Interview with Herbert Howard Jones

What do you read for pleasure?
Books on the paranormal, new age, parapsychology, esoteric yoga, books by Mantak Chia etc anything which points to a better future and shows us how we can empower ourselves.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. How to win friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie - it taught me how to talk to people.
2. The Godfather by Mario Puzo - it is a great style guide for the would-be author.
3. The Greater Mysteries by Richard Ingalese - reveals the huge vistas awaiting mankind.
4. Tilting at Windmills by Julian Branston - a witty enjoyable read by a fantastic author who is a genius in my opinion.
5. Excursions to the spirit world by Frederick Sculthorpe - unveils life on the other side in a matter-of-fact way
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I used to have a Kindle but don't anymore. I am open to anything useful and don't really know which device is the best to have.
When did you first start writing?
At age nine I think.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Do you mean the story behind the story? If you do, then I am using the book to express outrage against injustice.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Love of filling blank pages with words and trying to build something meaningful.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting characters to express the hitherto unexpressed.
What do your fans mean to you?
I actually have two and they are very precious to me.
Who are your favorite authors?
ian McEwan, Harold Robbins, Richard Ingalese, D.H Lawrence, Al Koran, Mario Puzo, to name but a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The prospect of working on my books, music and art.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My dad made me read and memorise the plays of Shakespeare. I started to learn the Merchant of Venice by heart. Never understood a word of it! It turned me off literary works.
How do you approach cover design?
Got a guy to do it for me. I think using a picture showing the characters is essential as it draws the reader in rather than using some abstract image.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I'm afraid not.
What do you hope to acheive in your writing?
I hope to build up a series of books with memorable titles which lift the lid off of society. (Does this sound pretentious?)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Grew up in Hainault, Essex and Notting Hill, London. Childhoods in both areas were happy, painful, complex and definitely lent colour to my writing. First impressions tend to stick in the subconscious and so I think I am always drawing on them without realising it. Essex and Notting Hill are two poles of the social spectrum and I was lucky to experience both.
What are you working on next?
A follow up to my first book. My first adult book is, 'Lady Collendon's Cook', and I shall continue the story with, 'The Americanisation of Marjorie Moore'. There will be a third possibly in the series. It depends if I run out of enthusiasm.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords are in a word, INCREDIBLE! They have all sorts of resources for the author which you don't get anywhere else. They have loads of podcasts you can listen to, filled with more tips than you can handle. The founder of the site, Mark Coker, is bending over backwards to give indie writers a fighting chance. He is clearly an expert in his field and a benign one. I haven't read any of his fiction but I'm certain it is second to none. His style guide is certainly extremely useful and well written in my opinion. I will try and apply his tips the best I can to get the most out of the advice. Also, he tells it like it is. He doesn't promise you the moon and the stars, but he does promise that with hard work you can get better as a writer and as a marketer. Thank you Mark.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Visiting sites like Smashwords, Amazon etc. Googling a problem and seeing if there's a book on the subject.
Describe your desk?
It's a traditional antique green leather-topped desk with two lamps, a row of books on the left, computer in the middle and a coaster for my mug of tea.
What is your writing process?
I try and use the 3 Act Model which progresses according to tried and tested story beats. In all, there are about 20 story elements which a writer can insert into his story to make it more interesting. Michael Hauge in his book, Writing Screenplays That Sell, gives you a handy break-down of some of the principles, such as creating reader empathy with a character on page one by showing him in an emotionally compromised situation, like being at a funeral of a loved one for example. Dr Zhivago starts off with a funeral as does Sleepless in Seattle, I think. We immediately feel for the character and want to read on. Lately, I've been grappling with more esoteric principles recently, such as the use of 'the specialised tool or facility', which the antagonist can use against the protagonist and which the protagonist must in some way block or neutralise. In Harry Potter Book One, the specialised tool is the 'Philosophers Stone' of course. I used to think writing a decent story was easy but it clearly aint!! Even Charles Dickens had flops such as Martin Chuzzlewit but recovered his fortunes with 'A Christmas Carol'.
Published 2018-09-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Lady Collendon's Cook
Price: Free! Words: 198,340. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
In 1939, Mrs Green was just a humble cook working in an English country manor when a diplomatic incident turns her world upside down. She is unfairly accused of poisoning an important German guest at a dinner party. A belligerent Nazi Germany demands her prosecution and a conniving British civil servant is only too happy to press charges. Unless he is stopped, her life will be ruined forever.