Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!
Today I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, John Howell!!! And since it’s that season, take a listen…“Mary’s Boy Child”
NJ: Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you? Is it comfy?
John: I think comfy is a relative term. Yes I am comfy being with you on the shelf and took note of the rather large bolts holding it to the wall. I am aware of some instances where a couple of authors almost lost their “bum spot.” I hope to maintain my bottom grip up here since the fall looks significant. So yes, I am as comfy as can be hanging over a precipice.
NJ: Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
John: John W. Howell is the name I was born with. I wanted to change it to Butch when I was in grade school. I thought a name like Butch would give me some advantage on the playground.
NJ: Butch? -________- Well, okie dokie then, how about we start calling you Butch. It might give you a little advantage up here on this shelf, too. (I seriously doubt it, but, I want you to feel real good about yourself, Butch). Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Butch: I was born in Detroit Michigan. You can imagine why Butch would be better than John. I no longer live there and am now in Port Aransas, Texas on Mustang Island. Mustang, named for the wild horses which used to run there, is a barrier island off the South Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico
NJ: Texas is a great place! I was born in TX, you know? And although I moved away as a wee teeny tot, I visit there quite often. Some family still there. Married or single?
Butch: I am married to a wonderful person
NJ: Kids or no? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters?
Butch: I have two daughters and a son.
NJ: Favorite child (and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview)
Butch: All three are special in their own way. I will admit when I am talking to one of them that child is the favorite at that time.
NJ: That’s an awesome position, Butch! They are all special, aren’t they? Pets? What kind?
Butch: We have two feral cats and one rescue Boxer. We also are fostering another rescue Boxer
NJ: Favorite food…
Butch: Has to be loin lamb chops on the grill. Of course Maine lobster is pretty good as well. Then there’s Muffalettas. I guess I like a lot of things
NJ: Well, we can see that. You’re not choosy at all, are ya? Favorite color…
Butch: I love the color of coral because there are so many different hues of coral color
NJ: Favorite sport…
NJ: Favorite TV Show…
Butch: The Black List
NJ: Favorite Actress/Actor…
Butch: My favorite actress is Charliz Theron and favorite actor is Matthew McConaughey
NJ: I love the both of them, too! Charliz is just so sexy, isn’t she? Reminds me of myself, she does. And Matthew, I think my husband better watch out. I mean, when I’m in Texas and I hear his voice doing those commercials for that power company, well, I’m not going to share here what happens to me. Are you a couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.
Butch: I ride eight miles on the beach three days a week. I guess that makes me a mini workout nut.
NJ: Well, Butch, you didn’t say what you rode three days a week. Bulls, dune buggys…what? OK, you’ll tell us later. Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).
Butch: When I see people litter our beautiful natural resources I want to pick up all the stuff and throw it in their front yard. I would settle for a stomach punch though, it would be easier.
NJ: I can see your pickup truck now with a big bumper sticker that reads: DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS…right? Are you neat or messy?
Butch: I am semi neat. I can put up with a lot of chaos and mess. I just can’t handle deep down dirt.
NJ: Facebook or Twitter?
Butch: I don’t understand Facebook at all. I have a page as does my book, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to make it work like Twitter. As a member of the Twitter Support Team for #RRBC I had to get my crap together fast on how to maximize the clubs exposure though Tweets, Re-tweets and thank you messages. Long story short, I prefer Twitter.
NJ: You and me both, Butch. I hate FB! So, name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.
Butch: I have to say the first is Nonnie Jules. I think you know her and are her friend already. She has been totally supportive even when I kept tweeting #RRBC hashtag on early tweets. The other has to be about forty or so members of Rave Reviews Book Club who continually re-tweet my tweets. Sorry, but I can’t draw a line any finer. They all are great.
NJ: Why, thanks for that, Butch! I feel the same way about you! You are so, so, so supportive of others and I just love it! Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.
