Author Dale E. Basye of the "Heck" books
Dmae Roberts talks with author Dale E. Basye about his book series for young readers, Heck.The fourth book in the series, Fibble, was released last month. Basye also sings songs that he wrote for the series and read passages from the books.
Heck follows Milton and Marlo Fauster, a brother and sister who get sent to Heck after a fatal marshmallow bear explosion. The books follow them as they make their way through the otherwordly reform school that is Heck. InFibble: The Fourth Circle of Hell, Milton and Marlo find that they've switched places.
Basye got the idea for writing the Heckseries when a friend of his was working on a mockumentary about the devil, and Basye decided he wanted to write about hell for children. As a kid, Basye hated school. But he found a deep love for writing, and was encouraged by teachers who helped him foster his imagination.
Highlights from the Show
On Milton & Marlo
"Milton and Marlo are kind of my two selves. Milton is the overly cautious, almost crippled with, “oh, is this the right thing to do?”, kind of afraid to really engage life. And Marlo is the impulse-challenged goth who maybe talks faster than she thinks. If you fuse them both together—well, that would be really be messy. But if you psychologically fuse them together, then they’d probably be me."
On Getting Published
"I had this idea. I thought, I’ll go to this conference [the Willamette Writers Conference] where you can actually pitch your idea to a real live New York editor, and then once she turns me down I can take that experience and work with that, because I have kind of poor self-esteem. But I went there, and much to my surprise she was really interested. And then I had to actually do the work of following through with my pitch, my trailer for Heck."
On Lessons from Heck
Like many kids, when they go to school, feel like they’ve been wronged in some way. And a lot of the kids turn against each other because they are sort of confused by what’s going on. So I’m hoping that not only as Milton and Marlo make their way through the circles of Heck, they not only learn about themselves, but they also learn that other kids are not the enemy, that the enemy is a bureaucracy that doesn’t really hear them or serve them.
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