Stepping Out

The blog of award-winning author, Jerry Hanel. Check the posts below to see his thoughts, muses and ramblings.... and the occasional giveaway.

Author Interview: Jake Elwood

Hello again, everyone. I know I haven’t posted much, but there’s a great reason… I’m busy writing. 🙂 In the meantime, I wanted to introduce you all to someone I met through several writer’s groups. Jake has critiqued a couple pieces of mine, and I have read some of his in return. He’s quirky and funny with an interesting sense on reality. I thought it might be interesting to do an interview, so you can get to know him, too.

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Author Interview: Michael Poeltl

Well, it’s that time again. Now that I have my site back up, I have some author friends and connections that have volunteered to do author interviews. I hope to do one or two of these occasionally to help promote their works and introduce you to some great new books. This week, I have Michael Poeltl. He tends to venture into the paranormal, taking us all along with him on interesting journeys. Lately, he has stepped just slightly to the

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How to get you and your friends free copies of Fort Reiley

Fort Reiley needs some reviews. It’s doing well, and people have sent me some very encouraging words about it. But the fact is, it only has a handful of reviews on Amazon. And reviews play a big part of how many times my book gets seen by the rest of the world in their algorithms. If you’ve wanted to get a chance to read Fort Reiley, but waiting for a better price, you can’t beat free. Ready? The first twenty

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They’re back… somewhat.

If you’re watching my site, you’ve probably noticed that I found a handful of articles on the Internet Wayback Machine ( While I may not be able to siphon every article I’ve ever written from there, I was able to rebuild the last few very important posts. These posts help describe what Brodie #3 is all about. And yes, while Jackson and Lacey have my attention right now, I’ve not given up on Brodie. I can only type so many

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Are you willing to be wrong?

  Bingo! He nails it on the head. Okay, I know what you’re thinking… “But Jerry, schools don’t kill creativity. You’re a big proponent of schools and education.” Yes. I am. 100% correct. But the root of what he’s saying is still true, and something that schools DO need to consider, especially in regards to national testing processes. What about you? Are you WILLING to be wrong? Whether from schools, or overbearing parents, or bullies, or a misguided teacher, pastor

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Introducing … Jackson Gray

After getting my website up, I wanted to celebrate a little. Instead, I thought maybe my readers would like a sneak peek into my latest novel — Jackson Gray (Title tentative) This is a very rough copy, It hasn’t been through critique group or editors. This is just me spit-balling my latest idea. But hopefully it will wet your whistle for the rest. If you like this, please sign up for my newsletter to keep up with the latest updates

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Image by Bryon Lippincott (

Website is up!!

The website is back up and now it’s time to go get coffee and get busy again. I’m very happy to announce that I got my original host name back — This is huge to me, as I thought it would be until the year 2020 (or longer) before I could get it back. Note that the blog is now on this URL, and the world seems to be a very happy place. I’ll be getting everything put back

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Image by DarkDay


So, if you’ve been looking for over the past year, you’ve probably not been able to find it. Well, me either. My web provider was hacked, and everything deleted. I was able to verify that none of my data was taken. All of my data was stored in encrypted databases. However, the hosting company had to clear everything to prevent the spread. So they did. Everything. All user databases, files, links, logs, articles, posts, ideas, and email lists. Gone.

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Who Is Azazel?

Azazel is the lead villain in my next Brodie Wade novel, but he is a bit of a mystery. Those in Christian circles have heard of angels like Gabriel, and Michael. And note their -el extensions on their names. Those are important! In Hebrew, their names reflected some attribute of God.  Michael — Micha-el — “Who is like God?” or “The splendor of God” Gabriel — Gabri-el — “The strength of God.” Israel — Isra-el — “Triumphant with God” My

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How Much Work Goes Into Writing a Novel?

Did you ever wonder how much work goes into writing a novel? When I was much younger (and much more naïve), I thought that all I needed to get these stories out of my head and onto paper was a pen and, well, paper. And while that is true, there’s so much more to it. First, and foremost, there is the sheer volume of time it takes to get those words out to the paper. Let’s take the average novel

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