Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Howard: Hello Fiona — My name is Howard Wand. As to my age, I’m definitely old enough to know better.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Howard: Currently live on my small ranch in Southern Oregon
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Howard: Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and later moved to the U.S. West Coastto attend college where the weather was definitely better. I did miss hockey for a long time. My current sport is tennis three times weekly with some top players. It keeps me active and in shape.
It was my pleasure to have served in the U.S. Army where even more discipline, team work, and dedication were learned. The military in many ways gave me the toughness and determination needed to succeed at anything in life. The military teaches you that nothing is impossible if you stay focused and dedicated.
Education included five years of college, and many specialty management courses and training. Moved from operations to marketing,that expanded my career path. My positions included Sales Manager, district ®ional manager, and general manager in Central America. Then became VP and later CEO of several successful companies. One corporation provided an opportunity to work with many countries as well as U.S. federal agencies.We acted as security consultants to the US State Department, The Salk Institute, and International Embassies. We provided security for Secretaries of State, and high-tech security installations in the U.S. Middle East, Latin America, Canada, and Europe.
While challenging and enjoyable, the most rewarding was the opportunity to travel to many, countries of the world. It provided a close view of how the rest of the world operated, and to meet and enjoy many wonderful and talented people. It was because of these relationships that my career path expanded.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Howard: My work schedule is now significantly less. It gives me more time to enjoy life and focus on other passions such as writing in different genres. It also provides more time to serve on school boards and assist other organizations as time permit. After write several non-fiction books (latest still not released) it was time to change my genre to fiction. My new fiction book – designed to be a series – is almost complete. It has been an exciting challenge to write in view of all the great new successful authors out there. As all authors know – the key is to stay focused.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Howard: Writing has always been of great interest to me and a wonderful pastime sitting on airplanes during very long flights. It started out with articles on subjects of interest usually focused on “One Rule” impressed upon me by my father. He didn’t believe in a lot of rules and insisted we follow one rule that encompassed all others. His one rule was “the rule of respect”. It prompted my first book “One Rule” – Simple Secrets to Success and Better Relationships, in print and e-book on Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/One-Rule-Secrets-Success-Relationships-ebook/dp/B00JQRRFLK
Poetry which later turned into song writing came about when my daughter as a young child, would ask me to write a poem for her or for one of her friends. It was a lot of fun and developed into song writing, some of which are available on the Songwriter Page of my web site… www.howardwand.com. Your readers might enjoy them.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Howard: When friends and family began positively commenting on my various articles. It gave me encouragement to continue sharing and to consider writing a book.It was done to serve my passion for writing rather than financial gain, although that would be an acceptable by-product.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Howard: During my daughter’s college years she frequently suggested that my many articles were helpful to her and could be helpful to others. Another writer suggested the same which prompted me to write my book. If it could help someone just starting out or someone already in the workplace, that would be reward enough.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Howard: As mention previously, the book title came to me one day while explaining to friends the concept of “One Rule”. It became apparent that it would make a good title although the second half of the title could and should have been shorter.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Howard: My style is direct and forthright and designed to help others as much as possible. However, non-fiction are difficult books to promote unless they are more specific “how to” books. After finishing my second non-fiction – currently awaiting editing and release, my focus shifted to fiction – action/adventure that hopefully will become a series.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Howard: The book is based on my own life struggle and success, and the lessons learned from other successful people in different walks of life. The more you interact with successful people, the more you learn how much there still is to learn and how little you truly know. It is motivating.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Howard: Much of my world travel was done prior to and during my writings. Some was attained through on-line interaction with others.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Howard: Unwittingly “yes”. The self-publishing company was paid to produce the covers and publish the book. However, an author quickly realizes they only give you two options. Both of the options provided had absolutely nothing to do with the content of the book and clearly unacceptable. They would have confused a potential reader. The company asked me for any ideas and they were provided several examples from me. They accepted the first one and went with it but no compensation for having not completed their task. All authors learn many lessons the hardway.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Howard: The messagesare rather simple in concept but something readers often ignore or discard. The simple messagesare that you can have greater success by dealing with everyone in your life with respect and dignity. Understanding the forces you have within and which must be addressed is important. Accepting responsibility rather than blaming others, understanding that negativity is the road to no nowhere, developing meaningful relationships, and dealing with procrastination, are but a few of the messages worth grasping.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Howard: There are so many fine new authors who have written amazingly helpful fiction books and even more that write interesting and helpful non-fiction books. I don’t have a favorite new author as I tend to read a variety of different books. Many new authors like Nicholas Nash, Erin Leaf, Greg Close, and Brad Wade that you interviewed, are but a few examples. There are too many to list.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Howard: Many supported my commitment but a local paper editor was encouraging and ran a nice article about the book shortly after its release. Author groups also were very helpful and encouraging.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Howard: It is more of a passion than a career. As with any author, you hope your books will be helpful to others or provide entertainment and perhaps motivation to others. You write because that’s who you are. Naturally you hope your writings are impressive enough to become a best seller or at least successful.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Howard: Perhaps a bit less in the Question/Answer chapters. Many have told me that there were so many questions that related to their lives, and that the answers were helpful. When you look back on anything you’ve done, you note the areas that could have been improved that will help you in the future.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Howard: Many authors write without extensive research on either the specific subject matter or what other authors are doing and how. One benefit of writing a book is the research you do for almost every chapter and thus how much more you learn about life and the world.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Howard: My Action/Adventure book would definitely make a good film or TV series as the options are endless as to which path to choose. No choice for the lead role yet. Lol. More info on my web site.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Howard: Research is the key to success. Authors must accept that new authors are lucky to sell 100 or 200 books, unless they are a known entity. That reality is often discovered after your first book is released. While the writing was challenging and time consuming, is compares in small part to the amount of time you need to spend promoting your books. Becoming more involved with Social Media, taking advantage of how much you can learn and why, and how other authors become successful is essential. Knowing what it will take helps you to decide what path to choose and whether e-books are the answer or both print and e-book would be best. It requires a lot of research before you release your first book. Lastly, take “I” out of your correspondence, and make it about the reader.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Howard: Believe in yourself. Be tenacious, creative, and respectful. Nobody says it will be easy, but with hard work and determination anything can be accomplished. Henry Ford said: “We learn more from our mistakes than we do our successes.” Don’t let barriers stop you; figure a way around them to accomplish your goals.
