Friday, March 1, 2013

John W. Huffman - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Award winning Indie Author John W. Huffman. He writes Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers. John is a three time Purple Heart winner. He is a member of the IAN.

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: John W. Huffman
Twitter: @johnwhuffman
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:

John W. Huffman was born in Hemphill, Texas, attended elementary school in Pineland, Texas, junior high and high school in Jasper, Texas, and graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

John enlisted in the Army Airborne in 1966 and served two tours of combat duty in Vietnam, the first as a private, and subsequently a sergeant, with Alpha Company, 1/27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, in 1966-67, and the second as an officer/aviator with the 120th Aviation Company in 1972-73. He retired as a major in 1986 with three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, sixteen Air Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, and various other service and campaign ribbons.

Upon retiring from the Army, John launched a real estate sales and management company, SouthCorp Properties, Inc., which he still owns and operates today, and previously owned and operated seven NASCAR speedways in five states, created an automobile racing and sanctioning body, the American Racing Association, and developed three touring series.

John has received an honorable mention in the Writer's Journal for a short story contest, and published two short stories, The Reincarnate and The Mad Dash, along with his seven novels: A Wayward Wind, a Regional Finalists in the General Fiction category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; The Baron of Clayhill, a Finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Contest and a Finalists in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Book Awards; Tiger Woman, the First Place Winner in the Action-Adventure category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Above All, a Finalists in the Action-Adventure category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; America's Diplomats, a First Place Winer in the Military Fiction category of the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards, and recent releases Cold Hearts Burning and Searching For Leah.

John resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, with his wife Misty, and has three grown sons and three granddaughters.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called ‘Eyes of the Blind’. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease.

Also, I see you are currently working on ‘When A Rebel Comes Home’. Any idea when we will get a look at that.

Eyes of the Blind is in the final stages of completion, and hopefully will be out in April or May of this year. It is a sequel to America's Diplomats, The Road To Attleboro, and continues the story of Jay Sharpe and the survivors of that battle for the remainder of their tour. When A Rebel Comes Home is currently in the outline stages, and I hope to complete it in the next twelve months.

I see you have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been to your writing success? How much has it changed your book launch process?

Social media is very important to all of my books. I have found it to be a fast, accurate, and cost effective way to promote and communicate with readers.

Do you do book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when is your next place where your readers can see you?

I constantly attend book signings, give interviews, speak and make personal appearances. My next appearance will be on March 15 at Frances Marion University in Florence, South Carolina.

You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Designing my covers is a fun project that I look forward to with each publication. I use a graphic designer, Whitney Brock, out of California, and basically give her a theme I would like to see on the cover. She will submit samples to me of her concept, and after tweaking the samples; I will then submit two or three of the final designs on my Facebook page and ask for feedback. From this process a cover is selected and final adjustments made based on the feedback.

Have you created a book trailer for any of your books to promote your books online?

The only book trailer I've done is for Tiger Woman, but I plan to do more.

I see you belong to the IAN. We have featured several of the authors from that group. What other support groups do you belong too? Do they help with writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I belong to approximately 30 different writers groups and workshops, but do all of my own marketing and publishing, and never submit my writing for peer review.

With your busy schedule, how do you have time to keep up with your followers? Between your book writing, Real Estate Agency, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?

I recently sold my real estate company and moved from South Carolina to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to allow more time for writing and interacting with my readers. I adhere to a set schedule of writing four days a week and spending quality time with my family the other three days. I post daily on twitter and Facebook, and on occasion, take time off to travel.

You’re an author that has bridged the gap to ebooks. Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, your marketing and the relationship with your readers and fans?

Ebooks, in my opinion, is the best thing that has happened to book publishing in the last hundred years. I promote heavily online and attribute 80% of my sales, both foreign and domestic, to ebooks.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in other types of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I have participated in very few book giveaways, with the exception of charities, and can't say that I've had a lot of success with them. Mostly, I just grind out the promotion process in conventional channels.

In reviewing your books, I noticed you rely on your background of racing and military. How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you do a lot of research for your books?

Mostly I write "what I know" in my books, and base each one on experiences I have observed or personally lived...changing characters and events to weave a good story line as necessary.

Author's Book List
Searching For Leah
Clint Long, desperately seeking a sponsor for his race team, impulsively stops by an old mystic to have his fortune read and unwittingly sparks a euphoric reaction when she discovers he by chance has eleven direct genetic links to their twelve sacred tribes, which the governing Council of their Craft has been trying to forge for over five thousand years.

Unbeknownst to him, the colorful members of Council hastily adapt a plan to gather his seed within a maiden from the remaining twelfth tribe, whose newborn persona is destined by the ancient ones to usher in a new age of enlightenment for all mankind. For this noble quest, they select Leah as the vessel to bear his child, a naïve young woman raised in the swamps of Louisiana and home-schooled by her mother with virtually no contact with the outside world. When Leah’s godmother mistakenly casts a love spell, Clint whisks Leah out of her protected environment into his fast-paced world while Council valiantly tries to keep up and subtly protect the unborn child.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
America's Diplomats, The Road to Attleboro
Winner of the 2011 Military Fiction National Indie Excellence Award.

