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Surviving Corona

Hello again, well I somehow don’t think you need a primer from me on what I’m talking about with that post title. Yeah, good chance if you’re alive and not an infant, you’ve heard about the Coronavirus sweeping the world. A lot of people are in full on panic mode (group #1), while another large group is less concerned, albeit annoyed by the doings of group #1 in cleaning out grocery stores of basics like food and toilet paper.

Andrea and I are fortunate, in the group of those in reasonable good health, and we’re not in that danger zone in the age department. Still, we’re reeling from the changes and dealing with the shortages of things like groceries like the rest of you are. Normally, this kind of activity happens for us when a hurricane threatens our area, often during the height of hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). But, the feel and the scenes I’ve been seeing at the grocery stores are pretty much the same thing as what I’d see from a hurricane. Now, we so far don’t have to worry about power outages, and there’s no severe weather, but of course we’ve got plenty enough to worry about anyway.

One thing I’ve seen during those hurried hurricane prep activities, and I’ve seen hints of it in the Corona preparations, is the community forming. It’s obviously not the way you’d ever want a community to come together, and it’s far from idyllic, but just the other day in line at the grocery store with the hordes of people, I struck up several conversations with complete strangers. We had no idea each other existed before then, but yet there we were, sharing our collective concern, and even a little bit of dark humor at this situation before us.

Yes, there are people seriously at risk should they catch this virus. Yes, it appears that a lot of the cases are mild. But I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already heard, am I? Aside from the extra hygiene precautions, I’m approaching this with the attitude I’ve seen during decades of living through hurricanes in the New Orleans area: look out for yourself, and others around you. In the depths of the suffering during Hurricane Katrina, people still made efforts to reach out, help those who needed it, assist people clearing out their houses, etc.

I use Katrina as a reference since I think it’s more or less familiar to many, even those who live away from the New Orleans area. The exact needs are different this time, but the sentiment remains. We will make it through this, but only if we stick together.

Writing news and musings, 2020 style

Greetings, everyone!  It’s been awhile since my last post, so here’s what’s going on in my world lately.

The pre-order for Valkyrie Rising is up on Amazon! 


I’m so very excited and also feeling a little bittersweet that this trilogy has been brought to a close!  This book series started with a loosely organized (very loosely) text file that I typed up in a Barnes and Noble back in the fall of 2012.  My mind was filled with several things: Andrea had introduced me to the Hunger Games movie, and I’d already taken a crack at writing and completing my first novel (not sci-fi).  I wanted to change things up, mix things up, and see what I could come up with that would be in a science fiction world, so I set off on this writing journey.  And now, over seven years later, I add “Valkyrie Rising” to my list.

Let me also throw in a sizable caveat to my post here: while the trilogy of Cataclysm Epoch, Settling Darkness, and Valkyrie Rising is finished, I fully intend to extend the stories of these characters.  They are alive and well in my story universe, and I’ve only just BEGUN to dig into their lives.  So please stay tuned!

I’ve got a huge temptation to delve into the details of Valkyrie Rising, what it means to me, and things like that.  I know though that ultimately, once a book is released, it becomes the reader’s story.  You’ll take from it what you want, read into it what you want, and I need to accept that.  It’s the way with every published novel.  Just know, this series is in part a byproduct of some of the most turbulent times I’ve been through in my life to date, namely dealing with my mom’s nearly year long battle with cancer, and losing her that same year.

I don’t want to cast a dark tone though, because in spite of everything, I still consider myself a cock-eyed optimist.  It still hurts and I will always miss mom, but I know I’ve still got things to do here. I’m about hope, and belief that we are all headed to a better place.

In closing, I’d like to leave with two posts of music, I quote lines from both of these songs in the beginning of “Valkyrie Rising”, because to me they really frame the state of mind I picture Ana Crucinal and Nelson Forrester in during this book.

Star Wars Episode IX Trailer: My reaction

First, the hurried breaths of someone.  We see it’s Rey, her body rigid with anticipation, and some anxiety too.  But this isn’t the Rey we first met, the frightened scavenger just trying to make enough food to last another day.  It’s not the Rey of the previous film either, the girl with powers she’s not quite sure about how to control yet.  This Rey is focused.  She remains steadfast, her gaze locked on something in the distance.  Her breaths slow, she maintains her watchful glance.  Luke’s voice floats over the pensive score with words of encouragement, ideas of hope.  Rey grabs the lightsaber, the one known to Skywalkers Anakin, Luke, and desired by Kylo Ren as his birthright.

