Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: JOHN HOWELL

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Many thinks, Jill for hosting the Summer Spotlight Series and for including me in your selection of guests.

Here are my three questions and answers.

What is special about the place you grew up?

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and at first blush that doesn’t sound like a place that could in anyway be special. To me, there was no other place I would have rather been. I lived in a culturally diverse neighborhood. This diversity gave me wonderful experiences and memories of people with different backgrounds and customs. I was always amazed at how differently my friend’s families celebrated Christmas for example. There was always a core sameness around the birth of Christ, but customs and rituals were varied and unique. I was also able to gain a respectable amount of experience with different kinds of food by being invited to friend’s houses for dinner. In all, I think the diverse neighborhood was very special about where I grew up.

What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?

There were two defining events in my life. The first was when my father died. I was ten years old and could not find a rational justification for his death. Adults tried to explain about dad being taken up to heaven, but none of their words seemed to help. I concluded that I had done something wrong this was my punishment. Of course, I couldn’t put my hand on the specific act that caused such wrath but spent about twenty years trying to figure it out. During that time, I was conscious of trying to do my best not to repeat the error and to overachieve in everything I tried. There came a time when I finally realized that my dad’s death was not my fault. The result was a feeling of freedom that eventually allowed me to begin writing. The second event was a horrific auto accident when I was twenty-two. I was hospitalized for over seventy days and spent a fair amount of time in various stages of lucidness. My first thought when I woke in the ICU was that I had messed up again. It was during this time that I had to decide on blaming myself and giving up or continuing to fight to remain part of this world. After considering all that I had wanted to accomplish I chose to fight. It was this fight that demonstrated to me that one should never give up chasing a dream. The give up part is easy. The harder road is to commit to a plan and then accomplish that plan.

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?

My rule would be that everyone on the planet would be responsible for helping one other person to become self-sufficient.  Of course, this rule would apply to everyone, and there would be no exceptions. I can just imagine the kinds of activities that would be taking place as each got engaged in helping someone else stand on their own two feet. A beautiful result over time is those who needed help would slowly become extinct. Then maybe the rule could change to everyone being required to save an animal. I can imagine the possibilities from there.

 

A little about me. I started writing full-time in 2012 when I finally threw off the yolk of organized commerce. I live on a barrier Island off the coast of Texas in the Gulf with my wife Molly and spoiled rescue pets.

I have since published three books. The first My GRL has just been re-released with a new cover and updated editing. It tells the story of John J. Cannon who buys a boat he names My GRL. Unbeknownst to him a group of terrorists want the boat since it will be a perfect vehicle to go undetected into New York harbor and deliver a fatal blow to the Annapolis Midshipmen on their summer cruise. John is the only one standing between the terrorists and the accomplishment of their goal. The second is His Revenge. John seeks to atone the killing of Gerry Starnes, the woman who sold him My GRL. The action moves from Port Aransas to California and on to Ecuador. His enemy Matt Jacobs has a twisted idea that John would make an excellent spokesperson for the terrorist group. He figures out a way to get John to cooperate on a plan that is designed to embarrass the President and wreak havoc on the oil industry. John must pretend to go along hoping he can create a way to get revenge. The question remains who will get the revenge? The Third is Our Justice the final story in the trilogy. John has been keen on bringing Matt Jacobs to justice. Matt has been keen on getting John to help him in a plot to assassinate the President. He plans to use John’s hero status to get close to the President to do his duty work. Both Matt and John feel their cause is right and both want justice extracted in their favor. We must see who in fact achieves Justice, Matt, John or neither.

All my books can be visited at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

My forth book is with the editor and is titled Circumstances of Childhood and will be launched in September of 2017. It is the story of two friends and how they come to help each other when times get tough.

In addition to my novel writing I write a seven day a week blog which is filled with short stories, a top ten list of what not to do, pictures of my neighborhood, and a little philosophy. I would hope your readers would check it out at http://Johnwhowell.com.

