Tag Archives: author

Guest Blogger: John Howell

Today’s guest blogger is the hilarious John Howell of John’s Fiction Favorites.

Thank you, Phil. It is a real pleasure to be a guest on your blog. I consider you one of the funniest bloggers and have looked forward to this visit. If I may, I would like to paint a fictional picture for your readers. Since you have opened your blog to other writers, I have created an imaginary situation where you set auditions for those who want to appear. (Don’t worry everyone, this is just pretending, and Phil has no plans to start an audition process.)

So here is the scene. Phil sits behind a desk in the audience on a platform built for the occasion. He has his sycophants on either side. On his right hand is the executive producer with a script person on his left. One small desk lamp illuminates his space. He has pencils and paper and a large Yeti cup filled with coffee. Phil has a microphone so those on stage can hear every word. The stage glows from a huge spotlight that burns from the back of the auditorium. The prospective blog guest takes the stage and can’t help blinking from the light.

Phil starts. “Mr. Howell please come down to center stage.”

John moves into the white-hot light, raises his hand to his eyebrow to cut down the glare. “Hello, Phil. You can call me John.”

“Thank you, John. What can we do for you today?”

“Well, I’m here to audition for a guest spot on your blog.”

“Sounds good, John. Have you brought any Gifs, videos, or photos?”

“I only have a photo of myself and my books.”

“Books? You going to hump books on my blog?”

“Well, I thought I would mention them.”

“Look, John. I have a lot of book humping on my blog including my own. I was hoping you would have something different.”

“Well, I can sing a little.”

“Okay let’s hear that then.”

“I also do a soft shoe.”

“Soft shoe. What’s that?”

“It’s a little dance without tap shoes.”

“Okay, I get it. Go ahead.”


“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing sir. I was just clearing my throat.”

“Do you need some water?”

“No thank you. Normally I have an accompanist, but I wasn’t prepared to sing.”

“Well, we have no time for an accompanist. Can you do it anyway?”

“Okay here goes.”

“What are you doing?”

“Big opening with the soft shoe.”

“Sheesh. Go ahead. Wait what’s that?”

“A pitch pipe. I don’t want to be off pitch.”

“You ready now?”

“Yes Here’s my song.

Passengers will please refrain

from flushing toilets

while the train

is standing in the station. I love you.”

“Okay, thank you.”

“Wait, there is another verse.”

“Please leave your number with the assistant back stage.”

“But the second verse is killer.”

“Don’t call us. We’ll call you.”

“Can I leave these photos with the assistant too?”

“Sure. Leave the bio, the photos, the contact information but please clear the stage.”

“Thank you, Phil. I’m such a fan just being here is a thrill.”

“Okay, thank you. Can we have Mr. King down to center stage.”

John’s Bio: John 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.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact information

Blog: Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Thank you to John for his awesome guest blog post. If you’re not already following him on all the social media platforms above, well, what’s stopping you?

Have a great Friday! ~Phil


Indie Author John Howell!

Heeer’es Johnny! John Howell has long been one of my favorite blogging friends and I’ve been terribly negligent in supporting him as an author. This week with the re-release and .99 cent sale of the first novel in his trilogy, I thought I’d start a new weekly feature on Fridays with authors I know and like. John has recently re-released his first novel in the trilogy for an astounding .99 cents on Amazon. From John, here’s a taste of what you’ll be getting in his story:


John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

The characters from My GRL continue to His Revenge and on to Our Justice. In His Revenge, John seeks to atone the killing of Gerry Starnes, the woman who sold him My GRL. The action moves from Port Aransas to California and on to Ecuador. His enemy Matt Jacobs has a twisted idea that John would make an excellent spokesperson for the terrorist group. He figures out a way to get John to cooperate on a plan that is designed to embarrass the President and wreak havoc on the oil industry. John must pretend to go along hoping he can create a way to get revenge. The question remains who will get the revenge?

Our Justice is the final story in the trilogy. John has been keen on bringing Matt Jacobs to justice. Matt has been keen on getting John to help him in a plot to assassinate the President. He plans to use John’s hero status to get close to the President to do his duty work. Both Matt and John feel their cause is right and both want justice extracted in their favor. We must see who in fact achieves Justice, Matt, John or neither.