Butch: Nonnie Jules is a wonder woman and so I guess I will pick Nonnie and have both covered.
NJ: Smartest response I’ve heard yet. Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor.
Butch: I want to keep my answer within the club so I have to say I really like Rahni D’ Chae and Kenneth Kerr.
NJ: Now, that’s a dedicated RRBC member! Keeping it all in the family! #Awesome! What is it about them that you’ve come to like?
Butch: Each brings a lot of passion to their work. Reading Rhani’s Shadow of the Drill was as if the reader was taken up in the various situations and Rhani wouldn’t let go until the last bit of sweat was wrung out. Kenneth demonstrated his deep love for the country and his understanding of how things work in Washington in his thriller, The First Madam President (and the dirty bombs). I think I said in a review that I wished he would run for the Presidency since I’m sure he could help the mess in Washington.
NJ: As if the world doesn’t know by now, I’m in love with SHADOW OF THE DRILL. So, well-written! And, Kenneth’s book is coming up on my TBR list. He actually sent me an autographed copy, so I’m going to snuggle up in my bed when I read it, the old fashioned way. Name two favorite Indie books that you’ve read.
Butch: Well, I mentioned those two in the last question and I would say the others would be INSIDE ROOM 913 by Bruce A. Borders and THE REUNION: Book 1 of the Beneath The Trap Door Series by A.A. Pencil.
NJ: One good Indie book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…
NJ: What was so great about it?
Butch: The story took us on a journey which included some of the most famous names in the old west. It is told through the eyes of Bill Battles’ grandson while readying the old man’s journals. I found the idea to be so original I wished I had thought of it myself.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Butch: I always post reviews of the books I have read completely.
NJ: Good for you! What do you think readers should base their reviews on, Butch?
Butch: I think the reviewer should base their review on how they actually enjoyed the story. If the story kept their interest and provided a measure of enjoyment, this is what should be discussed in the review. How much enjoyment and interest, would be the basis for the evaluation with not only the what explained but the why as well.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Butch: I am always honest. I have to admit that less than favorable reviews, I send a note to the author rather than post on a public forum. My integrity as a reviewer has to be in not necessarily how good the review is in accurately reflecting my opinion, but how closely someone reading the book would agree with my observations. I also don’t feel it is my responsibility to warn others when a book stinks.
NJ: I agree with you on that part. Which is why authors should be so APPRECIATIVE when another takes the time to reach out to them personally instead of posting a negative review. Speaking of which, have you read any poorly written books lately?
Butch: I have but they are not reviewed since I stop reading a poorly written book when I feel it is not worth my time.
NJ: I’m sorry for that delay. There was a cat walking outside my window and so I had to run get my water bottle. Moving right along. So there’s no review for us to check out? LOL…seriously.
Butch: You can go to GR and Amazon to see all my reviews There is one for each of the books mentioned except for AA Pencil’s. I’m not sure where hers went, but I know I did one.
NJ: Are you an author?
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Butch: I began writing full time on April 1st (uh huh) 2012
NJ: What books have you written?
Butch: I have written three but only the first is published at this time. The second is with the publisher and the third is in edit. The first is titled My GRL and is available in paper and e-book formats here are the links:
NJ: Out of your published and non-published books, which one do you think is the best?
Butch: Of the three, I think the last is the best since I have become bolder in my writing and have taken some chances with plot and characterizations, which I would not have taken in the first book.
NJ: Do you have a blog or website?
Butch: Yes. It’s title is Fiction Favorites.
NJ: Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to…
Butch: The first is Rave Reviews Book Club. This is an organization which exists, not to make a fortune off the backs of writers, but to provide authors with the kind of support and promotion needed in our social media conscious world. As far as I am concerned, this should be the first place an author should join. The second is WordPress. Every author should start a blog and should be able to do it for nothing which is the price of WordPress. Sure, there are enhancements which can be bought, but the basics are there for no fee. The third is Writer’s Marketplace. This site has an unlimited amount of information available on publishers, agents, and editors. The data base is searchable and can be used to isolate markets for author’s work.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Butch: I believe Rave Reviews Book Club has helped the most.
