Valley Writer: Eddie Howell

“Whether I succeed or fail, at least I know I attempted.”

— Eddie Howell

MERCEDES — Eddie Howell, a lifelong resident of Mercedes, has just published his third book and he’s shopping it around Hollywood to turn it into a movie.

He’s introducing the novel “Your Land or Your Life” about life in the Rio Grande Valley and the perils of dealing with the Texas Rangers in the old days to college history professors to make it required reading.

Q: How exciting is it to write historical books for movie production?

Howell: Now that I am retired, I find more extra time for myself. I’ve always written stories and plays and I enjoy the aspect of writing something I feel is worthwhile. I’ve been very blessed. My first book that I wrote was turned into a movie. The second book was turned into a movie but it’s been halted due to some licensing problems.

My third book is a story about the beginning of the Valley. I just feel it’s something God has given me to tell. It’s a combination of history with a moral message. I feel at my age I can still contribute to the younger generation.

Q: Do you encourage people to write books?

Howell: Absolutely. Everybody has at least one story in their heart and in their mind that they would like to publish. And it’s never too late. I recommend that everyone take a shot at it. The worst that could happen is not finishing the book. Heaven knows it could make it all the way to Hollywood.

Q: How have you been able to be so successful in producing books and getting them published?

Howell: In my writing, I’m writing to make an impact and a difference in someone’s life. I feel blessed. It is a very competitive world trying to be an author… I have been able to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives with my stories.

Q: What inspired you to write this historical perspective?

Howell: This last one had to do with bigotry and greed and right now I feel our country is divided because of prejudice, bigotry and greed. I feel God has guided me. My first book had to deal with forgiveness and many people either wrote to me or called me to tell me they were very touched by the book or the movie. The second book had to do with our talents that God gives us. All my books are spiritually-based, but I don’t write them as a religious book. I feel God is using me to tell these stories to people.

Q: Speak about growing up in the Valley, becoming a warrior in the Vietnam War, raising a family and becoming an educator and leader in the community.

Howell: It takes, what I like to tell my kids and my wife, taking risks. I’ve always been a risk-taker. I’d rather have attempted something. Whether I succeed or fail, at least I know I attempted. I try not to live in doubt. I asked God to grant me the strength, courage and wisdom to succeed. I have no regrets.