Update on The Pitchfork of Destiny

y648This is more of an update than a true blog post, but it’s been since December, so it seemed like a good time to reconnect with the world.

We’ve been diligently working on edits and revisions to Pitchfork of Destiny which is now The Pitchfork of Destiny (and will have an updated cover). We have the green light for publication and everything is set for an April 5th ebook release. We’ll update everyone when we hear about the paperback.

The best way to ensure we’ll have a paperback early is to tell as many people as you can to pick up A Fairy-tale Ending, preferably by ordering through your local bookstore. If you are in Richmond, VA, Fountain Bookstore carries the novel and can get signed copies for you.

We’re working on a new series right now, with the first novel tentatively entitled The Dark Lord. We’re looking to do what we did with fairy tales to epic fantasy, with a few twists.

Thanks for all the support and feel free to ask any questions with a comment.

 

A Fairy-tale Ending

It’s been a long time (last November) since we’ve been able to say a new Jack Heckel book is coming out. However, a new Jack Heckel book is being released this August, only it’s actually two old Jack Heckel books, old meaning 2014. Continue reading

The Villain of Once Upon a Rhyme

maleficent A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the main character of Once Upon a Rhyme. The post broke down into a heated debate between Will Pickett and Charming, and of course, an argument could be made that neither of them is the main character, but that it should be Liz instead. So the next question is: Who is the villain?

Not being rhetorical, it’s a difficult question. The dragon isn’t the villain of the piece. She dies in the prologue. Will and Liz Pickett, the peasants who own the field where she dies may turn the other way when Will gets praised as a dragon-slayer, but they are hardly villains.

What about Charming? He’s arrogant, prideful, pig-headed, utterly vain and determined to expose the Pickett siblings as frauds. Or at least that’s where he starts out. As his world continues to shatter, several readers (and at least two of who are authors in their own rights) have told me that they found themselves pulling for Charming. The series is named after him, after all.

Rescued Princess Gwendolyn has lots of issues. It’s easy to blame her for everything, but she was left imprisoned for a generation. Is it truly her fault when she realizes that everything she believed was a lie? When she asserts herself, is she being a villain or trying to find justice the only way she knows how?

If there’s someone besides Charming or Gwendolyn who should be considered the villain of Once Upon a Rhyme, please vote or comment below. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks! 

Meet My Main Character – A Blog Hop

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 Princess Gwendolyn, who has been held captive by the dragon for many years. Once he does so, he quickly finds himself lauded as the Dragonslayer by the people of the kingdom. After he becomes Lord Protector, he soon finds that he doesn’t know how to live up to expectations. Fortunately, he’s developed the instinct to bite his hand, slouch and mumble incoherently, or quote a bit of peasant wisdom when things get tough… wait. Hmmm.

Okay, well, Will’s skills probably don’t help much as he tries to live up to what the kingdom thinks a Dragonslayer should be. As his older sister, Liz, points out, the closest that Will has come to using a sword is threatening fence posts with a stick.

I’ve reconsidered. The main character of Once Upon a Rhyme is actually possibly (ahem) maybe Prince Charming. After all, the series IS called The Charming Tales. Charming is a paragon of virtue, excepting all those trysts with the ladies and well… okay, but as I said, Charming is the hero of the kingdom who will slay the dragon, but of course, he doesn’t and can’t really seem to do much right.

Charming does look incredibly dashing in teal hose, and not many men can pull that off.

That didn’t help, did it?

Okay, the main character could be Liz Pickett, Will’s older sister, who finds herself caught between her brother’s dreams, Charming’s desire to expose Will as a fraud, and comes into conflict with a slightly mad Princess who wants revenge for being left in the dragon’s clutches for decades. That might sound better.

In the end, I’d love for everyone to continue the blog hop by going to visit Lexie Dunne.

