Nancy C. Johnson Interview
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I like to write in the morning and finish early, start by nine and be done by eleven. Then I have the entire day to do whatever I choose, knowing my work is done.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
When I started writing I wrote longhand in a notebook. Now I write on the computer. It’s so much easier to write this way, plus I can rewrite as I go. Also, I type much faster than I can write, so it makes sense.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I get ideas from news stories, magazines, books, and television. It could even be a story someone relates to me. But the best way for me to form story ideas is to use the “what if” question. For example, “What if a woman sees the license plate of a vehicle involved in a hit and run, and realizes it is someone she knows?” Hmm, not bad, I’ll have to put that one away for future use. From that I can form all kinds of other “what if” questions, such as, “And what if the woman knows this person has a drinking problem?” I can keep doing this until I have the entire plot in a rudimentary form.
4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Yes, my goal is three pages a day, five days a week, when I’m actively working on a project. It is my choice whether I want to write on the weekend. I don’t use a word count, just three complete double spaced pages per day. If I’m writing lots of dialogue, my time goes fast. If it’s narrative, it takes longer. I do tend to write a lot of dialogue.
5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
My daughter is a talented graphic designer. She loves helping me out. We discuss ideas for the cover, and she puts together samples for me. Since she also reads my manuscripts, she knows what type of art will work best.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I’ve always loved books and been fascinated by authors. Growing up, my teachers and others seemed to think I possessed a talent for writing, and it was always something I enjoyed. I began to think I could write a novel, and maybe get it published. There have been times when I’ve stopped writing for one reason or another, but eventually I start again. I just really enjoy inventing stories and putting them on paper. And nothing pleases me more than knowing that someone out there is reading my novel, maybe at this very moment.
7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?
No, but I definitely want one! And my birthday is coming up soon.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
I have many favorite authors, too many to name. But I would have to say my very favorites are Sue Grafton and Mary Higgins Clark. I am currently reading a novel by Janet Evanovich, and I am enjoying it very much. My sister recommended her to me. Evanovich is super funny, writes great characters and dialogue, and delivers a suspenseful plot.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I think book trailers are great. The ones I’ve seen really do make me want to read the book, especially when they are well done. Book trailers are definitely on my to do list.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’m working on another mystery romantic-suspense novel, though the details are still subject to change. I’m also planning to publish at least one of my older novels, and see what kind of reaction I get to it. It is not like my current published novel, more Stephen King-ish, nothing that could happen in this world. But I do like it, and now that I can publish on Kindle I see no reason to leave the manuscript in the box.