Tune In To Heck!

Hear me blather on about stuff Sunday 12/4 @ 5 p.m., on 107.1 fm or on the web at KZME.fm!


269 responses to “Tune In To Heck!

  1. dale e. bayse you are a great author i love your books but can yuo please please make A MOVIE for me?!i play as norm encima my friend is marlo and my other is takara

    • Thank you, thank you Hannah…FINE: we’ll make a movie! Maybe you and your friends can dress up as the characters and I’ll post the picture and the movie studio—MGM—will go “Those are the girls we’re looking for!” Well, regarding the movie, the script has been written and it was ready to go but the director quit (I believe that he wanted to make a much darker film than the studio wanted). So now MGM are interviewing new directors. Hopefully I’ll find out something by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

  2. i would also like to say do you kow if you could get me a picture of norm takara annd marlo together???????

    • Bob Dob, the illustrator for the Heck books, didn’t do any illustrations for Norm and Takara when he illustrated Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck. He did do Yojuanna Covetta, but none of the girls in Rapacia. Sorry.

  3. hey this is Hannah’s friend who wants to be Marlo in the heck movie. Can you tell me a little bit more about Snivel?

    • Hello Hannah’s friend Hayley who want to be Marlo in the Heck movie. Here’s the official description of Snivel: “Dale E. Basye sends Milton and Marlo to Snivel, the circle reserved for crybabies, for their latest hilarious escapade in Heck. Snivel is a camp—a bummer camp—a dismal place where it’s always raining, and Unhappy Campers are besieged by swarms of strange mosquitoes that suck the color right out of them. Soon the Fausters discover that some Unhappy Campers have been disappearing. So after Marlo gets chosen for a special project and never comes back, Milton makes up his mind to find her and all the missing children.

      Can Milton find his sister and get the heck out of Snivel? With the help of some new friends, his pet ferret, and Vincent Van Gogh’s ear, he just might have a chance.”

  4. Wow it sounds so interesting. I can’t wait!!! Does Milton get reunited with Virgil in Snivel?

  5. When is Precocia coming out?

  6. oh okay. So which book are you writing right now?

  7. Wow! That seems like a hard thing to do! What’s happening in precocia?

  8. oh okay. Why is it that on the cover of Snivel Milton’s lenses are one square and one circle?

  9. hayley do you think this thing is all about you because personally i think you are but me and kamille are apart of this to right?
    P.S. why did you once say when me and kamille wanted to read heck that it was you tree bark

  10. Did his glasses break or something?

  11. well, we kinda don’t want to be extras. I mean, we want to be a bigger part in the movie. Either way if we still get in, we are only 10 but high readers for our age and pretty tall. Would the movie be like cartoon or with people?

  12. Oh ok, where would the film be taking place(what state)?

  13. Oh wait, Hollywood?

  14. And with live-action how are they going to make the demons, boogeypeople, and Principal Bubb look really scary like they are described in the series?

  15. oh ok. What do we have to do for the audition?

  16. i mean what kind of talent do we show for the audition?

    • I would think acting talent. You should write them and ask. MGM Studios (10250 Constellation Boulevard
      Los Angeles, CA. 90067)

    • thx you are great author again but what inspires you

      • This is sort of a dumb answer to your question, but I guess what inspires me most is being inspired. Meaning, a lot of writing is about just slogging through it, trying to tell a story even when you’d rather be outside riding your bike (though a writer is still writing in their head whether they like it or not, no matter what they do…it’s like having a career being obsessive compulsive). So when something does inspire me, or an idea pops into my head that I really like, this gets me excited. Those moments are wonderful. Reading, movies, conversations…those are all terrific ways to get the juices flowing. But I really love that sudden twinge of “what about this?”…especially when you’ve felt stuck for a few days.

  17. That’s not a stupid answer it makes complete sense!

  18. thanks i like getting complements like that(although usually authors of book series don’t tell me i’m cool)!

  19. so, Snivel sounds really good! How did you think of the material to put in Snivel? was it one of those things that popped into your head or did you have a dream or vision about it?

    • The Heck series is a blast to write since each circle of Heck is based on some child-centric “sin.” So that concept helps to inform each specific book. Also, the theme of each book helps me to pick appropriate teachers to serve in that circle, which also shapes the plot. Plus there is the overall story arc that connects the books—Milton and Marlo’s journey, upheaval in the underworld, etc—that plays into things. I usually have a journal where I jot down ideas and before I begin a book, I’ll flip through it and use the ideas that make sense for that particular book (or that make sense at all, considering a lot of the ideas are written in the middle of the night and I have really poor handwriting!). On only a few occasions can I recall having a dream about something that made it into a book. Usually it’s some weird creature.

    • your weird creature……… make your stories more interesting and you can see how the author thinks of this character and can make you have a picture in your head of it

  20. Hi i am the other heck friend with Hannah and Hayley! I am doing an author study on you but there is a problem. I can`t find most childhood information on you. i would fully appreciate it if you will send some information by January 18, 2012.Please try and answer with information about your childhood or how you reacted with family. And also haw your life is know.

  21. How long does it take from the beginning where your jotting down ideas from your head to having a full, published book?

    • kamille still try to research if you can

    • It depends. Some ideas I jot down—most—never make it to any book, or at least haven’t yet. Usually if I’m contracted to write a book, I’ll start thinking about specific ideas before I write anything, and the whole process from outline to finished draft is about 4 months. Then I edit, which can take two months per draft sometimes, or less. Usually each of the Heck books go through four drafts. By the third and fourth drafts, it’s pretty much just fine-tuning things here and there.

      • mr bays i would like too know all the last names of the heck characters in the first four books and would like too know about the others

      • Whoa…that’s a tall order. I’m not sure when I could get to something like that. You should just review your copies (that’s what I would do). If you have them in ebook form, you could search for a character’s name. Usually, upon first mention, I will note their last name. Why are you interested, if I may ask?

