Monthly Archives: May 2013


It seems like a lot of my time as a writer is spent waiting, caught between hope and fear about my writing. Currently, Charming, is still being reviewed at the publisher to see if it will be published. I’m extremely excited and nervous, hoping to hear one way or the other, unable to move forward and not wanting to go back. It could be months still, and I don’t begrudge a major publisher a minute of that time, so I wait.

On the other hand, I suddenly have a deadline for Mummy: The Curse and the superhero anthology I’m working on, tentatively called the HeroNet Files #1. So, while I’m waiting, I’m also rushing to make sure everything gets done for those projects. I’ll get to wait after the editors get their hands on both of those and hope things work out well.

The second Krueger book is now out of my hands. Balefire and Brimstone should be coming any day now. I’d love it if I had an announcement before the end of next week. And to think that at one point, I was shooting for Halloween 2012 for that one. My apologies for keeping all of Krueger’s fans waiting.

I promise that the Hawks are going to be the full focus of my attention once the deadlines pass.

And I’m proud to note that my grandfather’s book now comes up first in Amazon when you enter “Harry Heckel.” I wonder how many other people have their first book published at age 97.

I hope everyone is well, and I’m keeping the people of Oklahoma in my prayers.

All the best,


The Other Harry Heckel

When I first started this blog, among the most common searches that directed people here were “sailor Harry Heckel” and “Captain Harry Heckel.” This isn’t surprising as I happen to share my name with the oldest man to ever circumnavigate the globe.

I’m also very proud to have him as my grandfather.

At age 97, he’s retired to live on land, and he’s still sharp enough to stump myself, my uncle the chemist and my incredibly bright daughter by asking us to spell a word pronounced “ti-sus.” Just so everyone knows, it’s phthisis. He’s a great man and a fantastic inspiration.

He’s also now a writer with some assistance from my aunt, Florence Russell. His book, Around the World in 80 Years: The Oldest Man to Sail Alone around the World – Twice! is now available both in print and in Kindle format on Amazon. It’s also available in a variety of e-formats on Smashwords and should be out at the Apple e-store and for Nook on the Barnes and Noble site in the next few weeks. It’s the story of his voyages around the world (with stops) in his eighties. For anyone who wants to know more, please check out the book.

And if anyone asks, I’m the other Harry Heckel.

Here are the links:

Kindle Version

Print Version

Smashwords Version

And just to make sure you have the right edition, here’s the cover:

The Black Widow Strikes (or thankfully doesn’t…)

My apologies to all my blog followers for not writing and my thanks to my friend who e-mailed me yesterday and noted, “You didn’t make a post for the entire month of April.” Oops!

I’ve had lots of ideas about posts, but it’s the usual story of life and projects getting in the way. So, I was going to post about my upcoming work on Mummy: the Curse and a superhero anthology and all sorts of statuses, but an interesting topic presented itself this morning.

So, I woke up this morning to a soft tickling feeling on my back. I thought that it was probably one of those imaginary feelings that you can have or else just a blanket or sheet rubbing me strangely. I reached my arm back to move whatever it was or just convince myself that I was imaging things.

Well, the tickling feeling moved as I reached for it, and I spun and somehow, with a dexterity that I didn’t know that I had got out of the bed. (Fortunately for her, my wife was already up and out of the room.) And there was a spider, and it was a BIG spider. And well, it was a shiny black spider that looked basically like this:

Except it was on my blanket, and I’m completely positive that it was 10 times bigger than that picture. (Yes, I know that there is no scale there, but this was one of the largest black widows that I’ve seen.) I didn’t get much of a look at the underside, only to see a hint of red.

Fortunately, there was a marvel of German engineering available in my bedroom, the Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner. I grabbed it, plugged it in, pulled out the wand and found that the spider was gone. At this point, my wife came into the room (something about my yelling). She carefully pulled back the blanket and exposed the target.

I try to be merciful to spiders, but one that can make me seriously ill or worse from its venom isn’t one of them. For the record, in the conflict between spider and cyclonic vacuuming power, the Dyson won easily. I spent the rest of the morning moving roleplaying games, pillows, curtains, miniature boxes, dressers and the like and cleaning like crazy.

The moral of the story is that crazy things can happen to you at any moment, so I really need to get my novels done. I hope everyone woke up in a better situation that I did.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

For the record, I still think highly of this Black Widow:

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