The angry roar of a tie fighter in the distance, which we see to be Kylo Ren’s ship, careening over the desert surface toward Rey.  She activates the lightsaber, and swivels to an attack stance.  Kylo presses his ship, increasing the speed and impending contact.  These two, at odds but not without a lingering desire to pull the other toward their respective sides of this grand conflict.

Like a well-seasoned huntress, Rey takes off in a measured dash, running ahead of the speeding ship as it nears her, seemingly on a collision course.  At the last possible moment, she flings herself over the ship in an arcing somersault as the thunderous score arrives.

We hear the theme of Princess Leia, the beautiful but sad melody that evokes so many emotions.  The story of Princess Leia, but also of the dearly departed Carrie Fisher, and the pantheon she belongs to, the several decades of beloved stories and characters.  Of hope in the face of all odds, of the belief in friendship, of cooperation, and that above everything, love can and will conquer all.

Kylo Ren, determined and ruthless as ever, hellbent to rule all no matter what the cost may be to others or himself.  Finn and Poe, fast friends from an earlier escape, now steadfast members of the Resistance, willing to fight until the end to stop the First Order.  Droids BB8 and D-0, along with Chewbacca and Lando once again at the helm of the Falcon, as welcome a sight as relatives at a family reunion. 

And we see the reminder, that the saga is ending.  At least this portion of it.  A journey that began with a visionary filmmaker’s dream from the late seventies, through a story of intrigue, excitement, suspense, friendship, and love.  The score builds with the intensity of a symphonic chorus, exalting the ideals that hope is never lost, the ones we’ve loved and lost are never truly gone, that to love others is perhaps the greatest aspiration anyone should ever hold, that no matter what you face, if you have friends you’ll make it through, somehow.

Happy Fall! Settling Darkness is out now!

Hello everyone! Fall has arrived! Yeah, I know the ACTUAL start of fall happens in September, but in the deep south we get ours sometime in October. Well, that sometime looks to be this weekend. Off goes the AC, and up come the windows, letting that natural cool air in. Ahhhh!

Hey, it was a brutal summer, allow me to bask.

So yeah, got a new book out and available now. It’s called Settling Darkness and here’s a link: Settling Darkness on Amazon

I recently attended the quarterly Bayou Writers Club reading event held at the English Tea Room in Madisonville, LA. Here’s a pic of me reading from “Settling Darkness”

Always a fantastic time at the Tea Room and just hanging with my fellow Bayou Writers in general. Speaking of, we held a group Book Sale earlier in the month at the St. Tammany Parish Library in Slidell.

I’m wrapping up work on “Menace Ascending”, a short story about Ana Crucinal, the heroine of the Valkyrie Chronicles Series. Look for it in an Anthology to be released in early 2019!

Until next time, happy reading!



Release Date for “Settling Darkness”, update on next book!

Hello once again!  It has been so long – TOO long, and I’ve got to catch you guys up to what I’ve been up to!

While avoiding this insane heat we’ve been already having this summer, I’ve managed to wrap up the final touches on “Settling Darkness”, the sequel to “Cataclysm Epoch”.  I’m really jazzed about this new book and I’m excited for you guys to have a look at it.  I’m planning on releasing “Settling Darkness” on 9/14/18  BUT if you’d like to get a sneak at this a month earlier (kindle format only), there’s an easy way of doing that.  All I ask in return is when the time comes you leave me an honest review of the book.  Interested?  Here’s a link for details: http://www.paulheingarten.com/krewe-of-paul-vip/

In my work to wrap up “Settling Darkness”, I took a good hard look at the cover for “Cataclysm Epoch” and decided it needed some sprucing up.  So, I hired a new cover designer and had a new cover done for “Cataclysm Epoch”, check it out!