      • becuase hayley has told me the the wrong names and i an confused i would just like it from the author

  22. OK! Here are some questions:
    Where and When where you born?
    How was your relationship with your family?
    Who were your siblings?
    Are you married with kids?
    If you have kids how many and who?
    Please try and answer as soon as possible!
    Thank You!

  23. Sorry about putting out. I looked on the website about the “facility”. I will send the questions in e-mail now.

  24. I have sent the questions through e-mail now. I am really worried about the information please do it as SOON as possible.

  25. I think Hannah was interested in the last names because we like to play Heck and were always making up funny last names like “enicma” or “mcarter” so I think she wanted to know what their last names are. Kamille Dale has one son and his name is Oggi and thats the only question i can answer for you!

    • Hi,
      I can think of a few off the top of my head, like Virgil Farrow, Damian Ruffino, Lyon Sheraton, Bordeaux Radison, Hans Jovonovic, Humberto Stiles, Lilith Couture, Jordie Sussex, Takara Kitayama,Norm Rickett…that’s most of the kids from Rapacia. I’ll try to look up Blimpo and Fibble later.

    • THANKS!I need to know your address for my favorite author letter please!

  26. Thank you for the last names!

  27. Hey Dale, do you have an iPhone,iPad,or Ipodtouch by any chance?

    • iAm afraid that iDon’t. I just have a Macbook Pro laptop and an iPod nano. No cellphone…can you believe it? I somehow manage. I hate phones. I used to be a telephone solicitor out of school, trying to sell people newspapers and insurance. The level of anger I received on a daily basis was astounding!

  28. Wow I don’t know how I could live with out a cell phone! I don’t have one but I have an iPad which is pretty much like a phone

  29. well not if you have a purse.I just would want a phone for texting and calling but the people i would call all can FaceTime so its pretty much like a phone too!

  30. Hey Dale, how do you think of the last names for the characters in Heck? Do you know people with those last names or did you just think of them one day? Like how did you think of Fauster and Ruffino? Also, when you talked about Amandi Firofnu were you just playing with the letters and realized it or were you trying to find a name like that on purpose? And one more thing, since your editing Precocia right now, how many pages do you think youve sliced off total since it was about 800 pages? Sorry about the swarm of questions!!!😊

    • I love the questions, Hayley! I might just not always have the time to get back to you right away. Coming up with the names is both challenging and fun. With Fauster, that’s a play off Faust which is a classic book about a doctor who sells his soul to the devil. And John Milton wrote a book called Paradise Lost, about Satan and the fall of Eden, so that’s how I came up with Milton Fauster. Ruffino was a surname of a bully in my old middle school. I always remembered it because it seemed so apt a description of the guy. For most of the kids in Heck, I use the crazy names I see in my Spam folder. I’ll mix them up, but I get a lot of the names that way. I’ll also use other languages and translate words that relate to that specific circle and come up with names that seem to suit the theme of the story. Right now, I’m working on Lipptor, about kids who use words as weapons, so there are a lot of names that have some connection to that. Amandi Firofnu is just an anagram of Damian Ruffino. So I just shifted letters around until it actually sounded like it could be some weird “girl’s” name. Regarding Precocia, I sliced more than a third off, so I maybe sliced off 150 pages? I’m not sure…I always go by word count, not by pages. I think Precocia will end up being about Blimpo-sized, which was in the mid to high 400s. I’m cannibalizing some of what I cut for Lipptor, though, which I’m trying to make a little shorter, more Fibble-sized.

  31. Ooh wow I’m so excited! How did you get the name “Marlo”? are any of the Rapacia girls like Takara, Norm, Lyon, and Bordeaux in lipptor?

    • I believe I came up with Marlo because of Christopher Marlowe, who wrote Doctor Faustus. Lyon and Bordeaux reappear in several Heck books. I haven’t thought whether Takara or Norm will return, though it is perhaps likely with the final book.

  32. I know this is like two books away from what your writing but do you know what will happen in dupli- city? Are you going to be sad when you finish writing the last heck book? Are you going to write another book series after that?

    • I’m pretty sure I know what happens with the last book. I don’t have all of the details firmed up, but I know how I want to close it all. I’m sure I will be a little sad after finishing it, but—knowing me—I will throw myself into something else. I have a bunch of ideas for books I’d like to tackle after Heck. I’m not sure if they’ll be series books or one-offs.

  33. What if you did a book after heck about like 15 years later and their life after heck? I think I know what is going to happen in the last book too! Has bob dob started on the illustration for precocia?

    • I’d love to do something like that. I guess it just depends if Random House thinks there is a market for that kind of story. Bob Dob is busy at work on Precocia. I saw a sketch of the cover and I love it. It’s a little different than the other books.

  34. Could you tell me a little about it? Like are the Fausters on it or something else?

  35. That sounds really interesting!!! I can’t wait until 2013!!! Are there any new characters introduced in Snivel?

  36. Snivel sounds like the most dramatic Heck book yet!!!i can’t wait to see how Milton finds Marlo!!!

  37. Hey Dale, I was wondering, could you send me a couple sentences of the Heck script?

  38. Oh ya sorry I guess that’s true. Which book is your favorite so far?

    • Why aren’t you in school, young lady? (Imagine that in a real stern voice). I think Snivel is my favorite so far. Precocia comes close, and might equal it, it’s just that I only just finished writing it and it usually takes me a little while to get over the trauma.

  39. Oh. I wasn’t in school because I had a fever but I went to school today. So far Snivel sounds like my favorite even though I havent read it!

  40. Thanks you too! We had a fitness test today and we had to run a mile and after we were done everyone was so exhausted! Do you stay up all night writing part of Heck sometimes because you have a really good idea and you would forget it if you stopped writing?

