When Authors Write Reviews / Is Travis Hill real?

I met an author via Twitter. Maybe “author” is merely the secret Clark-Kent-ish identity of this certifiably scary ninja-dude known as Travis Hill (whose wife, God bless her, apparently has been keeping him in line). I mean, who’s going to trust a public announcement like this one, Posted on September 5, 2014 by :

Hey! I heard I had a couple of books that were being offered for free at Amazon today. I also heard one of my paid books is priced at $.99. You should check it out. It’s the only way you’ll get enough evidence to convict me in a court of law (in America, at least).

Ability – I by Travis Hill  

The end of the world began on YouTube…

Brian Carter wanted to create a superior recreational substance. Garret Stewart wanted to create the next evolution in learning. Derry Clarkson wanted her two best friends to see reason. What happens when the perfect drug meets the perfect technology?Ability is a serialized urban tech-fantasy set in the near future.Part I
Contains: Adult Language / Situations 14,500 words     October 7, 2013

NINJAS, my a## 51qihvkcovl. 01 sr218,218

And take a look at his amazon reviews (yes, I know, pens are not books; let’s not quibble here):

5 stars to Zebra pen refills – These refills saved me from certain doom in a writing duel vs. a gang of hoodlum-ninjas August 11, 2014 By AngryGames
The moment when my Zebra pen runs out of ink is always the same. First, there’s panic. HOW WILL I FINISH DRAWING THIS DIRTY PICTURE?
Oops, I meant, how will I finish writing this joyous letter to grandma?Then there’s despair. I’LL NEVER FINISH THIS DIRTY P… I MEAN, I’ll NEVER FINISH THIS LETTER TO GRANNY!Then there’s rage. I HATE RUNNING OUT OF INK! <smashes every breakable object in the room> (yes, I might need help)Then there’s Amazon. Always there to hand me the life-giving refills for my most precious, beautiful companion, the Zebra F-301. Without my Zebra (more specifically, without my Zebra and some ink!), gangs of ninja or hoodlums that got kicked out of the local kung-fu parlor always seem to show up and hassle me. Sometimes they rob me. Once, they even drew disturbing images on my face with a Sharpie.

I had to leave the house today, and thankfully, the UPS driver showed up just in time. He gave the car load of hoodlum ninjas that were waiting across the street for me to leave the house a wary eye as he handed me the package containing my ink refills. I let him know to give those guys a wide berth, as all they do is kung-fu people and take their Starbucks money, or stand around and make fun of anyone who isn’t a kung-fu master.

Just as I was leaving, they gathered around me, like they normally do when they think they can bully me because I can’t write anything nasty about them and their hoodlum-ish ways. Today… was not that day. I whipped out my pen in one hand, and a small notepad in another, and began writing a story about their leader. I gave him green hair, one of those goofy mustaches (and enough nose hair that one couldn’t tell where his nose hair ended and his mustache began).

He tried to take my pen, but I quickly wrote another line on my notepad, this time describing how he likes to wear rainbow toe socks while pretending to be a ballerina at a high school talent show. His crew became worried as my words began to flow faster and more descriptive. By the time the losers had taken enough literary lumps from me, they were in bad shape. Two of them were portrayed in my story as whining little babies in adult bodies (and wearing diapers). The only female in the group got described as having a misspelled tattoo on her chest (a real obvious misspelling too!). I also gave her crooked yellow teeth, and an infected tongue piercing. I almost put them down for good, but one of them was sneaky and whipped out his own notepad.

And this is the crux of this review. If I had been using any ordinary pen, that hoodlum-gangbanger might have totally written me into a corner (or off a cliff). But with my Zebra F-301 and two fresh ink refills, I totally wrote circles around him. By the time he finished describing my hair as a ‘rat infested grease trap in a fast food restaurant that hasn’t passed a health inspection in sixteen months’, I’d already had him go out on three dates with two different women and a creature that can only be described as ‘Snooki wearing spanx and no makeup.’ I finished him off by changing his 1983 Pontiac Trans-Am with cassette deck and looping “You Can Still Rock In America” song with a 1996 Dodge Caravan that has 392,368 miles on it and an AM-only radio that was unable to pull in signals from stations that DIDN’T play Mexican salsa / mariachi 24/7.

