Who’s That Indie Author? John W. Howell

Author name: John W. Howell

Genre: Thrillers mostly

Books: My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice, Circumstances of Childhood, The Contract

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I was held prisoner of organized commerce for over forty years. Once I broke out, I started doing what I had wanted to do for all those forty years and that’s write. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So far, I have five books published and have finished the sixth which should be ready in June. I live in Lakeway, Texas with my wife and our spoiled rescue pets.

How do you balance your work with other demands? My writing comes first and then after it is done, I spend no less than three hours on other than writing projects. So, my day really breaks down into writing and non-writing. I never spend a whole day doing one or the other exclusively. I think balance is achieved by doing a little of both every day.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: I have to say one of the happiest moments of my life was the birth of my daughter. The labor was long and hard, and she was born breach. I was so worried and when I finally held her in my arms and looked into her face, I could almost not contain my joy.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am a dyed in the wool pantser. Most of the time I allow the characters and the story to carry themselves. I do have a rough idea of where I want the story to go but do rely heavily on going with the seat of my pants. One thing I do is lay out the last three lines of the story. In this way I at least know where all this “pantsering” will need to end up.

Could you write in a café with people around? I can write anywhere. I don’t need silence to concentrate. Right now, I’m writing outside while Twiggy my French Bulldog is having a shouting match with the neighbor’s dog.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I have only done a couple of lines of dialog in German. The way I did it was to Google ‘English to German translation,’ and up popped a neat translation engine. I typed in the English phrase and out came the German.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? My favorite book caused me to want to become a writer. It was On the Beach by Neville Shute. What fascinated me was how the characters all dealt with the fact they were going to die. Right now, I am reading one of Mae Clair’s Hodes Hill thrillers, Eventide.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I was about to say “propped up in bed” but then re-read the question carefully. I used to be a purist in only reading hardcovers. Then I got a Kindle about seven years ago and as they say, my life changed. The idea of being able to get any book I want in ten seconds convinced me that the Kindle was my reading device of choice.

Do you think print books will always be around? I think there will always be a demand for printed books. There is something to be said for holding an actual book in your hands that the Kindle does not replicate.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I suppose I would if there was no other way. Call me crazy but I don’t see my phone and me reading books together.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? iPhone

How long could you go without checking your phone? I never check my phone anymore. I have it on silent and totally ignore it. I have to confess I also have an Apple Watch. It constantly looks at my phone and then tells me everything I need to know instantly. (I know it’s cheating.)

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have not gotten into audiobooks. I do want to convert mine but am trying to figure the best way to do it.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I like Twitter, my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Website and social media links:
Blog – Fiction Favorites with John W. Howell: johnwhowell.com
Facebook: John Howell
Twitter: @HowellWave
Authorsdb: John W. Howell
LinkedIn: John W. Howell
Goodreads Author: John W. Howell
Amazon Author: John W. Howell

Awards/special recognition: Honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Short Story competition. Circumstances of Childhood – Finalist Top Shelf Indie Awards. The Contract – Finalist Indie Book Awards. Winner American Fiction Awards. Semi-Finalist Chanticleer International Book Awards. Finalist IAN Book of the Year Awards


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102 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? John W. Howell

  1. A very interesting interview, Barbara! I have to go add On the Beach now. That’s one I haven’t read. This is a new author to me too. Thanks for sharing! ❤️

  2. John, you get around on the blog circuit, and I’ve seen your Gravitar photo often on blogs I follow. What’s different today is that I’ve visited you website and Amazon page – and noticed that you co-wrote a book with Gwen Plano, an author I admire.

    Writing is also my second career, but I can’t spit out books at the rate you do. Your output is amazing. Thrillers are not my thing, but my husband loves that genre. You’ve give me an idea for his birthday gift!

    Thanks, Barbara, for featuring John today.

    1. Thank you for stopping, Marian. If your husband likes thrillers I would start with My GRL which is the first of a Trilogy. I look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for the nice words too.

