Interview with Author John Howell!


Please help me welcome John Howell to Jemsbooks Blog Segment of Interview an Author.

It’s a pleasure to have you here today, John.

1. Please tell us something about yourself.
Well, Janice, I spent over forty-five years in the business world and when it came time to retire from there I took up my passion which was writing. I did try to write a book about ten years before retiring. The printed version of the manuscript still holds the laundry room door open in the wind. Yes, it is that good. I found working and writing did not complement each other.

Jjspina: It is difficult to work full-time and write. Good that you can write after retiring.

2. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I think I knew from the creative writing assignments we had in high school. I usually turned in word counts that were way beyond what the teacher asked. My stories were always fiction and bore little resemblance to the day and time. I loved writing about stuff that no other kid wrote. I still got an A on the assignment, but there was usually a “see me,” note at the top of the paper signaling an additional discussion about inspiration or source of material. Since most were in my head, the teacher seemed satisfied I had not held up a grocery store or tied up the principal.

Jjspina: It sounds like you had talent back then beyond your years.

3. What process do you need to write?
I need an idea, a desk, a chair, some music, a computer, and a grammar program. The idea, of course, is the first step and most of the time ideas are found in life. I listed desk because I can’t write sitting on the edge of the bed or comfortable chair. I need to be upright with my feet on the floor. It might be a long-standing back problem that is the cause, but the chair I use is a Colonial ladderback with cane seat. Very uncomfortable. The purpose of the music is to keep me focused on the words that I’m writing. It may sound counter-intuitive to have lyrics floating around the room while attempting to create words. For me, the music becomes like white noise and blends into the background. Also, the music gives me little time to pause and think about what I have written, so I’m not tempted to change it right then. A computer is a tool, and I use Microsoft Word. I have a MAC that I built the first draft on and then a PC which I use to publish. I might be too old to try and switch to Scrivener, but you never know. Finally, I need a grammar program. Although I have an editor, I want to make the work as clean as I can so I used Grammarly Premium to check for typos and proper word usage.

Jjspina: I guess we all have our own indiosyncracies when it comes to writing and our muse.

4. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
My ideas generally percolate around a central thought. For example, Terrorists want to blow up a symbol of America. I then start the draft, and for good measure, I write the last three lines. The lines become a beacon to the finish. The characters generally carry the story around that central idea.

Jjspina: I have read some of your books, John. You have a wonderful imagination.

5. What projects are you currently working on?
Gwen Plano and I launched The Contract in June and we have been working on the sequel. The first book left a number of thoughts on the table so to speak and we think a sequel is a good idea to resolve any lingering questions the readers might have.

Jjspina: This sounds like a intriguing read. I will have to check it out sometime soon.

6. What do you expect to accomplish in 2019?
I hope to launch the sequel to The Contract and another fiction Thriller book featuring Ned Tranes the Chief of Police in Port Aransas. It is a story about a found phone and the desperate need of a terrorist group to get it back. It should be ready in September. Other than that I have no other plans except getting my new knee used to riding a bike on the sand again.

Jjspina: The sequel sounds equaling interesting.

7. What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
The sad part is I am never not writing. I have a seven day a week blog plus two books in the works. If anything, I would say reading is my hobby. Oh yes, I love to cook so there’s that as well.

Jjspina: Happy writing and cooking, John.

8. What advice would you give prospective authors?
My opinions given to prospective authors is always the same.
1. Set up a daily writing goal. It can be time, word count, pages, or paragraphs. Whatever it is, the purpose is to focus on writing for a time every day.
2. Do not show anyone the work until the first draft is finished. Showing work in progress only invites negative opinions which serve as demotivational devices. Once the draft is completed, it can be given to editors, beta readers, and discussion groups for suggestions on improvements needed.
3. Do not be in a hurry to get published. A draft needs review and help that can be found with professionals. A prospective author needs to get the manuscript into as finished a form as possible. The author must also decide whether or not to self-publish or go the traditional route. Either path will require additional work.

Jjspina: Great advice, John. Writing is only part of the process. There are many other steps to completing a book.

