Tag Archives: fans

Where the Heck is Heck?


Heck-o, readers on the other side of the magic screen. Long time no…well, no nothing. And if I’m anything, it’s a no-nothing. I have been getting emails lately…that fact in and of itself is less than earth-shattering. Many of you probably receive emails. But the ones I have been receiving have been questioning where, when and/or if the next Heck book will be published. Short answer? Heck-if-I-know.

Here’s the skinny: About a year and a half or so (I forget, exactly, as the wound has since scabbed over), I was told that Random House would no longer be publishing my Circles of Heck series: even though I had already submitted the eighth installment, Sadia: The Eighth Circle of Heck. The company had recently merged with Penguin, becoming something of a Random Penguin. And while it was still a House, it was sadly no longer my home. I knew that the merger had streamlined the company, with editors sharing offices and having to cut whatever titles weren’t make the cut, editing-time-to-profit-wise. Meaning, my editor was spending more time than was deemed worth it on my books so I (and many authors) were let loose and reintroduced to the wilds of the non-published.

This sucked. And, since I had two titles to go in my series, no other publishing house (according to my agent) would want to publish and promote another publisher’s series. The only glimmer of hope is that MGM have the option to make the first Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go book into a movie. They have had this right for nearly five years; with the project on its second director and…I don’t know: third or fourth screenwriter.

If the movie happens, this would—ideally—renew interest in the series so that I could properly finish it (or as properly as I can do anything). The option has been extended until the end of the year, so hopefully there will be some movement in this area. There are a lot of talented people involved, so I would love to see this project kicked into production! If the movie doesn’t happen…I don’t know. I could self-publish, but I would want the books to be as high-quality as possible and not look, I don’t know…shabby in comparison to what came before. I’m not even sure if there is a market to make it worth the trouble, as the last book in the series Wise Acres: The Seventh Circle of Heck—while being my favorite of the series—only sold about 2,000 copies.  And, the weird thing is, that book is literally printed on money, so each copy is worth at least $10,000. Be sure to buy a carton today! In any case, I’m open to ideas! As I said before, Sadia is finished and I can’t stand to work on something and not have it see the light of day, or the dark of eternal night.

So that, in a nut-job, is what the haps.

I hope you all are well and swell and not swelling in a well.

“Beast” Wishes,

Dale E. Basye


Letters To Heck, Part One

Dear Rylee,

I like your name. I “Rylee” like your name! Get it? That’s sort of a joke, though not a very funny one. That’s what I get for writing a letter before my morning coffee. Coffee kind of helps old people act like they’re younger than they are. At least for me. I’m so glad you like my books! I enjoyed writing the “So You’re Dead” part of the first Heck book. I always wanted my book publisher to make that into a pamphlet that I could give to kids, but they never would.

So, without further ado, here are the answers to your great questions!

1) Where did you get the ideas to write Heck?

Answer: From my brain, silly. That’s where I get most of my answers from. Once I got an answer from my left foot, but that was only because I stepped on a Post-It note. Okay, seriously: I’ve always had a dark sense of humor, and one day I was thinking about Hell. I mean, that seems way too intense a place to send bad kids, so maybe bad kids would go to Heck since that’s not as bad a word as Hell. Plus, I was thinking about my days in middle school. I really didn’t like that time of my life too much, because I wasn’t a little kid who could just have fun all of the time, but I wasn’t a big kid who could drive and stuff. It’s sort of this weird “limbo” time…where everything seems to just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…you get the idea, Rylee. So I did a mental mash-up of those two thoughts and came up with Heck! The rest was pretty simple. There’s lot of material to work with regarding the afterlife!

2) Are you like any of the characters?

Answer: Well, have you read Fibble: The Fourth Circle of Heck yet? I am an awful lot like one of the characters in that book! In general, I’m a little bit like Milton and Marlo mooshed together. I can be overly cautious and think too much like Milton, and I can be a little reckless like Marlo. It’s fun to bounce back and forth between both of their perspectives.

3) Have you written any other books besides the Heck series?

Answer: I have written a couple of other books, but nothing that has been published. One of those I’m hoping will be published at some point. It’s for younger kids. I have a lot of ideas, some for the Heck age group, some for older kids and teens. I just don’t have time to write them. I’ll probably have to wait until I’m through with the 9th (and final) Heck book, which I will probably write next year.

Thanks for the great letter, Rylee! Let me know if you have any other questions!


Fan Mail for Heck!