Another Cancer Fight

So, kind of an up and down week last week, largely down. While I was getting interviewed Friday morning for the TV news, my brother Jeff was getting a lung biopsy. (Emily and I drove down just after the filming finished.) The results of the biopsy aren't in yet, and he's getting a brain scan Monday; but the doctors seem to think his cancer is back, and he's in stage four.

At least his lung didn't collapse, as it did with his previous biopsy about a year ago. But it sounds like he's in for a lot of chemo, which isn't a pleasant prospect under the best of circumstances. Jeff is in good spirits--much better than I am, truth be told--which is just the way he tends to tackle things.

If you're the praying type, this would be a really good time for the prayer warriors to go on the offense. And hey, if you're the good thoughts/vibes type, that would also be welcome. We'll keep everyone updated as we get news.

Lights, Camera, Nervousness

So, the TV interview happened. We (Emily, the dog, and I) spent about an hour with Eric Olson of ABC21, which used to be 21Alive, which in my mind was a way better name. Bae was a little taken aback by the camera setup, and by the fact that Eric smelled like cats (according to Eric--I didn't notice it). But once the dog got used to him, Bae wanted nothing more than to be underfoot as much as possible.

Eric Olson interviewed me after my first book was published, all the way back in 2011, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. I don't consider myself a good interview--one of the reasons I write is to avoid talking--but I have confidence in his editing ability, so I'm sure he'll cut out of the worst of my verbal pratfalls.

The interview will be one of the 21 Country segments, which air during the 5:30 p.m. news segment on ABC21 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That's as close as I can come to telling you when it'll be on--but it should be online the next day, at which point I'll post a link to it.

I'm coming close to being one of the most famous living authors presently writing in southwest Albion.

"Say, I haven't read this book since proofreading six month ago ... it isn't half bad!" If you look carefully, you can see Bae investigating, down at the bottom right.

Bill Murray Says This About the Residents of Goshen, Indiana

Bill Murray Says This About the Residents of Goshen, Indiana

Print, TV, and Radio Red

We got our print copies of Radio Red in, and already sent the first two copies to some of our biggest fans: Phil and Cindy Jacob (Phil's on the fire department) and Emily's mom. Since we've reduced the price by a couple of bucks on the website at, that's also the price for anyone who drops by for a copy. (Or we can deliver, if you're close and/or have an extra room at a great vacation spot.)

Meanwhile, Eric Olson of ABC21 is dropping by the house Thursday morning for an interview. Naturally, this triggers a day of tidying up, also known as panic cleaning. So if you stop by my house--don't open any closet doors.

Movie Review: Kong Skull Island

If you’ve gone to the movies this century, you know that you never, never say yes to a mission on a remote island, especially if you’re going with a mix of scientists and soldiers.

But in 1973 nobody knew that, at least not if they didn’t watch Godzilla movies, so Samuel L. Jackson can be forgiven if it takes half of Kong: Skull Island before he says “I’m getting’ sick and tired of these mother frakking monkeys on this mother frakking island!” (Kidding. But if he did say that, I’d be paraphrasing.)

Jackson is Colonel Packard, who commands the military part of the expedition, and for him it’s perfect timing: the Vietnam War has just ended, leaving Packard out of sorts and looking for a fight he’ll be allowed to win. He doesn’t hesitate to join up with a British survival guide (Tom Hiddleston), a war photographer (Brie Larson), and members of the mysterious Project Monarch, including Bill Randa (John Goodman), who knows more than he’s letting on about a strange island surrounded by perpetual storms.

Spoiler alert: There’s a giant ape stomping around on the island.

In fairly short order the humans manage to piss off the ape, who in even shorter order makes (sometimes literally) mincemeat out of them. The saner characters want to get the heck out, but Packard has lost men and goes full on Captain Ahab with this hairy Moby Dick. This even after a stranded World War II airman (John C. Reilly) tries to explain Kong is protecting a tribe on the island—and maybe all humanity—from even more violent beasts, which we learn are called Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms.

By this time many moviegoers are scratching their heads over a strange feeling of deja vus. “Wait—haven’t we heard of M.U.T.O. and Project Monarch before?