America's Diplomats powerfully portrays the Vietnam conflict's initial phase when patriotism still reigned supreme. All wars spawn simple heroes from youthful naivety as boy-soldiers evolve into weathered combat veterans. Young Jay Sharpe is no exception.

Born into a long lineage of patriots, he never questions his generation's call to arms. Filled with wanderlust and rarely sure of what he wants, but knowing precisely what he does not want, a predictable marriage to his high school sweetheart and looming job at the local sawmill in his small hometown after graduation, he gallops off to the nearest Army recruiter to become Private John Joseph Sharpe, All-American hero. After rigorous training, he emerges as one of the Army's elite paratroopers and eagerly sails off to Vietnam and the golden opportunities awaiting him there--a near fatal encounter with the 9th North Vietnamese "Ghost" Regiment in the legendary battle of Attleboro, the largest land engagement of the entire war effort.

His gripping tale of the trials of a soldier in our nation's most controversial confrontation is a graphic chronicle of love, hate, hope, and despair in an era of uncertainty and misdirection.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Cold Hearts Burning
Cold Hearts Burning is an enduring tale of wit, romance, and intrigue revolving around a series of perplexing murders centered on youthful liaisons, which ultimately leads to a quixotic relationship as the past unravels into the present.

After a big-city police department drums Dean Davis off the force for committing a tragic error in judgment, he returns to his small hometown to ponder his uncertain future, only to encounter his troubled past. He finds that small towns hide their dark secrets well when a former first love charged with the murder of her current fiancé engulfs him in a baffling whodunit to prove her innocent of the crime.

Further besieged by another old flame from his freewheeling high school days, as well as his first love's younger sister, his dilemma quickly evolves into a comical misadventure that ultimately heals deep wounds distant and near as it exposes a heinous scandal in a convoluted paradox of twists and turns.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Above All
A Finalist in the Action/Adventure Fiction category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Above All is a lighthearted action-adventure historical fiction set in the waning stages of the Vietnam War which pits a consummate warrior against the political strangulation that rendered our armed forces virtually ineffective. It is a comical but sordid tale of a roguish gunship pilot and his nemesis, a petty commanding officer, who loathe each other at first sight. As fierce adversaries they encompass the chaos of that era accompanied by a coven of nurses and a clandestine army of misfits who portray the best - and worst - of our country during that painful affair. Their saga is one of love and lust, hope and despair, valor and cowardice awash in a deluge of demoralizing apathy as they face the bitter end of that conflict.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Baron of Clayhill
A 2010 Finalist in the Popular Fiction category of the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1967 East Texas, this novel mixes a soupçon of the supernatural in with the mundane. Twenty-year old Paul Henry has just been released from the Army. Physically healed from the wounds he suffered in Viet Nam, he still suffers from deep psychic wounds and a radically changed outlook, his "enlistment bonus." Having gone through the classic lost-his-girl-to-his-best-friend scenario, estranged from family and friends and not knowing what he's going to do with the rest of his life, Paul decides to visit the grave of his father, a man he never knew.

Paul's father, John Allison Henry, supposedly committed suicide on the day his son was born. Paul's impulsive decision to find out more about his father sets him on a journey among strangers in a strange land, where he will find happiness and horror, love and hate, the power of determined effort, and the force of capricious fate.

The author does an excellent job of keeping you enthralled, making you hope all will be well, yet causing you to fear that all will come crashing down. Like a skilled poker player, this story keeps its cards close to its vest until all the bets are in, the hand is called, and boom! - the cards are laid on the table for all to see. After the emotions stirred up by the showdown abate, one thought is left - wow! Deal another hand!
Order the Book From: Amazon - Smashwords
Tiger Woman
The 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner in the Action-Adventure Fiction Category.

Tiger Woman depicts a brief period of unconventional warfare that tests the boundaries of humanity in a haunting tale of unremitting evil no ordinary soldier ever trains to face. Captain Christen, a dedicated intelligence officer with the 25th Infantry Division, directs an all-out hunt for a roguish female who leads a small guerrilla force with chilling efficiency as she employs depraved acts of psychological warfare to instill terror in those she opposes. This historical fiction provides graphic detail of the bitter struggle between the hunter by day who becomes the hunted by night as the pendulum of power swings to and fro with the rising and setting sun. Tiger Woman infuses great passion into a previously undisclosed segment of the Vietnam conflict in a manner never before portrayed by bringing into sharp focus the female soldiers who supported the communist cause so efficiently.
Book Trailer: Tiger Woman
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
A Wayward Wind
A 2010 Next Generation Indie Award Finalist in the Regional Fiction Category.

A Wayward Wind is a gripping tale of three former runaways whose troubled past spills over into the present when tragedy reunites the trio and spins them off into yet another unlikely venture together. When Jay Harte returns from the Army a highly decorated but disillusioned veteran, a desperate letter from his childhood friend, Oliver Freeman, now incarcerated on death row in Angola prison, launches him on a heartrending search for his youthful love, Hattie Trudeau.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author’s Corner. Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

No comments:

Post a Comment