What do you think?  I felt it captured more of the rawness of Ana Crucinal, and her journey that she sets out on in “Cataclysm Epoch”.  In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m really enjoying writing this character and I suspect I’ll be visiting her world via new stories and books quite regularly in the future!

In addition to working on these two books, I started a Facebook group for the world of this series, called “The Valkyrie Chronicles”.  I’ll be posting details about the books there, as well as some fun tidbits as well.  I want this to be a place you can join in the discussion too, so please look it up on Facebook and join!  Here’s a link https://www.facebook.com/groups/2589440271280542/?ref=br_rs

Finally (as if that wasn’t already enough), I’m hard at work on the sequel to “Settling Darkness”!  Hey, I can’t leave you guys hanging now, can I?  I’m about 1/3 of the way through the first draft and I’ll be hammering away on this one for a while longer.  But fear not, there’s more on the way from me!

Thanks again for your interest, and don’t forget about the Krewe of Paul if you’d like to, you know, get these books I’m writing for FREE!  http://www.paulheingarten.com/krewe-of-paul-vip/

Until next time, take care and stay cool with a good book!


New book in beta, and another just getting started!

I once knew a guy who insisted that January was the coldest month of the year. I went back and forth with him on it, I always felt it was more December that was the freezing month. Well, I think THIS January is sure winning the record. WHOA!!! I’m in the deep south too, and I know what you folks up north would probably say, “That’s nothing, what you’ve got down there!” Well for folks in the north, yeah, our cold here can’t compete with you, but it’s certainly a relative amount of suffering via low temps all around!

So, an update on where I’m at in the writing world. “Cataclysm Epoch” is out for two months as of today. Check out the bookmarks and buttons I had made for it! 

“Cataclysm Epoch” is getting some good reviews, and I’m pleased. The word’s getting out quicker, and thanks to my email list I’m able to reach a lot more people to spread the word faster. Did you know about my email list? I send an email out roughly once a month or so to update on my new releases and also to share free ebook deals I find. You can sign up for free and cancel at any time, no hassles at all. I’ll even throw in a free book just for signing up! Here’s a link: Paul’s Update

I have begun the beta reading process for “Settling Darkness”, the sequel to “Cataclysm Epoch”! I’m targeting a late summer/early fall release this year, so stay tuned! Also working on the untitled THIRD book in this series. Yep, I’m gonna have a trilogy pretty soon! There’s plenty of stories and ideas coming too!

I hope you’re keeping warm, preferably with a good book somewhere!

Cataclysm Epoch – new novel now available!

I’m pleased to announce my novel “Cataclysm Epoch” is available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com!
Cataclysm Epoch on Amazon

This marks the end of a five year journey that began back in 2012 when I sat down in a Barnes and Noble in my hometown, fired up my laptop and my imagination. I’d already seen the first “Hunger Games” film by then, and it really made an impact with me. I hadn’t really read dystopian sci-fi to that point, and Suzanne Collins’ story and characters really got my wheels turning on what I could do in that genre.

I’ve been a fan of the strong female characters for awhile though. From Princess Leia in Star Wars, to Sarah Connor in the Terminator series, to Ellen Ripley in the Alien series and so on. All the way to today with the wonderful Daisy Ridley in the new Star Wars trilogy (The Last Jedi debuts in less than two weeks!!!!), I like stories about tough women who can overcome, improvise, and kick some serious butt.

I hope you take a look at my latest work, and if you do please be so kind to leave a review, I’d love to know what you think! I’m polishing the sequel to “Cataclysm Epoch” now, and plan on having it out next year. Take care and I hope you’re enjoying life!

Cataclysm Epoch on Amazon

New Book out soon, and some other great news too!

Hi there, how’s your fall going so far? Has the weather cooled off enough for you yet? In the southern US, where I live, our version of cool is probably way warmer than you folks in the north are accustomed to. When the temps dip to the 50s through the low 70s, we’re all breathing a sigh of relief that fall is finally here. Of course, we get these crazy fluctuations so even though we’ll get cool temps we’ll still get those 80-degree days as well. The weather sure keeps us guessing around here.

