Guest Author John W Howell

Today our guest is John Howell author of yesterday’s book My GRL. Here is a link to the post if you missed it.

Photo by Tim Burdick


Let’s find out more about John and his book.

1)   Where is your home town?

I was born in Detroit Michigan in the US. I consider it my hometown even though I have not lived there for over fifty years. I have move around while being part of the business community. I now live in a seaside village that we like to say is a drinking village with a fishing problem.

2)   How long have you been writing?

I started writing my first novel in 1993 and found it difficult to write and work at the same time. I printed the novel off to edit and it still sits in its original form. I use it hold the laundry room door open in the breeze. I began my second, My GRL which has been published in March of 2012. So that was a roundabout answer which can be summarized as I have been writing full-time since 2012.

3)   What was the one idea which sparked off My GRL?

I was standing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Lexington with my sister. Our father was a naval aviator during World War II and he served on the Lexington which is now moored at Corpus Christi. I was thinking about how vulnerable the boat really was with no way to protect it from anyone who wanted to destroy her. We left and I began to figure out how to blow her up and then how to prevent it. The story unfolded from there.

4)   Why did John Canon want to take an extra-long break from his Law firm?

John had worked about twelve years straight without a break. He went on a short vacation to Port Aransas Texas and decided he wanted to become a charter boat captain. He didn’t quit the firm he took a leave of absence. His motivation was to want more out of life than winning litigation cases and making a lot of money.

5)   How did Gerry become a boat broker?

Gerry was actually working at a bank in San Francisco and decided she needed to get away even thought she was a Vice President. Although it is never confirmed in the book, she was running away from a bad relationship. She visited her parents who were on vacation in Port Aransas to try and sort out her life. She more or less fell into the Yacht brokerage business by accident. Her dad was a friend with the owner and one night at dinner he met Gerry and thought she would make a great sales person. He was right and she did quite well

6)   Tell us about the Desert Wolves group.

The Desert Wolves are a small splinter group of terrorists who were once part of the Taliban. They broke away because the leadership felt the Taliban was concerned with its own ends and did not share the degree of militancy and hatred of the western world as the Desert Wolves. The group is funded by billionaire Matt Jacobs who wants to see Palestine returned to his people, as well as justice for perceived persecution by the west throughout the ages. This group is so militant the Taliban warned them to cease their activities or risk being sanctioned. The Desert Wolves have ignored all threats by their fellow Muslims including the church leadership.

7)   John’s plans for his last evening with My GRL are spoiled; tell us how John feels about that.

John initially is pretty upset since it was agreed he would have time to take Sarah Barsonne on the boat and have a last cocktail. When John and Sarah arrived dockside John’s boat was gone. The new owners had taken it early. John called the broker only to get little satisfaction and to realize there is nothing he can do about the early possession. He comes around to the point that it was a fine boat and he should be complimented the new owners were anxious to take her.

8)   When is it that John finally starts to believe he’s in real danger?

He is handcuffed and has leg irons attached and while he is trying to see some of the container ship he was on a soldier comes up to him and starts screaming at him while firing an AK47 into the air. John cannot understand what the soldier wants him to do and since he was authorized to move around the ship he is terrified and hits the deck. He knows now he is in real danger.

9)   I believe your own home is on Mustang Island, how would you entice me to come there on holiday?

I would tell you of the soft sand and warm Gulf of Mexico water. I would describe the wonderful restaurants and the friendly people. There are fine shops and fishing if you would like. I would also prepare a margarita for you and we could sit on my veranda and let the warm breeze and sound of the sea carry all worries away.

10)   Tell us where readers can find out more about you and your writing.

I have a blog titled Fiction Favorites at . Where I talk about general subjects and do post short stories as well. Readers can also visit my Author’s page on Amazon at

Find a copy here on or


Guest Author Ben Woodard

After yesterday’s book review of “Steps into Darkness” by Ben Woodard, please welcome Ben as out guest author today on the blog. Book review here

Ben Woodard

Let’s find out more about Ben;

1. Where is your hometown?

Lexington Kentucky. I was born here, travelled around the world, and ended up back home. A great place to be.

