Baltimore Book Festival

Come see me at the Baltimore Book Festival today.  I’ll be at the SFWA tent for a short story panel from 3:00-3:45 and for a reception from 5:30-7:00.

Meet My Main Character – A Blog Hop

Harry Heckel:

A Blog Hop on Jack Heckel’s site with information on the main character of Once Upon a Rhyme.

Originally posted on Jack Heckel:

Welcome to the Meet My Main Character blog hop!

Thank you to Katherine Harbour for inviting me. She’s one of my fellow Harper Voyager authors and shares my love of fairy tales, inviting her readers into the world of Night and Nothing with Thorn Jack, a dark fantasy retelling of the ancient Scottish ballard, Tam Lin, set in upstate New York. You can find her book here: Amazon in harcover, paperback, Kindle and audiobook. You can learn more about her heroine, Finn Sullivan, and how she has to overcome tragic loss and find a way to outwit the supernatural at Katherine’s blog: Katherineharbour.blogspot.com.

Thorn Jack

The main character of Once Upon a Rhyme is probably Will Pickett, a peasant who discovers the Great Wyrm of the South has died on his farm. For his entire life, he’s dreamed of being in a fairytale and he decides to take advantage of his opportunity to rescue…

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New Author Alert: Brad A. White

Recently, I mentioned Bishop O’ Connell, a great guy to share a pint with, a fellow Harper Voyager, and the author of The Stolen. Tomorrow, another author, Katherine Harbour of Thorn Jack, will be posting about her main character and mentioning Jack Heckel. I’m getting to know more and more authors, so I decided that I’d do a post on one of my favorites: Brad A. White.

I’ve known Brad for years, and he’s also published by Blue Oranda. So far, he’s written a novella, Servant of the Muses, and its sequel, the short novel, A Pearl for Her Eyes. His main character, Jake Conrad, is a hard boiled private detective in mid-20th century San Francisco who gets mixed up with ancient gods and magical dragons. His style is best described as mythological noir. Read the rest of this entry

Life, Lunch and a Lot of Rambling

My life’s been very exciting lately. I’m changing jobs in my not-so secret real world identity. Happily Never After just made it through an editing deadline. I’ve written a few interviews and scheduled a couple of events to promote Once Upon a Rhyme. That’s not to mention that my daughter started school, and I’m dealing with car issues. Oh, and I’m spending way too much time trying to watch Amazon.com sales numbers (that way leads to madness) and trying to find reviews of Once Upon a Rhyme. Also, I need to keep working on the as-yet mostly untitled book 3. Exciting times.

Despite all the excitement, I managed to find a Saturday afternoon where I was able to have lunch with Bishop O’Connell, the author of The Stolen. I’m still working on reading his book (sorry, Bishop), but if it’s half as cool as he is, I have no doubt it will be great.  I’ve put the link above, but included his awesome cover below.

The Stolen

We had a fun conversation for three hours where we talked about influences and how we got started. I’m going to invite him to an interview in the near future, either here or at http://www.jackheckel.com, but one thing that he said which stuck with me was (and I’m paraphrasing), “Once you’ve been published, your work really increases.” I admit that when Once Upon a Rhyme came out, I felt like I was done, but Bishop’s right, everything’s just beginning.

I’m scheduling events – so far I’m going to be at the Baltimore Book Festival  on September 27th and I’m planning to be at RavenCon in Richmond, VA in April. I’m trying to get a number of other events scheduled, but I’m waiting for confirmation. Hopefully, I’ll have more announcements soon. If anyone out there would like a fantasy/sci-fi/RPG author to be a guest, please let me know.

The reviews have been the scariest and best part of everything. Of course, I’ve noticed lots of misplaced commas or awkwardly-worded sentences in my perfectionist mode. However, it seems everyone’s enjoying Once Upon a Rhyme. Here are some quotes from the Amazon reviews:

“…the writers have pulled those tales apart and the spin they then put on it left me laughing out loud”
 “…recommend to those that enjoy a bit of humor along with a very non-traditional take on fairytales”
 “If you enjoy fantasy and fairytales and have a sense of humor, you will absolutely love Once Upon A Rhyme!”
“I was hooked after Chapter 2, and can’t put it down. Lyrical, fantastic, and pure enjoyment.”

Thank you to everyone who has given it a review and here’s hoping that there are a lot more to come. If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, please tell someone else about it. The more people who read it, the better the chances that Will, Liz and Charming will have more adventures.

Oh, the other thing I need to do – write more blog posts! Thanks for understanding and I’ll keep striving to do more.

All the best,

Harry

Once Upon a Rhyme – A few days after publication

First off, thank you all for purchasing Once Upon a Rhyme and for all the reviews and feedback and shares on the internet. Since it was published last Tuesday. I’ve written answers to interview questions, worked on marketing and social media (though neglected my own blog), and I’ve been involved in edits on Happily Never AfterBoth John and I are doing our best to make sure that the sequel is out early November.

Today, I’ll be at American Family Fitness in Mechanicsville with a table at their block party, talking about the Charming Tales and selling my small press books. It should be a fun way to spend Labor Day. If you live in the area and are looking for something to do before 2pm today, come out and visit. My daughter tells me that they have a bouncy house. :)

A special shout out to Kyran and Cathy for their Amazon reviews! Thank you both!!

