I’m a big fan of novelists because without them we’d just be reading news all the time, or nonfiction books like 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. How boring would that be? Sure, we’d be better informed and more happily married, but at what cost?
To that end, I’ve decided to interview an author I’m a big fan of, Harry Heckel. Harry has graciously consented to be my guinea pig with this whole interview experiment. He’s written some very funny, entertaining books that I’ve enjoyed and the rest of the world needs to know about!
So, without further ado, I present Harry Heckel:
Me: Hi, Harry. Thank you for agreeing to do this.
HH: My pleasure, Betsy. Any fan of mine is a fan of mine.
(Just kidding, I, Betsy, wrote that part. I did warn you that HH is my guinea pig.)
But for reals this time: What made you decide to become a writer?
HH: I’ve wanted to write for a long time. When I was a child I’d make up histories and names for my toys and I read voraciously. I wanted to create books of my own to inspire and entertain others. If I can make one person’s day brighter or spark one person’s imagination, I’ve done some good.
Me: What an excellent answer. I wish I’d made that one up for you, too. Your most recent book, A Fairy-tale Ending, was published under a pen name (Jack Heckel) and you co-authored it. What was that like? I’m just going to pretend that I have no experience with this. And I certainly won’t mention that my second co-authored book with Dr. Morse, 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person, comes out this fall. This is your interview, after all.
HH: Right. So, John Peck and I have been friends since we met years ago at American University. We wanted to reconnect, as he lives on the West Coast (editor’s note: best coast! What! What! Ahem, sorry. You were saying?) and I live on the East Coast. Writing a book together seemed to be the perfect thing to do. It takes a lot of humility, mutual respect and communication. We both rewrite each other’s chapters, so in the end, we both wrote 100% of our novel.
Me: Get on with it already, and tell us about the book. I’m hoping up and down in my seat over here.
HH: A Fairy-tale Ending is a comedic fantasy, possibly YA, (editor’s note: YA is young adult to the layman or woman. And did I mention, West Coast!!) about what happens when a fairy tale goes wrong. For his entire life, Prince Charming has known that he would slay the Great Wyrm of the South, rescue Princess Gwendolyn Mostfair and live happily ever after. However, when the dragon accidentally impales herself on Will Pickett’s pitchfork, life doesn’t turn out the way anyone imagined. Hilarity ensues.
For the parents out there, the book was written for teenagers and older, but other than an implied tryst and some cartoonish level of violence with a troll who loses a limb and puts it back on, there shouldn’t be too much to be concerned about. My ten-year-old advanced reader enjoyed it.
Me: What’s coming next?
HH: We’ve recently finished the next book in the Charming Tales, The Pitchfork of Destiny. Without giving away too many spoilers, the Great Dragon of the North, Volthraxus, musters up enough courage to tell the Great Wyrm of the South, his true feelings for her. When he learns from Beo (a wolf) that she was killed, he turns his wrath toward the man responsible – Will Pickett. By the end, fairy tales are fractured, and hopefully, there has been a lot of amusement for our readers. The ebook will be available April 5th, 2016 and is available for pre-order. We hope to have the paperback follow a month or two afterward, depending on our publisher’s schedule.
Me: April 5 is my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday. So kind of you to schedule it that way just for her!
HH: Well, actually it’s the publish–
Me: Yeah. Yeah. Moving on, let’s just name drop that publisher, shall we?
HH: Okay, it’s Harper Voyager Impulse.
Me: They sound cool. They must be West-coasters.
HH: Uhh, no, I’m pretty sure they’re not.
Me: Well, nobody’s perfect. Anything else you’d like to share?
HH: I’d like to say that I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my wife and the understanding of my daughter. They both do so much to help me follow my dream. I can’t imagine going on this journey without them.
Also, I can be found on the web at www.harryheckel.com and at www.jackheckel.com. I’m always looking for people to review my works and am interested in doing my best to support aspiring authors. Thank you for this wonderful interview!
Me: Easy for you to say. You haven’t seen how I’ve embellished it for my own amusement. And now, most importantly, because I’m sure ALL my readers are dying to know, do you have any cats?
HH: Of course I do. I was wondering why you didn’t ask sooner. I have two cats, Quasar and Nebula, because it seems that many great writers have cats. Here’s a picture for your, I mean, your readers’ pleasure.
Awh, the fluffiness!
Thank you again, Harry, for sharing all that (especially digging up the cat pic just for me, I mean, my readers), and for being such a good sport once you see this interview go live.
HH: Well, seeing as I have no choice since you’re typing this in as you come up with it.
Me: That’s enough out of you now!
Also, readers, Harry was being modest. He has a whole slew of published books. You can see them all on his amazon author page.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Extra bonus star points for you! They’re the equivalent of 5 Schrute Bucks. Congratulations!