    2. Hi Marian – I can’t imagine being able to write so many books. If I ever get a book published, I think I’ll be the “one and done” type because it will take it all out of me. I like reading thrillers. They are a fun escape. Thanks for stopping by to meet John.

  3. HI, Barbara- Thank you for featuring John. I greatly enjoyed learning more about him. I love his sense of humour. Shouting match between his French Bulldog and the neighbour’s canine?! I can totally imagine it. 😀

  4. Reblogged this on Fiction Favorites and commented:
    Book Club Mom (Barbara Vitelli ) invited me to her “Who’s That Indie Author” feature. She also invites any indie author to come to visit and be interviewed. Please visit and check out her terrific blog for yourself.

  5. It’s great to see John featured here. I really enjoyed the interview, especially what he said about the birth of his daughter.

    I’ve read all of John’s books and can vouch he’s a stellar teller of tales! 🙂

    John, thanks for the shout-out about Eventide, and yes, the Apple Watch is cheating, LOL!

    1. Thank you, Mae. I figured the watch was cheating but felt good pretending I was an off the grid independent.. Whoops, hold on. I’m getting a text. Okay, where was I? Oh, yes, pretending. Wait, an IM. Gotta get this. Sorry. Oh, a call and Instagram follower all at the same time. Thank you so much for the visit and for putting up with my shenanigans. 😁

    2. Hi Mae Clair – I know I hate to say this too but yes, the Apple Watch is cheating! I wish I could never look at my phone. I do put it away for periods in the day, but I always go back to it. Thanks for the visit 🙂

  6. What a wonderful interview! I love your happiest moment, John. And I can relate! I also like to read propped up in bed and, yes, on my Kindle. 🙂 Thanks for hosting, Book Club Mom! Oh, btw, I loved all three of Mae’s Hode’s Hill books!!

  7. Nice to get to know John better, Book Club Mom. Thanks for featuring him here today. Loved your responses, John, and I have to say, several of them are exactly what I would have replied to the question at hand. Fun post! Sharing, for sure. 🙂

  8. What a great interview:) I loved your happiest moment I agree there should be a balance between writimg and non-writing.

  9. Wonderful interview, John. I’ve never read “On the Beach,” but now I must. I think you’re like Mozart; he worked best with noise. 🙂

  10. I loved the interview! Nevil Shute remains one of my all-time favorite writers. “A Town Like Alice” is another of his fabulous books. I’m a huge fan of John’s work. Thanks for hosting John today, Barbara.

  11. John and Barbara, what a nice experience being with two people I admire–Barb via her book reviews and John via Twitter. However, today I learned that John has a great sense of humor and he isn’t afraid to share it. I’ll admit I’ve not read any of John’s books, but now I must. This post drew me, like it did Marian Beaman, to his site and Amazon page. I also am a fan of Gwen Plano. Such a small world we live in, especially those who are part of the writing community. Thanks to both of you for spending time with us.

    1. Hi Sherrey and thank you for your nice words! I enjoy John’s sense of humor very much. I especially like his posts about his dogs. It’s fun to see how we are interconnected. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  12. Hi Barbara. Thanks for hosting John. It’s always interesting to learn more about him.
    John, I really like the idea of laying out the last three lines of a book before writing. Hmmm… I don’t know if I can do it, but that’s great advice. I’ll try it — if I can focus that long. Trouble focusing on anything lately. Hugs on the wing!

    1. Thank you, Geoff. When I read it I didn’t know what dystopia was. I like you thought it was terrifying. I had never read a book where the outcome was so bleak. Thanks for the visit. I think I’m going to move in here with Barbara.

  13. Barbara, Thank you for featuring and interviewing John Howell. I recently began following John on his blog and Twitter. I see his name come up within the writing community and I wonder what all the hype is about. 🙂 I hear you have a sense of humour, John.🙂

    John, Immediate tears when you wrote about your “happiest moments.” Fascinating how Google can translate languages for us. I really enjoyed this interview and I look forward to learning more about you.

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