Monday, September 11, 2017

Lest We Forget...

I wrote this poem on September 14th, 2001. I've posted it somewhere online every year since.

They Did Not Die In Vain

All humanity sighed
As souls left the earth
Lives taken swiftly
Unjustly so
They died not in vain
For tears and remorse
Wash clean the blood
On the crumpled edifices
Of steel and concrete
That makes civilization grand

But buildings do not define us
Within we are human
Warm and alive
Full of stories
Martyrs they became, oh yes
But so much more
Every last one
A living testament
To faith
And the greatest force on earth

We watched in horror
Over and over again
As the events were replayed
And reactions were given
Stunned looks
Terror in the streets
Angry oaths
Silent sobs
Open weeping
Our brethren were stoic
Or they cried and pleaded
They were dead heroes or victims
But they were all alive
Just moments before
Without any foreknowledge
Of their place in history
Etched on our minds
Engraved on our hearts
For eternity

I wept with them
The ones who died
The living left behind
The shattered hopes and dreams
Like the rubble in the streets
Made us all stop and think
That could be me!
I watched stunned
And vowed as did others
We will overcome this
We are one people
We are humane and caring
This cannot be!

Who dares challenge that right?
To live free and open lives
To send fear into our hearts
And sorrow of the most profound
For after all is said and done
Nevermore will we trust
With the heart of innocents
That we are safe and protected
In this womb of our building
In this fortress of our sovereignty

Will the swords of justice
Smite down the aggressors
And bring us peace and redress?
Or just a sense of revenge
I do not know
But I do know this
They died not in vain
Who gave their lives for freedom
And to help their fellow man
For as the tragedy struck
And lives hung in the balance
Or were snuffed out
I saw birds rise from the buildings
Sun on their wings
Angels of nature
Reminding me that there is a better place
Where there is no grief or pain
And no thoughts of war
May they live there forever
Those poor wretched souls
Till we join them again

And amid all the rubble
The twisted beams of steel and concrete
The dust and the fires
Papers fluttered to earth
A poignant reminder
We once lived and worked here
Do not forget us
We live on in your hearts
We did not die in vain
If the world becomes a better place
Because we once showed you
How to care about your brethren
And to value all you have
No matter how small it is
Or how rude and humble
Life is a gift

Monday, September 4, 2017

So What's New Nancy?

I like to think someone out there in blog-reader-land is thinking that.  
Yes it's been a while since I have updated here, but it's not because I've given up writing. Oh no folks, that is never going to happen! It might not be the most lucrative career I could have chosen, but outside of my family, it's absolutely the most satisfying thing I have ever done with my life. Writing is a passion and so I've got some new releases and plenty on the launching pad to prove that.

Back in February when Airship 27 released my second Jezebel Johnston pirate novel (subtitled QUEEN OF ANARCHY in case you missed it) I didn't dream that they would release the third book this year. I am so grateful to Ron Fortier and Rob Davis for their support of my initial foray into seafaring storytelling because I've always had a special fondness for pirate yarns. To craft one though when you have no background in anything remotely nautical and haven't laid eyes on the areas the stories take place in makes it a daunting task. Yet I have fallen under the spell of that swashbuckling sub-genre and so I have actually turned out 4 novels so far. The 3rd one is what we're going to discuss right here because JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: SEA WITCH was released back on June 6th with a corker of a cover by artist Laura Givens and more of those awesome interior illustrations by Rob Davis. You don't want to miss this book, it's an adventure filled read that continues the saga of the title gal character set in the age of buccaneers. You can find it on or Barnes & as well as the Airship 27 Hangar (scroll down or click on the sidebar)

BTW, in case you missed it because I have not been blogging as often as I should, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: QUEEN OF ANARCHY is now also available as a Radio Archives audiobook! Just think of 6 hours and 37 minutes of a very dramatic reading by talented voice artist Brian Held. His love of the material really comes through in both this one and his previous work on JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: DEVIL'S HANDMAID. Thanks Brian!

If you are so inclined to listen to a podcast where I talk about what I write in general and the Jezebel Johnston series in particular, you can find it on Art's Reviews. Mr. Art Sippo is a gracious host and he and I had a fun hour-plus long conversation that seemed to go by in an eye blink. You can get a little insight into the writing and researching that goes into putting one of these books together and it's relatively safe for work because we keep things PG 13. You should listen to some of the other podcasts on the site as well, because Art is an enthusiastic supporter of all us indie authors who tackle this pulp-inspired action-adventure stuff. You might find some other authors and books you'd love to read.

Another Airship 27 release for this year is a multi-author anthology titles TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY Volume 2. The basis for this one is a south seas island called Motugra where a bar named The Hanging Monkey hosts an eclectic cast of characters and rogues. Lee Houston Junior and I collaborated on a tale in this one that has a very interesting twist ending that gives a nod to another famous novel that was made into a movie starring someone who should be familiar to lovers of classic cinema. I'm not sharing more than that little tease, but this anthology has plenty of talent and a superb setting. Great cover too!

