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WHO’S ON THE SHELF with @NonnieJules? #Author @pdoggbiker #RRBC #RWISA @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA

Hello, and welcome to a special edition of “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to, on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with usRWISA Author, RRBC Lifetime Member, and one of my personal favorites, John Podlaski! I know, I shouldn’t have shared that I have a few favorites here, but I pried that information right out of myself!  See, I told ya!  I’m just that good!  “Hey, Paula, why don’t I have my own RAVE WAVES show?”

Since RRBC and RWISA are both so busy right now, which in turn makes my plate extremely full, we have had to put our “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR program on hold, but I know how much you all love these interviews, so I thought I’d give you one today, with promises of a few more around the bend.  Today, John gets to sit here with me!

NJ:  Welcome, my one of two favorite Johns in the whole wide world!


Before we get started, are you comfy, my friend?  I’ve been busy redecorating, which is why I haven’t had much company here on the shelf lately.

John:  I’m comfy now since adding a cushion to my chair, and ready to go!

NJ:  You know, you’ve been good about calling me out lately on things.  Just this past Saturday on EYES ON THE BOOK, you all but said I don’t know when to shut up!  You had better be glad you’re one of my favorites, which means you can get away with more than most.  So, let’s get started. Please confirm whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name.

John:  Author Name

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NJ:  {Sigh} OK, so what I heard you say is that it’s a mixture of your birth name and a pen name.  {Whew! Let me tell you, all that counseling I’m under is doing wonders right now.}  John, tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

John:  I was born in Munich, Germany. We immigrated to Detroit, MI in the early 50s. I’ve called it my home until I married and then moved into the northern suburbs.

NJ:  Still married, single, or happily divorced?

John:  Still married. We’ll celebrate our 50th anniversary in May during our annual vacation to Florida.

NJ:  WOW!  Congratulations!  I’m right behind you!  50 years of marriage feels really good, doesn’t it?  No need to answer that, believe me, I KNOW!  So, do you two lovebirds have any kids?  What kind, and do you like them?

John:  We have one daughter, Nicole. She’s divorced and a single mother of our only grandchild, Scarlett. We adore Scarlett and have been taking care of her daily since her birth, as mom works in a demanding job as a property manager of several large strip malls in Michigan and Ohio. She is also the editor and cover designer for all my books.

NJ:  Well, some of us have seen photos of that beautiful little Ms. Scarlett, and I want one just like her… she’s so cute!  OK, I’m having baby fever right now, so just ignore me.  John, if you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, will your only child keep you at home to care for you, or did she start seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when she was 9?

John:  As the only child, we’re confident she’ll make the right decision whenever that time comes.

NJ:  Any pets?  What kind?  They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question… do you like them?

John:  We had pets for most of our adult lives. We began with a cat named Zorro which might have been the Devil reincarnated. We had to get rid of him when he became jealous after our daughter was born and did weird things to retaliate. We then raised dogs: a Lhasa-Apso named Haji; a cocker spaniel named Brandy; and finally, our Chihuahua named Chico. All lived to a ripe old age before leaving us. When Chico left us two years ago, we vowed to have no more pets and redecorated the house with new carpeting and furniture.

NJ:  Well, new carpet and new furniture definitely says NO MORE PETS to me!  John, what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?  I know it’s not a food, but I dream about coffee and would probably go on a hunger strike if I couldn’t have it.

John:  Chocolate followed by my wife’s stuffed cabbage.

NJ:  oooooo, cabbage sounds good, but, I don’t like anything stuffed.  What’s your favorite color?

John:  Blue

NJ:  Favorite sport?

John:  Football. I’ve been waiting all these years for the Lions to do something…2023 might be the year I’ve been waiting for.

NJ:  Well, per my husband, you’ll be waiting a while longer, old friend!  He says the Kansas City Chiefs have the best chance, or Philadelphia.  But, keep hope alive!  What’s your favorite TV show, John? Maybe my husband won’t have an opinion on that one. Hehehe!

