS for making the day possible.

[I’ll upload a couple photos as soon as I get past some formatting issues.]

Recommended for high school students

For Lynn English High School students who have read and enjoyed Offside this summer—and really for all potential readers—let me suggest that you also try Cracking the Ice, my other Young Adult novel. It’s also set in the late sixties with some of the action taking place in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Cracking the Ice is Jessie Stackhouse’s story, taking place a year after Offside. He leaves home to attend an elite, formerly all-white prep school so he can chase his dream of becoming the second black professional hockey player. He soon finds, however, that the coach doesn’t want him there and neither do most of his teammates. They’ll go to almost any extreme to make him leave. Jessie must overcome not only the team in the other locker room, but the even more dangerous one in his own.

I think you’ll like it. Order it for your e-book reader or email me (dave.hendrickson@gmail.com) for a special price on the paper version.

CrackingTheIceCover_Indie_Ebook

“I started Cracking the Ice and could not put it down. Jessie Stackhouse’s generosity, hope and intelligence touched my heart…I kept reading until the last page!” –Joyce Carol Thomas, National Book Award winner

Lynn English High adopts Offside for summer reading

Lynn English High School (Lynn, Massachusetts) has adopted my novel Offside for its entire student body and staff to read this summer. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. It’s especially gratifying because it all started with positive word of mouth.

Offside

It certainly didn’t hurt that I’m an alum and most of the book takes place in Lynn and in the hallways of that school, but ultimately the book’s qualities, applicable anywhere, made it the ideal choice.

“This coming-of-age tale of a young country boy from Maine who must adapt to a new life in the city is a perfect choice for the students of Lynn English High School,” said Anastasia Mower, the chair of the English Language Arts department. “It was a perfect match for high school students of all reading abilities. The quick pace of the story keeps the reader springing after “Rabbit” Labelle as he encounters all kinds of people in his new environment. Especially meaningful to us as a school are the book’s themes of bullying, alienation, friendship, and family, as these will offer much to talk about in discussion groups in the fall. We are excited for our students to connect with “Rabbit” and to join him as he learns about compassion and friendship in his new surroundings.”

Story reprinted in Fiction River Presents

For the very first time, a magazine or anthology has chosen to reprint one of my previously published stories! In this case, the second volume of the Fiction River Presents reprint series has gone back over the eighteen or so volumes of Fiction River originals and decided to include “One-Night Stands for Love and Glory” by yours truly. It’s a quirky story that will make you laugh and make you cry. I’m truly honored to share the Table of Contents with all the awesome writers listed there.

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Fiction River Presents: The Unexpected is available now.

AmazonNook, Kobo, Smashwords

Dropping e-book prices of all five novels

Pentucket Publishing has lowered the e-book prices of all five of my novels as well as my short story “Blue Note Heaven.”

My romances No Defense and Body Check have been discounted from $5.99 to $3.99. Bubba Goes for Broke is also now priced at $3.99. My Young Adult novels Offside and Cracking the Ice now list for $4.99.

“Blue Note Heaven” now sells for just 99 cents.

No Defense released

My new hockey romance novel, No Defense, is now out in both ebook and print formats. No Defense cover web

After giving up the worst goal of his NHL career and at the worst possible time – overtime of the Stanley Cup Championship Game 7 — Tyler McKenzie flees to Africa. But even a safari into the famed Serengeti can’t wipe away the sting of his failure. He sees it everywhere he looks.

Except when he looks into the eyes of Angie Smolinski, an outspoken, bull-in-the-china-shop firecracker he finds far more interesting than any of the beauties back home.

They fall head over heels for each other until the firecracker explodes like a bomb.

Available on KindleNOOK,  Kobo,  Smashwords,  and Amazon (print).

I’ll be happy to provide autographed and personalized copies of the trade paperback, but my hot-off-the-presses shipment won’t arrive until after the holidays. If you can wait until then, please send $15 to cover the book and standard shipping ($2 extra for Priority Mail).

Even better, select additional titles or copies (whatever combination you’d like) and save even more: $27 for any two, $38 for three, $48 for four, and $58 for five. That includes standard shipping within the continental United States. Pay by Paypal or check. Send Paypal payment to my hewriter@uscho.com account; mail checks to PO Box 482, Andover, MA 01810-0009.

A New Old Title

Bubba Goes for Broke, my comedy and crime caper first published in 2011, has now been reissued under my name. It originally came out under the pen name David Bawdy because it was being released at the same time as my first young adult title, Cracking the Ice. My editor felt strongly that I needed a pen name to avoid confusion between the R-rated Bubba title and Cracking.

But enough time has passed and I’ve written additional Young Adult books as well as those not appropriate for the YA audience and people seem to have figured it all out. If there’s a teenager in sports gear, it’s YA; if there’s a bare-chested hunk on the cover, it’s a romance.

And then there’s Bubba and Tiffany. You may know Tiffany as the star in my quirky short story, “Tiffany Gets her Boobs.”

Tiffany cover

“‘Tiffany’ works beautifully, and by the end of the story, I had fallen in love with this savvy, determined, and somewhat crazy woman. Everyone who has read this story remembers it and likes it. You will too.”
–USA Today Bestselling Author Kristine Kathyrn Rusch

Well, here come Bubba and Tiffany, the oddest of odd couples.

Bubba ebook cover web

If a dim-witted, sex-crazed crook falls in love, does he get any dumber? You can bet a boob-jobbed Hooters waitress he does. And when she wants to become a televangelist with a little something extra, guess who’s going to pay? Meet Bubba Winslow.

“David H. Hendrickson tickles my funny bone in the best possible way.” — Annie Reed, author of Pretty Little Horses

“Good stuff… head-slapping, outrageous humor” — Terry Hayman, author of Chasing the Minotaur

Available on KindleNOOK, and Smashwords.

A favorite photo

Here’s a photo of my awesome new friend, Tyler, holding copies of Cracking the Ice and Offside.  Tyler, hope you like both of them!

Tyler

Ellery Queen’s issue with “Huram’s Temple” now out

The March/April double issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine contains my story “Huram’s Temple”and is now available at your local newsstand. Ellery Queen’s is the number one mystery magazine in the world, so it’s well worth your time and reading dollars.

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