Now as far as Pro Se Press releases (scroll down), I've had one so far this year, but it's a doozy!

THE SONG OF HEROES story Lori's Lament was on of the first things I submitted to Pro Se back in 2010 when the company was just getting off the ground. That and one other short piece I had previously penned were my audition proposals to write for the company. Fortunately for me, Editor-In-Chief Tommy Hancock really liked both of them. The original SOH idea came from a dream I had about a blonde woman walking down a beach and finding an old silver cuff bracelet with a chain that she connected to a pearl ring and then could not remove it. The rest of the details about the supernatural scum-buster squad on call came out of the keyboard when I sat down to fill in the 'what-if's and whys'. Lori's Lament saw print in the original large format LULU Pro Se magazines back in 2010. The second story, Dark Eyes Of Night appeared in the smaller format Pro Se Presents magazine in early 2013. A third tale, Turtle Key, never made it into print. So what I did after discussing it with Tommy, was to collect and revamp all three tales for an anthology, and then I wrote a fourth brand new story, Goodbye Noreen McPherson. That became the book you see pictured below, which debuted back in July.

So what's on the writing agenda now? Well, I'm glad you asked...

I am finishing up what will be my submissions for 2017, books which will see publication over the next couple years. A Waxy Dragon anthology of three stories written in collaboration co-author/co-creator Roger Stegman titled: MYSTICAL, MAGICAL WAXY just got sent to Pro Se for their YOUNG PULP imprint. We are still waiting for LAZLO AT HOME, which I understand should be out sometime early next year. The Lazlo anthology will be the 4th book in the Companion Dragon's Tales series, so the Waxy antho will become the 5th. These are fun reads for people of all ages, a great family hand-around series.

I am still working on the sequel to the first TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS anthology for my Pro Se imprint, HANSEN'S WAY. This time, what started as a short piece wound up being a novel. It's currently rather too long, so I've been trying to pare it down without losing the story. I'm rather proud to say that this one is just as action packed as the three stories in the anthology were, but features Siska of Voruta, the elderly Archon (leader) of the Vagabond Bards, in her own adventure. When an old beau from her girlhood who is now a monk calls for Siska's help in investigating some local murders, they uncover together a cabal of intrigue handling a local leader's monetary affairs. I have not nailed down the title yet but I will be turning this one in well before the end of the year. Like the original Vagabond Bards antho, this one is set in that overarching world I created for my Pro Se Imprint books.

And don't forget, the original Vagabond Bards anthology is still available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Now, as for those aforementioned pirates...

I have just finished the rough draft of the fourth Jezebel Johnston novel. This one is titled JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: MOURNING STAR. Our Jez has really gotten herself into a dire predicament or two in this one, but her pluckiness and quick thinking often catch the hearts and win over her rough and ready buccaneer peers. This book opens a brand new chapter in the life of the young, mixed race girl who went to sea and became a pirate to be reckoned with. I'm having a lot of fun with this historical fiction series, in spite of the copious amount of research that goes into writing it. This one should be getting submitted to Airship 27 within a few weeks. Make sure you check out the three previous books as well.

BTW, if you ever want to make contact with me online—and some of my readers do—I can be found on Facebook as Nancy Hansen, and while my avatar pictures vary I usually have book covers behind it. On Google+ again you can find me under my own name by looking for the book covers. And I'm now on Twitter as well (finally) @Nancy_H_Author with book covers behind me. 

I do have an Amazon author page as well, you can find that right HERE

I also have a couple sister blogs to this one. 

COMPANION DRAGONS TALES is all about what is happening in that world of all-ages books that I share co-authorship with Lee Houston Jr. and Roger Stegman

IN MY "SPARE" TIME is a blog that I share with the aforementioned gents, but it most often showcases our hobbies and interests outside of writing. I'll warn you that I haven't posted on there in forever, but that is about to change, so stay tuned.

I'll try and be a better correspondent on the blogs, but my time is limited by family demands and writing. I do faithfully update the social network sites almost daily, so if you want to know what is going on, those are the places to look.

I write books, and while I do other things online like connect with friends, peers, and relatives, or read what interests me, I try hard to make myself available to readers. Writing is a lonely and demanding business, and you wonder at times if anyone is reading and (hopefully) enjoying your hard work. I treasure every bit of feedback I get, and so when you tell me what you liked or disliked (it happens) about my work, I can better assess whether I'm wasting my time and should go get a day job or maybe do some badly-needed housework. I much prefer writing, so if you want to keep me at the desk with my fingers on the keyboard, drop in and say hello.