John:  Charmed, NCIS New Orleans, Walker Texas Ranger, and Beat Bobby Flay. Been watching their reruns forever.

NJ:  I love Charmed!  Favorite Actress/Actor?

John:  Actress: Racquel Welch / Actor: Sean Connery

NJ:  My condolences on Racquel’s passing last month. She was a beauty.  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?

John:  I have different health issues which prevent me from exercising. Insulin also causes weight gain. So, my beer belly will most likely forever be my most prominent feature.

NJ:  John, I’m sure Jan loves your beer belly and that’s all that matters.  What is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit?

John:  Reading. Stepping into another world always offers a reprieve from my daily stresses.

NJ:  That’s my escape, as well.  Well, that and the Real Housewives of Anywhere.  Let’s move on to your favorite kind of music?  

John:  I’m a Rock ‘n Roll kind of guy who listens to tunes from the 60s – 90s.

NJ:  OK.  What’s your favorite song?

John:  It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

NJ:  Awwww, what a beautiful smile he had!  John, it was hard getting Louis here, but I made it happen just for you. OK,  slow dance or jumping around the floor making a fool of yourself?

John:  Slow dancing, fer sure.

NJ:  OK! OK!  Now, in 15 words or less, what is the most common thing that the people who really know you,  ALWAYS say about you?  For instance, everyone who knows me all say:  “You always know where she stands on things,” or, “There’s not another like her in the world,” or, the one I’m most proud of, “God broke the mold with that one.”

John:  If given a task, he’ll go “balls out” until it’s done.

NJ:  Oh, my!

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Well, let’s move on from that one!  What’s the biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest, so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

John:  Kids today don’t have any manners and want everything done for them. I don’t know how many times I’ve held open the door to a restaurant for my wife only to have ‘younger people’ barge their way through before her, sometime, knocking her off balance. Their parents say nothing!

NJ:  John, those new age “woke” parents would tell you to handle it this way…  you know, calm down and just breathe…

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Hogsfiddle!  I’d like for you to handle it the way I would handle disrespectful kids.  (I couldn’t find a belt or a shoe, so, here’s my other method.)  Doesn’t matter whose kid you use this on… if their parent’s didn’t raise them right, I give full permission for you to step in and take over.  This is a Nonnie-takeover.  “Woke” parents – this would be a good time for you to change the channel.

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NJ:  Now, you can breathe and wu-sa.  By the way, my method is reserved for disrespectful adults, as well.  So, John, are you neat or messy?

John:  I am usually neat and organized. My office desk is messy, but I know where everything is.

NJ:  Good answer!  Are you nice or mean?  Is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?

John:  I am usually nice and quiet and go to extremes to avoid confrontation. However, I will retaliate if pushed far enough.

NJ:  OK, well, that answered only one half of my question, but we’ll move along.  Some of us have been encountering people lately who appear to be sweet, kind and gentle sheep on the surface, but then, there comes a time when they make the mistake of letting their real self shine through.  Have you run into any of those online?

John:  Yes. Discussions about politics and religion usually accomplish this.

NJ:  C’mon, John!  You’re calling me out about my politics and religion behavior, too?  Gee wiz!  I thought we were friends! 

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 Moving on.  Facebook or Twitter?

John:  I’m more comfortable using FB and hadn’t used Twitter until joining RRBC.

NJ:  Coke or Pepsi?

John:  Pepsi

NJ:  Diet soda or regular?

John:  Diet pop, Snapple, and Green Tea.

NJ:  Oh, I love Snapple, although I can’t have it too often.  Too much sugar for me.  I also love green tea!  John, we’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most… your internet BFF or buddy?

John:  I can’t say that I have a budding relationship with a single person. In my case, I usually connect daily with some of the same individuals within certain groups (Vietnam Vets, high-school chums, and RRBC members)

NJ:  Who’s the one person that you’ve met online who makes you laugh the hardest?

John:  The one who continues to send me the short Tic Toc videos and comics.

