Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Re-watched Spielberg’s Duel the other night. I would be interested in a version of this with the original commercials cut in. It’s hard to tell where they put the commercial breaks. Also, I can’t wrap my head around how Spielberg shot this in 13 days. That is positively Herculean. And that was 3 days behind schedule! How many set ups was he doing each day? The movie is an absolute clinic on fast, low budget, bare bones, economical film making. It’s also a testament to the power of montage.

Monday, March 11, 2019

love dream sale

The eBook version of my novel, Scribbled Love Dreams, is on sale at Amazon for a .99 cents. You can go there now and get it. You'll like it. I promise. Actually, I don't promise that, but I do believe it will take you on an unexpected journey. If you read the excerpt and were still a little unsure about taking the dive into this crazy story, maybe now you'll be willing to give the book a try and experience all the twists and turns for yourself. You don't have to, but you can. And if you didn't read the excerpt, maybe now's the time to jump in head first. I mean, it's a buck. For a dollar, it's well worth a tickle. 


Thursday, March 7, 2019


I was raised Catholic. I went through my first communion, but was never confirmed. My wife was raised Catholic, and I honestly can’t remember how far into the process she got. We were married in a Catholic church, and we baptized all of our kids.

I don’t consider myself Catholic anymore, although I still carry the baggage of the religion. I don’t consider myself much of anything, really. We don’t go to church. We are not raising our kids with any particular religion, much the consternation of my mom. If I did go to church, I would go to a Catholic service. That’s all I really know. Even though I don’t buy into the dogma, I do enjoy the tradition of the service. I like the idea that the same tradition and ritual has gone on for hundreds of years.

What’s the point? All that’s prologue to the idea that I decided to give up candy for Lent this year. I’m also going to not eat meat on Fridays. Why? No real reason. As I explained to the wife when she teased me about being so pious, both are good things to do. I shouldn’t be eating so much damn candy anyway, and a day without meat does not hurt. Fasting and abstinence in moderation is good for the body and mind, right? Well, we’ll go with that. The coincidence of the religious observance gives me a good excuse.

If I’m honest, I don’t think I’ll last to the weekend. I’m too weak, and Hot Tamales are too damn good. I’ll keep you updated on how it plays out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

filmmaker: a diary by george lucas

I’m reading Brian Jay Jones’ biography of George Lucas. In the section on Coppola’s The Rain People, he mentions that Lucas shot a making of documentary called Filmmaker: A Diary by George Lucas. Sure enough, it’s on vimeo. It’s only 27 minutes, but it’s really good and well worth a look. It’s fascinating to watch Coppola before he changed cinema a few years later with The Godfather. It’s a great companion piece to that essential making of documentary, Heart of Darkness. It’s curious to see how little success had change Coppola in terms of how he talked about and approached making movies. The budgets and scale were much bigger, but the filmmaker was essentially the same.

Filmmaker - A Diary By George Lucas from Michael Heilemann on Vimeo.

Monday, February 25, 2019

what's in an author photo?

The one question I get emailed more than anything is about the author’s photo on the back of the book. Is that a photo of me? No, it is not. I took a photo of my kids a number of years ago, and I was struck by the expression on my son’s face. I immediately thought it looked like a photo one would see on the back of a book. I made a copy of the photo, cropped out my daughters, and saved it with the thought I might use it sometime. I didn’t know how long it would take me to finish this first book. Why did I use a photo of my son instead of one of me? There are a couple of reasons for this. One, most important, no one wants my fat, orange head on the cover of anything. Two, I thought it was funny. Many author photos look a bit silly. The author looks so serious, so important, so pretentious. Look at me! I’m a serious writer. Or the photos look like something you would take your senior year of high school. I wasn’t too interested in doing that. Well, you might ask, couldn’t you have just not had included a photo at all? Yes, for sure. But I thought this would be a little more fun. The picture reminded me of a photo I once saw of Truman Capote. I can’t remember what book it was. I thought it would be tongue in cheek. An attempt, perhaps feeble, to have a little fun with the cover. I realize that it might not be too smart to mess around with something I’m actively hoping people will buy and read, especially since it is a “joke” that almost no one will get and only I will find amusing, but there you go. I assumed it would be self-evident that the photo was not me, but I’ve received a few emails letting me know that they found it hard to believe that a ten year old could have written a “story like this.” Which, I don’t know. That reaction tickles me a bit. I can’t help it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

texas chainsaw massacre

A few people have asked about the trailer for Scribbled Love Dreams. The idea was inspired (stolen) from the opening crawl of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If you haven't seen that movie, what is wrong with you? Stop what you're doing and seek it out. It's still one of greatest horror movies ever made. Not only is it a brilliant orchestration of terror, but it does so with very little blood and gore. The dinner scene is still one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen in a movie.

Friday, February 8, 2019

new logo

My wife and daughter designed the logo for the publishing imprint Five Body Blade Books. It looks amazing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

cover reveal: the quay avenue bridge

I have a new cover for my short story, The Quay Avenue Bridge. It looks more professional than the first cover, and it also fit my aesthetic a little better. Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, November 16, 2018

william goldman

William Goldman passed away today from colon cancer. He was 87. It’s impossible to quantify just how much Goldman meant to me. His movies, his books. I idolized him. He was everything I aspire to be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

cover reveal: killer's thief

This is a new short story that I'm giving away for free to those who subscribe to this site. Let me know what you think.