Indie Interview: John Howell

Read A Lot

Today’s Indie Interview is with John Howell, whose John J. Cannon trilogy has nothing but positive reviews from its readers. He stopped by to talk about the books, and what inspired him to write them.

Hi, John. Welcome to Read A Lot.

Q: Had you always planned on becoming a published author?

A:  Since I was in High School I wanted to write. I tried many outlets. I was on the school paper and yearbook staff. Nothing ever came of my desire until I decided to write a book.  I started it in 1993 and finished it in 2003. I was working at the time so had to write on weekends and late nights. I printed the book off to take on a trip so I could edit. After fifty pages,

I was working at the time so had to write on weekends and late nights. I printed the book off to…

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Calling for Volunteers to Spread the Word on the Re-Launch of My GRL

Fiction Favorites

My GRL Needs You

Uncle Sam

It is that time. I need your help to spread the word on the relaunch of My GRL. I will be posting the announcement on Tuesday, February 28th so anytime after that a post from you will be great.  I will mail the material out on February 27th

The only thing you will have to do is copy a file and paste it into your native post page. I will send complete instructions with the material.

If you would like to help, please send an e-mail to:

johnhowell (dot) wave (at) gmail.com (trying to foil the spammers)

Thank you all in advance for your help

My GRL

The New Cover.

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Thoughts on John Wick Chapter 2: A Kind of Review

Now, I thought about doing a review of John Wick Chapter 2 since I saw it last weekend for Valentine’s Day.  Before anybody says anything, the wife tends to choose action movies for this holiday.  We both loved the first one and have been waiting impatiently for the second.  Not to mention she wanted to do her part to make sure we get a third one and stick it to that other movie that people seem to expect her gender to make a beeline towards.  Only if they paid her a million bucks and she’d probably sneak out during the trailers with the check.

Where was I?  Yes, the review.  I don’t really know if I can review this movie because I don’t trust myself to avoid spoilers.  It was great!  I want to see it again and plan on grabbing the DVD when it’s out.  My birthday is in April and I’m thinking of telling one person to hold off and get me it if they can.  Pre-order even!  I want to do a John Wick marathon so badly to see how all the pieces fit and evolve.  As you can see, I’m restraining myself.  There are two things I can mention though and they’re the reasons I loved this movie so much.

World Building

 In the first movie, they gave a little insight into the world of assassins.  We saw the coins used as payments, The Continental that was neutral ground, and learned some of their society’s rules.  It had a sense of honor that was taken seriously.  John Wick Chapter 2 built upon this and revealed more of the world, which was amazing.  You don’t get a lot of the history, but you find out more about how things work.  What happens when somebody breaks a rule?  Is it the same around the world or is NYC run differently?  How do contracts work and get sent out?  Just seeing the meat of this world made it worth the price of admission.  You simply don’t see a lot of action movies go this deep into the world and reveal a level of crafting that one tends to see more in sci-fi and fantasy.

I’ll give an example as best I can:  John Wick has to take a job.  To do this he needs some supplies and info that comes from three different sources.  Instead of one scene per person, you get a scene that does seamless jumps from one meeting to another.  You get to see how the coins come into play, hear the assassin lingo that isn’t confusing at all (weapon buying was talked about like planning a multi-course dinner), and see how much planning goes into a job.  There’s some humor in here too, but I loved how you got to see the cogs that would be behind the assassins.

Action Scenes

One of my biggest issues with some of the more modern action movies is that they use a shaky camera or have scenes so chaotic that I can’t follow things.  That isn’t the case with this movie.  Just the beautiful choreography involved in fights that range from shootouts to hand-to-hand.  For those that don’t know, the directors were stuntmen (or maybe coordinators) on The Matrix trilogy.  So these guys know their action and it shows every time.  The first movie was great, but this one surpassed it.  This is one of the big reasons that I can’t do a worthy review.  You simply have to see how well done these are.  Sure, you have to be interested in action and be able to handle the violence, but it’s not like the movie hides that.

Honestly, these are the way my action scenes turn up in my head.  If any of my stories become movies or TV shows then this is how I would want them to be done.  You get to see every move and not be confused on who is doing what.  It’s like watching a real fight in person where the scenery doesn’t feel like it’s tilting for no reasons.  I get the whole ‘sense of chaos’ thing, but the audience should still be able to follow the action.  That’s what happens here and it really set my personal bar for other action movies.  Going to be really hard to top or equal this.  I’m looking at you, Logan.

I will say that there was one addition that I didn’t like because it seemed to take a little of the danger out of it.  So, there are imperfections.  Not enough to reduce my enjoyment, but I’m not a nitpicker.  Really praying they can make a third because the ending is a perfect set up.  I’m even willing to wait another two years for something this good.  Guess I’ll have Deadpool 2 next year to tide me over in 2018.

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Sarah Free Today Only! #horror #freebook #YAreads

Books and Such

Let’s try this again – the pricing snafu has been resolved.

Get Sarah today only for free on Amazon!  Book cover for the novel SARAH shows girl with long black hair hiding her face crawling down steps from attic door

What reviewers are saying:

A great creepy YA tale that adults will find equally intriguing.

