Multi-published author Kerry Johnson recently stopped by my blog to share some about her writing life.
What did you want to be as a child (and did that dream come true)?
I love animals, so initially I wanted to be a veterinarian. But once I realized that involved blood, surgery and animals being scared of me, that didn’t stick. I had always loved books and reading, and I spent a great deal of my childhood in the Connecticut woods talking to myself. Making up characters and acting out as them. Creating dialogue in my mind, then pretending to be those characters. I remember feeling like a weirdo until my late teens, when I read about another author doing that…having conversations with her characters. Finally, it clicked that I just might be a writer. My degree is in English education, but I didn’t begin seriously writing stories until my early thirties, when my boys were past the toddler age. So yes, I’d say my dream of making up characters in stories came true.
What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense?
The crime element tends to trip me up as I write the first draft. I don’t watch a lot of crime movies and shows, and making myself more familiar with law enforcement procedures and rules has been a must. I’m grateful for CPs (critique partners) and editors who have helped with that. I also don’t plot much (I’m more of a pantser, when authors just make it up as we go), and nailing down the villain’s motives can be tricky, too.
How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels?
In my current series, I chose a location we visited a few years ago on a family vacation then fictionalized it. The tunnel in Tunnel Creek Ambush is based on Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel in Walhalla, S.C. My first book, Snowstorm Sabotage, took place in a ski resort after we visited one a couple years ago. When I go to a place and really connect to the physical environment, then my imagination goes into overdrive imagining a crime here, and the people involved in the crime. My next series will be set in a beautiful National Forest that we visit every summer (my husband’s family has a cottage there).
What’s the weirdest way someone has died or been killed in your novels?
In Tunnel Creek Ambush, one of the bad guys jumps from a second story window in the dark, trying to get away from my hero. Unfortunately for him, he lands on a sharp metal fence spire in the backyard garden area. The fence wins.
Kerry Johnson has been conversing with fictional characters and devouring books since her childhood in the Connecticut woods. A long-time member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she’s a seven-time Genesis contest finalist and two-time winner. Kerry lives on the sunny, stormy west coast of Florida with her family, a lazy boxer and a temperamental sun conure, and way too many books. She loves Jesus, long walks, all creatures great and small, and iced chai tea. Her first book with Love Inspired Suspense, Snowstorm Sabotage, released September 2021. Tunnel Creek Ambush releases April 25, 2023.
Tunnel Creek Ambush
Danger lurks in the shadows…and a police dog is keeping watch.
Officer Jasper Holt never thought he’d see his high school girlfriend, Kinsley Miller, again—much less become her protector. But when the wildlife biologist returns home for her aunt’s funeral, she’s attacked twice in a matter of hours. With his K-9 partner at his side, the single father will protect Kinsley with his life. But can they uncover the reason behind the assaults…before the next strike becomes the last?