So, about the title of this post. My next novel “Cataclysm Epoch” is ready to debut on Kindle on Friday November 17, 2017! I’m so very excited about this, and to have it happen on that date, 11/17… that happens to be five years from the date I first sat in a Barnes and Noble with my laptop and typed up a simple text file. I was inspired at the time by the Hunger Games, and I wanted to come up with my own story like that. It took some time, some life experiences, and a good amount of effort, but it came to fruition, and I am very proud to share this with you!

Also on the good news side, you may have seen me comment how I entered “Cataclysm Epoch” into the 2017 William Faulkner William Wisdom writing competition in New Orleans. Well, they’ve announced the results and the novel was selected as a semi-finalist! I’m very excited and honored by the judges’ consideration.

You can pre-order “Cataclysm Epoch” for Kindle here:

Until next time, enjoy your fall!!!


I need your help, and I’ve got goodies in return!

Hello again, it has been awhile and I wanted to catch you up on what I’ve been up to these past several months.

I’ve submitted my upcoming novel “Cataclysm Epoch” for consideration in the 2017 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in New Orleans.  I’ll know if it made the semi-finals on September 25, and I’m pretty excited about this.  The contest is held annually and has several categories including fiction novels, non-fiction novels, novellas, essays, short stories, even poetry.  I’ll keep you posted on what happens!

In addition, I’m not just sitting here waiting for September 25 to roll around… I’ve started another novel!  This is a sequel to “Cataclysm Epoch” and the second book of my sci-fi trilogy.  I’m 46000 words into the first draft so far and it’s going well.  I have a feeling I’ll be writing in some regard about this character for a long time to come.

And speaking of writing and books, here’s what I meant by the “needing help” part of this post title.  I’m looking for a special group of people that can help me push my writing to the next level.  I want to send you copies of my books, starting with “Cataclysm Epoch” if you’re willing to read and write a review for them.  In return, I’m willing to send you copies of my books before they’re published, for FREE.  Also, I’m putting together some great giveaways like e-readers and gift certificates that you’d be eligible for.  And I’ll even mention your name in the acknowledgements at the front of the book.  There’s no cost to you at all, just a little time and all the free books from me I can churn out, and I’ve got a lot coming up, a sci-fi trilogy for starters!

So, to recap: this group would get the following:

  • Free advance copies of my upcoming novels
  • Chances to win prizes like e-readers, gift cards, signed books
  • Mentions at the start of my book

Sound good?  Interested?  Just head over to the Krewe of Paul sign-up page and sign up for the Krewe of Paul!

Don’t wait too long, though… I’m only taking a limited number of people into this group.  Don’t miss out on all these free books and great giveaways!!!

Stay in the Write

Hi there, how’s your 2017 going so far? We had a rough start in my hometown, some nasty tornadoes ripped through the area pretty good. Thankfully no one has died due to the bad weather though.

I’m hard at work on finishing up the dystopian novel, book one of an intended trilogy. I’ve gotten feedback from a good friend and writing buddy, and I’ve decided to make some revisions. I’ve been working on this one for a while now (since 2012), and at times I wonder if I’ll ever get finished. I’m heartened though that whenever I make adjustments, the story seems to pull a little bit tighter together, so it still feels good when I look at the whole picture.

I’ve got a short story submitted to the Wundor Editions Short Fiction 2017 Contest in jolly old England. Wish me luck! I’ll find out if I won by late March.

The Bayou Writers Club has resumed their meetings for 2017. Lisa, our organizer, is doing her part to make sure everyone not only has incentives to write, but also specified goals to work for. I think it helps people who may have considered writing for years but never sat down to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to do the work and get it done. It’s not easy, for sure. I compare it a little to the exercise mentality. You know how so many people (perhaps even yourself) say after New Years: “I’m gonna get to the gym this year and get in shape!” Then, what happens? I have a gym membership myself, so I can see it – a lot of people go in January, but a few months into the year (if that), people drop off.

Motivation is good, motivation is important. But persistence is the key. Keep yourself to it. Imagine the finished work. Think of why you’re doing it: to be published, make money, or just to get something out there. I go back and forth on why I write. At the end of the day, I care about the story, and sharing it. Of course, I wouldn’t turn down the chance to make gobs of money, but I still enjoy making the story work, and hopefully interesting to other people.

Ok, that’s my piece for now. Stay in touch!