Russ Heitz
  • 116, Male
  • Sarasota
  • United States
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Russ Heitz's Discussions

Here's How to Write a Best Seller
7 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Russ Heitz Oct 26, 2007.

The World of Big Business Publishing, warts and all
2 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Russ Heitz Sep 12, 2007.


Russ Heitz's Page

Profile Information

Sarasota, Florida, USA
About Me:
Originally from Pennsylvania, my wife and I moved to Sarasota, Florida, over 30 years ago. I have been writing most of my life and have, at one time or another, written in almost every genre, from romance to suspense, from Picture Book texts to technical reports, from short stories to novels to Young Adult biographies. I was also a publications specialist for local government for a number of years and in that capacity I wrote press releases, audio/visual scripts, magazine articles, newspaper columns, annual reports, newsletters, technical reports, procedure manuals, ceremonial documents, and letters to the president. ***** My rapidly-paced suspense novel, CROSSHAIRS, was released last summer and I am now involved in the promotion of the book. I have also been doing book reviews when I find the time and have also been working on a sequel to CROSSHAIRS. ***** My original idea that prompted CROSSHAIRS was to do a series of suspense novels set in the wilderness areas of north-central Pennsylvania where I lived for a number of years. The series would revolve around a newly elected sheriff who has no law enforcement experience at all, doesn't like guns, and is suddenly faced with a serial killer whose victims appear to have no connection with each other. Each novel in the series would have the same basic cast of characters, some in law enforcement, some not. My original idea was sorta-kinda like a police procedural except the setting is a combination of small town plus sparsely populated deer-hunting wilderness where EVERYBODY has a gun of some sort. ***** I am a member of the Mystery Writers of America, American Crime Writers League, and the Florida Association of Writers. I would be pleased to correspond with other mystery/suspense/thriller writers.
I Am A:
Books And Authors I Like:
Ed McBain, Bill Pronzini, John Steinbeck, J.D. Salinger and the classical Japanese haiku writers. My all-time favorite book is JOHN BROWN'S BODY by Stephen Vincent Benet.
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
Don't watch much TV but when I do it's usually non-network channels (I make an exception for the NFL) like A & E, History, Discovery, Travel, National Geographic. I never missed ICE ROAD TRUCKERS, and THE DEADLIEST CATCH and FIRST 48.

Russ Heitz's Blog


With the publication of POLICE PROCEDURE & INVESTIGATIONS, Writer's Digest Books has gotten itself a sure-fire winner. The subtitle of this book indicates that it was written primarily for the writers of crime books and crime-related short stories. But that is a much too narrow focus. This book is for anyone who is interested in police work, criminal investigations, and all of the aspects that fit under those two general categories. And it…


Posted on February 9, 2008 at 11:48am

CROSSHAIRS wins Book of the Year Award

Starting off the New Year right!

The Infinite Writer ezine ( has selected my suspense novel CROSSHAIRS as it's Book of the Year! My thanks go out to Dahris Clair and the e-zine judges. The competition was impressive so I am very grateful for this honor. I am also grateful for the following comments that went with the award:

"Russ Heitz employs a…


Posted on January 4, 2008 at 6:05am

My book signings, Nov & Dec.

Just wanted to let you know I've lined up the following book signings for Nov. and Dec.

Venice Bookshop, Venice, Florida, November 16th and December 7th from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Poe House of Books, Crystal River, Florida, November 24th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Circle Books, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, Florida, December 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Any Crimespacers in those areas? If so, do drop in. I'd love to meet'ya!


Posted on November 14, 2007 at 6:27am

Crosshairs review

I just wanted to share a bit of good news about my suspense novel, CROSSHAIRS. It was reviewed by Stephen Horowitz, Ph.D. of the Peppertree Literary Magazine who said:

"The story is full of twists and turns and loads of suspense. The reader is pulled along at a frenzied pace ... I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery."

Posted on September 7, 2007 at 2:41am

Comment Wall (47 comments)

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At 10:03am on August 12, 2009, Preetham Grandhi said…
Hi Russ, I want to introduce you to my debut novel "A Circle of souls" which is a murder, mystery, psychological thriller and a tale of justice and hope. Do visit to read more about the book. Make sure you sign up to win an autographed copy of the book. You can also read more reviews by clicking on the More Reviews button at the website. Thanks for your time in advance.

Best regards

Preetham Grandhi

Early Endorsements for “A Circle of Souls”

Linda Fairstein, NYT Bestselling Author: "A fascinating debut - this novel takes the reader to the darkest places in the human soul, from a writer with the authenticity to lead us there. A stunning thriller and an important read."

Judge Judy Sheindlin, star of the Judge Judy Show: "The seminal work of this fine author kept me glued to my chair until the adventure was over and the mystery solved. A great read!"

Book Synopsis:

The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. The town s top detective, perplexed by a complete lack of leads, calls in FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children.

Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist at Newbury s hospital, searches desperately for the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope.

The situations confronting Leia and Peter converge when Naya begins drawing chilling images of murder after being bombarded by the disturbing images in her dreams. Amazingly, her sketches are the only clues to the crime that has panicked Newbury residents. Against her better judgment, Leia explores the clues in Naya s crude drawings, only to set off an alarming chain of events.
In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.
At 1:51am on January 6, 2008, Patricia Harrington said…
Russ, saw your posts about your favorite mystery authors. Good stuff, and I agree. I think Pronzini is listed with some kind of contact number in the MWA Member Directory (didn't look, but think so). Maybe the national office would forward a message, where it isn't spam. Your Crosshairs sound very good and the setting and protagonist definitely interesting!

All best wishes,

Pat Harrington
At 9:10am on January 5, 2008, Russ Heitz said…
Thanks, Darren, hope you enjoy the excerpt. And Best Wishes for '08 to you, too!
At 8:44am on January 5, 2008, Darren Laws said…
Hi Russ, On my way to your site now to have a read. Looks like you are picking up lots of nice reviews. It's always great to get good feedback. Wishing you great success for 2008!
At 3:17am on January 5, 2008, Tony Black said…
Nice to meet you Russ
Thanks for your wishes for PAYING FOR IT...I hope it sells zillions too, but will settle for the billions. A-hem. Good luck with CROSSHAIRS...sounds the business.
At 1:19am on December 24, 2007, Todd Robinson said…
Thanks Russ. Back atcha.
At 10:58am on December 23, 2007, JackBludis said…

You're absolutely right. Write anything and it helps develop your style, your voice, plotting--all of it. Even good work is crap to somebody. And crap is golden to others. Good luck with your series.

(I see by your info that you're only seven years older than I am.)

At 12:30pm on November 22, 2007, Eric Eckert said…
Hi, Russ: I accidentally hit "block user" instead of accepting your invite. It was a simple mistake, so please don't take offense. I've sent an invite your way.
At 2:16pm on September 15, 2007, D K Gaston said…
Hi Russ, I wanted to stop by and say hello. Congrats on such a great review for Crosshairs, I will add it to my TBR list.
At 10:15am on September 14, 2007, Rick Mofina said…
Russ thanks for the kind words. Noce to have you aboard.

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