John Hartnett


Before we get into personalities, here's my philosophy on life. I've always depended upon the kindness of strangers because as long as you don't know their names or where they live, you never have to spend money on thank you notes or gifts.

My story? Not much to tell, really.

When I was born, my parents placed me in a small wooden boat and pushed me out into the center of the Pulaski Skyway where I was rescued and ultimately raised by a pair of possums. Sadly, they died when I was very young. At least I think they died.

From there I joined the Merchant Marines and was the only toddler in World War II to sink a Japanese battleship while being burped.

When I returned to the States, I got a job at Gimbels Department Store and have been there ever since even though they went out of business in 1986. I have always valued loyalty over money and if that's wrong, talk to my wife. You'd get along famously.

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always loved comedy and making people laugh and have a deep appreciation for humor writing, particularly one-liners because they require so a solid understanding of joke construction, cadence and rhythm. For me, I write to entertain people. I’ve made a conscious decision with this book and my comedy site, The Monkey Bellhop, to write material that is suitable for all audiences and doesn’t disparage individuals, but maybe institutions like Congress, but not individuals.

For The Barber’s Conundrum, I self-published it because I knew that no traditional publisher would be interested, and I wanted to see if I could do the whole thing myself and see how far I could get. I designed the cover and did all the proofing, formatting and everything else. Not because I’m really good at it all but because I’m really cheap.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By offering a variety of purchase/format options, Smashwords has made my book much more accessible. With the new arrangement with OverDrive, I feel my book has an even better shot of being picked up by the library market.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find John Hartnett online


The Barber's Conundrum and Other Stories: Observations on Life From the Cheap Seats
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 31,770. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
A collection of thirty-seven short literary humor pieces written expressly for all the little people out there and by that, I mean anyone under seven feet. If you are married, raise kids, buy things, read magazines, watch television, go to the movies or secretly wish you could push a Congressman into a volcano and not get caught, you will relate to and benefit immensely from this book.

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