If you enjoy historical romance, contemporary romance, or cozy mysteries, then I’d like to introduce you to Johnnie Alexander. Not many authors write in multiple genres, but Johnnie’s made a name for herself across the board, and it’s not hard to see why she hasn’t stuck with one genre when you look at her favorite books and authors. It certainly looks like her love of reading widely has influenced her writing career! It probably started when she was a child…
Thanks for being here today! You write in a variety of genres — do you remember the genres of some of the first books you read as a child?
I don’t remember the name of the first chapter book I read. As a youngster, I chose whatever books from the library looked interesting. But I distinctly remember that Beverly Cleary was the first author whose name I recognized and whose books I sought out. I probably had a crush on Henry Huggins, and as the oldest of four, I related to Beezus Quimby.
How about as an adult? What was the first adult novel that you read?
My mom, an avid reader, was a fan of Victoria Holt who wrote historical novels with a touch of suspense. Most were set in England or had English heroines in India or Australia. I’m not sure a Victoria Holt novel was the first adult novel I read but I certainly read as many of them as I could find. The author’s real name is Eleanor Hibbert, and she also wrote as Jean Plaidy and Philippa Carr. I read several of those books, too.
You’ve obviously read a lot! Where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?
A couple of years ago, my sister and I went to Europe. I read books on trains traveling from Barcelona to Nimes and from Milan to Madrid. I read sprawled on a couch in a Home-Away apartment in Lisbon. What fun! Though it’s much more mundane, I read while eating spicy chicken at Popeye’s probably once a month or more. Also fun!
Of all the books you’ve read, if you could be part of any fiction family, which would you pick?
I’d love to live on an English estate such as Downton Abbey or Pemberly or even Misselthwaite Manor (The Secret Garden). But I would NOT like the lack of modern plumbing facilities, air conditioning, and other 21st century comforts. This has turned out to be tougher question than I expected. There are so many choices and yet none are quite perfect. After long deliberation (and I truly did think about this for at least an hour), I’m going to say the Taylor family of Mayberry. I might not have internet there, but I love that small-town charm.
What about places–if you could visit any fictional location, where would you go?
I’d love to visit the enchanted places of Middle Earth. Rivendell, Lothlorien, Edoras, Minas Tirith, the Shire. That would be the road trip of a lifetime!
You’ve mentioned many characters and places from several authors, but who’s your favorite author?
Charles Dickens is a favorite because he creates such notable and unusual characters. I’m also a Jane Austen fan—I can read her books again and again. Among those authors who are still living, I appreciate Ann Tatlock’s literary style. The last “can’t put down” novel I read was Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd. I spent the whole day curled up in my chair ignoring my to-do list.
And if you had to pick, what would you consider your favorite genre?
I’m especially fond of historical fiction. It’s fascinating to see how people lived in past eras, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. I often read novels set before, during, or after World War II. These stories intrigue me with their tragedy and their heroism.
Thank you so much for giving as a peek at your reading life. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Karin, thanks so much for having me as your guest today and for featuring my latest novella in The Erie Canal Brides Collection. I also have a contemporary novella, “Match You Like Crazy,” on pre-order for only 99 cents on Amazon. This lighthearted romance takes readers on a fun trip to the Bahamas for Matchmaking Week. It’s the tenth story in the Resort to Romance Series which features other inspirational authors. Find the other titles and authors on my website.
Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr.
The Erie Canal Brides Collection
Seven romance stories take you back to the
building of the Erie Canal and the opening of the Midwest to greater
Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Hudson River, and soon other states like Ohio created canals linking Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Suddenly the Midwest was open to migration, the harvesting of resources, and even tourism. Join seven couples who live through the rise of the canals and the problems the waterways brought to each community, including land grabs, disease, tourists, racism, and competition. Can these couples hang on to their faith and develop love during times of intense change?
My story, “Journey of the Heart,” takes place in Ohio in 1852.
Charity Sinclair secretly writes abolitionist pamphlets while thwarting architect Tavish Dunbar’s effort to redesign her father’s post office, a hidden stop on the Underground Railroad. When a slave-hunter captures a runaway, Charity vows to rescue the fugitive. But can she trust Tavish with her secret. . .and with her heart?