Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Day 2 with Johnnie Alexander

Johnnie Alexander’s debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (Historical category, 2011). Her first contemporary romance, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series; Revell), and her first novella, “The Healing Promise” (Courageous Bride Collection; Barbour), release in 2016. Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area with a small herd of alpacas and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees raccoons.

Johnnie is giving away a copy of her new novel Where Treasure Hides. To enter the drawing for her novel, click on the contest link at the bottom of this interview and follow the instructions.

Welcome back, Johnnie. What are you working on now?

I’m putting the finishing touches on a contemporary romance, the as yet untitled Book #2 in the Misty Willow Series. Then I’m taking a trip to the 1870s to write a novella set in Nebraska before coming back to the present for my third Misty Willow novel.

The first book in the series, Where She Belongs, releases in January.

A reader once asked me this question, and I thought it was a good one. Is there ever a time when you feel like your work is truly finished and complete? 

I think we can always find improvements to make, even if it’s just little touches. For example, Where Treasure Hides first released as an ebook in January 2013. When the print edition came out just a few weeks ago, I re-read the story—for the first time in almost three years. I spotted a few little things I’d like to change.

Describe your workspace.

Picture a kitchen nook with two long windows, one at the end of the rectangular table and the other at the side. I sit where I can see out of both because you never know what’s going to walk by. It’s not so unusual to see the semi-feral cats or the neighbor’s dogs. The alpaca stroll by, too. But I’m always amazed when I see a raccoon and even more so when I see a fox. Yep. That’s happened twice and I don’t think it was the same one.
Describe your dream workspace.
Lots of windows, lots of light. Lots of shelves for lots of books. Organized files and organized supplies. A desk and chair for working on my computer but also a comfy chair for curling up in and imagining. And Rugby, my little papillon, nearby.
If you could be a character from your favorite historical novel, who would you be?
This is a toughie. My favorite historical novel is Les Miserables but I don’t want to be anyone from that story. Eek!
So let’s leave Victor Hugo’s France and visit Jane Austen’s England. Though Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of her stories, I’ll choose to be Anne Elliot from Persuasion. She was steadfast, loyal, and must have lived an adventurous life with her seafaring hubby. 

What is the biggest misconception the general public has about authors?

Not too long ago, my vet asked me why I wasn’t on a beach somewhere. “Isn’t that what writers do?” he asked. He was teasing, but that may be a general misconception.

What is the biggest misconception beginning writers have about being published?

The dream of publication is one that many writers have for a very long time before it comes true. We may think that one book contract means “we’ve arrived.” But I’m learning that each story has its own challenges, and so does each milestone in the journey. For example, I spent a couple of years writing Where Treasure Hides, and I spent almost ten years (off and on) writing my upcoming novel. But I wrote my last story in less than nine months. Deadlines are scary!
What would you like readers to gain from reading your books?

Both my historical and contemporary novels explore the importance of family heritage and entrusting God with our future. I’d like readers to discover and create their own treasured moments and consider the memories they’re giving to their loved ones. Also, the promise of Proverbs 31:25 is an important one: to clothe ourselves in strength and dignity so we can rejoice in the days to come. (That’s a paraphrased combo of the KJV and NIV versions.)
Thanks for joining us here on Favorite PASTimes. Any final words for readers or writers? 

For readers: Thank you for entering our imaginary worlds and falling in love with the characters who inhabit them. We might still be driven to write our stories even if nobody read them, but it’s much more fun to share our creations with you.

For writers: If you’re just starting out, I urge you to persevere. Learn and grow and most of all—write! If you’re an established author, thank you for encouraging those of us who walk behind you on the journey. We appreciate your wisdom.

For information about how to enter the drawing for Johnnie's novel, Where Treasure Hides, click the link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Deanna Stevens said...

Love & honor your country! Your Grandfather & other family members served to protect your freedoms!

Mama Cat said...

Faith in the Lord, "no matter what" - one doesn't have to be a prodigal! (jeaniedannheim) at (ymail) dot (com)

Johnnie Alexander said...

Deanna--amen to that!

Johnnie Alexander said...

Hi, Mama Cat Jeanie. I have a twelve-week-old kitten who is using my leg and feet and toes as a plaything. Any advice?? She's adorable, but her little teeth and claws are sharp. LOL! (On a more serious note, I totally agree with you about not being a prodigal.)