Here is my other contact information

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

115 thoughts on “SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: JOHN HOWELL

  1. Hi, John –
    I greatly enjoyed reading more about you and your writing here. I look forward to reading more.
    I grew up across the border from Detriot and spent much time there as a child. I wholeheartedly agree with your about the cultural diversity and uniqueness of that city! Brings back fond memories!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome covers, John! Soooo looking forward to the writers retreat at your house. Lol. Waving to Jill! Happy Friday! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you, Jill, for hosting me today. This is a super series and does allow us to meet other authors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Fiction Favorites and commented:
    I am pleased to be part of Jill Weatherholt’s Summer Spotlight. Each Friday Jill is introducing authors through the summer. She is also a talented Romance author and a terrific person.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great interview, John. We lived in Detroit (well, Macomb) for a couple of years, and I loved it. Greektown was a definite favorite. It is a culturally diverse area, and I liked that about it. (It didn’t hurt that the Steelers played a Super Bowl there when we lived there, so that was really cool for a Western PA transplant).

    I love your fighter mentality and your wish for humanity. We need more people like you in this world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, Staci, you made me blush. I am a Steelers fan and so that must have been a treat. I know Macomb well. I used to work for a landscaping firm and we had a few jobs there. I also loved to go to Greektown. We would go to the New Hellas Cafe and have lamb and rice and the house wine. Under $3.00. (Yeah it was when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.) Thanks for the comment and memory jogger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We enjoyed going to the rotating room (can’t remember the name of the place) for Sunday brunch. Our kids got a kick out of the 360º views of Detroit and Canada.

        It’s not Steeler season right now, so I’ll end with Go Pens! (Our fifth Stanley Cup championship. That’s gotta feel good… unless you’re a die-hard Detroit fan.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Don’t really follow cocky but Gordie Howe was a hero figure.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Staci. This world does need more people like our friend, John. He’s a rare breed…and so funny too! Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your weekend.

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  6. Hello, John! Thank you for sharing your story, which has led to your written stories. How sad and awful those events were. Yet the fact that you chose to not give up and instead make your dream a reality is encouraging to so many people (especially me).

    I have cousins who live in Detroit. My grandma lived in Pontiac until her death twenty years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I never lived in Detroit but I lived in north Jersey which is also very diverse. It’s a good experience for everyone. Good to meet you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    Thanks to Jill Weatherholt for shining a well-deserved spotlight on author John W. Howell today. John shares some of the significant and formative events in his life. Please, read on…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great answers to great questions, John. It is good to know a little more about your life’s journey – truly an inspiration! Thanks for hosting John, Jill!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Admittedly some of this I already know, but your answer to the third question was new for me. A lovely idea, John. Your father would be tickled with your life journey. You’re an accomplished, funny and sensitive soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Nice to meet you, John. 🙂
    Hi Jill, I’m loving your series!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lovely to see you here, John, and thanks to Jill for the spotlight!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Wonderful to learn more about John. I was really sorry to read that he carried so much anxiety and guilt for so many years. That is a terrible shame but it is very fortunate that you were able to move on and achieve your dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Best of luck with the series and your fourth book, John.

    Thanks for shining a Summer Spotlight on writers, Jill.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m so glad you reviewed this, Jill. It’s in my TBR pile. I see I need to push it up!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I enjoy the potpourri of authors you feature here, every one so different. Just like books in my library – ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. John, the two events you relayed were definitely life-altering. I’m glad you were able to rise above both. Even tragedy shapes our lives. I lost my own father at 13, and I know his passing had a profound effect on how I carried forward. This was an enlightening interview and I wish you all the best with your wonderful books!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Oh John, I really enjoyed getting to know you. It fits to my Summer Spotlight perfectly, when I put up the quote, “I want to get to know you deeper than what’s on the surface….”

    I can relate to what you said about growing up in Detroit. I wrote about growing up in Chicago (suburb) in my short story memoir and said similar things about diversity.

    I would’ve been so lost if one of my parents died when I was so young as you. I was a very sensitive child, and I don’t think I would’ve taken to well to such a tragedy. Thank you for being so open about how it affected you. I’m glad you came into the realization that it wasn’t your fault. The accident sounded horrible, too.

