Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hank the Cowdog

In Episode 10, our guest is John Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog series of humorous mystery books for children. More than 7.5 million copies of Erickson’s books have been sold since 1983. His 57th volume – The Disappearance of Drover -- was just released as was the audio version of the book.

John writes the Hank books from the point of view of a dog, a dog who can’t quite understand why he’s so misunderstood. The volumes are filled with humor, western parlance, and details that could only be provided by one who lives the life of a small-town rancher.

Titles include The Case of the Incredible Priceless Corncob; The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse; The Case of the Dinosaur Birds; and The Case of the Car-Barkaholic Dog. Along for the ride with the bumbling Hank in these stories are the hilariously-written cowboy Slim; ranch owners Sally May and High Loper; Hank’s buddy, the loyal, yet timid, mutt Drover; and sworn enemies like Hank’s chief competitor for table scraps, Pete the Barncat.
John Erickson with his horse Nocona.
Photo provided by John Erickson.
John speaks to us from his home in Perryton, Texas. At the time of the interview, a group of homeschooled junior high and high school students (who'd been raised on Hank the Cowdog stories) were with him learning about the process of writing.

John Erickson with a group of homeschooled students.
Photo provided by John Erickson.

Also on the show are Phil and Amy Kruse, owners of the Circle View Ranch in Interior, South Dakota, who share how they were inspired by John’s books to name their own border collie and "head of ranch security," Hank the Cowdog.
Hank the Cowdog of Circle
View Ranch. Photo provided
by Phil and Amy Kruse.
Amy and Phil Kruse
with Lace, Phil's horse.
Photo provided by
Phil and Amy Kruse.

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