Without the smooth flowing ink from my Zebra F-301 pen and refill cartridge, I could have ended up in a lot of trouble. Possibly even living in a burned-out leather shoe with my three wives, all of whom look like extras in a zombie movie. But no one beats me to the scrivening when I’m on like Donkey Kong. And today, with my F-301 refills, I was Mario on steroids.

Bwa ha ha!!!!
I think Zebra should hire this guy to write and star in a commercial.
#ResistingUrge to Rewrite all my Reviews Now
And wishing WordPress showed me an option for font size. Bold, italic, black or color. SIZE, dudes. Where are they hiding that icon?
Okay. Size (of blog font) aside:  Is Travis Hill for real? You decide:
Image of Travis Hill
Does THIS look like a ninja? 

I’m an author from Boise, Idaho. I live with my superhero wife and five completely worthless but loveable cats.

I write adult stories for adult readers.

My mailing list: http://eepurl.com/D2ktH

Writes: Science Fiction / Fantasy / Horror / Adult Fiction / Drama / Humor / Whatever I Feel Like

Favorite Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Favorite Band(s): DevilDriver / Killswitch Engage

Favorite activity: Trying to convince my wife that I need a ninja sword. I mean, they wouldn’t sell the things on TV if they weren’t invaluable weapons for when gangs of ninja suddenly crash through your living room windows, swords drawn.

A gun in this situation is useless, as ninja laugh at guns then kick them out of your hand (then kick you in the stomach / knees / groin / face / spine a nanosecond later). The only way to fight evil ninja is with a sword. Hence, ninja sword. Ninja respect sword fighting.

My wife, she doesn’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation when it comes to blood-crazed ninja looking to exact revenge on random citizens. She even had the nerve to ask me, very sarcastically, if these “ninja” (her finger quotes, not mine) spent their evenings driving a black ninja van down suburban streets looking for family members of ancestral enemies, just so they can exact revenge to fulfill some kind of ninja honor code.

To be honest, at first, I thought she was serious. Because she totally described ninja behavior, down to the last detail. They DO drive around suburban neighborhoods looking for surviving family lines of ancestral enemies to vanquish (or defeat, or behead, or whatever it is that ninja do to their intended victims who DON’T have a ninja sword to fight back).

You can imagine my displeasure when she revealed she was being whatever is more sarcastic than “sarcastic.” Then you can imagine my immediate disappointment, possibly resentment, but I love her, so maybe just annoyance, unless a gang of ninja DO bust down our door and start swinging priceless katanas forged in the ancient fires of Mt. Xi deep in the heart of the Dragon Wastes, it most likely would swing to resentment, except it wouldn’t, since we’d have no sword to defend ourselves and so we’d be walking within the spirit world, me whining and complaining to her whenever I wasn’t making her listen to me say I TOLD YOU SO repeatedly. Wow, that’s a really long sentence, packed full of vitamins and irons or something. Let’s see, I totally forgot what I was trying to say… oh, right, so anyway, imagine my immediate disappointment after being mocked when she told me I was not allowed to own a ninja sword.

This is a true story, by the way, other than a couple of minor omissions (we’ve had this discussion (argument) run past the fifteen minute mark before) on my part to make her seem totally less mean and stuff. But she is. I never get to have any fun. So I secretly write stories to escape my own reality of being forty years old and not being allowed to own a beautiful, sleek, dangerously sharp, sale-priced ninja sword. I know, right? It even comes with a polished wooden stand!

Also, I like “The Wire.” For some reason, I feel compelled to say that whenever I meet new people. I tried watching the series on DVD to find a subliminal message or some other sinister mechanism that forces people who’ve watched the show to announce that they love it, and then recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it to do so as soon as humanly possible. I think I found a subliminal message, but it made me forget about finding a sinister message and instead redoubled its efforts to get me to talk about “The Wire” whenever I meet new people.

Um… There. That’s my author bio. It is not full of lies, regardless of what anyone else that might be living in my house or married to me says. Don’t believe them (her). I wouldn’t write this unless it was true.

About carolkean

novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for Liberty Island and Perihelion Science Fiction; native prairie/guerilla gardener; champion of liberty, indie authors & underdogs; one of the top two reviewers in Editors &Preditors Poll 2015; Amazon Vine, NetGalley Top Reviewer
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6 Responses to When Authors Write Reviews / Is Travis Hill real?