    I loved your rule about helping one person to become self-sufficient (a hand up). It would be so cool if that person that became self-sufficient then paid it forward and helped someone else become self-sufficient. I like it.

    Thank you for sharing. Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Lori. I also lived in the Chicago area for almost eight years and loved it. I’m sure your growing up years were rich with that kind of exposure.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by to meet John, Lori. As I mentioned above, when I read his answers to my questions, I was very moved. He’s such a wonderful person, I was sad to learn of the pain he endured. That said, the experiences from his past have made him the amazing person he is today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Enjoy the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Enjoy learning more about you, John, but I’m so sorry for the tragedies in your past. Agree with your rule – wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was enforced?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi John. I like your post. I can identify with thinking things out of my control were my fault when I was a kid, too. I guess sometimes life just takes us on that kind of journey, and we have to eventually find out that we no longer have to carry around all that false guilt. Congratulations on all of your success as a writer! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Patsy! Thanks for stopping by to learn a little more about John. He may or may not be out of the country by now, so if he doesn’t respond…nothing personal. 🙂 I’m so proud of you and the steps you’ve taken to eliminate that false guilt. Enjoy your weekend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jill. Oh you’re welcome! I enjoyed his post. I think recovery from certain things takes so much longer when we are younger. I’m not really expecting a response; that’s okay. I hope you’re getting a lot of editing done! I just went through transcripts from a 6 part video series on “How to Get More Ecstatic Encounters with Your Art by Alyson Stanfield from ArtBizCoach.com. She gives six practical steps about getting our art out there. They are short videos, but reading is better for me; I retain it more. Anyway, she’s very encouraging. I am going to be working on plans to begin putting these things into practice! You have a great weekend, too, Jill. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like you’ve been busy, Patsy. Alyson’s videos sound as though they’ll be beneficial to you. Keep up the good work! Sorry, I haven’t responded to your email yet. I’ve tried to stay offline this weekend to get some work done. Have a great upcoming week!

        Like

  21. Detroit, Kalamazoo, we grew up neighbors :)! Nice to know more about you, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jill, this is another excellent spotlight. John, that must have been terrible not to only lose your father so young but for many years feel that you were somehow responsible. I can only imagine the release and sense of freedom when this weight finally lifted…but then for you to be seriously injured in the accident. You faced two life-changing events and crossroads in your life as young…but chose to fight and live. An inpiring story here! Congratulations on your books and best of luck with your latest one in September. Lovely to learn more about you here on Jill’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Annika! I’m happy you enjoyed John’s post. I did as well. I learned a lot about him and I”m grateful for the openness and honesty in his piece. Very inspiring, indeed! Thanks so much for stopping by. I always enjoy your comments, Annika. Have a great upcoming week!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi, John. I’m impressed with your energy and accomplishments. Three books since 2012 is impressive as is your ability to blog seven days a week. Congratulations. I’m going to pop right over and check out your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by to meet my friend John, Nicki. Yes, he does have an amazing amount of energy and he takes time to support other writers too. He’s a kind and generous person. I’m looking forward to your visit in the spotlight.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Jill – thank you for another great spotlight! I love hearing about the events that made people who they are. John – it’s nice to hear more about you. I grew up right near Detroit (in Redford) and loved the food festivals and Tigers games. There was a great sense of community there.

    Like

  25. So nice to see John on your blog. It’s great to get to know more about him.

    Like

  26. Good to find John included here, Jill. 🙂 🙂 The series is going well.

    Like

  27. Your books are so full of intrigue, intelligence and great technical input. John, I feel they are well worth checking out! I like your titles, too.

    I really liked the few times I went to Detroit, John. I’m from Cleveland which had its heyday, then it’s river on fire and finally pollution cleared up and some great improvements downtown. The Flats and the Downtown Square make me proud, while our teams aren’t too bad, just a hair shy of winning a few sporting competitions. (Teasing the Tigers may get me bit! 😉 ) Best of luck to you, John.
    Best of luck in your continuing WIP and thank you, Jill for your great interview! 🎆

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’re definitely worth it, Robin. I’m kind of partial to the hunky cover! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. John was great! I appreciate your visit! xo

      Like

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