Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Virginia Johnson author of Soulless Nights, Aspen’s Secret series, Seraphine’s, Bound by an Echo, Always Never, Kepler: Humanity's Ark and the Bad Words Made Funny series.
ME: Hi Virginia Johnson, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background, where are you from?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: I am from Minnesota, born and raised. Would love to leave the city, but I have a thing about bugs and weird animals. Squirrels, I can handle. Lizards and spiders the size of my hand? Hell NO. I like the concrete jungle ;)
ME: Which writers inspire you?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Inspiration has come to me in many different ways. Kyle Perkins inspires me to take chances. Although he has expressed his opinion on some of the releases that I have written, he likes to push the boundaries of writing and inspires me to do the same. Yolanda Olson inspired me to make the debut jump in to the dark genre. I had always thought that romance waseveryone's first book. Maybe it is, but I am incapable of doing a HEA and she told me it was okay to be dark.
ME: What are you working on at the minute?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Secondary Silence. It is a dark paranormal. I didn't want to do the same old Vamp/Werewolf crap that everyone else has overdone three times, so I opted for the female ghost lead and a male vamp. This one isgoing to be a mind-fuck of epic proportions. <-- I really just wanted to say that. lol. It is a fun one, though.
ME: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Sure - Here is a little snippet -
I tripped over the entryway and fell to the floor. It wasn’t the soft kind of fall that I normally experience; this was a fall to the hardwood. No passing through, nodramatic trip, not even a flicker to my feet. I felt the bruise on my arm begin to throb as my body scrambled to stand up. Supporting my own weight was involuntary and I was voluntarily having to learn how to do it before I made a fool out of myself, again.
“Ouch,” I winced as I touched my skin. I touched my own skin? “What is going on, Thad? This has never happened. You have walked through me a hundred times; this shit has never happened before.” I wasn’t backing down nor was I walking away. He was going to talk if I had to kill him myself.
“You want to know what makes you so much more important that the others?” He stood, using the doorway to brace his weight. “You are one of the only ones left.” He looked to the ground defeated and struggling to gain his strength. Icould see that whatever I just did, I drained him of what was keeping him together.
“How? There were many of us. You told me that. Every vampire has a watcher,all of them.” I was confused and rambling; surprised that he was still listening.
“Ashley, most of them did. This is a new world and the
stake isn’t for power within the Vampire royalty,” he started as he gathered enough strength to stand up straight. “The weakness of every vampire is in the hands of their watcher. You are the reason that I am alive and I intend to keep you alive much longer than I. Now, can you never do that again? It hurt like hell.” He made his way in to the kitchen as I stood, staring at the back of his head.
“That’s it? I have enough energy flowing through me to produce skin and you want me to let it go?” I want to grab any large object and show him what he isdealing with, but I know I would look like a fool trying to pick up anything at this point.
With a heavy sigh, he finally looked in to my eyes, “I have no idea how you did what you just did. To be honest, it would’ve killed any other ghost. Let’s not do that again, okay?”
Well, fuck. If it’s going to kill me, “Yeah, let’s not do that again,” I had to agree.
Before I could leave the kitchen, Thad made his way through to the dining area and I immediately felt like myself again. The rush ran its course and I was thinning out, no longer in need of muscles that I haven’t had in forever.
ME: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Carrie Underwood would make a great Ashley!
ME: When did you decide to become a writer?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: November of 2015. Until 2013, I hated reading. Despised it. There was nothing that made me want to die a slow painful death, more than reading. Then, I came across a few books that I actually enjoyed. The rest is history and here I am today!
ME: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
ME: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: I have never mapped out a story. My characters are based on my emotions. If someone died, I was pissed off. If someone falls in love, I was in a good mood. I never know the end of a book until I decide, "OOOOH... That is a good line. This is the end."
