Riding First Class

“I don't always let my books go into retail stores, but when I do, they go into classy ones!”

Haha! With a reader base in the neighborhood of thousands and not millions (so far), I can't really be picky about which stores my books go into. Up to this point, my marketing plan has consisted primarily of a website base and word of mouth. That's not exactly the fast track to fame and fortune. In fact, it may not even qualify as a plan. But that is all right with me, because today we have a breakthrough.

The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse - A New Adventure, A New Name is officially stocked in the Jarrett Bay Boathouse in downtown Beaufort, North Carolina! That is down on the beautiful waterfront, and if you have never been to Beaufort, put it next on your to-do list.

I've never traveled first class, but I'm delighted to say the Jarrett Bay Boathouse is a first-class place! And it gets even better. They are stocking Boathouse Mouse in the Jarrett Bay Store in the North Hills Shopping Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, as well!

So, be sure to stop in and visit the great folks that run those stores, and pick up your copy of A New Adventure, A New Name. There is some chance you may also find some other treasures in those places. And it may be possible to pre-order your copy of The Cat and the River Thames, the soon-to-be-released Book 2 in the Adventures of Boathouse Mouse.

Thank you Jarrett Bay Boathouse!

Special thanks to Tracy Merkley for the photo.

Special thanks to Tracy Merkley for the photo.

507 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516
Phone: (252) 728-6363

4209 Lassiter Mill Road, Suite 126, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: (919) 803-1990

Boathouse Mouse Has an Announcement to Make

Boathouse Mouse Book 2, Concept Sketch 1

Boathouse Mouse Book 2, Concept Sketch 1

Book 2 in the Adventures of Boathouse Mouse is planned to be released in a few months! Drum roll! May I have the envelope, please? And the title is …

Sorry, that's too corny of an introduction for me. There has to be a better way to make a book title announcement.

Maybe I should put the name inside a cake and cut it at a revealing party. I bet that would get a lot of people worked up. Especially at my grand-parental age. Now that I think of it, maybe that would be a good one for April first. Or, maybe not.

I'm not a big fan of doing things the same way everyone else does. It seems like there should be a fresh way for me to introduce my next book.
Um, excuse me. What's that? Speak up there, little fella. Ahh, yes. Of course!

My friend, Boathouse Mouse, would like to invite you to join him for a spot of tea, and naturally some scones, in his next adventure: The Cat and the River Thames.

Please stay tuned for further announcements.

Reason Number 5 of Why I Write

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what reasons One through Four would be. I just don't like to make unmitigated absolute statements that may paint me into a corner. So, this could actually be reason Number 1. Anyway, no matter how I count it, this is wonderful.

As a writer, I love it when people like my books. And here we have a mom reading Boathouse Mouse to kids at a daycare. Combine all that with my soft spot for kids, and everything about this is a win.

A huge Thank You to Angela for investing in children, and also for sending me these pictures! You have made this author's day.

Boathouse Mouse Sightings!

The latest reported sighting of Boathouse Mouse is in Louisiana! He has made random appearances in California, Washington, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and New York as well.

Boathouse Mouse is doing some traveling!

So the question of the day is, where might he turn up next? If you have a sighting to report, please contact me with or without a photo.

Ironically, I have been sent pictures of Boathouse in lots of places, but not in a boat. Maybe you will be the first friend of Boathouse Mouse to give him a boat ride …

Friends of Boathouse Mouse in California

Friends of Boathouse Mouse in California

How to Make an Author Happy in One Easy Step

This young reader knows what Boathouse Mouse is up to. Do you?

Around our house we have always been big on reading. We have walls full of books. We have worn-out library cards. And, not surprisingly, we have folders full of poetry as well.
It's no secret that I love to write. But the thing that makes writing quantum levels of coolness better is happy readers.

I don't know the youngster in this picture, but he surely made my day. Thank you to "mom" for sharing this picture and allowing me to post it here. Even more so, thank you for teaching your child the love of reading. I'll do my best to provide more material to love.

My Inner Child

I'm no expert, but it seems that the best way for an author to write a children's book is to "get in touch" with their inner child. For some people, that may be a stretch. For me, it was pretty simple. I never got out of touch with my inner child.