    • Wow…I think I could only run a mile lately if I was pursued by a monster or my mother-in-law. I have trouble sleeping sometimes, so I probably should write at night, but I don’t. I’ll get ideas and just jot them down. I’m so late with the next Heck book that I might just drink a pot of coffee toward the end and stay up all night, hammering it out.

  41. Do you sometimes have trouble finding Ideas like where it takes you weeks to think of something else?

    • Nope. That’s not the problem I have when I have a problem. It’s mostly about actually getting what I think up written. Writing the first draft is always the hardest. I like editing and adding, tweaking, deleting and shaping the first draft later on. My favorite part of the whole process is coming up with the initial ideas.

  42. Oh well that’s good. I know it’s in like 2015 but I’m really excited to see what will happen to Milton in Sadia! Do you have an idea of what your going to make Sadia about?

  43. In one of the books i was wondering if you could go back to Kansas and write from the parents point of view. I thought that would be cool because I don’t think you’ve mentioned the parents of the Fausters!

  44. Oh cool I’ve always though that would be interesting If you included the parents!

  45. Hey Dale, what do you like to do in your free time?

  46. I mean when your not writing or just hanging out with your family, what do you like to do?

    • I used to be a movie critic so I LOVE watching movies. I love playing music with my son. When the weather’s nice I bike ride. I used to be one of those people that would ride in the nastiest weather, but I’m just not into that anymore! I like board games (Catan especially) too.

  47. I have never heard of Catan. How is it played? How did you think of the name ” Bea Elsa Bubb”?

    • The Settlers of Catan is a board game, where you are a “settler” trying to build and develop settlements and cities while trading and acquiring resources. You’re rewarded points as your settlement grow; the first to reach a set number of points is the winner. 30 Rock made fun of it last week, or rather, the people that obsess over it.

      Bea “Elsa” Bubb is a play on Beelzebub, another name for Satan.

  48. Oh very creative! What is the Fausters moms name?

  49. Oh interesting! How about their dad?

  50. Oh that’s cool! Does your son sometimes think of details that you put in the books?

    • He may have on a couple of occasions, but mostly I work alone. He and I are going to try to collaborate on a story this summer. We both have two separate stories that are kind of similar, so we might try and weld them together.

  51. Do you remember any little parts that your son incorporated in one of the Heck books?

  52. Oh thats cool! Ive seen videos of you on YouTube when you are going to schools and talking about your books and I thought it would be cool if you came to my school!

    • That would be cool! I’ll probably be doing appearances wither late this spring or early fall. What part of the country are you from? Usually, due to budget considerations, I just appear in the Pacific Northwest. For Rapacia, I got to go to San Francisco and Denver, which was a blast! Usually it’s just Portland and Seattle, though. I’ve done a few Skype appearances too.

  53. Oh I live in California.where was the sat school you went to?

    • The last schools I went to were San Francisco State University, where I dropped out to go to The Academy of Art College, where I dropped out to go to the San Francisco Art Institute. I studied avant-garde film and neon sculpture, of all things…I grew up in the Bay Area. My family and I spent a month in San Francisco last summer and had the best time. I really miss that place, it’s just so expensive to live there! I’d have to get a REAL job!

  54. Last school is what I meant

  55. Oh I spent three days in San Francisco for my dads birthday last year. I think being an author is a real job! I’m counting down the days until Snivel comes out I’m so excited!!! So far,How many pages is Lipptor?

    • It’s my favorite city I’ve been to, though I haven’t been to all that many. Thanks for the validation, Hayley! Being an author IS a real job, but I’m really fortunate that I can work at home all day with my chihuahua. I haven’t done a word count on Lipptor yet, since I’m only 2/3 done with the first draft. The books change a lot in the editing process. All I know is that it will probably be shorter than Snivel and Precocia. Probably more Rapacia and Fibble-sized.

  56. Oh that’s cool. What’s your Chihuahuas name? They’re my favorite kind of dog!

  57. I have a dog named krystal and she is a chihuahua too.

  58. What color is Tula?

  59. Aww she sounds really cute! I have 5 cats and my mom says if weever get a dog it would either be a chihuahua or a French Bulldog cause she loves their wrinkles!!!

  60. Hey Dale, do you know any more information on the Heck movie?

  61. When do you think Bob Dob will be finished with the cover of precocia or is he already finished?

  62. We’re you expecting it to look that way?

  63. So this is kind of a awkward question regarding marlos hair(cuz I’m kind of a Marlo fanatic), does she have to dye it in heck or since she’s dead does it just stay the same? And also, in the first book, it says Marlo ate a marshmallow off of her hair but don’t marshmallows have gluten or lactose?

    • I think you may have passed Marlo fanatic a few miles back! She doesn’t have to dye her hair since when you die, you are stuck with your hair how it was and it doesn’t change, which is why it’s so important to have good hair at all times. And, yes, good observation about the marshmallow. There are gluten-free marshmallows, but I doubt that they would have been used in a sculpture the size of the grizzly bear at Grizzly Bear Mall. Trace amounts of gluten are fine with her, though if she keeps having it, it makes her a little emotionally unstable. If she has wheat or gluten bread, though, she will develop flu-like symptoms. With lactose, she’ll experience severe abdominal pain and nausea.Together, like with a moldy cheese sandwich, she could very well lose consciousness all together.

  64. Ya I thought Milton was really smart to think of that one!!! What do you mean by emotionally unstable? Also, I don’t know why i think this but I thought it would be cool if she eats gluten or lactose and like Milton has to
    help her…😊

    • The gluten kind of makes Marlo a little moody. More sensitive and a little more up-and-down.That would be cool if Milton helped her out in that way, since he’s a bit more responsible than Marlo.

  65. Do you think you could do something like that in Lipptor? I feel like Marlo couldn’t get anymore moody!!!! When you say up and down do you mean like crazy or like changing moods All the time?