NJ:  You have one of those, too?  I swear, there’s a member who clearly follows my blog and enjoys my kind of humor because they send me all sorts of funnies (that I must admit, I do enjoy since I love to laugh). Now, here’s the million dollar question:  Who do you favor most…  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest. You won’t hurt my feelings.  I promise.

John:  Hands down, Nonnie Jules. She is on a mission to make us all the best we can be as writers. She can be likened to a Drill Sergeant in the military. Nonnie is like Wonder Woman in many respects, preaching truths and ready to take on the world.

NJ:  I have been likened to a military something for quite some time, John.  I’m flattered!  Now, we all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso, and I like to deal in truth, in the no-nonsense way I sort of forcefully push us all to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one of us does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

John:  You both do so in your own way.

NJ:  Thank you, John.  That’s very kind of you to say.  Anytime I’m compared to Wonder Woman, I’m flattered, as well.  What a compliment!  Please name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members.

John:  Handprints by Wanda Fischer and Breathless by Yvette Calleiro.

NJ:  Great choices! I absolutely loved both!  Now, ONE good INDIE book you’ve read written by an RRBC member that was so good you wished the entire world would read it.

John:  Deadly Repercussions by Karen Black.

Deadly Repercussions by Karen Black

NJ:  That one is on my TBR.  I must hurry and get to it.  Now, what was so great about this book?

John:  It’s a battle of good vs. evil which kept me engaged until the very last sentence.

NJ:  WOW!  OK.  After you read books, do you post reviews?

John:  Always.

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

John:  How the books affected them.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

John:  Nope. I do try to be constructive without personal attacks.

NJ:  Good for you.  Constructive criticism never killed anyone, but it’s helped a heap of many! (That’s the South coming out in me).  So, read any poorly edited or poorly written books lately?

John:  Yes. I’ve just come upon some of them recently that I stopped reading before reaching 10%. They just didn’t hold my interest.

NJ:  I understand.  How many poorly written or poorly edited books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they didn’t deserve the high marks?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

John:  I don’t review books I haven’t finished.

NJ:  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

John:  Yes. I would hope so.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

John:  I’ve been writing for 20+ years.

NJ:  This is the most important question that you’ll get here today.  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

John:  It was tough before joining RRBC and the trolls got to me. However, since being coached by you, Nonnie, I’ve learned to use them to my benefit.

NJ:  WOW!  Good for you!  Learning how to use those trolls to your benefit is a skill!  Not saying that you’ve ever gotten any, but in the event that you have, how do you handle negative reviews of your work?  Are you able to shake them off and move on?

John:  If they have no merit, I just shake them off and move on.

NJ:  Please share with us two books that you’ve written.



Cherries by John Podlaski


When Can I Stop Running by John Podlaski

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

John:  Cherries is the best. I do have 3 others that are ‘off shoots’ and include characters from that first book.

NJ:  Do you know that I ask that question of so many authors who can’t (or won’t) answer the question, so kudos to you for just knowing which one of your books is the better read and not being afraid to say so.  I want to read the best first!  So, do you have a blog or website, John?  I love GREAT blogs, so if you have one, would you say that it’s written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

John:  Yes, I do. It is exclusive to the Vietnam War and its Warriors. Civilians were led astray by the press and our government during the war. My website tells the truth about the war from the mouths of the Warriors who lived it.

NJ:  Thanks for sharing that link.  Now, which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

John:  There was one that I found instrumental until I joined RRBC.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

John:  There is nothing like it out there. I do belong to other groups, most are driven by annual dues, and do nothing to help support members or their work.

NJ: You’re so right.  I know about those.  They are many.  Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC/RWISA?

John:  None.

NJ:  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

John:  Already have and will continue to do so.

NJ:  Yes, you have!  Thanks for sharing your love of RRBC/RWISA with other authors!  You’re a Lifetime Member here at RRBC and also a member of the prestigious RWISA!  How did it feel to be so highly regarded that you were awarded Lifetime Member status, and how does it feel to really belong on RWISA island?