  1. This guy is totally full of %#@$#@. I met him once in 1953. He was a blowhard liar then, and he’s a blowhard liar today, even if he looks like he’s not aged a single minute. He probably lies about that too. I know his type. Eats all your fruits and vegetables and leaves you (me, let’s be clear about the victim here) with greasy potato skins that might not even be real potatoes (or skins).

    By the way, he doesn’t “write” with Zebra pens or anything else. He tells a kid from down the street to type a bunch of stuff he dictates, but I don’t think the kid is good at typing. I mean, have you read a sample of one of this guy’s books? They’re generally so awful he’ll leave a review for his own book like:

    “Don’t bother reading this book. I stopped reading three chapters into writing it.” ~Travis Hill (author of this book)


    “This book reminds me of why condoms were invented: to keep people like Mr. Hill from being born, so he could never write this obnoxious, toxic-to-intelligence piece of rubbish that is so worthless, it probably wouldn’t burn even after being soaked in gasoline for a week.” ~Mr. Johnny

    (wtf… I am TERRIBLE at making up names)
    (I mean, I hate people who make stuff up and lie!)


    “Mr. Hill, I commend you on your ability to believe you wrote a book. Hint: you didn’t.” ~Mrs. Carly Hill (we’re not really married, I’m a woman he found on the internet with his last name and now he won’t leave me alone. Please call the police. Soon. He seems dangerously unstable)

    (ow… that one actually hurt)

    and finally

    “Travis Hill is possibly the most boring, ignorant, narrow-minded, goat-legged, non-nose hair trimming, weak little sissy-girl with boy parts that I’ve ever attempted to read a story from. I personally think the nurse’s gurney rolled over his head soon after birth, but everyone felt sorry for him, and has lied to him by encouraging him to write, a career path he is about as suited to as I am in performing heart surgery at John’s Hopkins.

    How he produced this partially-aborted, unrecognizable-as-even-English-gibberish-let-alone-literature TRAVESTY, I am not sure. It smells like he pulled it directly out of his ass and didn’t even bother to polish it or try to mask the stench.

    I hope he writes his own obituary, and the coroner has to remove his cold, rigid hand from the poor pistol that drew the short straw and is now ridiculed by all the other guns as the gun involved in this loser’s suicide. Mr. Hill, do the reading world a favor and eat Sani-Flush crystals. Chase with an ammonia-bleach cocktail.” ~Travis Hi… uh, I mean Jeff Jefferson. Wait. that’s a stupid made-up name. I mean that’s a mistake haha, not a fake name. I’m really Jeff Jeffer… grrrr what the… one more time. I’m Rush Limbaugh, and this is all the news that’s fit to print, so good night and good luck. There. That should fool unruly peasants into buying my–

    (Is this thing live? Did they hear me? Dude… that’s AWESOME! It’s like a textual bullhorn. hold up. TESTING TESTING, ONE TWO THREE. Wahahahaha BULLHORN!!!! Let’s go to the old folks’ home and amplify Lawrence Welk through this bad mother until they all… grow… younger? Why are they growing younger? TURN IT OFF!!!)


  2. Susan Sloate says:

    The problem I see is when the review is funnier than the product… I mean, seriously, without that reviewer, how funny is a pen refill???


  3. carolkean says:

    Susan, I hear you! In fiction workshop, I’d get smart-alecky guys waxing witty and comical (at my expense!) when they’d critique my chapters. The critique was all about showing off THEIR wit, not offering real feedback on my writing. This guy had some fun reviewing his Zebra refills. As long as nobody expect me to write humor, I can enjoy the satire of others. Let’s just dwell on the fact that my reviewer ranking is higher than his. Yay me! –What? Have I ever helped authors sell more books based on my reviews?? I’d love to believe I have that kind of impact, but nobody is showing me the stats to show any spike in sales. Ah, numbers. SOMEBODY reads my reviews or I wouldn’t have climbed (slowly) from the bottom million to the top 10,000….right? Right.


    • Susan Sloate says:

      Congrats on your move up in the reviewer ranks! I hope while you’re writing all those reviews that you’re also doing your own writing–I expect to see IRONWOLF finished sometime very soon!


  4. carolkean says:

    “Don’t bother reading this book. I stopped reading three chapters into writing it.” ~Travis Hill (author of this book) LOL!!!


  5. carolkean says:

    “Mr. Hill, I commend you on your ability to believe you wrote a book. Hint: you didn’t.” ~Mrs. Carly Hill LOVE IT


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