ME: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
ME: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Oh boy. Okay, here it is, giving away free books can be good when initially starting out as a new author. I have many of the fans that I have from giving away books. I can respect it and I support it. As for now? Now, the indie reader and follower is conditioned to be entitled to free books. They know that if they wait around long enough, an author is going to put a book up for free and then they will pick it up. The pro is thatsomeone downloaded it. The con is that it will never be read. What a reader may not understand is that authors give away a book in hopes that you will enjoy it, review it and buy another one. But this is not the case. Indie authors struggle everyday with sales and they are criticized for not giving away free copies or using beta teams. My theory? I give away more than I sell; A LOT MORE. I want someone to enjoy my book and take pleasure in reading it. Do I hope they buy another? Of course, I do but will it happen? Only time will tell.
ME: How do you relax?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Talk to my friends and laugh. If I have met critical levels of stress - I take a trip to visit friends.
ME: What is your favorite book and why?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Any book that is less than 200 pages. I'll be honest. I don't have time to read anything longer than that. If I had to pick one - Thoughtless - by S.C. Stephens, the whole series is EPIC
ME: What is your favorite quote?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: "If you feel like giving up, turn around and look down. That shadow isn't done watching you do great things."
ME: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Write whatever you want. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Keep in mind, there is someone ready to help you, but they won't do it for you. You need to own your success.
ME: What does your writing process look like?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: I sit down, open my laptop and describe a place I had just visited and suddenly characters and blood form. It's not he common practice but I rarely have any idea what I am going to write until I am typing.
ME: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Editing. I re-read Soulless Nights and I swore that I would never put myself through that hell again. I write, I send to my editor, I send to my proof reader and I publish. I never do a final read through. I would rather walk on knife blades surrounded by barbwire.
ME: Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: HEA!!!! I can't do it. The idea of a "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl sleeps with the entire football team, boy forgives her, girl gets knocked up by one of the randoms, boy accepts it and becomes daddy, girl and boy live HEA" <-- I CAN'T DO IT!!!
ME: Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Push the boundaries. There is a reader for whatever you publish.
ME: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: I have two that have made this journey more supportive. My PA, Janneke and my best friend, Kyle. These two support me and, although they may not always agree with me, they have stood by my side no matter what. Janneke believes in me and help me to see that I am good enough to do this. Kyle may want to kill me sometimes, but he took a chance on me and has never let me down. The amount of support that you need in this business is bigger than family and friends. It is about keeping yourself grounded and having others there to keep you going in the right direction.
ME: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: OMG - TIME! I need 30 hours in a day. I can sit down with an entire chapter plotted out in my head but it takes too damn long to get it in to my computer!
ME: What book are you reading now?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: I am Shelby James by Brooke Lee AND Strings by Kendall Grey
ME: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Heath Ledger - I want to bang him.
ME: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: The darker the better. I like to push the boundaries of the human psyche. I write about a serial killer, no because everyone is doing it, but to remind everyone that someone is watching and waiting for you to learn a lesson. I write about sex trafficking, the shadows over your shoulder and potential world's end. All for the reader to think, "What if?"
ME: What is your favorite theme/genre to read?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Dark romance. I love a good "will they, won't they?" but it has to be one hell of a roller coaster getting there, or I am bored.
ME: What secret talents do you have?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Eh... I don't drink excessively because I am gifted with the ability to remember the morning after. I can feel that fkn hangover for MONTHS! It really is a curse.
ME: Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Oregon or Washington. There is something that makes me want to go there. No particular reason, other than I haven't. Also, the Netherlands. My PA is from there and I want to see all the cool stuff she talks about.
ME: How can readers discover more about you and you work? i.e. Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Lnkedin: Pinterest: Amazon Author Page: Smashwords: Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.) Goodreads:
ME: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: I don't think so, unless I missed something.
ME: Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
VIRGINIA JOHNSON: Thank you!! You Rock!
*** DON'T FORGET TO GO CHECK OUT VIRGINIA JOHNSON NEW STORY LOCATED IN THE TWIST ME ANTHOLOGY***
*All proceeds benefit the ASPCA PRE-ORDER NOW