MY INTERVIEW WITH SHARON JOHNSON!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Sharon Johnson. My genre is mostly romance and I’m also a poet
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I have 6 individual books ‘The Chat Room’ ‘His Second Chance Love’ ‘Perfect Moments’ ‘The Eclectic Poet & Friends Volumes 1 and 2’ ‘Partners In Rhyme’ which I co-authored with Ryan Baird and ‘Eclectic Poet My Voice’
My first novel was originally a 2-3-page idea about a woman who meets a man online when she’s searching for some book reviews, chats and commentaries. She comes across a man named DJ who has written a piece about kissing. As it turns out he is a widower raising a 7-year-old son. There’s an immediate connection between them. I wrote a follow-up book because several requests from readers wanted me to give the man not chosen in the first book his happy ending too.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always gravitated more toward romance than anything else. I consider myself a romantic at heart. I always say, follow the words and that’s what has lead me in the direction of my writing.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Fortunately, not too much research was required.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The Series is called ‘Letters Away’ which I’m currently writing with author and friend Elias Raven. It’s a story set during the early 1950s. Belle and Jacob are two sweethearts who grew up together since the age of ten and graduated high school together with plans to attend college, until Jacob is drafted into the Korean War in June 1951. There are books of love letters, pictures from that time period, Diary and Journal entries as well as poetry books.
The love letters are written from our imagination based on the time period, but the events of the war are as historically accurate as we could write them based on a war dating back over 75-years. We’re working on our 8th book now with several more to come. There’s too much history to cover in just a few books. We want to do write the kind of story that does justice to the over 2.4 million men who served in a war they were drafted into.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I can’t choose just one since I love them all for different reasons.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I host an event, which I started with then PA Julie Beckford in January 2016 called ‘The Coffee House Poets Live Write’ the first Saturday of every month. Two authors are brought together to write a story for one-hour to a picture they don’t see until the time they’re ready to start. After writing with my partner Elias for three months, it was suggested by our mutual friend Joany Kane, President of Passionflix that if we could write a love story in just an hour why not write a book of love letters about two people separated by circumstances beyond their control. I immediately loved the idea and I told Elias who love it too. My dad served in the Korean War and as it turns out so was Elias’. When we started, we had no idea I’d picked the one war that history never talks much about and finding information, would be like searching for needles in a haystack. We had no idea at the beginning we’d write other books besides the novels.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
So much more than we ever imagined. We’ve had to track down documentaries, the very few books we could find, Google searches, talking to friends and other authors with relatives in the war. We have also searched for as many authentic pictures as possible, which we include in our novels. My dad’s pictures are in there as well. Elias is a master of researching stuff.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, we knew it would become a series of maybe 4 or 5 books, but not nearly as many as it will when the series is finished.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I typically write different stories at the same time and my poetry just about every day. Sometimes, I set writing goals and other times I keep writing until the words stop coming. I have no specific spot. I mainly sit with my computer on my lap. I don’t like using desks since they feel to constraining to me.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Some have significance and others I choose that sound write for the characters. My best friend Shawn is one of the names I used, my grandmother Jenny Belle is another and Sarah for my aunt.
Where do your ideas come from?