For .99 cents, pick up the first book in the trilogy! Who knows, you may just find your new favorite author. You may also find your new favorite blogger if you visit john’s blog. He’s always a fun read. Have a great Friday! ~Phil


New Eyes: Author Interview with Steve Treu!


New Eyes is a new book by first time author Steve Treu. I know I don’t usually get into any deep thoughts here at #ThePhilFactor, but Steve’s got some really interesting ideas that may open some eyes. Let’s get right to it!

TPF: In a nutshell, what makes your book, New Eyes, and your theory different from all the other self-help books people have to choose from?

Steve: Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha and Albert Einstein all walk into a bar for a discussion. They walk out together as friends. That’s New Eyes in a nutshell!

This book is revolutionary in its depth and breadth. First it dives into quantum physics to identify the true source of our problems, and then it links together all of the world’s well-known religions to support the idea that evolving consciousness is the primary objective of the human species.

While it goes deep into uncharted waters, New Eyes was essentially written for the layman. I’m a former sportswriter and nothing in this book will go over anyone’s head. I didn’t write it to impress college professors, I wrote it so that everyone could have practical access to some of the greatest mysteries within this universe. In other words, as complex as New Eyes may sound, my goal was to keep it as simple as possible. Ultimately, the intention of this book is to inspire a paradigm shift.

TPF: Are you talking about spirituality from a scientific perspective or are you a spiritualist looking at science from a religious point of view?

Steve: Yes. Which is to say, both! The book makes the case that the two disciplines are not mutually exclusive, as science and spirituality are merely different languages that are describing the same thing. It begins with a scientific perspective, explaining the nature of reality through the lens of quantum physics, then shifts toward the non-physical perspective to shed light on the true meaning and purpose of spiritual teachings.

Unfortunately, religion has been greatly misunderstood and misapplied for centuries, creating conflict and division throughout the world.

Steve Treu

Steve Treu

TPF: If someone isn’t looking for self-insight or improvement, what would they like about your book?

Steve: Knowledge is power, and readers are telling me that they feel both after finishing New Eyes. The middle section of the book is filled with super cool concepts.  If you enjoy movies like “The Matrix” or “Interstellar” or “Inception” or anything of that genre, you will be fascinated to know that the world of science fiction is becoming science fact. There is surely much fodder for Jeopardy enthusiasts or trivia buffs in New Eyes.

TPF: What has been the most surprising reaction you’ve gotten to your book?

Steve: Good question. I’ve worked with over 3,000 clients in my life as a licensed professional counselor, nearly all with addiction or mental health issues. I have seen first hand how the concepts in this book heal people as they shift their perspective on life, with countless clients reporting that they feel “cured” from what had ailed them. So I am not surprised when I hear from them how they have been impacted by New Eyes. Plus, my 12-year-old son Aidan said he wanted to read it … and then I actually caught him doing so. That was surprising. (And also gratifying!)

TPF: What can you tell me about your company Quantum Revolution, Inc.?

Steve: As the name implies, we are starting a revolution of the mind that we intend to go viral. Reality-changing scientific concepts have been kept quiet for far too long.

Indeed, the book begins with a little story about a man from the 1500’s who is among the first to realize that earth revolves around the sun. Can you imagine not knowing that? Well, future generations will one day look back upon us, shaking their heads in amusement that we were unaware of some of the scientific facts that we have not been applying.

I’d hate to be the last one to find out that the sun does not revolve around the earth. At Quantum Revolution, we hate to see people struggling when both science and spiritual show that suffering is unnecessary.

As such, we are a mental health and addiction treatment company that utilizes such principles to help people heal. When they shift their consciousness, they improve their lives. Our goal is to make these concepts known to anyone who wishes to be on the cutting edge of modern science and spiritual awakening.

TPF: So what’s next for you?

Steve: I am already writing another book, called Hope Is Dope, which is really more of a basic manual for teachers, students, ministers and anyone else who is interested in taking part in this Quantum Revolution. We want to overthrow the way addiction treatment is done in this country by advocating a more love-based approach, one that features virtues such as compassion, wisdom, forgiveness and hope as opposed to shame, guilt, threats and punishment.

