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Edward Hancock II

Thrills, Chills and Spiritual Ordeals!‚Äč

The Imperfect Blog

It's Not Canon!

Posted by EHancock2 on May 31, 2013 at 2:10 PM

A coulpe years ago, when the Harry Potter books were all the rage, a website cropped up whereby Potter fans could "pretend" they were enrolled in Hogwarts. They could interact with fellow Potter fans from all around the world, post on message boards, "visit" various Potter spots and advance through the years, from first through seventh years. (This was before Ms. Rowling commissioned the creating of the Pottermore website.)

I'm going to be honest and say I don't remember the name of the site, but yes I was a member for a while. As a writer, I believe in communicating with my fans, hearing their thoughts and ideas, even if I have my OWN ideas on how the Mendez series should go. It was rumored that J.K. Rowling actually checked this website periodically, even posting  under an unknown screen name. (I never knowingly encountered her, but that would have been neat.)

One of the drawbacks to this website is that there was no separation between children and adults. During my time on the site (and one of the reasons I eventually left), I encountered children as young as 8 posting without any acknowledged parental control. Too, I saw adults attack these children for daring to use their imagination and predicting various plots of books that were, at the time, not written yet. (I started around the time book three was released, I think.)

When book five was written, it was leaked that a major character had died during the story. Anyone and everyone was guessed. And each name guessed came with its own justification, be it logical or illogical.

One of the arguments against certain names still wakes me up in the middle of the night, cold sweat pouring from my brow. I'm referring, of course, to Internet shouts of "It's not canon!"

Writers, though often readers themself, are very different from readers who do not write. Readers, even those of fiction, seem to take everything literally. They expect certain things from writers and, all too often, put us in a box from which we can not escape. If, somehow, we do manage to escape this invisible mental prison, it is often to the great disappointment of the fan who holds our feet to the fire, based on their own personal prejudice and preconceived notions about what was meant by a certain passage and by what was, or is being done.

Now, of course, I don't mean to insult MY fans and readers. Let it be known I love and appreciate each and every one of you. That said, I want good readers. I want independent thinkers. More than that, I want people who are smart enough, and generous enough, to respect the different interpretations of others.

To be blunt, I do not want any of my readers to ever tell another Mendez fan, "It's not Canon!"

As the author, I am saying this to each of you because I know the plans I have for the series. NOTHING (and I mean NOTHING) about the Mendez series is Canonical unless I specifically say, within the context of the book itself, "This is Canon, fans. Learn it. Live it. Love it!" As that would be akin to breaking the fourth wall (something which I would do, but try desperately NOT to do), let's rest reasonably assured it will not happen.

I don't want my fans arguing, period. What is true today will change tomorrow. What is false today will become true in books yet unwritten. I'm not saying that to create any contrived sense of suspense. Merely to encourage my readers to join me in the express main purpose for these books, which is to tell the story of a moral man who is profoundly flawed, in desperate need of God, but on a seemingly winding road toward what is a straight "A to B" journey for many. Alex will get lost on the road. He will face the devil more times than not. He will confront the forces of Hell around each and every corner. He will dive, head first, into the muck of society and come out (We hope) spotless and cleansed by the love, mercy and grace of the Heavenly Father.

And that, dear readers, is the ONLY Canon on which we ALL can agree.

Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2

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