L. Marie here. A strange man calling himself Sergeant Joe Friday
strong-armed me invited me to share this interrogation interview with the awesome John Howell. Enjoy!
I’m Sergeant Joe Friday. My partner is Frank Smith and I’m a cop. I was working the day watch in and around the county of Los Angeles. It came to my attention that one John W. Howell had finally left the safe confines of Texas and was due to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport this afternoon. Since Mr. Howell has long been on our list of persons of interest, we decided we needed to intercept him at the airport.
There we were standing around waiting for the arrival of the plane from Austin. My partner had gone to the snack bar for a coffee while I busied myself with the paper. Just as I was about to get to the score of last night’s double header, I spotted him. I signaled to Frank and we proceeded to catch him before he got outside.
“Excuse me, sir.”
“Yes? Can I help you?”
“My name is Friday. Sergeant Friday. This is my partner Mr. Smith. We would like to have a word if you don’t mind?”
“Uh. I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage. What’s this all about?”
“We just have a few questions. We can step into the security lounge for a little privacy.”
“Is there a problem?”
“No problem sir unless you decide to make one. Now how about it?”
“I guess it will be alright. My rental car can wait.”
“Thank you, sir. Follow us.”
We went into the security lounge and sat at a big table. I asked Mr. Howell if he would like a coffee or water. He told me he was fine. Although we startled him at first, he did not seem nervous. I didn’t know what to make of that so I asked my first question.
“So, what brings you to LA, Mr. Howell?”
“I’m attending a book conference.”
“Book conference huh? What goes on there?”
“It is a gathering of authors. We set up a table and talk to readers.”
“Talk to readers? Is that all?”
“Yes. We also hope they buy a book, but usually just talk.”
“What is this talk about?”
“Well, you know—”
“No, I don’t know Mr. Howell. You tell me.”
“Um. Well, I describe my book and the reader asks questions.”
“I see. You want to comment on what those are saying about you.”
“Who is saying what?”
“They say you write thrillers.”
“I confess. I do.”
“Confess? Frank, take this down. So, you freely admit you write thrillers?”
“Yes, sir, I do.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to book you on a 416.”
“416? What’s that?”
“Unauthorized thrilling of readers.”
“Come on. They are the ones buying the books.”
“Maybe you are running some kind of mental persuasion scheme.”
“I hardly think so.”
“Well, before we take you downtown is there anything else you want to confess?”
“My last book was number one on Amazon.”
“Is that like a list of most wanted criminals?”
“Maybe most wanted books would be more accurate.”
“Describe the book for me.”
“Ahem. Well the title is The Contract.”
“Like in kill for hire?”
“No, no. The earth is under the threat of a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.”
“So, you are telling me your book is about heaven?”
“Well it is about how Heaven uses the Earth as a training ground.”
“So, you are saying there are aliens on Earth.”
“No. Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission.
“So where do you come in?”
“I am one of the authors.”
“Uh huh. And the other?”
“Gwen Plano. Author of Letting Go into Perfect Love.”
“So, a partner in crime huh.”
“No, a collaborator.”
“How did that go for you?”
“It was a rewarding experience.
“Frank, put out an APB on Plano. . . . Anything else you want to say?”
“How about where readers can find me?”
“Other than in the big house you mean?”
“Okay here’s what we have on you.”
“Man, that is a lot of stuff.”
“How about a few photos?”
“Here is your rap sheet. I think you are in big trouble.”
John W, Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. Circumstances of Childhood in October 1st. 2017. The latest, The Contract between heaven and earth, his fifth book, is written in collaboration with award-winning author Gwen Plano and was launched in June of 2018. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
Okay, I’m back. I’m giving away a copy of The Contract between heaven and earth to a commenter. You know what to do. Winner to be announced some time next week!
Author photos and covers courtesy of John Howell.