    • I think I’m pretty firmed up on Lipptor now, at least in terms of what I want to happen. Maybe Sadia! That one is still a little murky to me now, plot-wise. Marlo doesn’t get crazy. More like changing moods and perspectives. Like something will seem worse than it really is to her, or she’ll think that people are talking about her and they really aren’t, or she’ll just be overly sensitive one moment, and maybe kind of mean the next for no reason.

  66. Oh that sounds more like Marlo. Will Marlo see Zane in Snivel or Precocia?

  67. Oh so is there scenes where shell be thinking about him? I know this wasn’t mentioned in the book and your probably just going to make this up( which I’m ok with considering you made up Marlo) but when did Marlo become goth?

    • Yeah, totally. She thinks about him a lot since he was really the first boy who liked her that she actually liked. Marlo became Goth probably around 10 or so. She always felt a little dark inside, but embraced the look when she was rattling around thrift shops and found cool old Victorian dresses. That way she could be dark on the outside too, which made her feel a little less dark inside. The fashion allowed her to put who she was on display, plus feel like she was part of something, even though there aren’t a lot of Goths in Generica, Kansas.

  68. When did she dye her hair blue?

  69. Oh that’s cool. In all of the books, Marlo has appeared as a bully to Milton but really she was almost just trying to be original! When did she turn really mean and start shoplifting?

    • They have a complicated relationship. Marlo has always resented all of the praise Milton gets for being smart. She began taking things to fill up the empty feeling she had inside. She probably started around ten or so.

  70. I know Milton is a goody two show but why doesnt he tell his parents on her And get her in trouble or does he and she doesn’t care? Also, you know in the end of the Limbo, Milton didn’t want to tell his parents that Marlo died because it would be too complicated but when he did tell them how do you think he would’ve?

    • You ask great questions! Despite the fact that Marlo bullies him, Milton is very loyal and doesn’t want to be a snitch. In Snivel, you get to experience a bit of what Milton and Marlo’s parents went through.In Rapacia, when Milton came back, you also get to learn a bit more about how his mother has dealt with the loss.

  71. I meant shoe

  72. Thanks! On the cover of Snivel, why are Milton’s glasses a square and a circle? I heard you wrote songs for the series and I was wondering, is there a link to go to where I can listen to them?

    • Milton’s glasses were broken and he had to wear a pair that was actually two different glasses taped together. As far as the songs go, there should be some on this blog. I’ve been trying to update my site but it has been so hard to get someone to help me with it for what I can afford, which is next to nothing. But I do want to put up more songs on my actual site soon.

  73. And also, is Marlo’s mom okay with her being a kleptomaniac,having blue hair, and being goth?

    • I think Marlo’s mom would forgive he daughter most anything, she misses her so much. The blue hair and the goth thing were never a problem for her mom. She was just concerned that this meant she may be made fun of or not have as many friends. The stealing was a big issue. Huge. Marlo was often grounded and reprimanded but nothing really “took”…the family was about ready to go to counseling just before the accident.

  74. I remember in Rapacia Marlo thinking about why her mom moved to Kansas and raised two creepy kids so I was wondering where Milton and Marlos parents actually met. Also, since you said theyre arent a lot of goths in Generica Kansas, did Marlo have a lot of friends or was there only a few goths that Marlo hung out with?

    • I haven’t really explored the origins of Milton and Marlo’s parents. The father was a teacher also a charity worker, mother a photographer and artists before doing administration for a local alternative health care practice. Marlo had only a few select friends who shared a similar aesthetic and outlook.

  75. How long would Marlo be grounded for? When Marlo shoved Milton into fridge to see if the light still was on, wouldn’t their parents been able to tell that he was getting hypothermia even if he didn’t tell them that he was shoved into a fridge? Is there anyone in Heck that the Fausters knew before they died( other than Damian)? Also, why in the first book did Marlo kiss Damian and why did he call her a Corpse Bride? Does he like her? How old was Milton when he got glasses? If Marlos mom doesn’t like when she steals, why doesnt she make sure she doesn’t sneak out of the house or if she does it after school, make sure shes home no later than 20 minutes after school is dismissed?

    • Marlo’s grounded-status would depend upon the infraction. Regarding the refrigerator (and other such acts), Marlo would never take it to the point that she would actually hurt him, not permanently, just to show that she “could” if she really wanted to. She did stuff like that mostly because she was bored. She still looks after him, in her own way. She often protected him at school. And no, as of yet, I haven’t introduced any other characters that they meet in Heck that they knew back home, other than Damian. Regarding the kiss, I forget since it was so long ago. I think it was basically to distract him and freak him out to help Milton. Corpse Bride is a Tim Burton movie, so Damian just called Marlo that since she dresses like a dead Victorian. Damian doesn’t like Marlo. Milton had glasses ever since he was about four. He is a voracious reader, which only made his eyesight worse. Marlo’s mom is rather confused by Marlo, since she wasn’t like her when she was a girl. With the dad being a teacher, Marlo’s mom has to work too, so—as much as she would like to supervise Marlo more—the family can’t really afford to. Marlo has often gotten into trouble, but it was only right around the time she died that it really started to escalate.

  76. If Marlo and Milton hadn’t gotten blown up by a giant marshmallow bear, how long would Marlo have been grounded for? Did you make the names for the select friends Marlo hung out with? This has never been mentioned in any of the books, but what do you think the Fausters house looks like?there is an app called Instagram where you can share picture that Bob Dob has and he posted a couple of the demons from Snivel on there like the mosquitoes that suck the color out of people and the Voodoo man. Is he the vice princable?

