Friday 27 October 2017

Interview - Author JA Johnston


JA Johnston is a native New Yorker, growing up in Richmond Hill, Queens and spending summers on Long Island. JA is the youngest of six children, four sisters and a brother.  The aunt to thirteen nieces and nephews.
She came to South Carolina to attend college, where she met and fell in love with her future husband at a Clemson Football Game (neither one of them attended Clemson).
JA is a preschool teacher for twenty years. In college, she loved creative writing classes and would make up other stories, but never wrote them down, until now. 
She now lives in the upstate area of South Carolina with her husband Stephen, three daughters Rebecca, Emma, Coraline(Yes she’s named after the movie!) and a miniature dachshund named Ginger.

1. What is your favourite childhood book? – “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, I loved Max’s imagination! Then, VC Andrews hooked me when I was in High School with “Flowers in the Attic”.

2. Has a book ever made you cry? If yes which – Cry, Laugh, Fall in Love, Angry, Sinful, Lustful and more…I’ve felt them all!

Cry:  “Maggie’s Turn” by Deanna Lynn Sletten, it just hit home for me.

Laugh:  The Holiday Family series by Tara Sivec, I just laugh and laugh!

Fall in Love:  “Getting Out of Hand” by Erin Nicholas, the whole Sapphire Falls books, OMG! Alpha men, Alpha cowboys, all with hearts of love and gold…look out!

Angry, then fell in love:  “Consequence” Series by Aleatha Romig, I have a love/hate relationship with Tony.

Sinful:  Taking Turns Series by JA Huss, title says it all!

Lustful:  The New Camelot  Series(American Queen, American Prince, American King is coming soon) by Sierra Simone, never imaged or read anything like this before!

3. What is your favourite Genre to read? & What are you currently reading? – I don’t have a favorite genre, but I do mostly read Romance & Rom Com’s.  I love stories with suspense!  But then I also love reading comedies, then at times erotica, taboo, psychological thrillers, paranormal…You see, I’m all over the place. I like keeping my options open!

My friends that have looked at the books that are on my kindle, they get so confused!  Different Genres all over the place!

The strangest thing I’ve noticed is that I read a lot of books with Alpha men in it, but in all honesty, if my husband ever acted like that…My husband makes me laugh, a lot! We have a lot of fun together, no one domineers the other.

I just finished reading “Unintended” by Georgia Cates, just before that “Bewitched on Bourbon Street” by Deanna Chase.

4. When you're not writing what do you like to do in your down time?Down time?  I have 3 children, all girls, not sure what down time is…lol!  My children are all in different stages of their lives 16, 11 and 6.  So I try to spend quality time with each of them, which is challenging at times. Then I want to spend time with my husband…you see where I’m going.

We call it, chill-ax time when we actually do get to sit back and just “be”, all of us together.

We have a group of friends that have children all around the same age, so we all hang out together, let the kids play, etc…We love “firepit” nights where we sit, talk, drink, and have s’mores.  Driving through the mountains, hiking, and I love the BEACH! Which I now live 4 hours from.

I grew up in Queens, New York.  So, I lived close to Rockaway Beach, in fact my High School was on the beach.  Even when I was not in school, I would take the train, just to sit, relax and chill on the sand.  We spent our summers growing up out on Long Island, so we had access to even more beaches and my father had a boat, which we would go out often in to fish and go crabbing.

Alright lets talk writing.....

5. What first inspired you to write? – Not sure if it really inspired me to write, but growing up in school we always had to turn in short stories using our spelling words.  I always had fun with that!  Then in College, I loved my creative writing class.  But of course, only my teachers ever read those and commented on them.

A few years ago I read an interview on another Indie Author on how she just sat down and wrote after losing a job or something along those lines.  Last year after loosing my parents, I felt this push to do something, but didn’t know what it was. Then one day, I was sitting at the computer and opened up word… “Truth or Lies” just flowed out of me!

6. How do you come up with ideas for your stories? – The idea behind “Truth or Lies” is one that has always interested me since I was young.  The “what if” scenario…if I changed one thing, where would my life lead me? 

Would anything be the same?  I believe in fate and I do believe people are meant to come into our lives to play a certain role.  But what if you met these people in a different order, would their importance be different than the others  or what if you never met someone that should have been significant.

Some have told me this was confusing, since the characters would flip back and forth with the chapters. But I wrote it this way, so you could see the similarities to compare.

7. What kind of research do you do & how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? – My first book, “Truth or Lies”, I just wrote and wrote.  I made up a fictional town in Virginia along the coast.  The follow up book is taking a bit longer because I am researching areas around the coast, the history of the area, and some other stuff which I can’t say, it may give something away.

8. Are you indie or traditionally published? – Indie

9. Would you rather write standalone, standalone with connections to your other works, or multi book series? – Right now, all the books I have planned are connections to characters in Truth or Lies, but am going to write them as stand alone. Some of the characters I’ve written have jumped out at me.

10. What is your main Genre of writing & would you ever be interested in writing other Genres? – I say my writing is Romance, with a bit of suspense.  My daughters would love for me to write something for them, so that would be a YA Paranormal, an adventure book for the middle child, and the youngest wants something silly…but nothing has spoken in those genres as of yet.

11. What is your most recent/up coming release? – “Truth or Lies” debuted August 2017 and I am  hoping to get the follow-up completed and ready by February 2018.

12. Do you ever base your characters, events or places on real people, events or places? – Obviously, the beach!  People who know me well that have read my debut novel noticed that my female lead character, Amelia, has a fascination with ‘superheroes”, that is a lot like me! But that would be the only similarity.
Also, I used some names (last name and a first name) from two of my husband’s co-workers which I thought were different (at least to me).  I’m not sure about future books, who knows, so be warned!

13. Who has been your favourite character to write about so far? -Amelia!  Since she has two time-lines, it was fun writing her in two different ways, but yet she is the same person.

14. Who has been your most difficult character to write about so far? – So far, Alex!  He’s very closed off, and doesn’t share much…yet!

And lastly we're all interested in knowing???

15. What are you working on now? – “Lies in Truth”  Amelia’s story continues and concludes after the tragic ending in “Truth or Lies”.  All the characters you met, you will get to know more in Lies in Truth.  Some will get their own story, eventually!

Want to see more from JA Johnston find her here 



Thank You JA Johnston for taking the time for this interview. It's been fun, We look forward to seeing whats to come!! 

Post a Comment


© MillsyLovesBooks. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.