John:  Supporting club members is part of my daily routine and I try hard to comply with that task every day. My ROI is overwhelming, and I get back way more than what I give. I’ve also found this to be true with non-members on Twitter. I’ve been liking and retweeting their book posts and find that they are now following me and doing the same thing. I would not have attempted to do this until learning of the benefits of doing so from our very own Wonder Woman, you Nonnie. What goes around… comes around!

NJ:  I am so thrilled to hear that, John!  When you give without expecting anything in return, your blessings overflow. 

As we wrap up here, what’s your most favorite program or place within RRBC

John:  I like the Rave Waves shows, Writers’ Conferences & Book Expo, and our Holiday POP UP event.  During those, I’ve had fun in the role of the virtual bartender and try to keep things fun and moving in the (virtual) rooms.

NJ:  Well, you have been designated as our resident bartender and we appreciate all the goodies you bring for us to eat, as well!  Get ’em drunk and then feed ’em, ‘eh, John?  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our audience?

John:  Thank you for having me on your shelf today. I can’t think of a nicer place to be. I’m also thankful for your support and that of the other members, which makes RRBC the best club ever!

NJ:  It was truly my pleasure to have you with me today, and  I am honored to call you my friend.

To my guests, please pick up a copy of either of  John’s books above or any that you might find in the RRBC and RWISA catalogs. Feel free to also drop by his RRBC Author page or RWISA Profile to learn more about him and his writing.  Please be sure to leave him a comment below as he would love to chat and answer all your questions!  

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since John was my guest on the “SHELF” today, list him as your referral when you join!

If you would like to join me here on my shelf soon, please use our CONTACT US form to let me know.

Until next time, take care.  We’ll see you again soon, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!

19 thoughts on “WHO’S ON THE SHELF with @NonnieJules? #Author @pdoggbiker #RRBC #RWISA @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA”

  1. Hi John. I love getting to know more about you. It’s been a long time since someone sat on the shelf and did one of these, so it is refreshing to see you. I’m glad you didn’t fall off. Nonnie has been known to have accidents. She must really like you. HaHaHa!!! Louis Armstrong is a favorite of mine too along with many others I could name. I also belonged to a writers club here in Detroit that can’t hold a candle to RRBC. Here is where I also learned to give and support other writers. It’s so much nicer.

    Nonnie thank you for presenting and hosting John. I enjoyed the interview very much.


  2. I must say @nonnie I have missed these. Glad you finished your remodeling. @john is a fab author and I like all his books. They make me think and sometimes cry. Glad you are on the shelf today @john. Great discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning, shelf sitters!

    What a great interview! Nonnie, you invite the most interesting people to join you in the shelf and John, you are definitely an interesting character! I am a fan of your successful efforts to bring awareness to Vietnam Veterans. Your website is the best. As for listening to 60’s music and not finishing “bad” books, I agree wholeheartedly.

    Thank you for kind words about “Deadly.” I am thrilled that it kept you engaged!

    Now, I’m off to the kitchen. Corned beef and cabbage is on the dinner menu.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karen. Corn Beef and cabbage are on the menu tomorrow, a St. Patrick’s Day favorite. I bet you can’t say ‘shelf sitters’ six times real fast…

      Thank you for your kudos. Keep those books coming.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t caught that that shelf sitters comment, John! We’re starting the St. Patrick’s Day celebration early. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy that corned beef and cabbage. ☺️


  4. What a great interview – kudos John and Nonnie! John, you are hands-down my favorite virtual bartender! It was fun to learn more about you. Btw, I love stuffed cabbage and chocolate too, but would eat them in the reverse order from you, chocolate last. Chocolate is a good ending to anything! Thanks for the interview, Nonnie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, MauraBeth! I always have fun bartending, especially when you and Karen hang out with me. We have some wild times. I agree that chocolate is a great ending…beginning…snack…finger food.

      Liked by 1 person

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