    • 1) Don’t know…probably at least a month, with mandatory counseling.
      2) Yes, I made up all of the names. That’s really fun.
      3) You get to see the inside of the Fausters’ house in Snivel and a bit in Precocia.
      4) I know: I saw Bob’s Instagram sketches too…I LOVE THEM! And no, the voodoo man (Baron Samedi) is not the Vice Principal of Snivel. YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MAY!

  77. Principal

  78. I’m sorry I’m just really excited for Snivel!!! What are Marlo’s friends names? How would Marlo stick up for Milton?

    • Don’t be sorry!!! It’s just that a lot of your questions “may” be answered in Snivel. Oh, and you mean Marlo’s friends on the Surface? You meet one in Snivel. Her name is Aubrey Fitzmallow. Marlo would often fight the kids that were shoving Milton around, with her reasoning that “she” was the only one who could push her brother around!

  79. What would Marlo do if someone like “hurt” Milton to the point that he was bleeding? How would Marlo fight the kids that were shoving Milton?

  80. Do we see Damian in Snivel?

  81. Also, did you make up middle names for the Fausters? If you did, what are they?

  82. Oh that’s cool. Do you have an idea about what you are going to do in Sadia? Out of everyone that bullied Milton, was Damian the biggest one?

  83. (sorry about the “also”) do you know when the heck website will be updated?

  84. Yes it kind of is!!!! How far are you with Lipptor? Had Marlo ever had fights with Damian to get him to stop bullying Milton? Did you make up birthdays for the Fausters? If so, what are they?

    • I just finished the first draft on Friday. My editor will probably send it back in a few weeks, then I’ll have to do another draft. Usually a manuscript goes through five drafts before it’s done, with each draft getting less about fixing the story and more about specific cleaning up things. I’m assuming Damian and Marlo have probably fought once or twice. I don’t have specific birthdays for the Fausters, though I’m pretty sure that Marlo’s is in February and Milton’s in April.

  85. Oh that’s cool. From the first and the final draft, is there a lot of changes? When Is Precocia available for preorder?

    • There can be a lot of changes. Mostly it involves cutting out a lot in my case, since I tend to overwrite at first to get the story out of my head, then trim it a lot. I’m not sure when Precocia will be available for pre-order. It comes out next February, so I assume before Christmas!

  86. Yay!!! I was hoping it wouldn’t be like a few weeks before it came out because that would be a long wait. Will Snivel be out in bookstores on May 22?

  87. Ok that’s good. I have it written on my calendar!!!! Since it will be another year before precocia comes out, I am probably just gonna look at the cover for a while before I start reading so it wont be like a 9 month wait! Friday was my one year anniversary of when I started reading heck so this will be the first book that I am getting right when it comes out!!! Fibble doesn’t count since I was reading Rapacia when it came out. I’ve probably mentioned this before but you are like the best author EVER by far!!!😊

    • You seriously know when you first started reading Heck? That’s amazing! Thank you so much for all of the nice words and also just for being so engaged with the books! It really, really means a lot! Especially on days like these where I’m a little unsure about my skills!

  88. You shouldn’t be unsure of your skills!!! When your reading the books, you can just imagine what’s happening and it gets you very involved with the story. The only reason I remember the first day I got the book is because it was right before I went to a yearly thing with my school where we run a mile at the Orange County Fair. I remember when I started reading I was thinking that it was a little sad that they died but all of the demons and teachers, they’re all kind of funny and it just made the story hilarious!!! I remember i was in Palm Desert when I finished Rapacia and San Francisco when I finished Blimpo. I think my favorite parts of all of the Heck books are both in Rapacia when Marlo finds Milton when he dies again and at the end when Milton and Marlo read the note from their mom and get all teary-eyed. It makes their relationship like “a heart shaped bruise”!!!

    • You are too sweet, Hayley. Not that I’m complaining. Keep being sweet! Wow, you travel a lot! I love when I have very specific memories associated with books. I remember reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Union Square in San Francisco when the sun was rising. I had stayed up all night and was waiting for the trains to run to go home (I was 19). I just got my author copies of Snivel today! I hope you like it as much as Rapacia! It’s interesting, but a lot of girls seem to really like Rapacia, while boys like the first book or Blimpo. Interesting!

  89. Thanks! I’m pretty sure I will like Snivel as much as Rapacia. I like dramatic things and Snivel sounds pretty dramatic!!! What color was Marlo’s hair before she dyed it blue?

  90. Is it kind of like Milton’s hair? I can’t imagine Marlo without blue hair!!! Are you ever going to have a book maybe where in part of it she doesn’t have blue hair?

  91. Oh thats cool. What are your favorite parts of the Heck books?

    • That’s a toughie. I enjoyed writing the TV shows for Fibble. And I especially liked writing the Marlo plot line for Snivel. I usually like chunks and pieces of what I write, but am always dissatisfied with the “whole,” which pushes me on to try again…and again…and again…

  92. Or your favorite parts writing them?

  93. What do you think was the hardest book to write about?

  94. That seems pretty hard. What is your favorite book of the Heck series so far?

  95. I would think the same thing! I went to get Snivel today after school, and I didn’t see it so the guy had to get one out of the back! It looks so interesting. I can’t wait to read it!!! Since Preocias not available until February, I’m going to try not to read it super fast so I won’t have a long wait like I did with Snivel.

  96. Ya that would be so cool! What areas did you visit?

  97. Oh wow! Well next year I will be in sixth grade so maybe you could come then! I’m in year round school so I start in July!

  98. When do you find out the release date of Precocia?

  99. Oh that’s cool. Has Bob Dob started drawing the cover or Lipptor or does he start drawing when you are finished writing the book?

    • Nope, Bob hasn’t started Lipptor yet as it will be changed a lot in the next revision. Usually, after about three revisions or so, we’re pretty sure that the story and characters are solid enough for him to start sketching. So Bob will start drawing probably in the fall. He’s just finishing up the interior sketches for Precocia.

