A. M. Johnson
For my next Author Spotlight I’m joined by the amazing A.M. Johnson. We talked about the influence of poetry on her work, her love of Tolkien, hiking, and writing rap adaptations of Sleeping Beauty!
Over to you Amanda…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi! My name is Amanda Johnson and I’m a 42 year old mom, nurse, and author of contemporary and LGBTQ+ romance. I recently moved to New Hampshire from Utah and am enjoying all the New England cosiness. I am a huge fan of reading and hiking and basically anything to do with autumn and Halloween. My favourite kinds of reads tend to fall in the fantasy genre, as well as small town romance. Tolkien is my all time favorite and I have decided I’m an honorary hobbit though my kids argue that I’m a dwarf.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
This is a hard question because I never know how to answer it without sounding pretentious LOL. I think my writing tends to lean toward the more lyrical side of things, though lately I have had a lot of fun with banter and exploring the comedic aspect of my writing. But I started writing poetry before anything else and I think I tend to dig from those roots a lot.
Describe your books in only three words.
Honest, Sweet, and Steamy.
What’s your next book about and when is it coming out?
My next book is Forever, Con Amor. It’s book 4 in my For Him series. A series of interconnected standalone novels. It’s releasing April 28th. This book was so much fun to write, it features an age gap, some fun opposites attract goodness and a whole lot of snarky banter.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
This is another hard question, but I would have to say Let There Be Light. This was my first dive into the LGBTQ side of my writing and it was such a personal story. I feel like this book showcases my prose and character development more than any other book I’ve written. I am proud of every word I put on a page, but this book holds a special place in my heart.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
My writing is heavily influenced by the poets I loved over the years. Sylvia Plath being one of them. Writing is such a personal affair. As an author, no matter the genre, we open our hearts and turn them into a written display of ink and love. And to me that is the definition of vulnerability. Even the fluffiest of gooey fluff and smuttiest of smuts expose a vein one way or another. Some of the authors I love showed me it was okay to be vulnerable, but it was also okay to not take it all so serious, and just enjoy the process of storytelling. From Austen to Vonnegut to Tolkien and most of the classics to Angelo Surmelis to TJ Klune to Riley Hart to Neve Wilder to Saxon James to Andre Aciman to Becky Albertalli to David Levithan to Alice Hoffman to Jaclyn Osborn to Rainbow Rowell to Sarah Addison Allen to Marley Valentine to Meredith Russo I could go on and on, but I doubt you’d want me to lol.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was in third grade I had the best teacher in the whole world. His name was Dr. Levine. He had us write an adaptation of Sleeping Beauty as a class in the form of a rap and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing I’d ever done in all my eight years of life. He fostered my desire to read and write and I never stopped. Writing stories and poems and now novels.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I usually start with character sketches. Bios that are pages long and mostly handwritten. I think it’s important to “become” the character in that way. Get inside their heads. Then I usually will plot out the major parts of the book, and then outline as I go. Let the characters guide me so to speak. I usually outline about 3 chapters at a time. And write a chapter a day. I am used to writing at night after my kids go to sleep and I’ve showered (I get all my best ideas in the shower). I write a chapter and edit it 3 times before I send that chapter to my betas. I’m slow as is my process, it usually takes me 6 to 8 hours to finish and edit a chapter.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
The Lord of the Rings, but Sam marries Frodo instead of Rosie.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Second Chance. I love backstories and the ability to fix something that was broken. Though I feel like I would want to mesh it with BFF to lovers.
What would be your three desert island books?
The Lord of the Rings, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Heart Song by TJ Klune
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
Not So Sincerely, Yours with Sam Claflin as Ethan and Lucas Bravo as Anders
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I love hiking and learning about crystals and energy.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
T Rex because I have T rex arms.
A. M. JOHNSON is an award winning and best selling author of LGBTQIA and contemporary romance and fiction. She lives in New Hampshire with her family where she moonlights as a nurse on the weekends and hikes as much as possible.
If she’s not busy with her kiddos, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word, exploring all spectrums and genres.
She’s obsessed with all things Hockey, Austen, and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!
For more information on Amanda and her work you can find her on her website, Instagram, and Twitter, and through her newsletter. You can also join her Facebook group, A.J’s Crew, for more news and updates.