Poteau, Oklahoma, February 28, 2014 In conjunction with the non-profit group Friends of Heavener Runestone, author Joe Harwell is re-releasing his first novel, The Indian Rock Vampire based on the symbols on the runestone as a benefit for the park. Since the State of Oklahoma withdrew funding for the Heavener Runestone Park in 2011, Joe has donated copies of the novel which are sold in the gift shop to help with fundraising. Advance, signed copies of the 262 page novel printed in soft cover can be purchased through the following link for $15, which includes tax and shipping. Each copy purchased by the public will result in a copy given to the gift shop to continue funding the park. http://www.gofundme.com/5gohtc
Under the guidance of Friends of Heavener Runestone, the park has undergone significant improvements through donations, volunteer effort and hard work. The park is located in Leflore county in southeastern Oklahoma on US Hwy 59, about forty five miles south of I-40. The runestone was originally called Indian Rock by French explorers who discovered it in the 1700's. In the twentieth century, Gloria Farley, a Heavener resident and researcher proved the markings were made by Vikings who visited North America almost one thousand years ago.
Harwell's novel is his own fictionalized interpretation of the origin of the markings. The book has been re-edited with a new cover featuring his teenage granddaughter, who is the same age as the lead character.
The Heavener Runestone Park will hold its annual spring Viking Fest on April 12 and 13, 2014. Admission is $5 per carload with music, dancing, arts and crafts from 10 am to 5 pm both days. Overnight camping is available on a first come, first served basis for $10. The park has restroom facilities, but no showers. Ten by ten vendor spaces are available for the festival at $25 each. Call 918-653-2241 to reserve campsites and vendor spaces.