It is an empowering model, as each individual person needs to take complete responsibility for their emotional state as well as for their healing. This is a significant part of what New Eyes is about as well, that the world is healed on the level of the individual. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, each person who elevates consciousness facilitates the development of others.

Bottom line, Quantum Revolution Inc. is going to be working on inspiring people to see the world differently. We plan to do this through therapy, education, books, seminars, inspirational speakers, social media, documentaries, feature films, video games and perhaps a quantum theme park one day. (We like to dream big.) In the end, we hope that all of us can walk out of this place together as friends.

TPF: Thanks Steve. My readersand I really appreciate you taking your time to talk about your book, which is available in both paperback and e-book format from Amazon. You can also find his work on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram as quantum.revolution. For those of you celebrating the holiday today, Happy Easter and for those not, have a great Sunday! ~Phil

I Heart My Little A-Holes author Karen Alpert!


Those of you that have followed me for a long time have seen me interview Pulitzer Prize winners, rocket scientists, magicians and a lot of awesome bestselling authors. Those interviews were alright, but today I have someone really impressive, a Mom. Not just any mom. I have a Karen Alpert, author of the New York Times bestselling book I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting and the long running, hilarious blog Baby Sideburns.

I’m a parent and I know a lot of you are too. (If you’re considering being a parent I strongly suggest reading Karen’s book first) You know how when you’re a parent sometimes you wish you could respond to your kid like you would to an adult that acted like your kid is acting? (That’s possibly the worst sentence I’ve ever constructed, but you get the gist) Or you want to scream and rant about your kids to another parent who would understand, but you don’t because you’re afraid they’d call Child Protective on you? Well guess what?  Karen Alpert says all those things out loud in her book and on her blog.

TPF: Karen, thanks for visiting The Phil Factor. You worked as an ad exec for many years before becoming a mom. Both jobs involve convincing gullible people to believe you. Which is a tougher audience?

Karen: Thanks for having me, Phil. Definitely the rugrats. But advertising was awesome preparation for motherhood. I learned how to drink a lot, curse a lot, and make people believe a bunch of bullshit. Unfortunately, I think I was probably a lot more successful in the ad world.


TPF: What’s the toughest part about being a stay at home mom/author?

Karen: Not being able to eat chocolate without someone noticing. That’s really hard. Plus, when you’re working at home, it’s really difficult to get stuff done since the kids are always around. Shutting the door in your kiddo’s face because you have to work is really hard. Especially since I don’t have a soundproof room and my youngest likes to shriek at the top of his lungs like a crazy Pterodactyl.

TPF: What’s the best part of being a stay at home mom/author?

Karen: Making my own schedule is great. I never miss any of the fun school stuff like boring PTO meetings, or mind-numbing dance recitals, or monotonous plays. Plus, I’m home for dinner every night. Which basically means I have to make dinner every night. And it has to look like I really tried.

And as much as I like working at home and setting my own hours and being my own boss, oh my gawwwwd do I miss sitting at a desk next to other grownups and being sent on business trips. When I first had Zoey, I was sent on a business trip right away and I was so upset about leaving her. Now the thought of going on a six-hour flight all alone to an empty hotel room sounds heavenly.

 TPF: Trust me, even though my kids are older, those business trips/breaks are great. What’s the funniest or best story you couldn’t include in your book?

Karen: Let’s just say there is one story that has something to do with, wait a sec, if I couldn’t put it in the book, I can’t put it here. Nice try.

 TPF: Have you ever considered writing a chapter or blog post about potty training and calling it “American Wiper”? (Feel free to use that. It’s mine but I have no use for it)

Karen: Damn it, Phil. You’re stealing my thunder. Note to self, change title of chapter seven.

TPF: When I e-mailed, you said you were up to your elbows in a book proposal. Unless that’s code for tiny human bodily fluids, could you give us a preview of your next book?

Karen: Sure. It’s going to have pages and probably a cover. And my name will be on the cover. And there will probably be chocolate on the draft that I send to my editor. Well, there would be if people still sent paper drafts. Oh how I wish I knew what it was going to be about. The truth is the last time I did this, I did it all alone. I self-published and I didn’t have anyone edit it (because I’m an idiot and spelled the words your and you’re wrong all over the place, oh, and flatulence) and I never wrote a proposal. This whole thing is totally new to me and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. But I’m crossing my fingers that my brain farts out a couple of funny ideas so we’ll see.