  100. Interesting! Are you happy about how the cover of Precocia is turning out?

    • Definitely! It could be my favorite cover so far, though I love Snivel. Hey, you ask a lot of questions so I have some of my own: what other books do you like? What’s your favorite subject in school? Do you like to write?

  101. I like to read The Hunger Games but mostly I’m reading Heck. My favorite subject in school I believe would be math. I love to write! That probably would be another one of my favorite subjects.

    • I loved the Huger Games too. I wasn’t wild about Mockingjay, but I thought Catching Fire was good as well. I was really good in math until Trigonometry. I just could not wrap my head around that!

  102. That sounds hard! What inspired you to become a writer?

    • I would often write stories based on things I liked, like Star Trek, Star Wars, superheroes…that kind of thing. I guess you could call it fan fiction, though back then it was me just escaping. I used to really enjoy writing book reports and such. I’d go off on tangents but always come back in time to make my point. I REALLY wanted to be a rock star, then an artist, before I rediscovered writing when working at the San Francisco Chronicle. I would write reviews of nightclubs and books…that got me back into the flow of writing. I took a film appreciation class and my reports, according to the teacher, were often more interesting than the films themselves! (granted, we would often watch some really bad films) One thing that really got me into creative writing was when, for about a year, I’d work the graveyard shift at work. All my friends worked the day shift, so I would write them these weird stories involving people from work and would make up crazy things that supposedly happened in the dead of night at the newspaper, so my friends would have something to read when they came to work in the morning.

  103. Thats funny! Did they enjoy the stories or would they sometimes get scared by them?

  104. I have been a great of your books since my friends recommended them to me. How do you come up with such great ideas?

    • Thanks, Davis! I’ve been a great fan of yours too ever since you started reading my books! In terms of ideation, my secret is simply VOLUME. Come up with enough ideas and jam them into a book, and at least a few of them have to be decent.

  105. Do you have a hobby?

  106. Your books are so well written

  107. When did you first decide you wanted to be an author?

    • Probably when I set fire to a fellow juggler and was kicked out of the circus. Actually, I started writing in my 20s at a newspaper, doing reviews of books and music, because I could get them for free if I reviewed them. I found I enjoyed it! I also loved interviewing people and going off on tangents. I even had a column in a Portland newspaper called Tangent, where I just wrote about whatever I wanted (it helped that I was also the publisher). I started writing books (Heck being the first) because I was bored at my advertising job and wanted to write something crazy, dark and funny. I’m still learning…hopefully I’ll learn how to write a proper book someday!

  108. How long does it take you to finish one book?

    • It depends. War and Peace took me months, while A Collection of Unselfish Cat stories took me all of five minutes, but it was basically a pamphlet. Oh…MY books! Well, usually I start with an outline that I scribble out in a couple of weeks, then it takes me a few months to bang out a first draft. This is the hardest thing that anyone could ever do: write a first draft. Then my editor drains her collection of red pens and sends it back, and I spend a month editing. Then we go back and forth a few times and it’s basically done. The whole process takes about nine months: the gestation time of your average human baby.

  109. What was your favorite book to write so far?

    • For some reason Fibble seemed to flow easily, and whatever flows easily is almost always my favorite. It was also very cathartic as I was laid-off from an advertising agency the month I started Fibble, so I got to release a lot of my pent-up irritation with the advertising world in that book!

  110. I liked the beginning of chapter 18 of snivel it was so funny!

    • 18? Oh, is that the one with me in it? I love those, not because I like reading about me—I don’t—but because I like to make fun of me as a character that is sort of me but not really. Plus my ex brother-in-law is TOTALY Phelps Better. What a Grade-A jerk.

  111. Hi Dale! I’m a really big fan of the Heck series and I think Snivel is so great so far! How did you come up with the idea of Snivel?

    • Seriously? virgilfarrow@gmail.com? That’s just far too weird to be a mere coincidence!Thanks for your note Jadelyn. Luckily, with the Heck series, each circle has its own rules and atmosphere. And, since Snivel was all about whiny kids, I would just ruminate (in a room where I ate) on such depressing matters. Who would teach there? Who would be Vice Principal? What would convey a sort of constant, dreary misery? What would they eat? (I’m rather proud of woe-is-meatballs). That sort of thing. I love brain storming and, every once in a while, you get struck by lightning.

  112. About that, my friends and I make up heck emils and talk to each other on them I DO NOT EMAIL ANY OTHER PEOPLE ON THOSE. I love having those lighting moments while I’m writing, but they usually take a longer time to get them. I love how all of the Heck books are very detailed and you can really picture the scenes in your head!

    • That is so hilariously cool about the Heckmail accounts! You can totally email whomever you like as Virgil Farrow. It’s all publicity, which is all good! Thanks for the compliment about seeing Heck in your head. That’s how I have to write: I have to see it or I can’t describe it. Sometimes I make sketches or scour the web for visual inspiration to help write certain scenes. I have little cards with kids’ pictures for the supporting characters, so they seem “real” to me!

  113. I have to do that sometimes too! About the heckmail, all of my friends have at least four. One of my friends is Takara, Bordeaoux, Lyon, and Norm and my other friend is Zane, Necia, Damian, and Amandi ( before Marlo learned it was Damian). There’s a boy in my class named Damian and I told him about the Amandi and thing and now everyone calls him that! Did your card for Marlo look anything like Bob Dobs’s drawing?

    • I LOVE that there is a series of fake Heck e-mail accounts out there! And poor Damian (YOUR Damian)…being called Amandi at all…As for Marlo, I didn’t have a card in mind when I was writing her. She was sort of based on my first wife (who I married right after high school: here’s a tip…NEVER MARRY ANYONE RIGHT AFTER HIGH SCHOOL). I just saw a movie called Moonrise Kingdom and the lead girl, actually, reminds me a lot of how I initially saw Marlo, only with blue hair and a Goth style. Bob Dob did a great job with Marlo…especially as she develops over the series!