So, the big news is that the first book in The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse series is available. There is time to get it for Christmas if you so happen to want to give it as a gift to someone. And there are numerous ways a person can get a copy.
1) Any local book store should be able to look it up and order it. The information they will need is at the bottom of this post.
2) If you are local to me, you can purchase directly from me. The information you need is ... just tell me.
3) If you are local to Shawna, the illustrator, you can purchase directly from her.
4) You can order it from Shawna's Etsy store. #BackToTheDrawingBoardArt

When ordering ask for:
A New Adventure, A New Name
By RV Hodge

Thundering Silence

Waiting for a book to come in the mail is like being on a diet. You have to take it one day at a time. I'm sure you have all heard about that guy who went on the Weight Watcher's Diet plan and ate a month's worth in one week. He thought he was going to lose weight four times faster than scheduled. If only it worked like that.

It's the same thing with the mailbox. I can check it as many times a day as I want, but it will not bring the package any sooner. I just have to wait the prescribed number of days.

Staying busy helps. It keeps my overly-imaginative mind occupied with lesser tasks like work, mowing the lawn, eating, and so forth. Those things, however, are temporary remedies at best.

It's too bad the Postal Service does not put GPS trackers on each package. Then I could track the pings on some giant interactive global map, in real time. It would be even more awesome if I could upload a tiny Boathouse Mouse icon that would show up as the blinking light. Maybe he could even alternate pictures with a right foot forward then left foot forward. Although, that may be taking it one step too far.

Fantasy over. Back to reality.

I do have a tracking number. Sadly, the online Postal Tracking Service gizmo does not recognize it. Sigh. It is their own number, generated in their system. I'm not sure why they even bother.

Ultimately, I am relegated to a silent wait.

Sooner or later, without forewarning, we will find a package in the mailbox and it will be Boathouse Mouse.

When I think about it in those terms, it almost sounds like Boathouse is a ninja …

Happier Than a B Novel Writer Slinging Clichés Like Six-Shooters

Or, Why I Love a Good Cliché Now and Then.

As a general rule, clichés are taboo in novel writing. I don't have any experience in grant writing, but I suspect they are highly discouraged in that field as well. The reason behind not using clichés in novels is that a writer could get the reputation of lacking originality. The only reason I could imagine for not using them in grant proposals is that the writer would become an instant pariah in that field.

Overly using clichés may be a problem, but occasionally they can come in handy. You see, a cliché is simply an over-used metaphor. Whoever first said, “Avoid (fill in the blank) like the plague,” was a visionary. There was no ambiguity in that reference. No one ever wondered if the writer had a hidden meaning. It was pure genius. Now it's been repeated so much, if you were to write it into a book, every single reader would mentally shish-kabob you. And everyone knows, that's not nice.

When is a cliché a good thing? It may not actually be good, but it can sure be handy. Sometimes you just need an instant shortcut into the corporate understanding of all your readers. A cliché can fulfill that task. With the application of one conveniently placed cliché, a point can be made. Clarity is gained in the familiar.

So, you may be wondering why I don't use clichés in my books. I would tell you, but then I would have to …
And everyone followed that to its corny conclusion. It's amusing because we all see it coming. It's like the Keystone Cops. The humor is in their predictability.

I like humor. I like predictability sometimes. But I really, really like a twist. I like a twist that's so well made, it makes my brain do a four-wheel drift around a plot turn. (That's a racing metaphor, not a cliché yet.) And I don't care who you are, you can't write plot twists in comfortable clichés.

By now you are wondering what my main point is. I was actually just in a mood for clichés … and puns. Puns are the hillbilly cousin of clichés. I also slipped a little plot twist in there, which amused the daylights out of me. I hope it was entertaining for you as well.

In other news, I should have a copy of Boathouse Mouse: A New Adventure, A New Name very soon!
Please stay tuned.

Anticipation Is Not Making Me Wait

The truth is, I don't have a choice. I'm waiting because I have to. But the time is getting closer.

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Today Shawna gave the world a glimpse of one of the illustrations for The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse. I love it! I am indescribably excited to release this book! So I share this little teaser with you, my friends. The only difference between your view and mine is ... I know where this is in the story.