2) How long have you been writing?

I started writing short stories almost six years ago primarily for my grandkids. During that time I also told stories in the local schools sometimes using my short stories. The stories certainly weren’t publishable, but the kids liked them. I didn’t seriously begin to write until maybe two years later. I haven’t stopped yet.

3)Have you always written children’s books?

Yes, so far that’s all I’ve been interested in writing. I wrote a couple of short stories for adults just for fun, but my real interest is writing books for kids. And especially boys, since there is fewer YA books for them and since they need to read more. My goal is to write adventure books that will encourage reluctant boy readers to try books. I hope girls and adults will like them, too.

4)Yesterday on the blog, I reviewed “Steps Into Darkness”, the second book in the Shakertown adventures. Tell us a bit about this series.

I started writing what is going to be the third book in the Shakertown Adventure Series about four years ago as a story about my dad growing up in the small town of Shakertown in rural Kentucky. I never had any intention of publishing the book, it was just something I wrote during NaNoWriMo to see if I could write 50,000 words in a month. I showed it to several people and they liked the interaction between the two boys and were interested in the historical aspects of the story. I then decided to write at least three books about two boys growing up in the twenties and I would include the problems of the day such as racism and sexism. Writing the first two has been great fun. The third needs to be rewritten and I hope to have it out by mid 2014.

5) Why did you choose this period of history to write about?

I knew very little about this time in history, only what my dad and some relatives have told me, but I was interested in the excitement and freedom that young boys would have had growing up in a time like this. The younger cousin, Tom, is an orphan, and my dad had lost his parents by the time he was twelve. So many kids at that time in history had to make it on their own and were allowed to do things that children today could only dream about. That sounded like the makings of great adventure books.

6) Tom and Will have a great friendship. How easy was it to keep the adventure going as well as the showing the reader the value of friends?

That was something that just seemed to come naturally to me. I grew up in the fifties and in many ways it was a similar time to the twenties. My male friends and I had quite a bit of freedom just to roam the neighbourhood and the nearby farm fields without much supervision. And we were always cutting up with each other. I’ve been told my dialog is spot on for boys, but it’s the way we talked as kids. I think the two boys are an amalgam of three or four friends I had, as well as my father and myself.

 7) You’ve written several other books, can you tell us about the boy who flew with Eagle’s books?

There is only one book at this time about the boy Naa’ki and his adventures with the eagles. It’s a short middle grade book that I wrote over a weekend again thinking I would never publish it, but it has been amazing to see the number of people who have liked the story. I talked to several agents and editors and they said it was much too short to traditionally publish, and I’m sure they were right. The book is a bit unusual in that it’s written as a middle grade, but as much shorter than most middle grades and is illustrated. It’s not a book that would be commercially successful, but it has been read and enjoy by people all the world. And it is being used as an aid in Bulgaria and Germany to teach adults English.

8) What other books have you also written?

I’ve written two short stories that tie-in with the Shakertown adventure series—The Hunt and The Trestle, and The Trestle is free on most ebook sites. The third short story, a terrible price, is a sequel to the boy who flew with Eagles.

9) I believe you love adventures yourself? What have you been up to recently?

Due to a couple of serious surgeries in the last two years I haven’t had many big adventures. I always manage to walk and hike, but I’m really ”chomping at the bit” to get out and do a bigger adventure. The last one was a bicycle ride from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along the great Allegheny bike path. It was a three-day ride and I would love to do that again.

10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have a planned publication date?

I seem to be working on a dozen different things at once. I’m attempting to get all my books into print versions and my goal is to have that done by the end of November. Also, I have another novelette about the same size as the boy who flew with Eagles that is in the final edits. It will be another unusual book in that a local photographer will be supplying pictures of trees for the story which is about a young boy’s adventure in an ancient forest in Ireland. Another project is a middle grade paranormal trilogy that one agent has shown some interest in acquiring. Writing is my new career and I’m loving it.

Thanks for the interview Rosie. I appreciate it.

You’re very Welcome Ben, good Luck with the writing, and Thanks for being our guest today.