  114. I don’t think anyone feels sorry for Damian because he is just like he Damian in Heck!!! In the first book, Marlo’s hair looked more dark blue, but now it looks kind of turquoise. Was that meant to happen or was it just a different color?

  115. Haha okay. I love chapter 18 because of how you describe all of the surroundings so well, and I love how your writing of you is so different than who you actually are! Also, Marlo’s desperation to get her parents back together is so dramatic it’s extremely fun to read!!!

  116. So far I like those the most too. Which book are you writing right now?

  117. Awesome! Can’t wait! When all is said and done, it’s quite an accomplishment!!!

  118. No problem! How long have you known that you wanted to become a writer?

    • I’m still not completely sure, actually. It’s kind of a lonely life, just sitting home and writing for most of your life. But then it’s worth it when you see your book in the store! I enjoyed writing in school but it was probably when I started working in newspapers that I really got the bug. It was fun to shape my opinions just right and then have folks comment on it…the act of writing helps me organize my thoughts, which is great because most of the time my brain looks like one of those homes you see on America’s Worst Hoarders or something…

  119. Im addicted to that show! When youre not writng, what do you like to do with your family?

    • A fun game I like to play with my family is where I tie blindfolds over their eyes then drive them to some remote location, kick them out of the car, and see how long it takes them to find their way home. They say they hate it (and me) but I know that, deep down, they really like it and think it’s great fun. When we’re not doing that, we like to play games (like Scrabble or Settlers of Caatan), go for bike rides, cook, and fight crime.

  120. The first game sound hilarious! Do you have any updates on the Heck movie?

    • Unfortunately, no news on the Heck movie. It is being rewritten is all I know with any certainty. If you feel so inclined, you should write them and bug them about it: MGM 245 North Beverly Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210

  121. I think i might! I love acting and would enjoy being part of the movie. How are you doing with Sadia?

    • Then you totally should bug MGM. You never know! As far as Sadia goes, I’m JUST starting…have my outline and am about a chapter into it. It’s always hard to start. I usually feel the story develop its own energy about halfway through. Setting up everything is always a challenge.

  122. Awesome! I cant wait!!! What book series do you like to read?

    • I read The Knife of Never Letting Go and may read the next. I’m on a Christopher Moore kick right now. I’d never read him but I was told I’d like him. So far so good. I’ve also had World War Z in my bedside reading table for the longest time so I need to crack that open soon.

  123. Hahaha cool! What gave you the idea of writing the Heck series?

    • From an interview I did: “The idea for Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go came to me where most of my ideas come from: that area just behind the eyes and somewhere, approximately, between the ears. A friend of mine, whom I’ll refer to as “Paul Harrod,” wanted to make a short “mockumentary” film on the devil, sort of a VH1 “Behind the Brimstone”-type of thing (sorry for all the quotes and the parenthetical asides). While helping him to mine the topic for potential nuggets of humor, I unearthed the idea of an H-E-double-hockey-sticks Lite, just for children, which–of course–simply had to be called Heck. I researched such classic works as Dante’s Inferno and the phonebook (I wanted a pizza) and came up with a kid-ified underworld specifically designed to ignore the needs and enflame the misery of once-living children everywhere–in particular, the bad ones.

      Of course, every story needs what is commonly referred to as a protagonist. That is, a hero, or–at the very least–someone whom the reader can relate to in some way while serving as a guide through a host of unpleasant, fantastical circumstances. Often, the protagonist mirrors the author, not for any significant reason other than it’s much easier for the author (fewer things to make up) while giving him/her the perfect excuse to write about himself/herself. Ever the overachiever, I decided to have two protagonists–hardly a “novel” idea–but it allowed me to write through my dual selves–the ever cautious, perpetually in-his-head Milton, and the tart, impulse-control-challenged Marlo.

      Now it was just a matter of writing it all down. Oh, yes…writing…

      Writing is really, really, really hard. It’s easier if you have fingers and not, say, great unwieldy crab claws, but still. There are only two enjoyable aspects of the writing experience, as I see it. The first is when you are on the bus, clipping your toenails, or grooming the pet monkey you “found” at the circus: those little in-between moments where inspiration often bubbles to the top of your consciousness like a cork bobbing up to the surface of the sea. It’s when you come up with that big idea…the one that seems so inevitable, as if it had always been there, only you were the one to stumble on to it. You’re elated. You’re filled with excitement. You miss your stop, cut your pinky toenail too deep, or accidentally tug too hard on your monkey’s fur with its brush (which Dr. Zaius hates…I have the bite marks to prove it). It’s a great moment (not the monkey bites, but the “zapped with creative fire” part). Unfortunately, when a writer is blessed with a good idea, he/she is then immediately cursed with having to actually do something about it. This is called work. Some writers also consider this play, but–to the best of my knowledge–Roget’s Thesaurus doesn’t happen to include “play” as a synonym for “work.”

      The second great part of writing is right after you are through and are fairly convinced that what you wrote isn’t completely awful. Not that you ever really think that (or that you are ever really “through”) but there’s a point where most of the heavy lifting is done and the voices in your head at least dull to a manageable murmur. This is also the point where it is safe for your family to come out from underneath the kitchen table, bearing soap, a towel, and a change of clothes.

      So why write? There are some who write solely to pay the utility bill, to which I say: good luck. Then, there are others, who simply have to write. This is the column I find myself squarely in. I’ve tried to express myself eloquently with guitar solos, touchdowns, and even ballroom dancing once, and the only thing I managed to achieve was a state of humiliation (and occasionally sore feet). Writing is the closest I’ve come to putting something out in the world that bears a faint resemblance to the notion that was originally in my head (this essay notwithstanding).

