Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Interview: Michelle L. Johnson

Today I'd like to welcome Michelle L. Johnson, author of DIVINITY, which will be available through Spence City on September 23, 2014.

Synopsis

When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she's left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, ad that she is half human, half Archangel. With guidance from Michael, the most powerful Archangel, Julia sets out to discover her own history and explore her angelic powers. But her journey is cut short when an evil force, invisible to human and angel alike, tears her world apart. Now Julia must fight through her despair, harness her newfound gifts, and risk her very soul to stop the A'nwel and protect the family she never knew she had. What she doesn't know is that Archangels have secrets too.

Interview

Q.

I am intrigued by the idea of someone surviving something they shouldn't have. Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind writing Divinity?


A.

There have been so many times in my life that I have narrowly escaped something I really shouldn't have. So much so that I often joke that I am immortal. It was something I really wanted to add in because I feel like we all, at some point or another, have had close calls, or got stopped or delayed only to find that if we had been on time we would have been in the middle of an accident. I wanted to write a book that would explain that to some degree, in a few different ways.

The concept itself, though, came from one line. A few years ago I joined a memoir group and decided to write a memoir based on the period of one year in which I met and lived with my biological mother. The line was: "My mother is a raving lunatic and my father is the archangel Gabriel. Please pass the potatoes." I thought, what if I wrote the fictional account where that line was actually true? So I did both.


Q.

What makes Divinity different from the many angel stories out there?

A.

My angels aren't fallen angels and they aren't battling demons. They are the Archangels, and they act like gods or mafia. They are every bit as manipulative as humans, and in this book they are in desperate need. The creature they must face is something new, made up of negative energy but sent by an unknown force. And the fact that the Archangels don't know where it comes from or what it is - and can't actually even see it - is something new. This isn't your average Heaven vs Hell book.


Q.

I've found that sometimes my favorite characters to write are not the protagonist. Which was your favorite character to write?


A.

Most definitely the Archangel Michael. He's funny - almost inappropriately at times - but he is pretty badass when he needs to be.


Q.

What was the hardest thing about writing Divinity?



A.

Keeping track of Julia's appearance. She kept morphing on me and I'm not sure why.




Q.

I think I might be a minority in the writing community where I actually enjoy both the drafting phase and the repeated rounds of editing. Which part of the writing process is your favorite and why?


A.

My favorite part is after the first draft when I go through and see all the threads that I have woven in and making sure I've not been too elusive. In my first drafts I tend to assume everyone reading will know what is in my head and often don't leave enough clues. I like going back in and laying out the clues.


Q.

Because I have a small son I'm trying to keep an eye on I tend to write at the table in the dining room or in the living room. Where is your favorite place to write?


A.

Lately it has been on an airplane with a legal pad and a pen. but I wrote all of Divinity on the couch on a laptop, seated between the second and third cushion on the right.


Q.

What is your writing schedule like? Mine changes all the time with the kids' schedules.



A.

Wait. I'm supposed to have a schedule?



Q.

Have you written any other books?



A.

Yes, my first book was a mystery called the Footloose Killer. It is no longer in print but I am planning to revive that series. I so loved those characters.


Q.

What project are you currently working on, if you can divulge that information?




A.

I am currently working on the sequel to Divinity, also the next mystery and a collaborative project that is something really new for me but lots of fun - a romance.



Q.

Your Twitter says you're an agent as well. Has that aspect helped you with your own writing?





A.

Absolutely. Through the endless evaluation of others, it is a process that you can't help but learn from. I see what works in stories, and what doesn't work. It really helps me when writing, and has certainly taught me that plotting out my stories is a very, very good idea.


Q.

Because I'm a huge reader and constantly looking for more books to devour, what are you currently reading?


A.

Though I am sure I will be finished before this interview is posted, I am currently reading Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig. Chuck is an incredibly talented author.
 



Add it on Goodreads

Author Bio


Michelle L. Johnson was born in Ohio and adopted by Canadians. They traveled all over North America, and when they weren't on the road Michelle could be found with her nose buried deeply in the pages of a book. With all of her travels and adventures, she hopes to bring some of her unique perspective to the pages and to entertain others the way all of her heroes have for her. When she's not hanging out with her feathered friends, she's busy being a literary agent with Inklings Literary Agency. She says wherever she hangs her coffee mug is her home, and right now that's a toasty warm Jacksonville, Florida with her happy Cocker Spaniel and her small family.

You can find Michelle on the web at:


No comments:

Post a Comment