Interview with Author J.A. Howell!!!

4 Aug

We’re back again with another author interview! This time, The Tarasphere is proud to bring you J.A. Howell and her newest release, Possess My Heart (Book 3 in the Possess Saga). First, let me say, that if you haven’t heard of this series, run out and buy or download the first two books. I have read and loved them both. Howell’s characters are real and compelling and the woman knows how to spin a good story. I guarantee once you start, you’ll be clamoring to get your hands on everything she’s written.


Now, the interview!!!

What was your favorite part of Possess My Heart?

There is quite a bit of humor in the story and I think those were probably my favorite parts as I let my goofy side show a bit more. Overall, the sheep shit scene, where Aggie slips in sheep crap, Camden laughs at her, and she promptly throws a handful at him that smacks into the side of his face.

What do you wish was different about the book?

You know? I’m not really sure. I’m pretty happy with it but I am sure there are always going to be things I could have improved with the story. I could see showing more insight into Camden’s life, but since the story is all from Aggie’s POV, it’s limited. With her cousin, Grant, being Camden’s best friend I could have given a bit more of a view into his life in that way though.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Right now I am obsessed with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. All time favorites are still Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Kurt Vonnegut.

As the Possess Saga moves on, do you find the characters harder or easier to write? 

With this one I was diving a bit deeper into Aggie’s character, but overall the story just flowed as I was also introducing new characters into the series. As I am returning to Harley and Nolan in later books it is a bit of a challenge, but one I definitely enjoy.I’m getting more into their pasts and their relationship is progressing from where it was at in Possess.

How strict are you with plotting? Do you outline or go where the story takes you?

I will plot, but it will be more of a big picture plot. As I progress, I make more detailed plots for the next few chapters I’ll be working through. Generally, regardless, the story still sometimes takes on a life of it’s own and pulls me into a completely different direction.

What is your writing routine?

I work during the weekdays so I come home, chill out for an hour, then dig into writing, usually while puffing on an e-cig and drinking green tea 🙂

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

At first it was the idea for the novel, then the characters came. However, with the characters in the Possess books some of them have inspired their own stories/series. For example, Brody came before his novella. While working on Possess I decided I had to see what happened to him before he died. Same with Possess My Heart. I put Aggie through the ringer, so she deserved her own story.

Tell us more about Midtown, and how many books do you see set in this location?

Midtown is a small fictional city in Rhode island that seems to have a high population of Irish, lots of pubs and bars, and is centered around Midtown University. So far all my books, even my first, Mistaken, which is actually 10 years later from the beginning of Possess, have been set in Midtown. I have 2 more Possess novels, 1 standalone Possess novel (it’s meant to bridge the gap to the next series), and then the Into The Fade Series, which will be 3 books. So overall as it is now, 10 books are going to be set there. I’d like to keep that running through later series as well, but we will see. Only so much craziness can happen in one little city.

What project are you working on now?

I am currently working on To Have & To Haunt, the fourth book in The Possess Saga. If you could guess from the title, there are upcoming nuptials…and some other not so great things about to happen. 🙂

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I’ve gotten some not so kind reviews, comparing my writing to that of a thirteen year old’s text messages, but I wouldn’t call that criticism, just…rudeness. In the past I have had to work at developing my characters better after criticism I’ve received from readers and betas, which I’m glad to have gotten.  The best compliment I’ve gotten has been multiple readers telling me how much they fell in love with my characters, because they mean a lot to me too.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

My father, we lost him suddenly, so it would be nice to catch up and get in things we didn’t get to say to each other. My Grandma and Grandpa on my mom’s side because they had so many amazing stories from living through WWII Italy and growing up there. It would be nice to get more of those stories from them and be able to preserve those tales to share with my nieces and nephews that never got to meet them.

Now the fun questions:

Favorite junk food? Kit Kat bars!

Tea or coffee? It depends on my mood. I’ve got my kuerig and a huge stock of coffee, as well as a giant basket of different teas.

Favorite superhero(ine)? Why? Alucard from Hellsing (An amazingly awesome anime). He is the most badass vampire ever, and instead of being super evil, he actually is the good guy. He is also a bit nuts, which makes me love him more.

Favorite color? Lime Green

Favorite place you’ve visited? Seattle. I think I’m a hipster, but I just don’t want to admit it. Shhh.

What’s one quirky or fun fact about you? I sometimes narrate my pets when they sit there making faces at us because they want something. I also change the lyrics of songs into ones about my cat’s undying love of all things edible. I could probably make a compilation CD with one of those cheesy informercials.

And now that I have you captivated, here’s a little more about Possess My Heart…..



“You can’t leave me because I’ll only ever love you.”

What was supposed to be a final goodbye turned into one last piece of unfinished business for Brody Walsh.

As long as Aggie Walker’s heart still belongs to him, he’s destined to remain in limbo, watching over her.
But when her family decides to send her to Scotland for the summer and she meets Camden MacTavish, it seems despite their constant head-butting that there may be something more between them.

That is, if she is willing to let Camden in.

As Aggie finds herself torn between her lover lost and her lover anew, it becomes clear that she cannot hold on to both. If she decides to let Camden into her heart, she will have to let Brody go. And if she can’t let Brody go, she risks losing Camden-and a second chance at love.


JennHowellBio and Links for J.A. Howell:

J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebookwith stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.


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