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 to PASTimes, Johnnie. Tell us a little about what you write.
I became intrigued with WWII history when I found a book called Hitler’s Soldiers in the Sunshine State. That fascinating book, and several others I read, eventually led to my first novel set during that era. It’s unpublished, but my research inspired the storyline for my debut novel Where Treasure Hides.
As a bonus, I sold a short story to Guideposts about a young Florida boy who encounters a German POW escapee on Christmas Eve.
Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?
First thing in the morning, I feed and water an alpaca herd plus fill the food bowls for the dogs and the cats. So most days, I have time to write. Perhaps my biggest challenge is the balance between writing and marketing.
What historical time periods interest you the most and how have you immersed yourself in a particular time period?
World War II history definitely remains a favorite. I’ve read numerous biographies, nonfiction books, and a few novels, plus watched documentaries and movies on various aspects of that eras—espionage, art looting, hiding Jewish people, prisoner-of-war camps, escape routes. There are so many fascinating events and heroic people to discover. A few months ago I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. I wish I’d had the time to read every display.
Introduce us briefly to the main characters in your most recent book.
Alison Schuyler is a Dutch-American artist whose family has owned an art gallery in Rotterdam, Holland for generations. Though several Dutch Masters adorn the gallery’s walls, Alison’s most treasured painting is her father’s portrait of her deceased mother.
Alison first sees British officer Ian Devlin at Waterloo Station in London where he has come to the aid of a young Kindertransport boy. A station official wants to confiscate the child’s violin, but Ian isn’t about to let that happen. He is smitten by the lovely artist who draws a sketch of him and the child.
But Ian isn’t the only man with his eyes on Alison. Theodor Scheidemann, an ambitious Prussian count, is intrigued by her artistic legacy and takes desperate steps to keep her and Ian apart.Don't miss day 2 of Johnnie's interview tomorrow. For information about how to enter the drawing for Johnnie's novel, Where Treasure Hides, click the link below.
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