Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday Moments presents Helen Howell

My guest today is fellow Crooked Cat author, Helen Howell, an English-born lady who now lives in Australia. Helen has recently had a Crooked Cat release, a novella called 'I know you know'. 

To get to know Helen a bit more I asked her some pertinent questions. 

You write in different genres and write work in different lengths. Is there a genre you feel most comfortable to work in?
No, not really. I enjoy stretching myself in different genres. The ones I probably write the most in are fantasy, horror and noir, not because it’s particularly my comfort zone, but mainly because I have more ideas than say for romance or slice of life. However, I think this is why I like writing flash fiction so much,  because it gives me a chance to find out what I can do for instance with a romantic story and humour.  

How long have you been a published writer?
The first time any of my fiction or poems were published was back in 2010.  It was a real thrill to see my work in print. Since then I have had various flashes published in e-zines and just last year in another two anthologies.

How many books have you published so far?
One. A fantasy fiction for children aged 9 years up to adults who like mid grade fiction,  called Jumping At Shadows. It was self published and got a good response from those who read it.

Are your books available in print, or only in e-book formats?
Jumping at Shadows is only available in e-book format. But my new Novella I Know You Know will be available in both e-book and printed formats.

What’s the genre/ subgenre of your most current book launch?
I like to call it a Psychic Thriller. Is there such a genre?  Why did I choose that?  I think the term describes perfectly a story that has a supernatural element along with a strong sense of suspense that has the ability to grip the readers attention and become a page turner. To me then a psychic thriller would indicate a supernatural suspense story that hopefully has you glued to the book.
Tell me a little about it, please.
When Janice, a tarot reader, with the aid of her dead grandmother, sees in the cards that a new client of hers, a Mr. Edgar Kipp, is a serial killer, and Edgar suspects she knows, what will Janice do?  As Edgar plans her demise, the race begins.  Who can Janice tell? Who will believe her?  Which one of them will survive?

Were there any triggers which led to the plot line?
Well I’m a retired professional Tarot Reader, (although I still do read, I just don’t advertise,) and I am aware that it is possible to see things in the cards about peoples situations. I got to thinking what would happen if you could see that someone was really dark like a serial killer, and what if they could sense that you knew what they were?  How would that play out?  To me that was an interesting scenario. But what would it also be like if a dead relative who was a talented fortune teller could speak to you from beyond the grave? How could that impact on the whole story.  And then, I Know You Know was born.  It first saw the light of day as a serial on my website, which ran for five seasons with six short episodes per season. It met with such a good response that I decided to extend it and turn it into a short novella.

Who are the main characters of the story?
The two main characters are Janice, the tarot reader and Edgar Kipp, the serial killer. Supporting roles if you’d like to call them that are Janice’s dead grandmother, and Kipp’s dead mother along with D.C.I. Rob Tate.

Who is your favorite character in the book?
I feel I should say Janice, but Edgar Kipp is such a strong character that he makes you just want to find out what he will do next.  Edgar’s damaged goods, a product of his own upbringing and of not fitting in with others. Always on the outside looking in. I found him an interesting character to write and to try and get into his head and see things from his perspective.

How much research did you have to do?
I did do some research of serial killers, what motivates them etc.  The interesting thing is that they appear to be ordinary people that don’t stand out from the crowd. It could be the person living next door to you.

How have you managed to find your publishers?
Anthologies and e-zines etc. I’ve just submitted my work and either it was accepted or not. For Jumping At Shadows I self published. This new novella, I Know You Know, is being published by Crooked Cat Publishing.  I originally had a story in their FEAR anthology and thought they may be interested in this novella. So I submitted it to them and they accepted it.

You were born in England but have lived in Australia for a long while. Has that influenced your book settings?
Actually when I write, my settings all tend to be influenced by England. I lived there until I was 31 years old, most of the impressions I gained during my growing up period have stuck with me. I’ve never set anything in Australia although I’ve lived here for 30 years now. I think England will always be my influence.

Are any of your books are illustrated?
The short answer to this is no. ^_^  Although I’m told Jumping At Shadows would be great with illustrations.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on another fantasy fiction called Wizard, that I have just started showing on my blog as a new serial.

Helen:  Thanks Nancy for inviting me over

Delighted to have you, Helen!  
Helen can be found at:

Twitter: @Helenscribbles

Amazon Author Page: 

Helen’s Author Page at Crooked Cat can be found here:

Jumping At Shadows is available from Smashwords

Thank you for popping over from Australia, Helen,  to be on Monday Moments. 

To find out more about Helen's new novel please click here to pop over to my Promotions and Book Reviews Blog where you'll find the blurb and an excerpt from 'I know You Know'. 



  1. IKYK is a terrific thriller with a supernatural edge. The build up to the final pages will have your toes curling in your shoes and then the payoff will blow your socks off (Which will be of some relief because your toes will appreciate the fresh air). A fun ride with an unexpected climax.. I gave it 5 stars.

    1. It's a great recommendation, AJ! thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. Thank you so much Aj for the comment. I am very pleased you enjoyed this novella. ^_^


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