“Hey, Lisa. I need you to do something for me.”
“Sure thing, what’s up.”
“I’m really busy today, and I need you to interview an author for me.”
“Wait a minute. Personal assistant, robot girl, spokesmodel. That’s my entire job description. Where does it say conduct interviews?”
“Well – You’d be assisting me, so it’s part of the assistant job.”
“Fine. Who is it?”
“You remember John W. Howell don’t you.”
“He was at the block party, back in September.”
“Yeah, he’s a great guy.”
“He wore a lampshade and kept asking me to turn him on.”
“I think you’re reading too much into it. Ask him about his new book. People love you, all you have to do is talk and make notes.”
I took the formerly haunted biplane to Port Aransas, Texas. I touched up my hair and makeup at the airport, and changed into my brown suit. A nice Uber driver took me to John Howell’s house.
It’s a lovely place with canals in the back yard. He made me feel at home, and I started my interview. I knew I could take him, if he got fresh.
I smiled, turned on my internal recorders, and started. “So, John, I read My GRL, and John Cannon lost his boat, and was lucky to get out alive. What is it about you authors and torturing us main characters?”
“First off Lisa I want you to know I have been looking forward to this interview since I found out you were going to do it. Second I have to admit we authors do like to make our characters a little uncomfortable. It is the only way we can demonstrate to the reader what fine people they are. Take the case you mentioned. John Cannon wanted to become a charter boat captain and did not know the boat he bought was going to be used to blow up the Annapolis Midshipmen. Well when all was said and done John became a hero and unfortunately the bad guy Matt Jacobs got away. If John wasn’t challenged he would still be in his San Fransico law firm and unknown to all of us.”
“If Matt Jacobs is still around, is it safe for John these days?”
“That is a very interesting observation Lisa. In the latest book His Revenge we find out John is indeed in trouble. The President of the US wants to give him a medal for heroism in the MY GRL affair. While in Washington to accept the medal John is kidnapped by Matt Jacobs’ thugs. Matt hates John and the western world with a passion. He goes so far as to make John an offer he has a hard time refusing. Since John is now a national celebrity he gives John the choice of using his celebrity status to help with the next terrorist plot or be responsible for the death of thousands of innocents including Stephanie Savard his current relationship.”
“So John is a celebrity these days. It happened to me too, quite frankly. In this case, is it safe for him to make public appearances and handle the celebrity status?”
“John is the most well known person in the US. He has been the subject of the news since it became known the President wanted to recognize him. He saved thousands of lives and America is greatful. Unfortunately Jacobs’ people have tried to assinate John several times. He is now accompanied by heavly armed body guards.”
“Okay, so John has to choose between being Matt Jacobs’ stooge, or watching thousands of innocent people die. This includes his new love interest too. I swear, you authors are monsters. John is a lawyer using a leave of absence. Can’t he use the law to finally get to Matt Jacobs?”
“Unfortunately John is in no position to communicate with any legal authorities. He has been taken to a remote facility in Equador where Matt has arranged a radio broadcast designed to embarrass the President. He also wants John to fabricate information that will call into question the US role in the manipulation of word wide oil prices. The reason Matt hates John so much is John won a lawsuit years before against Matt Jacobs’ company which embarrassed Matt. Matt is undercover using his power and money to back the terrorists. John not only thwarted Matt’s first mission but unknowingly almost exposed this duplicate personality.”
“Craig wrote me a big assed gun. Maybe you should write one of those for John. I get that he’s just a normal guy, but he might need a little bit of help. Know what I’m sayin’?”
“I would love to do that but I would be afraid John would shoot himself in the foot. He is not your usual hero so I would be afraid of what he might do to himself. I have really enjoyed talking to you and hope we can do this again.”
“Oh no you don’t. I flew all the way down here, and have a few more questions. I’m a robot girl, and I like technology. Do you use a Mac or a PC? Do you make notes on a voice recorder? Can you program the microwave?”
“Ha ha ha. Let me take these one at a time. I use both a Mac and PC. Let me explain. I got a new Mac Pro for Christmas and am in the process of making the transition. I need to get MS Office installed and until I do I need to keep using the PC for my writing. I use the Mac for everything but my books. Once I install the Office suite I can go 100% Mac. I make notes on my iPhone. I also have college ruled notebooks for character and plot line notes. I can program a microwave.”
“Do you outline, or write by the seat of your pants?”
“The first thing I do is write the last three lines of the book. Once I have these last three lines I go back to the beginning and write by the seat of my pants. I enjoy letting the characters develop the story. I exercise editorial control over them to keep the story focused on those last three lines. I have found this method allows me to enjoy the story as I go along because as you can probably attest characters take on a life of their own.”
“Craig likes a cup of coffee, and silence when he writes. I can’t even turn on my hair dryer when he writes. Do you have any preferences when you write?”
“I like to write with music playing. I used to plug CDs into my computer and then write. I like music enough that the speakers on my computer left me a little dissatisfied. I went to a Bluetooth speaker and run music out of IHeart Radio. I find I can create nice mixes this way and I never have to change the CD. I try to write a thousand words a day before I turn to anything else. I used to do my personal and household stuff in the morning and then write in the afternoon. Well, I found that if I commit to a thousand words before I do anything else it works better. Now after three years my family knows I have to do the thousand before anything else. I don’t mind noise since when I’m in a zone not much can pull me away. I can see you are looking at your watch so I think you need to be somewhere. Again thank you and please thank Craig for allowing you to come for the interview. You mentioned the microwave earlier. I have to admit I do not know how to program that coffee machine over there. As you can see it is a little complex. I wonder if you would mind taking a look at it and give me some pointers on how to get it to work. The thought of a cup of coffee while writing sounds wonderful and I can’t think of anyone other than you who might have the skill to get it running”
“Well here’s the thing John. I know that machine and I think you ought to send it back. We have not been friends since the days in the assembly plant when it got the bright idea I would make a good coffee machine mama. I enjoyed the interview and now must fly out and back to Craig to file this interview”
America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.
John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a daily blog. His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold. His second, His Revenge is just being launched and is available on Amazon and KDP Select.
John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of South Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.