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Howard Andrew Jones

answers the Usual Questions

Howard Andrew Jones, on his web site, describes himself, "When not helping run his small family farm or spending time with his wife and children, he can be found hunched over his laptop or notebook, mumbling about flashing swords and doom-haunted towers. He's worked variously as a TV cameraman, a book editor, a recycling consultant, and most recently, as a writing instructor at a mid-western college."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

It's been affirming and inspiring to meet fans. It makes a big difference knowing that your work is reaching someone. When you're writing this stuff you hope that readers will take the same kind of pleasure in it that you find in your own favorite stories.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

There are any number of nice moments. I'll never forget the first time I was approached by a fan. I was standing with a well-known editor at a World Fantasy Convention and noticed that someone was waiting for us to finish talking, I stepped aside, naturally assuming they wanted to speak to the other person. As it turned out, though, I'd just been approached by my first reader. There have been any number of letters I've truly enjoyed, especially those from people who really seem to find what I'm hoping they'll find in my work. Perhaps my all-time favorite comment was from a Goodreads reviewer who liked Dabir and Asim so much that she wished she could have them over for dinner.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I have any number of favorite authors, among them Roger Zelazny, Fritz Leiber, the unknown authors of the Arabian Nights, but most specifically Robert E. Howard, Leigh Brackett, and Harold Lamb, whose fantastic historical fiction I spent many years working to bring back into print.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Well, real life people who are still alive? I think it would be great talking with Neal deGrasse Tyson. I happen to be friends with most of the living fantasy authors I most admire, and I wouldn't want to condemn them to being stuck in an elevator with me. There are any number of historical figures I should like to have spoken with, among them the above named favorite authors, Pete Ham and Tom Evans from Badfinger, Carl Sagan, Hannibal of Carthage, Ben Franklin... I could go on and on.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Huh. Probably the network execs who cancelled Firefly, or the original Star Trek.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

I always take my mini-writing notebook and mini-pen wherever I go, and pics of the wife and kids. Believe it or not, I don't have a portable electronic gadget with all my favorite books or music on it. If I did, I suppose I'd make sure I had those with me. I'll assume that I get to have oxygen, a space suit, and a supply of food and water?

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

The sense that I've told a good story with good characters -- that I've reached my readers.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I love to tell stories. I've dreamed about being able to tell stories for a living my whole life, and now that I'm in my forties I'm finally able to do that. It's still incredible to me, and I am grateful every day for this opportunity.

submitted by Howard Andrew Jones

November 7, 2013

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Just the facts:
Born: 1968
Resides: Upon the Sea of Monsters

Web site:


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