NJ: Well aren’t you the perfect responder today? How has RRBC helped you, Butch?
Butch: When I joined RRBC, I was pretty much alone in the marketplace. I was struggling in social media and was trying to find a voice with my blog. I worked for one full year trying the traditional way to get followers. Once joining RRBC I signed up for the two areas that I thought I could help and in turn the two areas where I felt support was necessary. These were volunteering as a Spotlight host and Tweet Support Team. As I said, before RRBC, I tried one and a half years on my own and then joined this club and managed to get 500 followers for my blog and about 600 on twitter. Today I have over one thousand followers on my blog and three thousand Twitter followers. This has all come about by additional exposure through the Spotlight guest posts and continued tweets and re-tweets about everything but myself. I still put out one tweet a day promoting my book and more than fifty promoting others in the club.
NJ: Butch, that is an awesome testimony! Thank you for sharing that. Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?
Butch: It is obvious I’m a big supporter. I have to say I was really excited to be tapped for this On the Shelf feature as well as the Spotlight Author opportunity. I honestly never expected it, knowing how many fine authors and supporters there are in our organization. Having said that, I am truly glad to be here.
NJ: Well, as we say here: those who are most SUPPORTIVE are the ones who are most SUPPORTED at RRBC! (Did everyone understand that?). You are definitely deserving of your spot because you show your support of others daily! Have you come across any other online entities like it?
Butch: I really haven’t. I have looked at other groups but never found one that had some of the same values and overall objective as me. They looked like places where you could pay your money and sort of hope something would happen. I will say that any member who wants to take maximum advantage of this club should get active. They should read member books, post reviews and try to tweet someone else.
NJ: You really are the most awesome responder! You give advice that I would give to someone considering membership with us. Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?
Butch: I have and most have kind of given the ole “too good to be true” eye roll. So I figure as they hear about the support I am receiving they will want to line up to join. At least, that is what I am hoping.
NJ: You know, sometimes they sit back and watch (and wait too long, in my opinion). We had a member to join yesterday who said on her application that she has been “watching” us grow for a long time. Well, this is our first year literally and growing is what we are continuing to do. This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, Butch, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?
Butch: I would say to all the membership and any one of the thousands of Nonnie Jules followers, if you want to be promoted and propelled and are not a member, you should join today. If you are a member, grab that twitter horn and start blowing it for those you see as Spotlight Authors, #PUSHTUESDAY winners, Book of the Month, or Member of the Month. Believe me, you will grow your base of followers since there isn’t anyone alive who won’t follow someone who tweets and talks about them. Thank you, Nonnie. This was such a pleasure and so much fun. Er…how does one get down besides jump that is?
NJ: One could get pushed, you know…LOL . But you have been so fantastic, I’m calling for the ladder just for you, Butch!
Thank you so much for joining us here today, Butch…OMG, I forgot your real name is John! Well, you always wanted to be Butch, so you were Butch here today, and now, you will always be Butch to us, Butch! That was truly an awesome interview and with all those great plugs for the club and other members, you already know you’re on my FAVES list! That’s what this shelf is all about…giving recognition to others, because that’s what RRBC is about, “pushing” others, and when you do that, you get propelled without even knowing how it happened! You have made our interview on the SHELF today fun, informative and it was easy, I didn’t have to scoot close to you for an “almost accidental shove” or anything! THANK you for making this easy (and free of violence) for me! To my guests, please support Butch….I mean John, by picking up a copy of his book, MY GRL. You can also support him by visiting his blog stops on his tour which ends on Saturday. You can find the tour line up here.
Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Butch/John was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you. Make it a great day, my friends. We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF” with another VERY INTERESTING GUEST!!