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Shelby County native continues novel ideas

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Naval veteran and author Drew Howell releases his second book: Irish Pennant.

By Spencer Jenkins

When Shelby County native Drew Howell released his first book, Expendable Assets, he said more books would follow.

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He hasn’t let readers down on that promise, recently releasing Irish Pennant and promising even more books will be published.

“The first book reached a natural ending point, but it wasn't really the end of the story,” Howell said “You knew these characters wouldn't just let things be, that the story would go on.  So, while this book can be read stand-alone, it picks up right where the first one left off.”

An alumnus of Shelby County High School, Howell graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1988. Then he served in the Navy for nearly two decades, including tours in Desert Storm and Kosovo, he said.

After leaving active duty he decided to return to school and study law at William & Mary, where he specialized in intellectual property law. He began to write while a student there and last summer released Expendable Assets.

Howell said the interest in that first book was more than he could have hoped for, and that it’s really gratifying to hear how much people enjoyed it. 

“My test-readers say the second book is even better, so I hope people will give it a look,” he said. “I already had some ideas for continuing the story before the first book was even complete. It just took a few months of kicking them around before I was ready to put fingers to keyboard.”

Irish Pennant is about two people – a former government operative and a current FBI agent – who are both trying to hunt down the same bad actor, but using very different methods, Howell said. One uses a team of military and espionage veterans, doing what those folks do best, and the other uses forensic and law-enforcement techniques. 

“The question is whether either of them can hunt down the killer before he strikes again,” Howell said.

He also said the professionals in the military, intelligence and law-enforcement communities inspired him to write the novel.

Unlike his last book that was self-published Howell is working with an independent publishing house and said that’s “the only way to go in my mind.” 

“The old model of the giant publishing houses and the agents and all that will still have its role, but this is the future,” he said.

During the past year, sales of e-books have overtaken print books, so Howell’s book is available on the Kindle and Nook, with Sony and iBook due shortly. 

“There are links to all of those on my website, www.drewhowell.com,” he said. “If you're like me and you still like to turn paper pages, you can get a hardcopy via Amazon.”