This month it’s a pleasure to introduced Kimberly Rose Johnson, a writer of contemporary romance who put in years of hard work before she sold her first novel. Please take a few minutes to see how she did it:
Tell us a little about yourself : Thanks for having me, Karin. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband of twenty-three years, along with our two teenage sons and our yellow lab. Aside from writing I enjoy reading, playing the piano, hiking and coffee with friends. I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and enjoy supporting my fellow authors on my blog at www.kimberlyrjohnson.com just click on my blog link.
Why did you start writing? Being creative comes naturally to me. Daydreaming in school was a favorite pastime. Of course I was dreaming up mini-stories in my mind. One day I just decided I’m going to write a story. I had so much fun I wanted to keep writing. So I began to study the craft and about six years I sold The Christmas Promise to Heartsong Presents.
How did you start writing? LOL I sat at the computer and started typing out the story playing in my mind. I started writing before I had a clue of how to write.
How did you select your genre? Originally I wrote romantic suspense because that was my favorite genre to read, but after years of rejections, my writing friends suggested I try something else. I switched to contemporary romance and sold my first manuscript. I’m sticking with contemporary romance!
What is your writing day like? During the school year I have a routine, but the summers are hit and miss. My average day begins with social networking, including responding to emails. Then I get into writing. My time at the computer is constantly being interrupted either by a load of laundry, my dog or the phone, but I manage to accomplish enough. I usually stop writing by one in the afternoon and read if I have the time. Then I pick my boys up from school and spend the rest of the day wearing my mom and wife hat.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)? I wish I could say I’m very organized, but sadly my system is lacking. I take notes in a spiral notebook, I have also written out character note cards. I think I like that method the best and really need to get myself to do that again. The spiral notebook worked well for the first couple of manuscripts, but now I’ve written so many I lose track of where my character information is and waste a lot of time searching.
As far as outlining goes I do have a rough chapter by chapter outline, but I don’t stick to it very well. I’m a seat of the pants writer and sometimes things change. It all usually gets in there, but it often ends up in a different chapter.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you”? I don’t know. I’m kind of weird like that. My characters don’t “talk” to me. I have discovered things about them as I try to dig deep into characterizations, but I don’t really have an answer for this one. Sorry.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters? No, I don’t have a list of characters for future use. I do however keep summaries of story ideas that come to me, for when I have the time to write them.
What does your work space/office look like? I have a bay window in the front of my house with a bistro table covered with a red tablecloth along with an ergonomic chair I found necessary to invest in. I keep all the necessary supplies nearby. For example, I have an antique file cabinet that I bought at the farmers market several years ago that holds all my spiral notebooks and books on the craft. And my trusty thesaurus is always an arm’s length away. When I get sick of sitting in my chair I move to the couch.
What is your go-to snack when writing? Coffee! Caffeine is my friend.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why? My favorite all time book that I’ve read over and over is The Princess by Lori Wick. That story moves me every time I read it. It’s an oldie, and I don’t even know if it’s available anymore, but if you can get your hands on it, it’s a great read.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why? Of all my writing books, the one I’ve turned to the most was Give ‘Em What They Want by Camenson and Cook. This book focuses on teaching how to write query letters and how to submit to agents. I haven’t pulled in out since I signed with my agent, but it was my go-to book. It was simple to understand and made sense to me.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for having me on your blog. I’ve enjoyed the questions. I encourage everyone to follow their dreams and passions and don’t give up if you are being directed by the Lord. Sometimes it takes years to see a dream fulfilled and the wait is worth it.
No matter how lovely Keira Noble’s smile, or how adorable her four-year-old son. He’s been down that road before and knows it can lead to a broken heart. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help the pretty widow find a puppy to put under the Christmas tree for her son….
“Perfect love casts out fear.” —1 John 4:18
Pete claims he only wants to help her find the perfect gift for Cody. Yet Keira can’t deny the tender feelings in his eyes whenever he looks at her. Could this handsome Scrooge have a change of heart, and create a new family for Christmas?