Interview With Author H.L. Howard

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

I am H.L. Howard, Author of “A Journey Must be Taken – Playlist”, an Independent Press Award 2024 winner.

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

Some real-life personal stories are behind my book, especially related to my corporate life.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

A Journey Must be Taken – Playlist” was inspired by loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic.

People were in desperate isolation. I stayed alone and happened to click a tarot reading video. I was struck since it described what was happening in my life. One day, I was on the way to the office and listened to a tarot reading video. It talked about office personal changes and specifically mentioned, “You are safe. Angel is protecting you.” once I got into the office, I was called to a conference room with other team members. A layoff decision was announced. I immediately realized that this was what the tarot reading video discussed. I felt the magic of Tarot reading. After I followed tarot readings for some time, I felt compelled to bring the story of the magic of tarot to the public. I also felt invisible hands guide me to do creative things, like writing a diary-style book to relieve my anxieties. I wanted to write about the funny stuff coming out of the heartbroken, sadness, and, most of all, loneliness.

# How do you deal with creative block?

Tarot readings played a significant role in my creative endeavor; the storyline came from the co-creation with spirit and the divine, the invisible hands that guided me. When there is creative block, I would have a beach walk and listen to tarot readings along the way. The idea came naturally.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

I wrote the story without considering the targeted audience. Later, I realized that this is for a “new age Belief audience.”

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I chose the title in the middle of writing to capture the essence to convey to my audience. I hand-drawed to develop the concept of a cover image to capture the co-creation ingredients: love, playlist, and tarot readings.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

Although I got generally positive feedback, it did immediately cause me to question if the reviewer honestly spent time to read through the book for the negative review. I also reached out to have a conversation to request the revision. Unfortunately, the effort was usually unsuccessful. I will have to accept and move on. You can’t control what other people say; all you can do is change yourself.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

I wrote the draft eight times before sending it to the professional editors for review. I would regain new insight, experience, and skills from this process.

# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

The best thing I had was holding the printed book and asking, “Now What?”.

The worst moment was when I learned how long and how many steps it needed to go through before the manuscript could be published.

The surprising thing is to read the comments from readers, which I wouldn’t expected.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

I had kept public interest as my intention for writing; it comes naturally for personal satisfaction. I believe that the next evolution in human society is psycho-empowerment.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

During the pandemic, it deeply impacted me from all those heartbroken news and stories. I tried transcending negative thoughts into positive ones via jokes, poems, and games. Faith plays a significant role in this.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

I got used to listening to tarot readings as inspiration; on the tactical level, I like to write based on a draw, a picture, something I can physically touch.

# What are your plans for future books?

I have two series: one is about how the “invisible hand” via tarot reading is applied to different perspectives of social life, and the other is zodiac star constellation-based sci-fi fiction. Some non-fiction spiritual self-discovery topics are also of interest to me.

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I am interested in various subjects, including science, software engineering, tarot reading, and zodiac-based emotional intelligence. I have had a long corporate career in business analysis.

I like to cook at home and eat at fine restaurants. I also enjoy road trips to national parks and skiing with his daughter.

Born and raised in China, I spent my adult life in the state and live in Fairfield, Connecticut.


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