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Karen, thank you for taking some time from your busy schedule to entertain my readers. For those of you who want to enjoy more of Karen’s brilliant, sarcastic wit and insight, you can read her book I Heart My Little A-Holes, her essay in the humor essay collection I Just Want to Pee Alone and her hilariously awesome blog Baby Sideburns. You can also follow Karen on Facebook and Twitter. Seriously, read her book and follow her blog. She’s hilarious.

As always, if you enjoy what you read here at #ThePhilFactor, please put the social in social media by sharing it with your friends by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog buttons below. Have a great Friday! ~ Phi

Indie Author Interview: Natalia Cherjovsky

Hello Natalia and thank you for visiting The Phil Factor. For my readers who don’t know her, Natalia is the author of the January 2013 release Humanity Revisited. The book is a collection of short stories that capture an important day or a life altering moment in time in the lives of her characters.


PT: Natalia, you’ve published short stories previously in a variety of periodicals, how is publishing a book of your stories different?

NC: The first huge difference is that this is the first thing ever that I self-publish other than my blog. Having no editor or publisher taking care of the details is a little more stressful. Also, when you publish in a magazine, there is a built-in audience. This is the first time I have to attempt to do my own marketing. I am learning a lot, but it is not without its stumbles. I love that this book showcases more of my talent and range than one short story might. It’s been a journey.

PT: You grew up in South America and have moved several times since you came to the States and you travel abroad regularly. Has your experiences living and visiting different parts of the country and world had an influence on your writing?

NC: Absolutely. I think you can only see the culture you live in fully when you see it from the outside. When you are inside and you have not experienced anything else, it’s hard to get what foreigners pick up on immediately. Also, having spent time in different towns and states has given me a good idea of the depth of cultural differences, which serve me well when creating characters and thinking about the setting for my stories. I don’t know what it is, but being on a trip always inspires me. I’m a born voyeur. I love people watching and listening in on random conversations. You can do a lot of that when you travel.

PT: Who would win in a fight, Wonder Woman or Bat Girl?

NC: Wonder woman does not have enough clothes on her body to be comfortable enough to fight. I am surprised she has not had more Janet Jackson moments thus far. I have to go with Bat Girl.

PT: I ask everyone this, if you were to be stranded on a desert island and could choose only four books to read forever, which ones do you choose?

NC: I’d take my favorite book: We Need to Talk About Kevin, and then, I would select the three largest collection of one of each: short stories, famous essays, and cultural and media studies articles, just so I can have a little bit of everything I love.

PT: Of all the characters you’ve created in your stories, which has the most of you in her or him?

NC: Maybe Lexie Townsend. She’s a no-nonsense professional girl with a heart of gold and a lifestyle some people don’t get. She has some growing to do, but she’s someone I’d love to hang out with.

PT: If you could give some advice for other new indie authors from your publishing experience, what would you say?

NC: Make good friends with other authors. Few people in your life could ever come close to understanding what it’s like to write and publish. Other authors will keep you sane and they are a great sounding board for ideas. Writer forums are also a wealth of knowledge but beware the inevitable encounters with trolls who love to hate and preach. Learn your craft. Study up on the publishing world. Give your all to each story, but know when to stop writing the story and just set it free. Take criticism well, but trust your own instinct as well. Enjoy the ride.

PT: In addition to your fiction collection you’ve also published some academic papers. What type of writing do you enjoy more?

NC: Choosing one is like choosing one of your children. They both do different things for me. Writing fiction is like breathing and I don’t even think about it. It happens all the time. People talk to each other in my head. Academic stuff is more methodical, but it challenges a different part of me, and I am forced to research and ground my ideas, which is a great exercise. I wouldn’t want to give up either. But if I had to, I guess I’d give up academic writing, only because I still get to talk about these things in class.

PT: What can fans of your writing look for next?

NC: I will be rel-aunching Humanity Revisited since it was only available on Amazon until now. I will also be publishing my novels soon. In the meantime, read my blog for little bits of me.


PT: Natalia, thank you so much for your time.  For those that want to follow Natalia’s writing online you can find her on Amazon, Facebook, her blog, and on Twitter @NatCherjovsky.