Here we are half-way through the month already. Have you had a chance to go on vacation yet? You'll want to check out the Prince Edward Island Dreams Series by Liz Johnson. Today we have the pleasure of getting to know her better. I've been blessed to be a reviewer for her for a number of years now.
Welcome Liz! How did you develop a 'love of story'?
It started very, very late at night, after the sun had set and we were all in our jammies. My brother and sister and I would curl up around my mom, who held her seat on the couch like a queen on her throne. And she would read. Book after book. Little House on the Prairie. The Secret Garden. The Chronicles of Narnia. Calico Captive. The Whipping Boy. The stories were as varied as they come, and I loved every one. Mom read to us every night for years. Don’t let the fact that I fell asleep during most of those readings fool you. I loved those stories. I couldn’t get enough of them. Which is why as I got a little older, I started reading them on my own. There was always a magic in those stories. I couldn’t wait to be whisked away to far off lands and to experience the adventures of the characters. And then one day I decided to tell a story of my own. I haven’t stopped since.
I remember reading to my brothers and me as a child. She read some of the ones you mentioned along with the Encyclopedia Brown series. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Romans 5:5 has long been my favorite. And that’s probably because of the verses that precede it. To me they are a reminder that nothing is wasted, that our trials are not in vain. God uses all of them to produce in us an ultimate hope that never disappoints, and He never leaves us on our own to suffer through. The Holy Spirit is with us. Always.
Romans 5:3-5: “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Those are some great verses. When do you fit writing into your day?
I’m a full-time marketing director by day, so finding the time and energy to write isn’t always easy. One of my go-to writing times is during my lunch break at work. I bring my laptop from home and set up in a corner of the cafeteria for an hour. This usually produces a few odd looks from my co-workers, but I’ve found it to be a very productive time. I’m also a night owl, so my most creative time is from about 10pm to 1am. This can make for sleepy mornings, but when I’m on deadline, I make it work.
It sounds like you have some LONG days. :) Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?
I do have a favorite scene in On Love’s Gentle Shore, but I can’t share specifics. It’s a really pivotal scene in the book where Natalie, who grew up neglected and abused, realizes for the first time how much the adults in her life cared for and tried to protect her. When she runs to the person she hopes will verify this new information, she comes face-to-face with Justin—her former best friend, who she betrayed—instead. His tenderness in response to her pain is everything. Writing that scene brought me to tears more than once.
I think I know which one you are talking about, and it is a very moving scene. How long have you known you're a writer?
I knew I was a writer when I was seven, when my school assignment was to write two paragraphs about a bear and I wrote four pages. I knew I was a writer when I couldn’t help but imagine my friends and my twelve-year-old self in the pages of my favorite Gilbert Morris books, so I wrote us into a book of my own. I knew I was a writer when my freshman history project about the Renaissance turned into a 15-page short story. I knew I was a writer when I always carried a floppy disk containing my stories with me and spent hours at my best friend’s house writing instead of talking. I knew I was a writer when I managed to write a 70,000-word book between term papers and projects during my senior year of college. And I knew I could be a real writer when I asked for feedback from my college roommate and took all those many red marks and made it into an even better book. I didn’t know I could be a published writer until I was twenty-seven. But for twenty years before that, I knew I was a writer. It was all I ever wanted to do.
The love of creating story has been in you since you were a young girl. I can relate. When I wrote my first poem and little stories around age seven, I too knew I wanted to be a writer. Where can readers connect with you?
I’m most active on Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks. I also have a semi-regular newsletter, which I send out whenever I have actual news. Readers can sign up for that and find out about all of my books at www.LizJohnsonBooks.com. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram both as @LizJohnsonBooks.
It's been a pleasure having you here today, Liz. I pray the Lord blesses your writing. I know I look forward to reading your next book. :)