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The Long Road to Paris

Xlibris published co-authors Ed and Janet Howle recently accomplished what many independent authors can only dream of-the distinction of releasing one of the Best Indie Books of 2011, adjudged by leading American book reviewer, Kirkus.

The husband and wife team are former academics and entrepreneurs, backgrounds that may seem to have little to do with writing fiction, but have proven to be extremely useful in pulling together the complex plots of their suspense-thriller debut The Long Road to Paris.

"When we started attending writing groups we were told all our characters spoke like college professors! That had to change. Our strength was keeping all the details of a complex plot in mind as we developed the story. I think our experience with academic research models really helped there."

Their debut novel published with Xlibris was inspired by the idea of an around-the-world rally scheduled for 2008, the centennial year of the 1908 Great Race, in which the couple was to compete. Unfortunately the host country, China, had to cancel their travel permits due to conflicts with the Tibetan population.

"Our plan was to write a travel memoir of our experience. When it was cancelled, we decided to use the time until a similar event was organised to write a reality-based novel set in a similar world race. We had never written fiction, and we viewed this as another new adventure." Janet Howle further adds, ". It was an experience of a life-time and relating our real life adventure to the novel has made interesting presentations for promotion."

The Howle's book has received positive remarks from readers and critics alike. All reviews posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble have been five stars. The real confirmation of their book came from Kirkus, however, as they have a reputation of being very difficult to impress.

Asked about their favourite part of their Xlibris publishing experience Janet Howle enthused, "The very best part was working with the graphic artist on the cover. Everyone who sees the book comments on the cover. We knew that this was important; it draws the reader to the book even before they evaluate the writing. It really is fantastic."

In the process of writing, publishing and marketing their book with Xlibris, the Howles share this insight to place an independent writer's expectations in the right perspective, ".The publishing field is changing but there is still a lot of prejudice against Indie publishing, particularly by book stores. Most of them will only take an Indie book on consignment and even then, you have to convince them you have something special."

Flushed from the success of their Xlibris novel, the Howles are already working on a second novel, "Night Watch". This will also feature their now signature suspense and love story combination. The story will be set in the Bahamas on a sailboat, another setting very familiar to the Howles as they have been sailors for 30 years now.

Edward and Janet Howle have several author events scheduled in early 2012. The Long Road to Paris is available at the Xlibris Bookstore.