Thursday, March 3, 2011

Author of Note: Liz Johnson

1. It’s a delight to have you as a guest on My Book Bag, Liz! I’m eager to get acquainted with Liz Johnson, author extraordinaire. :) But before we get started with that, my readers and I would like to know about you. Who is Liz Johnson, the gal next door?

Thanks so much for having me! It’s such an honor to be interviewed here. Well, I’m a pretty regular gal. I work full-time in marketing for a Christian publisher, spend time with my family and friends, and love to read. And somewhere in there, I try to find time to write down the stories that are forever swirling in my mind. I’m the youngest of three kids in my family and the aunt to five of the cutest kids ever.

2. I love authors who are "ordinary gals." Makes it so much easier to relate to them as a person, don't you think? I loved your debut novel, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, so I was excited to learn about your new release. Tell us about Code of Justice.

Code of Justice is a story of a sister’s love. FBI agent Heather Sloan—who works with Myles and Nate, the heroes from my first two books—is broken when her sister Kit dies in a helicopter crash, and Heather vows to figure out who’s responsible. Her love for her sister leaves Heather willing to risk her own life to find the killer. But that drive also risks her budding romance with sheriff’s deputy Jeremy Latham, who’s assigned to investigate the crash. Heather must discover if justice and mercy can go hand in hand.

3. What was your inspiration for this book? Is there a message you hope your readers will glean from the storyline?

I always planned to tell Heather’s story, and I was especially inspired by my own close relationship with my sister. And I hope that readers will walk away with a reminder that God is just and merciful to all.

4. Nothing quite compares to the love between sisters. Please share your favorite scene from Code of Justice.

My favorite scene from the book is one of the last ones, so I can’t tell you too much about it without giving away the ending. I will say that Heather comes to a moment when she must make the most important decision of her life. As I wrote it, Heather’s struggle felt so real to me—so true to the human condition.

5. What can we expect from you next?

My next book is a novella called A Star in the Night, which is part of A Log Cabin Christmas Collection, releasing from Barbour in September. It’s an historical romance set near Franklin, TN, at the end of the Civil War. All the stories in this collection are set in log cabins at Christmas-time, and I’m so excited to read all the stories in the collection. After that I’ll be working on more romantic suspense novels as well as a contemporary romance.

6. Those Barbour collections are so much fun! As a reader, do you have a favorite author? What three books are next in your TBR queue?

I have lots of favorite authors, including Jenny B. Jones, Meg Cabot, Francine Rivers, and more. Right now I’m reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver for a book club. Next up will be Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer and Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad.

7. Who (what human being) has been the greatest influence on your life, and why?

Of course, my parents have both been hugely influential, showing me what it means to love and serve God daily. The person who has most influenced my writing has to be Kelly Blewett. Kelly and I worked together several years ago, and she’s the one who encouraged me to write The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn. She kept me accountable to keep working on my first book and encouraged me through every round of revisions. Good friends like Kelly helped me use my talents and brought out the best in me.

8. Do you have a favorite verse of scripture? If so, what makes it special?

Romans 5:5 has become one of my favorites. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” I think I love this verse so much because of the verses before it, which say that we rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And that hope doesn’t disappoint us. What an amazing promise as we go through hard times.

9. What would readers be surprised to know about you?

I haven’t read more than half of the books on my shelves. I LOVE the look and smell of books, and I buy them all the time. But there’s never enough time to read them all.

10. What one piece of writing advice has most benefited you in your career?

A speaker at a writers conference once said that anything worth starting is worth starting poorly. He used an example of a cleaning company that was going under, until new management came in and reworked it. That company become Merry Maids, a wildly successful company. The point is that it was a good idea that just needed to be fixed. Stories are often the same way. It’s okay to start a story poorly. It can be fixed. The point is: start it.

11. That is excellent advice! Where can readers find your books? Do you have a website, blog, etc.?

My books are available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, cbd.com. During the month of March, Code of Justice will be available in stores including Wal-mart and many other retailers. I have links to locations where the books are for sale on my website at http://www.lizjohnsonbooks.com/, where I also blog about my misadventures in writing.

About Liz Johnson:

Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream—becoming an author. Liz makes her home in Nashville , TN , where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces.

2 comments:

Donna B said...

Wonderful advice - and I will definitely be looking for your series of stories. They sound great!

Delia Latham said...

They really are good books, Donna! :)