Here are John’s books

Purchase link for all books

Amazon Author’s page –

Here are John’s Links:

Blog Fiction Favorites,

Social media

Facebook –

Twitter –

Authors db –

LinkedIn –

Google +

Goodreads –

I’ve read some of John Howell’s books. Here is my review of his book, Circumstances of Childhood.

5 Stars ***** Engaging Page turner

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

by jjspina July 14, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. The main protagonist, Greg Petros, was a fascinating and well-rounded character. The relationship between Greg and his best friend/brother, Keith, was touching and heart-warming. This is quite a change from the author’s usual thriller books but a refreshing one at that.

The author created a story with great depth and heart. He took the reader on a journey from Greg’s childhood to adulthood with highlights of his accomplishments as a pro football player, announcer and then to his own business as a manager of an investment fund. The story takes a turn into the paranormal which flows into the storyline seamlessly.

The author exhibited his expertise in computers, high finance, and football strategy which added to the storyline making it full and richer. I found this to be an unforgettable read showing how love can heal and conquer all things. John W. Howell is one talented author who is a rising star.

It was a pleasure to have you here today, John. I wish you the best with your books. Please feel free to come back again to share the new release.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this talented author. I hope you will take time to  check out his books and links above.


Reading is good for your health! Please remember to give some love to authors by leaving reviews for their books wherever you purchased them. We authors will love you back.

Blessings & Hugs!



About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 42 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 7 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 36 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 3 of a YA fantasy series an and book 2 in an angel series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about a dog for ages YA. Her hobbies are crocheting, sewing, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in action/adventure, author interview, John Howell, new novel, novels, Reading, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Interview with Author John Howell!

  1. macalder02 says:

    It is necessary to say that the interviewee is a great writer, therefore this article has a great relevance when knowing the backstage of his experience. Very entertaining and very interesting. The good thing about finding your blog is to enjoy an excellent reading.

  2. Pingback: Interview with Author John Howell! | Legends of Windemere

  3. How great to learn a little more about one of my favorite bloggers. Terrific interview, Janice. “The sad part is I am never not writing.” I can relate to this, John. 🙂

  4. Gwen Plano says:

    Thank you for this great interview, Janice. I really appreciated your questions and John’s responses. Fascinating read! All the best to you.

  5. Jennie says:

    Excellent interview, Janice. I can picture John in a ladderback chair with a cane seat, typing while listening to music. He is one great writer!

  6. Teri Polen says:

    Thanks for hosting John, Janice – always a pleasure to learn more about him.

  7. Sorryless says:

    I laughed out loud at your “see me” notes that teachers would attach to your coloring outside the lines assignments.
    You’re STILL going above and beyond, John!
    This is an excellent interview about a special writer and person. thank you for it!

  8. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed by you, Janice. It was fun and I’m still so pleased with your Circumstances of Childhood review. Thank you once again.

  9. Nice to see John getting out and about electronically, even if he can’t physically right now.

  10. Great Interview, Janice… I share your praise of John! ♥

  11. D.L Finn, Author says:

    Excellent interview and review!

  12. Dale says:

    Wonderful interview. Now I have two new authors to check out…
    Sigh… my reading list is ever-expanding…

  13. Mary Smith says:

    Great interview. I’m intrigued to know about you writing the three last lines of the book at the start. Do they stay the same when you reach the end or do you find you change them depending on how the plot has worked out?

  14. This is a great interview, John and Janice. I am very interested in your writing process and fully understanding of how hard it is to write when you work full time.

  15. Hi Roberta. I currently write full time but when I tried to write while working I found it to extremely difficult. The main issue seemed to be for me the lack of a uniform writing schedule. It was very hard to pick up where I left off and produce something that had continuity. Even now I write the first line of the next paragraph before I knock off for the day. That gives me a little reminder. I wish I had had this trick when I was working. Thanks for the question.

  16. Mae Clair says:

    I’m late in checking in, but wanted to say I enjoyed John’s interview, especially learning about his writing process. Interesting that you write your draft on a MAC and then publish from a PC, John. I have a MacBook and am thinking of replacing my main PC with a fullsize Mac. Is it hard to publish from a Mac? I’m wondering if I should stick with a PC??

  17. dgkaye says:

    Great interview with John! And sound advice at the end. 🙂 ❤

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