An Interview with Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson is the author of the book I’m reviewing this week, Vanishing Act.  She kindly allowed me to ask her a few interview questions for my readers!  I just want to thank her for that now.  Stay tuned for the book review!

1.  What first inspired you to write?  (Original question, I know.  Snort)

I don’t know that there’s any one thing that first inspired me to write. I’ve just always loved telling stories. I do believe that God has given me a passion and talent for writing, and it’s important to me to keep using it.

2.  How/where did you get the idea for Vanishing Act?

Vanishing Act really began with a character, Nate Andersen, who had a small role in my first book, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn. He really caught my attention, and I was so excited about telling his story. But it wasn’t until I pulled out an old story that I’d written in college, that I found the whole story about a girl on the run and a man intent on protecting her.

3.  Who is your favorite character in the book?  Why?

Hmmm … I guess Nate is my favorite. I love how he deals with the sins of his family. I mean, it’s horrible that he’s dealing with that, but his desire to be a man of integrity is so strong that I can’t help but love him.

4.  When will your next book be published?

My next book, Code of Justice, is scheduled to release in March 2011. Of course, that’s if I can finish the line edits on time. 🙂

5.  Do you work on one book at a time or several like me?

I typically do one book at a time. When I’m not on deadline, sometimes I’ll play around with a few different stories, but if I have to keep a schedule, I focus on whatever’s due first. If I try to write more than one at a time I get confused and sidetracked.

6.  What is the most rewarding part of writing?

The most rewarding part of writing is definitely seeing the finished manuscript. Even before it’s made into a book, just typing THE END makes me feel great! It’s such a feeling of accomplishment and pride in a job well done. Of course, seeing the final product in bookstores is never bad either.

7.  What is the least enjoyable part of writing?

The least is definitely the start of the book. Sometimes it feels like torture just to get myself in front of my computer and actual writing. But that feeling passes.

8.  What genre do you enjoy reading that you’d never want to write?

I don’t know. I’d hate to say that I’d never want to write any genre. I read all sorts, and I write all sorts like YA, contemporary romance, historical, and I even have an idea for a futuristic dystopian society book. But I think it’s fair to say that if I were going to write a very literary novel, I probably wouldn’t be as good at it as other genres that I’ve tried.

9.  Do you control your characters or do they dictate parts or all of the story?

I certainly control the outcome of the story. I know where we’re going, once we start. But there have been several times when a character is doing something out of character and demands a change.

10.  What advice would you give aspiring/struggling authors?

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve been learning this year and want to pass along is to have FUN! Yes, writing is a business. Yes, it requires a lot of work. But if you focus only on those things, you miss out on the pure joy of writing something that you love reading. So write what you want to read. Write what makes you smile.

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