      And, somehow, it’s all worth it. The staring at the screen until it stares back. The slow dwindling of friends, hairs, and social niceties. The less-than-healthful food choices. The getting up in the middle of the night and splashing in your neighbor’s koi pond (this may not have anything to do with writing but may instead be a symptom of a deeper problem). But when you go to a bookstore and see your book, or even simply the space where your book will soon be, you feel as if you have joined an illustrious fraternity of literature, a centuries-old club boasting everyone from Aesop to Zola (a French writer whom one should only read if one finds oneself unbearably happy and wishes to remedy this condition immediately).

      Speaking of tedium, I couldn’t stand school. And the feeling was mutual.

      But, thanks to some phenomenal teachers, I realized the freeing power of the imagination. It was as if every story I wrote or doodle I scrawled was a spadeful of dirt, unearthing a secret tunnel, getting me closer and closer to escape. Laughter was also a lifesaver for me, often literally. Not only is it rightfully considered the best medicine (if used liberally, only as directed), it can also save you from getting your butt kicked in PE.

      The point is (yes, there’s a point here somewhere), that preadolescence can feel like an eternity when you’re in it, but you actually get through it fairly unscathed, though your body and voice may soon be rendered unrecognizable. This complete freakishness is normal. So let laughter and perseverance be your best and most trusted bodyguards, providing loyal service without even demanding your lunch money in return.”

  124. Hi! My name is thomas and I’m wondering,what kind of place is sadia? Because I just can’t think of a what a place for dead bullies is like!!!

    • Hi Thomas! You ask a very timely question as I am now finishing my first draft of the eighth Heck book, Sadia! And, as much as I would love to tell you all about it, I’m afraid I can’t due to the violent, serial-comma-killers at Random House who would edit me within an inch of my life if I gave any of it away. Plus, as I am just finishing the first draft, Sadia is bound to change. Let’s just say that it will probably be the cruelest, most savage of the Heck books thus far, as most every one of the books conveys the flavor of the circle in which it describes. I can, though, guarantee that it won’t quite be what you’d expect!

  125. Thanks! I can’t wait for it to come out!

  126. Oh! I just remembered,I have three more questions for you! First,how do you come up with the circle’s names? Second, how do you ideas for the creatures like Bewilderbeasts and pangs? Last,are you planning to make more books after heck?

    • Hi Thomas!
      1) The circles’ names are based on child-like “sins” such as fibbing (Fibble), whining (Snivel), being precocious i.e. “trying to grow up too fast (Precocia), etc.
      2) Bewilderbeasts, pangs, are just creatures I come up with, sometimes it starts with a word (like Pangs, for instance, coming from Hunger Pangs since it’s Blimpo). Wilderbeasts are real, so I thought Bewilderbeasts that hunt through dazzling and confusing their prey was interesting, etc.
      3) Yes, I have a lot of ideas for post-Heck books: some for kids, some for teens, some for adults.

  127. Thanks for the answers!


    Hi! This is Thomas again and I was wondering, why did you change Lipptor to Wise Acres?

    • Hi Thomas. Thanks for your question. I knew SOMEONE would ask this, and I’m glad the first person was YOU. I could give you some high-falutin’ answer about different timelines and dimension, about manifesting destiny vs. leaving your outcomes to the fickle winds of fate, but the truth of the matter is that my publisher didn’t think the name Lipptor was very strong so I came up with Wise Acres, which actually seems more fitting for a circle of Heck devoted to those who use words as weapons. Luckily the name change made sense with what I was doing with the plot of Precocia anyway. Writing books is many things, but it is never boring, except when it is sometimes. Hope you’re doing well, Thomas!

  129. Hi Dale! I haven’t talked to you in a while and I have some questions. When does Wise Acres come out? Are there any updates on the Heck movie?

    • Hayley!
      Hi, long time no…whatever this is. Wise Acres: The Seventh Circle of Heck comes out December 24, 2013. Just in time for Christmas! Because nothing says “Christmas” quite like the tragicomic tale of two siblings trapped in the underworld! And here’s the latest regarding the Heck movie: right now the studio is talking with “A-list celebrities” and are trying to cast Bea “Elsa” Bubb, although “she” will be a “he” in the movie for some reason and just be Beelzebub. Anyway, they are looking for a big actor for this part, and once they cast it, then they’ll adapt the script to suit this actor’s “voice.” That’s all I know. I should know by Christmas if the film is going to happen or not.
      I hope you’re doing well, Hayley!

  130. Awesome! I was also wondering if you have fixed the Heck website, I thought I heard something about you getting it fixed sometime last summer or just making a new website.

    • Wow, you don’t forget anything, do you Hayley!? I am working on a new Heck site presently. It will be a lot simpler, but at least I will be able to update it often, which is—sadly—not the case with my current site. I’m hoping that it will be up and running around the fall. Or do you think I even need one? So many authors are just using Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr these days. Or I could WordPress it…(sigh) so many options!

  131. I guess I have a good memory! I think it would be cool if you had a website because not many authors make websites for book series that readers can interact with.

  132. HI! Thomas here and I’ve been dying to tell you my idea for the actor playing as either the chemistry teacher ( I can’t remember his name.) Or Richard Nixon, wait for it……JIM CARREY!!! What do you think?

    • That is truly an inspired idea, Thomas! Mr. Pemberton was the Chemistry teacher in Limbo (he was actually the real man who invented Coca-Cola and, as a result, mass tooth decay and obesity). Jim Carrey, if my intel can be believed, was actually approached about playing Satan, but declined due to scheduling conflicts (again this is all heresay). He would have been perfect. I know that MGM were in talks with other big names, but I have heard nothing. I’m honored, however, that they were considering awesome people like Jim Carrey! I would love someone like Jane Lynch from Glee or Melissa McCarthy for Bea “Elsa” Bubb!

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