Hankins is a retired Hospital Executive who has traveled extensively throughout
the world, first through service in the US Merchant Marine, then later,
with the US Army and Air Force Medical Service Corps until retirement as
a commissioned officer. Upon return to civilian life he continued his career
as a Hospital Administrator, Consultant, Writer, and sometime later accepted
a parttime staff position as an Adjunct Professor at Houston Baptist University
where he taught health care management to graduate students from the US
and abroad. During his varied career, he has had a number of professional
articles published in trade journals and other media; one of which received
presidential acclaim for its coverage of Vietnam Air Evac activities. A
much later honor, includes a Certificate recognizing him as an "Outstanding
Individual." It was presented to him by the by Senate of the State of Hawaii
along with and anothe simultaneously awarded by the County Commissioners
of the Big Island of Hawaii for work accomplished on their behalf. Of interest
is the fact that the Governor of the State along with every Senator, personally
endorsed the cument. Historically, John as raised on the island of Oahu,
Hawaii, but since then much of his life has been spent traveling the world
on various assignments. For the present, he and his wife, Nedra, a retired
RN and artist reside in Houston, Texas, where in addition to their creativeworks,
enjoy the company of one dog and two cats who think nothing of walking
acrosss computer keyboards or nudging one’s elblow in pursuit of specific
Books & Poetry
These books are currently available for
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CAYMAN GOLD, my first officially published
novel came as a surprise to me since I had no plans to write a book about
German U-boats, Nazi loot, and whatever. That is, not until a brief church
mission to the Cayman Islands changed everything. Quite honestly, my wife
and I (Nedra), were at a prayer meeting at a friends home, when suddenly,
a flash about a submarine lying at the bottom of the sea crossed my mind.
Seconds later I asked our host whether German U-boats had been in the area
during WWII, to which he gave a prompt reply: “Oh, yes! They were all over
the place!” After telling him of about the visualization I had, a
brief discussion took place, and he subject was dropped. Some years later,
while working in Hawaii, and in my spare time writing another book, for
some unknown reason my thoughts about the sunken submarine came to mind.
With my curiosity now piqued, I decided to do some research at the local
library. What I found was insufficient for my needs, but through intellectual
hunger I found it necessary to borrow a book or two. While waiting in line,
a man behind me -- who noticed the books, posed a question: “Have you seen
this one?” I was incredulous and dumbfounded when I saw what he had.
It was about Nazi loot! In an instant I was on the waiting list! From that
unexpected encounter I went from one research to another, until a fascinating
story began to emerge, as did something I had forgotten about: A visit,
twenty-five years earlier, to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry,
where a captured German submarine, U-505, was on display. WOW! A coincidence?
Thus began the script from which the novel Cayman Gold began, and as it
grew in content, so did a number of previously unknown characters, the
latter of whom have become real in the mind of this author.
To create a 400 page novel about a young Yankee
boy who inherits an estate deep in the South of Dixie is hard enough, especially
where its characters simply appear and disappear at will, and in so doing,
cause or curtail mischief if such occurred, as insisted upon by the young
man’s newly departed Aunt Martha, “before she gave up the ghost ‘asmilin’.”
To attempt such a thing requires the right atmosphere. For me and my wife,
living in a log cabin retreat was just the thing for us. However, the peacefulness,
tranquil lake, fresh air, abundance of pine trees and forest animals in
a country setting, while great, can also have its drawbacks, like certain
anti-Yankee sentiments, or practices like riding a usurper “out on town
on a rail.” How to make all these real and not so real characters come
together in a book was quite a challenge, certain elements made this possible.
An incident comes to mind: that of a certain country duck who accidental
death was caused by drowning after getting hooked on a trot line from which
he was trying to steal bait. It actually happened, and he didn’t die, but
boy his fictional death created a lot of humor and more characters. In
the novel his wife, Emma Lou Waddle -- and her “littl’un,” is referred
to as the “wider woman” and she is one of many interchangeable characters
who is in attendance at the reading of Aunt Martha’s Will. From that moment
onward, nothing is as it is supposed to be, and where one tale ends, another
Who would ever think that a simple wasps sting
could become the basis for the writing of a fantasy novel. As I look
back, events leading to that initial step seem amazing, yet it happened!
And it all started with me as I was doing some repair work on the patio
of our home. As I began hammering away, I felt this sting, and upon turning
saw a wasp flying away. Fortunately, he didn’t have any friends with him.
Anyway, I went into the house, and instead of putting an ice compress on
my arm to stop the swelling, I used a hot moist towel. With minutes my
arm had swollen to twice its size, so much so that I took to my bed. Hours
later the door bell ran. It was a delivery man, holding a birthday gift
from my wife’s sister, a huge bouquet of flowers. As best as I can remember,
a remarkable feature was its four spiraling plants that towered above all
the other flowers, like a Turkish minaret. As the days went by its leaves
began to fall, just like the feathery down on the ducks we raised as pets.
By a combination of the two, I managed to designed a flotilla of ships
on our living room carpet, with the leaves being ships and the duck down
being sails. And, before I knew it – I had not only duplicated the original
bouquet with one of my own, but had added parts that converted it into
an island of paradise! However, to make it more interesting, I needed an
antagonist, a challenger, and up came (literally) another, a dreadful intrusion!
As my work progressed, more structures came into mind, which left me with
no other choice but to stop toying with the idea, an get busy building
the story representing my work. Candidly, my old sea legs and background
of experiences helped a lot, along with a theme that suggest there is an
atomic and volcanic relationship. Happy to say, the combination worked.
MAID OF THE STONES and more poems . . .
This book of poetry didn’t start out this way.
In truth, it was a short story intended for my wife, but after hearing
it, she suggested I turn it into an epic. My God, I took poetry and read
epic’s, but to write one, that’s another thing! Impossible, but yet I was
willing to try. And so, after a great deal of thought, I picked up a copy
of Homer’s Iliad and began to read. Then, when I felt I had gotten
the gist of the thing, I began typing. As the years passed I continued
to change this line or that, or to reject something over the other. This
was twenty years in the making. In any case, though it has been published,
I still have a desire to add or change or things, but on the other hand,
it is a poem with a story that has its basis concerning facts and circumstances
– though stretched a bit as to accuracy in terms of specific places. But,
once again, it is complete, moving, historic, and without question, imparts
a message about early Roman and English history, where Stonehenge becomes
a focal point.
Writers Book Club
Club is an independent publishing entity established by John Hankins, it's
founder. This entity is one of many now making their debut through the
use of an ingenious development, "Print-On-Demand" technology, or "POD,"
ive to large bottom-line oriented publishing and printing houses that rarely
accept new or unknown writers. Through this means, rejected writers now
have a new way to see their creative works published with little or no
effort on their part. That is, except for the marketing end which can be
difficult to handle if one is not motivated enough to follow through. But
think of it a book of 400 pages complete with a quality paperback cover,
printed in slightly over four minutes!