Name Sloane Howell (pen name, as for the real one, LOL)
Where are you from Oklahoma
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have an accounting degree and worked as a tax accountant for about 8 years before becoming a full-time author. I played baseball in college. I’m married with one actual child, he’s three, and three fur kids (2 dogs and 1 cat).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a book, Cleat Catcher, co-authored with Celia Aaron coming out June 30th. It’s the follow up to our sports comedy romance Cleat Chaser!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing about 3 years ago. It was a weird process. I’d started a blog to drum up some business for my start up tax practice, and I wrote articles trying to make tax concepts less boring. People enjoyed them. Then I started writing a comedy blog with the help of my sister, which eventually led me to self-publishing some of the stories. After that I wrote some science fiction. My son became ill, and I decided I needed a way to earn some extra money. I decided to take it further than hobby status and analyzed the market. Romance and erotica was the clear cut answer after I did a bunch of mathing (I just made this a word). So I tried it out and loved it. So here we are…
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I made my first fan. Her name is Cecily Bonney and I still talk to her often.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Well, as answered previously it was an unorthodox road I took. But definitely a host of things: my favorite books, my love of making people laugh and entertaining people in general, the excitement of creating a world out of thin air. It’s a lot like playing God <steeples fingers>. Hah! Not really. (it totally is)
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Sure, my writing is fast-paced and action driven. I prefer to let readers fill in the scenery, but I certainly try to hit some senses and give them a canvas to fill in.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
LOL, well my first short story in erotica that came out is called The Panty Whisperer. I needed a title that would stick out in a crowd, and it was a nickname we’d given a buddy in my college days, for obvious reasons. I still cringe a little when I see it sometimes. I never thought it’d even be semi-popular.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In my superhero romance The Matriarch there certainly is. It was sort of an homage to awesome mothers. Not just biological mothers, but the instincts of motherhood that all women possess. I’ve always envied and loved that trait, and I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by that my entire life, from my own mother and grandmother, to my wife who is the mother of my child. It’s so dear and special to me and I wanted to portray that as a theme in my first full-length novel. I hope I succeeded.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not a lot to be honest, at least on the surface. I mean it’s fiction. It’s meant to entertain and stimulate a reader’s senses and emotions. Character traits are another thing. Any time I meet someone quirky or interesting, or observe those kinds of traits in someone I know, I try to log them in my memory. Those things make people interesting and that translates over into a story. People want normal characters they can relate to, but that are also interesting. So in essence, we put a magnifying glass on the little quirks and nuances that make someone unique, while making them seem like a normal every day person they could be friends with.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Books that have influenced me are probably 1984 and a lot of old sci fi classics, along with some romance books I read today. As far as mentor goes, it’s most definitely my writing partner Celia Aaron. I can’t say enough about how much better of a writer I am because of her. She makes me better in so many ways and her writing is just…she has that x factor, that so few authors have, where she can just capture a scene and make you feel like you are present in it. She has a way of looking at the world and understanding things from all points of view, and then being able to describe and evoke that experience through words. It’s incredible and I’m totally jealous of it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A new author at the moment who has grasped my attention is LJ Shen. I don’t know that she’s new, but she’s new to me. I just started her book and it’s insanely awesome for her to have such few published works. My favorite book/author is 1984 by George Orwell. I just relate to the writing and I love the dystopian style stories that depict what can happen to society if people stop questioning things. It’s just a fun escape and I read it at least once per year.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Well, this comes back to Celia. I spent well over a year trying to create a fan base and sacrificed a lot of money and royalties in the process. I wasn’t trying to sell books. I was trying to make fans. I figuratively threw books at people. I gave away my book to anyone who would read it, because I knew once I had a fan base I would have a platform to launch books out into the world. Those die hard fans I’d do anything for would help me do that. Where Celia comes in, is that a year and half is a very long time. Authors have up and down days like everyone else. I couldn’t have done it alone. There were days I wanted to say, “Fuck this, I’m out.” She was always there to say, “You’re not quitting. I won’t let you. You’re a great writer.” Only she was much meaner about it, which worked for me. It’s one thing when your family tells you that you’re good. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. It’s another to hear it from a writer you look up to and admire. Especially one that you know would tell you straight up if you sucked.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. It already is. I was able to quit my job a few months back. That doesn’t mean it can’t go away in a moment’s notice. So I use that fear as motivation to keep writing the best stories I can.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh yes. It’s hard for me to go back and read anything I’ve written without wanting to change things. I always believe a story can be better.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Just writing the tax blog. Five years ago I’d have laughed in your face if you told me I’d be a writer. My worse grades in school were in English and Literature. My grammar still sucks. Just read more of this interview if you don’t believe me. 🙂
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now I’m working on Cleat Catcher with Celia. I’m not sure what you’d like me to share. It’s the story of the friends Braden and Nikki from the first book. It’s not polished enough to torture the world with any excerpts yet.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Daily. Writing descriptive prose is probably the most difficult for me. I write in a minimalist style with plot driven action and many times I have to go back and add in descriptions of the scenery. I often feel repetitive when I do this, like I’m saying the same things over and over. It’s a struggle for me.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but I am about to start. I head to Edinburgh, Scotland for my first event in July. Next year I’ll be in Berlin, Louisville, and Memphis for certain, possibly more places. In 2018 I’ll be in Italy.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed some, Celia’s husband Mr. Aaron has done a few, and I paid a designer to do some as well.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. I go over everything multiple times. Also rewrites. I hate rewrites, so I outline thoroughly to try and identify any plot holes before I start. But editing a novel is the hardest. If you change one thing it ripples through the whole story like the butterfly effect. I probably read The Matriarch 50 – 75 times before ever hitting publish.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I could create something and put it out in the world was astonishing. In this day of technology it was that easy. I always imagined these huge barriers to entry for authors, so hitting publish was sort of anti-climactic for me. Like that’s all I have to do? But the most important thing I learned was that everyone needs a great editor and beta readers. They make you better. You won’t see things in your own writing that others will see.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
Olivia Munn can play any of my heroines she wants and maybe even the heroes, as long as I get to meet her. Even the blond ones. I will rewrite them for her. 🙂
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you’re in it for the money, you’re in it for the wrong thing. You better love to write. Most authors will never make enough to support themselves. Write because it’s what you love to do, and it’ll never seem like you’re working.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I adore anyone who reads my books, so thank you! You’re the reason I get to do what I love every day and stay at home with my son. That is priceless to me and I never take it for granted.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Stuck Up Suit by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland and Sparrow by LJ Shen
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I honestly don’t. I imagine it was Dr. Seuss or something Jesus related.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Great witty humor and bad things happening to children.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Jimi Hendrix so he could play live for me. Natch.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Well, I don’t know that it matters much to me since I’ll never get to read it, but I would like for people to think of me as someone who laughed a lot, didn’t take life too seriously, was young at heart, and would do anything for those I cared about.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love going to baseball games and traveling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Silicon Valley and Gotham at the moment.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Steak/Green/all kinds, but I’m partial to Jack White, Led Zeppelin, and Eminem
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Professional baseball player
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? I do, it’s www.sloanehowell.com
Amazom Authors Page USA http://www.amazon.com/Sloane-Howell/e/B011JGBI3G/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1464656669&sr=1-2-ent