I’m delighted to welcome my dear friend and critique partner Suzie Johnson (aka. Susan Diane Johnson) to our blog today. Suzie and I are giving away a Kindle copy of our new releases, True North and Falling for the Farmer, to one lucky reader who enters the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Susan Diane Johnson is the author of two contemporary novels, True North, and No Substitute. Her first historical novel, Sweet Mountain Music, will be available in May under the name Suzie Johnson. She is a regular contributor to the Inkwell Inspirations blog, a group blog by Christian woman and for Christian women, and is also member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. Suzie and her husband are the parents of a wonderful son, and they live on an island in the Pacific Northwest with their naughty little cat. She believes her island is the perfect spot for writing romantic fiction. You can contact Suzie through her website (below), or at suziejohnsonauthor (at) facebook (dot) com
Narelle: What inspired you to write True North?
Suzie: When my son was in the first grade, his class worked all year to earn money for a trip to visit the aquarium in Vancouver, BC, Canada. One of the things that my son took away from that trip was the desire to see the orca whales in their natural habitat. It was several years before that happened, but when it did it became my inspiration. I share that story in more detail here: http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/2014/01/the-story-behind-story.html
Narelle: Please share with us some of your research tips. Have you been on an Alaskan cruise?
Suzie: I have never been on an Alaskan cruise. I hope to go someday. Obviously the best research tip would be to experience what you want to write about, if at all possible. If you can’t, the next best thing is to find someone who has. I was fortunate in that a friend of mine was going on a cruise. She brought back all kinds of details about the ship, the daily schedules, and menus. And then, of course, I researched every cruise line and what they offered, as well as watched multiple travel videos.
Narelle: How has your faith influenced your writing?
Suzie: My faith is part of who I am, who I’ve been for as long as I can remember. For it to not be integrated into my writing would be false. I’ve tried in the past to write without including my faith, and it just doesn’t work for me.
Narelle: Please share your writing process with us. Do you plot or write ‘by the seat of your pants’? Do you write every day?
Suzie: I try to write every day but because I have a day job, I’m not always successful at it. On work days, if I can get a paragraph written, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I do think it’s important to write something each day, even if it’s just one line or paragraph from my work-in-progress. I think I fall somewhere in the middle of plotting and writing by the seat of my pants. I usually start out with my idea, write a little, plot a little, edit a little, etc. It isn’t usually until I’m three or four chapters in that I really have a good sense of my plot.
Narelle: What do you hope your readers will take away after reading True North?
Suzie: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~~2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
This is the scripture I used for the book. The key point for me is that even though we hurt and are in pain, God is there with us every step of the way. Sometimes we don’t feel it, and sometimes we don’t remember it. Sometimes we hurt so bad we forget to look for him first. But if we strive to keep our eyes fixed upon him, he will fill our hearts and lead us in the right direction. We just have to remember. It might sound like a “pat” answer, simplistic even. But even the simplest ideas are often full of powerful truth.
Narelle: Please tell us about your upcoming releases.
Suzie: My next book is set in 1896 in the Cascade Mountains. My heroine is a journalist and my hero is a scientist who is searching for the legendary Sasquatch. He doesn’t want a reporter along on his expedition, and she doesn’t intend to be left behind. The title is Sweet Mountain Music and it will be released in May. I’m writing as Suzie Johnson since it’s historical.
My current work-in-progress is a contemporary romance featuring a single father and a nanny.
Suzie, thanks for visiting with us today at Inspy Romance. Suzie and I are giving away a Kindle copy of our brand new releases, True North and Falling for the Farmer, to one lucky reader. To be in the running, please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post. The winner will be announced on Sunday, February 16.
KATE LAWSON IS A RUNAWAY BRIDE
And she’s incredibly grateful when Jack Bradley offers her a job on his apple farm. Working side by side in the orchards with her best friend’s brother seems like the perfect way to get over her disastrous engagement. Until Kate finds herself falling hard for the handsome farmer.
Jack Bradley knows city-girl Kate isn’t here to stay. Yet suddenly he’s imagining a life with her in the country. When Kate considers going back to the city, can Jack find a way to show her that her real home is here on the farm, by his side?a Rafflecopter giveaway