Lexie Dunne is a woman of many masks, all of them stored neatly in a box under her bed. By day a mild-mannered technical writer and by night an adventuress and novelist, she keeps life interesting by ignoring it and writing instead. She hails from St. Louis, home of the world’s largest croquet game piece, and SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS is her professional debut into the world of caped crusaders, a journey that started when her father took her and her brother to see The Rocketeer.

A masked woman dropped by and let me know that Lexie’s ultra-top secret blog is hidden at: http://dunnewriting.com.

Superheroes Anonymous

 

 

Cover for Happily Never After

Hi everyone,

We’d like to thank Katherine Harbour for linking to us on her blog hop.Tomorrow, we’ll have our version of Meet Our Main Character featuring Will Pickett from Once Upon a RhymeToday, we’re glad to say that the cover for our second book, Happily Never After has been revealed. Like Once Upon a Rhyme, it’s definitely distinctive. 🙂

Happily Never After

 

One Week to Go and a Price Drop!

Once upon a time, way back in 2009, John Peck and Harry Heckel decided to write a book about a fairytale gone wrong.

In one week, that book will be published as Once Upon a Rhyme.

It feels incredible, and it feels like it’s going to take forever. There’s this overwhelming sense of “We should do something.” Have we been promoting it enough? Do we send emails to every person that we’ve ever known since elementary school to ask them if they own a Kindle or Nook and would be interested in buying a book? Should a new blog post appear on JackHeckel.com every few hours? What about Facebook? Pinterest? Twitter? What is Snapchat really and how do I use it? Does Jack have an Instagram account? How big is the Internet? What if all the people who were at GenCon don’t recover in time? Will Doctor Who fans even notice since the new season starts only three days before? What songs are on Awesome Mix #2 and will a dancing baby Groot toy come out on our release date? (Don’t know and probably not.)

Dancing Baby Groot

Dancing Baby Groot

Aaaaaahhhhh! Panic!

*deep breath* Okay, better now. Well, we aren’t going to panic… yet. In some great news, the price has gone down to $1.99 on release, so that’s good news and if you are one of the wonderful people who have pre-ordered, our understanding is that you will have the lower price. Thank you.

So, back to the question on what to do? Well, mostly we are going to prepare. After the release, we intend to have a lot more material on the blog covering deleted material and interviews with our characters and some thoughts on the sequel.

Charming: Finally! I see that my public awaits. You know, that Voyager free sample was great, but of course, you did leave the chapters on me out of it.

JH: Wait, Charming. I’m afraid that we aren’t doing an interview today. We’ll do some after the book release.

Charming: James, I’m sure that…

JH: It’s Jack.

Charming: Please, no interruptions. Now, as I was saying Jesse, I had this entire outfit specially designed for this interview. Do you see how I’m using teal as an accent with this sash? Of course you do. It’s really quite awe-inspiring. Now, now, don’t worry too much about the praise you need to lavish on me. Words can’t possibly do me justice.

JH: Um, it’s Jack and no one on the blog can see you. But, maybe we should start by talking about the Dragon?

Charming: *pales slightly* Yes, well, I’m sorry, Jules, but I’m going to have to cut this interview short. I’m extremely busy, and furthermore, you don’t have any apricot pastries in this interview room and I told my idiot squire that I wasn’t available to do interviews unless there were apricot pastries. Farewell.

So, there you go as a sample of what’s to come. We hope that everyone enjoys the book as much as we enjoyed writing it.

One week to go…

 

San Diego Comic-Con: First Impressions from a First-Time Author

“My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
-Jane Austen

This last week, on Thursday, July 23rd, a date that will live fondly in my memory, I had two firsts. I attended my first ever San Diego Comic-Con (which is amazing given the general level of geek I have always embraced), and I was simultaneously on my first ever panel as an author. I could say something very poetic now about the experience, but I will leave that to Ms. Austen and merely say that it was incredible. I am going to be putting up a number of blog entries in the coming days exploring in detail some of the specific topics we discussed, but for now I want to give you my impressions of Comic-Con broadly, the audience for our panel more specifically, and my panelists. Continue reading