I’m like every other reader out there — I love finding authors in my favorite genres so I can add to my to-be-read pile. That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Kimberly Rose Johnson, a writer of contemporary romance! But she also writes a bit of suspense. Here’s how she’s made it work:
Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing your knowledge and advice with the rest of the world (at least with the small portion of it that follows my blog).
Thanks for having me!
What genre do you write? How did you pick it?
I write contemporary Christian romance and romantic mystery. Before I was a writer, I was a reader. I loved reading anything with romance. It made sense to write in the genre I enjoy reading. 🙂
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
My two favorite genres to read are romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I like to go back and forth between them because I like the thrill of suspense, but I can’t handle reading the suspense novels back-to-back. I like to switch it up with a sweet Christian romance.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
I’m not sure. I started writing seriously more than twelve years ago. If I had to guess, I’d say six months to a year, but I really don’t remember.
I worked on my second one for a year or two. It didn’t take that long to write the first draft, but I rewrote that book to death. It went to committee once and caught the eye of a couple different editors, but it was never published. Now I like to spend three to four months on a book. But I’ve written them faster when necessary.
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write? Why do you think that is?
I think they’ve been about the same to a little easier. When I first started writing I didn’t have a clue how to write. I’ve since studied the craft, as well as worked with editors and critique partners.
Some books are harder to write than others. For example, my publisher asked me to incorporate mystery into the novels I write for her. That was a huge challenge when I first started adding mystery, but each book I’ve done since has made me more comfortable with the process.
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
How slow the industry moves. From contract to publication can take a year or two. That being said, I’ve had it go much faster.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
I suppose the stress of deadlines has been the hardest for me.
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
I love the excitement of release day. I also love visiting with readers on Facebook.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences? Why?
Books for the technical stuff like formatting but conferences for the nuances of writing. I always seem to grow as a writer by leaps after attending a conference. I soak up so much information! But I need to have a book to look at to remind me about how to do the technical stuff. In the early days, when I was sending out query letters and then proposals, I used a book to help me every time.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be? Why? (If you haven’t attended one, which one would you like to attend? Why?)
That is so difficult! It depends on why you want to attend. If you want to meet an editor or agent then go to ACFW because they have a huge selection in addition to great classes. But if you want to focus on craft in a more intimate setting, I recommend Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference.
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be? Why?
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is my go-to book. It’s not a craft book, but as a writer with nineteen published novels I sometimes get stuck in a rut and need a fresh ways to write something. This book helps me with that.
If you could pick any of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would you pick? Who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
I would be thrilled with any of my books being made into a movie. The Hallmark Channel is a good fit for my kind of books. They have a pool of actors and actresses they always use. I’d be happy with whomever they think is the best fit.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you are an aspiring writer, I encourage you to read quality books in the genre you want to be published in. Don’t give up on your dream. Write a little everyday. Writing is like a muscle the more you do it the stronger you get. 🙂
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/