 

The Long Night

By the time I wake up tomorrow, Once Upon a Rhyme will be e-published. It seems like such a huge turning point in my life. All the characters that John Peck and I created become real somehow tomorrow. People that I’ve never met will talk about them. Someone who I don’t know will laugh at my words.

It’s amazing.

I want to thank everyone. My co-workers at every job I’ve ever had, my relatives, more friends that I can count, classmates, all my fellow Harper Voyager writers who feel like siblings to me, and the writers and editors who’ve made me better over the years. I’ve called and spoken to a few people, but there are so many more.

Thank you all.

For everyone out there who is writing or has written a book, please don’t give up. It’s taken me over 20 years to get here. I know that there are talented, brilliant people out there with incredible stories who feel like they can’t get a break. To all of you, keep writing. It can happen.

Tonight, I was cleaning my shed, which wasn’t something that I intended in any way, shape or form. I found an old folder in a storage box, and inside was a spiral notebook filled with short stories that I had written when I was 13. It seemed so very appropriate that on this of  all nights, I’d happen to find that beat-up notebook, cover long gone, containing some of my first attempts at writing stories.

I’m not going to sleep much tonight, but I’m wishing everyone the best of dreams. And please, whatever dreams you have, don’t give up on them. And if you have given up, don’t be afraid to chase new ones.

All the best,

Harry

 

 

Interview with both halves of Jack Heckel

Hi everyone,

A.F.E. Smith interviewed John Peck, my Once Upon a Rhyme co-author, and myself on her blog. It’s a really fun interview where we are asked what books we’d take with us to a Barren Island. Please click here and check it out.

Two days to go until the eBook release of Once Upon a Rhyme! The two links on this post are for Harper Collins and Amazon respectively.

Thanks!

The August 26 SF/F Line Up

Harry Heckel:

A great writer who I admire, John Scalzi, just mentioned Once Upon a Rhyme on his blog since it’s coming out the same day as Lock In, his next novel. AWESOME!

Originally posted on Whatever:

In case you’re wondering what other science fiction and fantasy books are coming out on the same day as Lock In, here’s a fair (but by no means complete) sampling of the day’s releases:

Again, this is not a complete listing — there’s also a bunch of paranormal romance and urban fantasy that shares the same book birthday, plus lots of smaller press and self published SF/F that will arrive in the world next week.

The point is: For every one of these authors, next Tuesday is a nerve-wracking day, not only because their book is out in the world, but because they know so many others are fresh out in the world, too, waiting for readers (and buyers). It’s a miracle we’re not all puddles of neurotic goo.

Now, certainly I want you to buy Lock In starting next Tuesday, if you’ve not already pre-ordered it. I want it…

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Some Thoughts about Robin Williams

robin-williams

There are a lot of great articles and blogs about Robin Williams all over the internet. I wondered whether I should write something, after all, I never met the man and a number of people have eloquently described his impact as an actor and a comedian. He made me laugh, he made me cry and he made me think.

I’m a miniature wargamer. I have shelves in my house filled with what my wife refers to as “little guys.” They range from Greek hoplites to Space Marines from the grim darkness of the far future. I own robots and dragons, plus a few castles and landing pads in 25-30mm scale. I even have 15mm tanks and smaller scale sailing ships, plus a few starships. As a kid playing Dungeons & Dragons, and later as a young man doing wargames, I’ve always fallen into the categories of “nerd” and “geek” and such, although I was almost “tragically hip” when I was writing about vampires.

The point is that I and most of my friends with the same interests were weird. When I felt discouraged or overly teased, I wanted someone famous or important who played these games, someone successful.

That person was Robin Williams. He collected toy soldiers and miniatures as an adult. He was the guy.

When I worked at Games Workshop, we all knew that Robin Williams had a collection of toy soldiers to rival the greatest among us. He was at the top of the list of people that you’d love a chance to play a game with. We all could imagine his eyes sparkling with that inner child and how he’d lovingly describe his collection – the same way that we described ours. We might be weird, but someone wonderful was weird too.

We felt that he was one of us. I felt that he was a little like me. I always wanted to talk with him about toys. I like to think that he taught me that it’s okay to be strange and even silly. My daughter loves the different voices I do for bedtime stories and the absolute bizarre combinations of stuff that we come up with. Robin helped me find all of that.

Depression is a terrible horrible disease. Some dear friends of mine have suffered through it, and it isn’t something that is easily overcome. The good that may come out of this is more attention to depression. I hope lives will be saved, but I’m so sorry for Robin and his family.

Thank you, Robin Williams.

 

More Hanover Book Festival Info

Here’s the official promo information from Hanover Book Festival.  Looking forward to signing books and talking with everyone.

The weather forecast calls for rain tomorrow. Are you looking for a great indoor activity for you and your family this Saturday, August 9? FREE admission to the public, the Hanover Book Festival has something for the entire family from 10 AM – 2 PM. Held at the Liberty Christian School Activity Building at 8094 Liberty Circle (across from American Family Fitness on Mechanicsville Pk.), there is a FREE workshop for ages 8-12 at 12:15, pick-up-a-duck game for the younger ones, and lots authors from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia with their newest releases. A great time to meet the authors and discuss their books and get autographed copies! And for those family members not interested in books, Cassie’s Kitchen will have lots of delicious food at extremely reasonable prices. Come join the fun. I’ll be there with dozens of other Virginia authors. There are also several workshops available for both writers and nonwriters. Come check it out! For more info, visit http://www.hanoverbookfestival.com.

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