Teri Polen’s SARAH is the stuff that will keep you up at night. It’s the perfect blend of lighthearted teenage banter and blood-curdling horror elements.

Well developed characters, twists and turns and excitement to last these teens a life time! This will keep you guessing and turning pages well into the night.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, Sarah is also available on KDP Select for a limited time.

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On To . . . He Has Another Break?

First of all:

Grab a copy of CHASING BEDLAM for 99 CENTS!

There we go with the promotional part of this post.  Might do another tomorrow since I totally forgot what I was going to write about.  It’s been one of those weeks where things were busy and tiring.  The proof is that I managed to sleep later and it was one of those deep sleeps instead of my usual lightweight, easily stirred style.  Guess stuff finally caught up to me after I released the latest adventure of Cassidy and Lloyd.  Funny how it doesn’t seem right to me if their names are put in reverse.  Is it alphabetical or because Cassidy came first in the planning stage?  Something to ponder in the future.

Managed to finish Resurrection Bowl and Toy Tower for the Ichabod Brooks collection.  This leaves me with four more stories to write and then I can figure out the next stage.  Was thinking of beta readers who can finish reading the 11 stories by May and search for a cover artist.  Oh, I did realize one oopsie on my part with this short story collection.  I may have been saying that I had 12 stories planned.  Seems I really only have 11 and it’s always been that way.  Imagine my confusion when I counted how many were left and then counted how many I remember writing.  Needless to say there was a lot of notebook rummaging on that one.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m going to start in on setting up the April posts.  My son has his Winter Break all week, so I’ll only have nights to work.  Figure I can get Ichabod Brooks & the Jester Flute written using the weekend and Monday when the wife is around.  Then I’ll use nights to prep for April.  There’s a big family event going on at the beginning of that month, so March may be more chaotic than I realize.  As far as next week goes, I’ll have my hands full entertaining the munchkin.  We need to get fitted for suits for the event, but I also promised LEGO BATMAN and want to go to a local preserve for some fun on a day that’s slated to be warm.  This means I’ll be rather tired by the time the sun goes down, so aiming for a 5 section short story and April posts is probably the best idea.

Dang it.  Almost remembered what I was going to post about tomorrow.  Forgot and now I don’t remember what I was doing for Tuesday.  Maybe it was a John Wick Chapter 2 review.  Honestly, I shouldn’t do much on Sunday because I won’t be near a computer that much.  Going to have a lot of company and I’ll be solo-parenting that day too.  I’ll have the phone, but the instant my son sees that, he asks to look up baby animals, superheroes, and supervillains.  Oddly proud that he’s asking to look up characters like Clayface and Poison Ivy.  Still won’t let him near the collection though.

Something else I need to figure out is what to do in March.  I’ll probably finish the Ichabod Brooks stories by the 10th, but I shouldn’t tackle any projects that require me staying on point for the rest of the month.  That April event, which happens right before my birthday and my son’s Spring Break . . . How the hell do I get anything done here?  My point is that I can’t take on a full writing project like the post-Legends of Windemere story, Derailing Bedlam, or the first War of Nightfall books.  Kind of a shame because I’m missing a full month.  I’m considering editing the last two Legends of Windemere book in March, but I don’t know if I’d finish in time.  Another idea is to tackle the next Dawn Addison book that will be posted throughout October.  It’s rather low key and short.  I can edit Book 14th if I finish that one with the three weeks.  31 sections and 3 sections a day?  Totally possible.  Then again, there’s that unpublishable project I keep poking at.  Could just do that one in March and get it out of my head.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough to myself here.  Time to state the goals:

  1. Write Ichabod Brooks & the Jester Flute.
  2. Write the April posts.
  3. See Lego Batman.
  4. Go to an animal place or nature preserve.
  5. Cook dinners.
  6. Read more Fairy Tail.
  7. Fiddle with the unpublishable story.  Honestly, this one is starting to simply bug me at this point since I can’t do anything with it even if I finish it.

 

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Can You Help Eddie?

Who is Eddie, you might ask? Truth be told, I have no idea. Mary Natalie has been babbling away for a couple of months now, but these past days has been fixated on a single word: Eddie. Which is a …

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When I Am Not Enough… Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

a5rmmt

Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Throughout our lives, we hear ourselves say:  ‘I’m not that good!’  ‘I’ll never make it.’  ‘I wish I could write that well.’  ‘If only I had said. . .’

Words are powerful. Energy follows thought. The words we speak to ourselves drive our subconscious minds. Diminishing thoughts tell the subconscious we are not enough.

The subconscious mind is self-serving. Its mission is to fulfill our every desire, and it sets in motion the means by which to do so. It takes our words at face value and strives to manifest what they represent. It assumes that what we think and say is what we hope and dream.

How often have we heard ourselves utter, ‘Did I say that’? Unless we’re channeling spirit, the mouth speaks what the subconscious mind thinks. If thought rests in the conscious mind, we are aware of it and can choose whether or not to give it a…

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