Today Lovely Books Shines The Author Spotlight On…
Johanna has always had a passion for writing, even at a very young age. When she was five years old, her teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. The answer was: A writer and an artist. It is safe to say she hasn’t deviated far from that mindset.
A busy wife and mother of three, Johanna is heavily involved in her kids schooling. Though this current lifestyle differs greatly than the background she has in fashion design, Johanna loves being a parent and finds her rural lifestyle both rewarding and fulfilling.
However, it is when she has the laptop in front of her and can unleash her creativity, that Johanna’s soul is truly awakened. Writing is the core of who she is, her quest is to share that with the world.
Johanna was born in a small town in the Bay of Plenty. (New Zealand) She now lives in the Waikato with her husband and children, along with cats, chickens, cows and four crazy goats.
How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
I’ve been a storyteller since I was old enough to speak in conversations. I’ve had a great fondness for books my whole life, and have always recorded my own stories in notebooks. Even though becoming an author has been a dream/goal since childhood, I didn’t have the confidence to make it real until well into adulthood. Good friend and fellow author Allison Cassatta gave me the push I needed, allowing me to publish in her short story anthology Evernight. I went on to publish in the second Evernight book and by this stage was well on the way to publishing my own novel. (The Mercenary).
How do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is not something I’ve ever had difficulty with. In fact, I usually have so many ideas rolling around in my head it becomes a matter of putting them in a suitable queue. Music is probably my biggest influence. All of my main characters have their own Itunes playlist. All I have to do when I want to sit down and write, is ascertain which voice I will be working with and put the music on. Another strong influence for me is nature. There are a few geographical locations that are special to me; where I grew up for example. Whenever I visit those places I feel the ideas/voices rise to the surface.
How do you go about writing a book? Do you have any schedule, tricks or tips to share?
In many ways I am not a conventional writer. I don’t make plot outlines or note down pages and pages of character analysis or brainstorming. The only planning I do at all, is sketching my characters to help bring them to life in my mind. It also helps with the descriptions. When I sit down to work on a novel, I have a basic concept of where it will start and where it will end, with a few key events in the middle. It is my characters that choose how and when they will get there. I can always tell if I’m on the right track because if I am trying to work with the wrong character, or explore the wrong subplot, the words won’t flow. When I get it right, I can’t type fast enough! My only trick as I mentioned in #2, is having a separate playlist for each character. When I am out and about if I hear those songs, I find it hard to ‘turn off’ the voices of my characters until I return home.
What kind of books do you read? Who is your favorite author?
The first author I can remember being strongly affected by is Stephen King. I still hold a deep respect for this author, and I own almost every book he has published. I started out in the horror genre in my teens, moving onto epic fantasy in my early twenties. In my mid to late twenties I discovered my true niche in paranormal romance. I love vampire lore, shapeshifters, angels and demons and witchcraft/sorcery. I have too many favorite authors to mention, so I will say Stephen King is the favorite who has been on my shelf the longest.
What are you currently working on?
I have a number of exciting projects at the moment. I am 25% through the first draft of book three in my shapeshifter series Therian Secrets. I have a standalone novel about a vampire, an angel and a demon due to release late next year, and also a fantasy short story collection of my own.