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And So the Road to Hell Begins

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*While Kane Hodder’s Unmasked Tour has officially ended, our story has only begun. Now that it is over, I have the time to document all the crazy, insane things that has happened along the way. The only way to tell the story properly is to start at the beginning. This blog starts the day before the tour begins. Most of the upcoming entries will follow in chronological order.

After working on Kane’s biography for a year, spending months planning a tour and promoting the release, I suddenly found myself sitting in a hotel room in Detroit across the street from the old Silver Dome. I couldn’t believe that just a mere year ago, the thought of meeting Kane Hodder would have made me pee my pants a little, and now I’m on a national book tour with him AND we have a camera guy to come along and document it for us. It was all a bit too surreal. In fact I kept waiting to wake up one day to find out that it was all fake…. That I really did meet Kane Hodder at a convention, but when I took a picture with him he choked me so hard I fell into a coma… and that is what the past year has been; A long twisted dream about the man who almost killed me.

While I know that everything is in fact real, for some reason I still can’t grasp the idea that the tour will start the next day. That for the next five months I will be on a wild roller coaster ride with Kane and that it will all be caught on film. Originally we were just going from city to city doing signings. Though now that we have a camera following us, we decided to try and do something fun and interesting in each city we went to, hell, why not really? That way, Kane and I won’t get tired of just signing books every day and we’ll get to experience the country at the same time. With filming it, we’ll get to have a nice home video (well, a really twisted home video) of the tour, that hopefully the fans will someday get to see.

Our first such outing was Kane’s idea. Out of nowhere that first morning in Detroit, Kane called me up and said, “We have to go to American Pawn and Jewelry”. At first I was confused, thinking he needed some quick money for bail so he was going to pawn something. Thankfully that wasn’t the case. He just happened to realize that one of his favorite reality shows was filmed in Detroit at that store. It was a show I hadn’t heard of called, Hardcore Pawn. Being last minute, I didn’t think they would let us come by with an hour’s notice, but I figured a phone call couldn’t hurt. Ten minutes later we had approval to not only visit the store, but to film, and the entire cast of the show just happened to be there.

We got in the car, with Kane driving of course, and headed over to the store. At this point, Shawn, our one man camera crew had just met Kane. Shawn knew who Kane was, but he didn’t know him personally. This of course meant that Shawn had never been in a car with Kane… this is a terrifying, yet sometimes fun experience. Shawn sat in the back seat and placed the really, really expensive camera on the seat next to him, not thinking anything of it. If I had known the camera was on the back seat, I probably would have warned Shawn of what would happen probably five times on the ten minute drive over; Kane’s classic break slam. This move consists of slowing to a stoplight, then suddenly slamming the breaks. While it’s usually at a slow pace, this sudden stop is still enough to lock your seatbelt and throw your body forward in a violent motion. I have had many seatbelt bruises and almost lost my lunch a few times from this. With the hundreds of times Kane has done this to me, I haven’t gotten used to it. As much as you can anticipate it, you still can’t stop your body from jerking forward. Having never experienced it, Shawn was clueless as to what was about to happen to him.

As I felt the all too familiar involuntary movement of my body flying forward, only to be stopped by the seat belt holding me tight as it thinks we are crashing, I heard a loud grunt, followed by a crashing noise behind me. Shawn, not in a seat belt, had been thrown into the back of my chair face first, the camera, the expensive camera, went flying to the floor. As my head went flying back I heard a loud expletive coming from behind me… and the deep giggle to my left. “Get used to it Shawn.” I blurted over my shoulder before explaining how this is a common occurrence with Mr. Hodder. Shawn was not happy to say the least, especially since the camera had smashed to the floor. After a few grunts and swears from the back seat I heard a seat belt click shut. When I looked over my shoulder I saw Shawn had a vice grip on the camera that was miraculously unharmed. And Shawn had put his seat belt on just in time as Kane decided to drive rapidly down a one way street… going the wrong way. I just let out a sigh and grabbed my seat belt and wondered if Shawn was reconsidering coming along on this trip.

Kane managed to get us to the pawn shop in one piece (even if Shawn had a bruise on his forehead). Inside we were greeted by Seth, one of the stars of the show. After talking to him for a bit, Les and Ashley, the other two stars came out and we all chatted. They were thrilled to have Kane in the store and were incredibly gracious to us. They gave us an hour long tour of every inch of the building, explained their company and how it worked and finally we sat in Les’s office and talked about their reality show. Looking back now, I wish I had seen the show beforehand. I’m a huge fan of it now. If I got to visit it after seeing it, I would have been much more excited. Regardless, Kane was having a blast pointing out items from all different episodes.

Les, Seth and Ashley were all so kind and all of us have stayed friends. We visited them the next time we were in Detroit and Kane even filmed a cameo in an episode of one of their shows, which should air this month, so keep an eye out for that! While we hadn’t even signed one book yet, getting to meet the stars of Hardcore Pawn was a great way to start the book tour.

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