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 –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here are John’s Links:
Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/
I’ve read some of John Howell’s books. Here is my review of his book, Circumstances of Childhood.
5 Stars ***** Engaging Page turner
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.
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