Spotlight for Author, ​John Howell ~ Blog Tour

My GRL_johnwhowell

This is the third stop on what has been a fantastic tour as a Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author. If you would like to be chosen for this honor you need to be a member. To find out how go to the website and read all about it. You can also see all my tour stops listed under Spotlight Authors.

The first two posts on the tour described a little about me and my book My GRL. During this stop for which I am really grateful I hope to answer some questions that I get from readers about a number of subjects. I hope you find these interesting.

The first question I always get when I have not been able to avoid telling someone I am a full-time writer is what do you write? I have an inner desire to answer simply, “words,” but in all honesty the person deserves an honest answer. I usually say I write thriller fiction. The person probably takes one step back and says,”like Stephen King?” I wish I could say no, not like Stephen King, but I earn as much money. I don’t because it is simply untrue. I explain what Stephen Kings writes is usually horror and suspense. Thriller fiction is somewhat the same feelings but does not have frightening carnage scenes or monsters. Usually, real people are facing real dangers.

The second question is “are you published?” I tell them I am published and they can find my book on Amazon. There is a noticeable step backward as they look around the room for an escape route.

The third question (assuming the person stays close since they figure out I can’t make them buy a book) is about process. It is usually disguised as something like “how long do you write in a day?” I answer I write for about five hours in a day. My first priority is to my current novel. I usually begin writing after lunch (have things to do around the house AKA Honey do list). I put in at least one thousand words on my current WIP. Once I finish that hurdle, I’ll turn to my posts for my blog. Since I post about five days a week I have to stay on top of that so I don’t fall behind. I also write short stories for relaxation of when I’m stuck on a plot line. I find it productive to take my brain out of the problem and try for a new perspective.  This works well for me and also produces some other pieces to publish. I generally wrap the writing day with a final pass at the novel to set the writing up for another day. I find a couple of lines into what I want to write the next day keeps me from having to go back and read a bunch of words to remember where I was when I return. I also save my work in two places.

The fourth question is really the old plotter or panster question. (Do you write with a plan or by the seat of your pants?) Most don’t have those terms, but it comes down to wondering how much planning goes into a book.  I tell them I rough out a general idea of the story. I find the iPhone Notes section is really good for that purpose. I then concentrate on constructing the ending of the story in my mind and then putting it into the iPhone. Once I have a general idea and the rough ending I sit down with a blank screen and start pouring out my life writing the story. Using this unstructured method of building the story, I can use whatever twists and turns come up in the course of the writing to maximum advantage. I am not held to a story board and can pretty much let the story flow.

The final question is usually around the concept of free time as in “what do you do to relax?” I used to be able to say I work on my 1978 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser; however I found a young person who loved it as much as I did and so I sold it to him. Now, all I do is ride a bike on the beach for eight miles and read. I know that sound pretty boring and if I could do both at the same time it would be a little more exciting. Since I write seven days a week I find free time to be at a premium. I can’t do without reading or riding. The FJ was being ignored so it had to go.

My GRL_johnwhowellMy GRL can be found:

US –

Canada –

UK –

Australia –

Barnes and Noble –

iBooks –

Kobo –

Martin Sisters Publishing

Photo by Tim BurdickI can be reached:




15 thoughts on “Spotlight for Author, ​John Howell ~ Blog Tour

  1. Thank you so much Aoife for hosting this stop on the tour. This is a very lovely spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi John! Congrats on your Spotlight Week! I apologize, I just now saw the RRBC side menu had changed to feature YOU for the spotlight! I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like online during the day so I miss things 😦
    You and I have a similar style of writing processes. I too prefer to construct the ending of the story in my head and then fill in the rest as I go along. I am a goal-oriented person, and not so much about ‘the journey’ as some people are, LOL. But I think each writer has to find their own process. Sounds like you have found what works for you. Enjoy the rest of your blog tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the beach! I wish I lived close enough to walk everyday along the beach. I tried bicycling again but my asthma keeps getting in the way. Congratulations on your “Spotlight” Author blog tour John.

    Thank you Aoife for hosting John.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean I have asthma and allergies. After the ride, I am a mess. Thank you for the comments and all the support as well. (By the way I am on Symbicort and Singular and the two seem to help. Once in a while an albuterol jolt is needed to get me going again.)


  4. Riding a bike on the beach and reading doesn’t sound boring at all, John. Thanks for hosting, Aoife.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And then there are the questions from friends and family who pretend they have an interest in your writing, but can’t really take you seriously. I mean, really, they KNOW you. There’s no chance you can be a REAL writer, now is there. 😉


  6. harmonykentonline says:

    I feel like I’m getting to know you during this spotlight tour, John! I so hope you enjoy your week! 🙂


  7. This was a cool installment on your tour…the writing process is so interesting. Riding a bike and reading are awesome past times! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the rest of the tour…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s