photo of author John Howell


photo of author John Howell


This is the eighth stop on what has been a fantastic tour as a Rave Reviews 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.

There have been a number of comments about my book My GRL which I would like to discuss here. These comments were mostly included in reviews, but a few were included in e-mails and personal conversations. The comments were not the negative kind but rather reflected a genuine interest in the book and the information. Also, the comments listed here were made by more than one reader so I think a discussion is in order.

Comment: How come the terrorist leaders do not have accents and have familiar names?

As a bit of background, the terrorist leaders are from Palestine and feel they have been displaced from their homeland. The reason they don’t have accents and westernized names is they have dedicated themselves to full immersion in American culture. They have been coached in American English to the point they are fully conversant in idiom use and would pass for Americans under even the most stringent investigation. The names are aliases to keep their identity undercover. One of the reasons the main leader hates John J Cannon is John exposed some of the deficiencies this character exhibited in the written word. John actually won a litigious battle which pitted the antagonist against another company. This win of John’s made him an enemy for life.

Comment: Why is the character John J. Cannon seemingly an average Joe and not a classic heroically designed character?

I designed John to be a successful lawyer who has no desire to be bigger than life. He just wants to take a leave of absence for the law firm and take a swing at being a charter captain. He thinks he would like that life but is not sure. This is why he takes a leave rather than throw all his eggs in one basket. John does not know how to use weapons nor is he an ex-military man capable of rising to an occasion. He is caught up in the circumstances, not of his making and does the best he can to survive. He does not construct a master plan but adjusts his actions to meet changing conditions.

Comment: Did this story take a lot of research since there seems to be a lot of technicality about airplanes and boats?

Yes, there was a significant amount of research. I constructed a plot that included taking a boat sixty-five feet long originally moored in Texas and putting it in a container ship to transport it to within fifty miles off the New Your City coast. I had to make sure it was possible using current technology, and it is. I also used explosives that needed to be able to withstand being hit by bullets and to the use of low-flying aircraft to remain undetected off the East Coast. All the weapons needed to be checked out for authenticity, as well as the complex radio setup used to remote guide My GRL to the target. I needed to understand Federal and local police procedures as well as broadcast and air to ground communication.

Comment: There was a banquet scene that seemed surreal and did it have a purpose?

Yes, I wrote the scene to show how thoroughly diabolical the plan being executed by terrorists was at its core. The scene includes various experts brought together for the purpose of creating mayhem. The normalcy of the scene camouflages the tension that is building among the participants and within John J. Cannon. John believes he is witnessing a scene reminiscent of some of the gatherings that were probably held in the company of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany prior to WWII. The scene underscores that even the most criminal behavior can be justified by the extremist participants.

Thank you for reading this post and having me as a guest.

My GRL book cover

My GRL can be found:

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About John Fioravanti

Author, John Fioravanti writes non-fiction as well as fiction in the sci-fi genre. He's a retired secondary school educator and a lifelong learner. He considers himself a work in progress and welcomes the opinions and insights that others may have about his work. He prizes dialogue about meaningful topics, so please leave your thoughts!

17 thoughts on “John Howell: “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR TOUR!

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Laurie Finkelstein

    December 13, 2014 at 7:27pm

    This was another great post. Fascinating info on the research end. I have really enjoyed reading the inside scoop on the writing process.

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    Kathryn Chastain Treat

    December 13, 2014 at 1:19am

    I keep learning a little bit more during each spotlight tour about you and My GRL. I can’t wait to read it.

    Thank you John for hosting.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Traci Sanders

    December 12, 2014 at 9:41am

    It always add an extra incentive to read the book when the author reaches out to his/her audience to explain certain aspects and thought processes without giving too much ot it away, of course. Great post, John H!

    Thanks for hosting, John F.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      December 12, 2014 at 10:53am

      Thanks for visiting, Traci – always a pleasure to see you here at Fiora Books!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    John W. Howell

    December 12, 2014 at 8:35am

    John, wonderful of you to host this stop on the tour. Thank you so much.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      December 12, 2014 at 10:51am

      You’re welcome, good friend! Thank you for gracing my website today… you’re always welcome!

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Rebecca Carter

    December 12, 2014 at 8:09am

    I like that you don’t use stereotypical characters for terrorists or heroes. And research is one of the most fun parts of writing a novel, don’t you think?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John W. Howell

      December 12, 2014 at 8:34am

      Thanks, Rebecca. The research is fun and actually leads to some nuances in the story. Thank you for the visit

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Harmony Kent

    December 12, 2014 at 5:48am

    This is an awesome post!

    Okay, so the length of my TBR is SO being ignored–as I just bought a copy of MY GRL on Amazon UK! Can’t wait to get my ‘teeth’ into this one!

    I am truly enjoying this tour, John, and I love the background you have given us on this stop.

    Thanks to the “other” John for hosting John today! 🙂

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      December 12, 2014 at 8:06am

      I agree, Harmony – this is a great and informative post! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John W. Howell

      December 12, 2014 at 8:36am

      Thanks again Harmony. I hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for stopping and the nice words.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Rhani D'Chae

    December 11, 2014 at 11:23pm

    Thank you, John, for the behind the scenes look at #MyGRL. I love finding out where a book came from & what makes it tick.
    John, thanks for hosting a #SpotlightStop. 🙂

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      December 11, 2014 at 11:42pm

      My pleasure to host our good friend, John Howell. Thanks for visiting, Rhani!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John W. Howell

      December 12, 2014 at 8:37am

      I have about 20,000 words of backstory that I cut from the manuscript. It was just too much telling and not enough showing. Thanks for the comment and visit Rhani.

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