John J Heldon

Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author Profile

John J Heldon

John J. Heldon, Jr.(1947-) I was born and raised in Bergen County, NJ. and attended Rutgers University. After a long career in sales before founding my own business, I 'retired', to work and love twice as much as a writer. I've always been an avid student of human behavior, from its funny side and foibles, to its disgust and profundity. "Ark Book IV: Ghosts" is my first novel of the Ark series. I live in Marlboro, NJ, with my wife, better half, and inspirational character, Ginni, along with our hyperactive Maltese, Lily, who keeps us young.


Ark Book VI: Above

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Introducing Book VI of the Ark Fantasy Saga, ending the middle trilogy. Life on Earth continues to teeter between doom and salvation. The old Sunnyside College gym, nicknamed the Ark, has a paranormal portal that gives a chosen few a glimpse of Doomsday, which is near and unavoidable, unless these few can convince mankind a change in its approach to life is needed. Ben, Cal, and John clear what they thought was a major hurdle, only to find it’s a step into a vast abyss making all they’ve overcome to reach this level seem like child’s play. Not only are their tasks more difficult, the relentless Evil still in their way is even more determined to thwart them. Mary, Phyllis, and Genna are finally privy to their husbands’ quest. Mysteriously, they’ve been made to feel like long lost sisters, forming a sextet from a trio. Their trips into the abyss are filled with intriguing instructions and riddles from their ‘Mentors’, while they discover ‘holes’ in their reality above ground. The Ark’s appearance is acting strangely, for all around to see. This event is what the sextet are hoping will allow them to spread the message they’ve been asked to deliver. Inexplicably, it has no impact on humanity. This happens again, and again. Their deep faith in the redemptive message keeps them trying, with near fatal consequences.

Book Bubbles from Ark Book VI: Above

Ark Book V: Beneath

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Introducing Book V of the Ark Fantasy Saga as the mysteries of the Middle Trilogy dare us to consider the truth. An impervious portal appears suddenly in the basement floor of the Ark, nickname for the old gym at Sunnyside College in Delaware. It’s the first event in a series foretelling the approach of doomsday, unless a way to enter it can be found. John realizes that there are some big holes in his memory of recent events. He knows something happened to him a few days before, but is not sure if he was dreaming, or awake. Unfamiliar images haunt both his sleep and his waking hours. These are puzzle pieces he must align to reveal what actually happened. He’s trying to figure this out for himself, and not alarm his quirky wife, Genna, who already suspects he’s not well. As he’s doing this, other clues as to what happened, and those suggesting another dimension to the Ark, are presented to him in real time. John brings his friend, Calvin, to see if Cal shares the same experiences. He doesn’t. John realizes their realities are different, but why?

Book Bubbles from Ark Book V: Beneath

A Little Help

I've always believed the Earth's had visitors that inspired worship of higher powers. Different visitors at different times and places led to varied interpretations of supreme beings and what they did. There are plenty of records and carvings documenting assistance from elsewhere.


This is the end of the first chapter which starts very cordially at a pool party. I think of the first chapter as a fishing trip, The beginning of it casts the lure in the water, the end of the chapter sets the hook.

Ark Book IV: Ghosts

Literature & Fiction

Nicknamed the Ark, this old gym is a limbo for six ghosts from 1971, who are discovered by a retired alum who they hope will be the conduit between themselves and their unhappy living persons, thereby providing the answers to their 'young' and 'old' predicaments. If a reader enjoyed a book like W.P. Kinsella’s 'Shoeless Joe', or its movie adaptation, 'Field of Dreams', they will appreciate Ark’s different slant, served slightly chilled, sprinkled with humor, and a twist at the end. “This book is a cocktail of humor and seriousness, reminding readers that it is never too late to give life a second chance and that our mistakes exist to learn from, not regret,” explains Heldon. “The book is set in the present; the first volume of a middle trilogy with eight more volumes in the works. Sport is the springboard for the Ark saga, but the ensuing volumes plunge into what’s most important in life. The first trilogy tells of how the past got us to our present, while the last trilogy will express my hopes for the human race in the future. The timeline is billions of years, told in a fantasy not too far beyond our grasp of the possible.” Continuing, “Readers will be able to twist their own lives around the narrative, turning the last page with a new perspective on their existence. Redemption is for our spirit to live beyond our corporal “shell”, but it is never too early to start this fundamental journey.”

Book Bubbles from Ark Book IV: Ghosts

A Higher Power

Stephen Hawking is one of the greatest abstract thinkers of all time. He's harnessed deeper thoughts to explain many physical phenomena, but they're still many inexplicable things to deny a higher power doesn't exist.

Tell a Fib, Not a Lie.

I remember a line from the great musical 'Oklahoma' when Ado Annie says "Let's not break the law, let's just bend it a little." A fib is bending the truth, when the whole truth might hurt. My wife and I share to this philosophy, and it usually does soften or humor an issue until it's resolved.


I love sunrises and sunsets. I could sit in the same place for weeks, and each end of day, I'd need to write a totally different description. Whenever I see a red sky at dusk, I think of my grandfather.


I actually have a Volkswagen Eos hardtop convertible. I knew from the beginning of the story I'd treat the car as a character. It's not just a vehicle, but a conduit for a good part of the action, not just in Book IV, but the entire middle trilogy. If there were a way to include the car in the first and third trilogies...I would...but I shouldn't. I'll stick to 'plausible fantasy', as promised.

Character Study

While writing this book, I had no idea it would become the first of nine comprising the Ark Saga. It's a simple ghost story with a sports theme, but the ghosts are of people still alive! The characters are composites of my favorite college and pro basketball players, my homage to them. In the second and third books of the middle trilogy, the Ark becomes the story. Unraveling its secrets becomes the goal to a successful ending. The fate of all life replaces that of a few athletes.

Is he telling the truth?

My wife, even after 46 years, still can't tell. Therefore, she usually leans toward 'I'm not'. I'll follow with a sarcastic option, after which her intuition kicks in (I'll swear she's a witch at times), then she almost never fails to make a correct assessment.

Why Did You Call It Ark?

I can’t remember how many times this question has been posed since the book’s been published. As I’ve gone onto the marketing trails of bookdom, it keeps up with me. Almost like I’ve just stepped on the claw part of a rake, and I have to grab it before it smacks my nose. As I said in Ark Book IV: Ghosts, an ark can be defined as “a place of refuge or asylum.” The ghostly characters inside are allowed to exist and cavort at a time in their prime. However, I was really intrigued by the range of meaning of the two words, refuge and asylum. Either word could connote a good situation, or a bad one. For example: He sought and gained refuge from the storm in the old building. The asylum protected him from coping with the real world, until he could regain his health and well being. As I began thinking of the possibilities for the second and third books in the middle Ark Trilogy, the range of meaning of just these two words presented many ways to go, not to mention the more common associations that come to mind when the word “ark” is mentioned.


Hearing that word in the conversation reminded me brainstorms really happen, as one did for my friend. That brief talk convinced me to become a novelist. The close call that night got me going. Almost five novels and drafts later I've convinced myself it was no flash in the pan.

From an acorn to an oak tree

The acorn, or original idea, came while talking to my friend about writing (more on that later). When finished this book, I noticed another branch on the sapling, then others, and others... A trilogy of story ideas. I've always admired George Lucas' 'Star Wars', and its telling the middle of the story first. This came to me after the first edition, thus the second edition is Book IV. 'Ark Book V: Beneath' has been published, and 'Ark Book VI: Above is about to be. Currently, I'm midway through 'Ark Book I: Mars'. I'm looking forward to running next to you for the rest of my marathon.

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