Yes, we have: In 2014’s Godzilla, which is why monster movie buffs are in such a tizzy. One of the first movies I remember was Godzilla vs. King Kong, which was released the year I was born (ahem--I saw it later), and now we’re being set up for a rematch.

But back to Kong: Skull Island, which stands up very well on its own, thank you. The cast is first rate, and you’d be hard pressed to tell where the digital effects began, although I’m betting they didn’t have a hundred foot tall animatronic ape on set. The movie was filmed around the world, and some of the scenery is breathtaking, as are the action sequences. Oh, and there’s also a plot, which in general amounts to “How do we get off this island?” and “which monster’s side are we on?” The characters face the possibility that killing Kong might release the island’s other monsters onto the world, but that if they don’t Kong might, you know, kill them.

One warning: The movie’s rated PG13, but it should be R. The violence is pretty intense and sometimes graphic and, naturally, lots of people die. Also, there’s a giant spider. Eek!

If you’re any kind of a monster movie fan, stay for the post-credits scene.

My rating:

Entertainment value: 4 M&M’s. The movie was so fast-paced and action-packed that even the little kid two rows back who would NOT. STOP. TALKING. didn’t ruin the experience.

Oscar potential: 4 M&M’s. Not for actors, cause’ hey—genre movie. But there needs to be some Academy love for effects, cinematography … I don’t know … Kong’s makeup?

Checking out the neighborhood

Bae goes for a ride to survey his domain. Who else is going to keep the house safe from all those suspicious people in the neighborhood?

Oh, What a Tangled Website She Weaves

Emily has the website all set up because ... well, because she's awesome, obviously. Now, in addition to being able to order any of our books at, you can get a signed copy of the newest, Radio Red.

Pro tip: If you order a print copy of Radio Red from our website, you might just get, say, a couple of bucks off the list price. Just sayin'.

But only at And there are other Mark R Hunters out there, so don't settle for imitation.

Also over on the websites you can read samples, check out some free short stories, contact us, read my blog, and rent our dog to troll for dates at the park. I'm kidding about one of those.

Rockabye Baewulf, in Aneshesia

Poor Bae had a rough day. He needed a good teeth cleaning and had to be anesthesized for it, which is a fancy way of saying put to sleep, but that's not a term you want to use when talking about pets. I suggested reading one of my books to him, but the vet thought we should use a more scientific method. Also, the vet refused to buy one of my books.

He also needed to have his nails trimmed. (Bae, not the vet. Well, maybe both.) Now, we don't know what happened to the poor guy before we got him (Bae, not the vet); but one thing we've learned is that you are not going to trim his nails while he's awake. The only time I ever saw him try to bite someone was when they were trying to give him a trim.

So we dropped Bae off at the vet at 8 a.m., with instructions to pick him up sometime between 2 and 5 p.m. We rushed back in at 1:55.

You see, in addition to it being the first time he was away from home without us, it was the first time we were home without him since he first arrived. Mommy and Daddy were very stressed. We were also worried about how he'd handle being in a kennel without us around: When we first got Bae, we had a metal cage to keep him in until he was potty trained, for when we had to go away. It was one of those heavy gauge wire things, designed for large dogs, since Bae weights around 90 pounds.

He tore it apart. That's not a figurative term, he literally tore it apart.

We shouldn't have worried: When they led Bae out the best he could do was give us a weak tail wave and stumble to the car. At home he summoned up enough energy to jump onto Emily's spot on the couch, where he remained. That stuff stayed in his system for hours, while we fed him a little broth and petted him, which he didn't seem to notice. It's too bad this had to disrupt his nap schedule. I myself took a three hour nap, and when I got up he was still out of it.

Next time I go to the dentist, I want me some of that stuff.

"Dude, stop with the pictures. I just want to sleeeppp....zzzzzzzz"

Speak of the Devil: Beware The Wrath Of A Grumpy Big Ape

Looking forward to this one! Hope I have the chance to see it on the big screen.

Speak of the Devil: Beware The Wrath Of A Grumpy Big Ape: “This planet doesn’t belong to us. Ancient species owned this earth long before mankind. I spent thirty years trying to prove the trut...

Well Played, Winter

Crazy mild February (at least, in Indiana). Trees start blooming weeks early, people can take walks without a clothing store worth of covering, we can see the light at the end of the frozen tunnel, then ...


Well played, winter. Well played.