Life is yours to live, to error, to forgive, and be whatever you decide to be. Live it with honor and die proudly. That is the final measurement of a woman or a man.
Remember that life is a journey and it is equally as important as the destination. Tomorrow is just a promise, but today you live for real. Don’t let it slip away.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Howard – “Close to Home” – Robert Dugoni
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Howard: Not sure – but one I liked – The Power of Positive Thinking
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Howard: Not many things make me cry. Being a person who loves to hear or tell jokes or enjoys funny comments or situations – finds me laughing a lot. If you look close enough, most things in life have a humorous side.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Howard: That’s a difficult one. Having met many good people in my life, no one in particular comes to mind.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Howard: No important hobbies of interest. Enjoy interacting, helping to establish local organizations to promote things of interest to the community, and staying fit, active, and up to date with the world.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Howard: Local/national news is of great interest and good action adventure movies or TV shows. Hawaii Five-O, Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Elementary, and NCIS to name a few.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Howard: We were taught to eat whatever was served and thus enjoy many different foods. Chinese, Thailand, and Japanese foods are among my favorite foods. Mexican, German, French, English, and Italian foods are all delicious.
Colors – most are enjoyable. Blue is a favorite.
Music – Enjoy country, blues, rock n’ roll;– especially enjoy dancing to Latin Music after spending many years in Latin America.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Howard: It would definitely be less interesting, however we should never let anything stop us. If writing was no longer of interest, something else just as exciting must and would be found.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Howard: Whatever family decides would be fine.If space permitted:
“He accepted the challenges that life brought to him.
He boldly stepped forward, and tried with every fiber of his body and mind.
Let it not be written that he did nothing, because he was afraid.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Howard: Yes, please visit www.howardwand.com and see more on the Home, Author, Blog, and Songwriter pages.
“ONE RULE” Simple Secrets to Success and Better Relationships. Book Premise: – “Follow the One Rule”, the author’s father once told him, “and you will have confidence, success, and true meaning in your life.” Howard Wand’s self-help book, “One Rule” captures two things that each of us seek in life above all else: – The first is – “To be successful at something of personal value,” and which will be measured differently by every person whether seeking fame or fortune. You must define what that “something of value” represents for you, and pursue it. The second is happiness that comes from “understanding and accepting ourselves.” It is realizing that we come into this world under different circumstances, environments, heritage, wealth, and status. We arrive fully functional regardless of limited physical attributes or mental acuity. A fresh page is given to us, and from that moment on we are in charge. Finding that one thing of value at which we can succeed fulfills the first essential need. Accepting and respecting who we are, and working to improve the hand we were dealt, leads us to the road of personal happiness. Open “One Rule” to almost any page and discover another simple secret to finding success and happiness through the personal relationships you develop and grow, at work, with friends, or at home. “One Rule” will help you to better understand your spouse, partner, friends, and associates, and more importantly, yourself. It is a book for many ages because you are never too young or too old to redirect yourself. Learn how to take yourself out of the equation, to more clearly see the best direction to take. Life is yours to live, to error, to forgive, and be whatever you decide to be. Tomorrow is just a promise, but today you live for real… Don’t let it slip away.
Amazon authors Pages USA https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Wand/e/B00JRI4DG8/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Howard Wand has an extensive international business background serving as President and CEO of three successful corporations, one of which had operations worldwide. “One Rule” was the formula for his success.
Howard is ex-US Army, has served on many non-profit boards holding positions of President and Chairman, while contributing significantly to his communities. He understands that success and great relationships do not come easy, and hopes to share his secrets and lessons learned. See more at – http://www.howardwand.com
Thank you Fiona — and to all your readers for their time and interest in a new and somewhat inexperienced author. Any advice is most welcomed.