I always find it interesting when I’m asked this question. For my books the ideas just come to me. For my poetry ideas come from everywhere. Waking up, conversations, pictures, experiences I’ve had, my family and friends and things I’ve observed at different times.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Yes. Horror and as of last year I was able to start my first book. I expect it to be out before Halloween. I hope to write more in the future.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Sometimes getting started. Sometimes writer’s block and other times, not being able to concentrate.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I really like them and teasers. If it’s something I peeks my interest I will be more likely to buy the book. Yes, Elias made me one for my second novel and I still love it. My friend and fellow author Roux Cantrell made me a gorgeous one for my ‘Perfect Moments’ book. She captured the essence of the book perfectly.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Besides having my children and grand-children becoming an author. It’s been the only lifelong dream I’ve ever had.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Knowing I’ve written the best stories I can and having people tell me how much they mean to them and wanting me to write more. Holding my books in my hands. Then I know it’s real and watching them stack up on my bookshelves as I continue to write more.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself as a one-click author that people can’t wait to read no matter what I write.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. I started writing poetry when I was six years old in school. I’ve never known anything else so it’s always been a part of my life. It’s helped me deal with a lot of situations throughout my life, being able to express how I feel.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Plan to work hard for years before you start to see results. Don’t do it for the money. Most Indie authors still have regular jobs and do it for the love of writing. You have to build your fan base one by one. No matter what you feel personally about a subject, other than writing or your books, don’t share it with the world. Once you’ve said something publicly it can never be taken back or un-heard. It will follow you everywhere for the rest of your life. We as authors, are there to entertain our readers, not give them more dram. We give them a much-needed escape from their lives, even if only for a few hours. So, bringing them down with your personal problems may turn off many of your readers or future fans. Always remember to uplift other authors and help them when you can. More than likely they’ll return the favor. There will always be drama. No matter how much you want to share your opinion or respond back, it will always come back to bite you. The more you say, the more you open yourself up to a lot of negativity and keeps the issue alive much longer than it could be.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Honestly, nothing. There has never been a plan B for me. This has been my only dream and I’ve never given any real consideration to anything else.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews and sometimes they sting. I do listen to what the reviewers have to say and sometimes it’s helpful. I responded once and it only made things worse, so I never have again. Fortunately, I have a lot more 5-star reviews than anything else. So, I feel very blessed.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
As mentioned above, getting started. My least favorite part is all the stuff that happens before you publish the book. Finding the right editor (After a few bad ones, I finally found a really good one) Fixing corrections, trying to find just the right cover. Uploading each book. Dealing with the business side of it like taxes.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I’m a romantic at heart and love writing poetry, so romance was a natural choice for me. As the words come, I write them for which ever project the characters speak the loudest. Sometimes, new ideas come and I’ll jot down the idea before I start writing the story.
Where did your love of books come from?
I became a reader later in life thanks to a friend giving me my first Kindle. I started reading a few books and after a while, I found myself wanting to read every day.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Alessandra Torre, Roni Loren, Georgia Le Carre, Ella James, Claire Contreras, J.S. Cooper, Robert McGee and Elias Raven to name a few.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Matt. He was never meant to be more than a fluff character. But as the story progressed he became so much more. His personality, great looks, sense of humor, empathy, understanding and loyalty became endearing and I just fell in love with him as did many of my readers.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. There is always that exhilaration when the story is flowing and you’re reading what comes next. There is also that moment when you’re spent because the scene you wrote is mentally taxing and you have to stop to refresh your mind for another day.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Mine is writing sex scenes. I can do them and I do them well. But I’d rather write backstories or emotional scenes that make the reader really connect to the characters. It’s what makes their relationship seem more believable.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write each story or poem as the words come. I never think whether it’s original or giving the reader what they may necessarily what they want. If I did that I’d be writing more for market trends and not for the joy of it. I know if I laugh, cry, roll my eyes, get turned on or the story (Even though I wrote it) sticks with me after the book is finished, more than likely the reader will feel that way too.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Besides Elias Raven. I’m friends with Roux Cantrell, Ella James, Leah Negron, Cree Nations, Ethan Radcliff, Savannah Morgan, Suzzana C. Ryan, Mark Davis and Jessika Klide to name just a few. They each bring something different to table. I stretch myself more as a writer because of them. I’ve either started writing something out of the box, or started thinking about writing different genres in the future. I’ve learned more about character development. They’ve always taken time to answer my questions no matter how busy there are and have been uplifting and encouraging to me and my writing.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
An Eclectic Life
Where can your fans find you and follow??
https://amzn.to/2c93Ljt (Amazon Page)
https://bit.ly/2sXQOAe (Instagram page)
https://bit.ly/2jnuwlo (Twitter page)
https://bit.ly/2dljFtb (Facebook Author page)
https://bit.ly/2CWzOyJ (Peacock Nation Reader’s Group page)
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you so much for interviewing me Amy.