Author Spotlight: Johnnie Alexander

Today's spotlight: Johnnie Alexander

Today’s spotlight: Johnnie Alexander

[Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Johnnie Alexander’s latest book, When Love Arrives (Revell Books).Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature.Congrats to Carolyn R. for winning a copy of Jan Drexler’s book, Mattie’s Pledge. Carolyn…please email me with your mailing address: suzanne @ suzannewoodsfisher.com.]

Welcome, Johnnie! Congrats on your new release. Give us an idea of where you live…and with whom. 

 

Alexander_Johnnie

To visit me, you’ll have to wind your way back into a Tennessee cove then drive up the hill and park near the garage. A calico cat may give you a disdainful look, but just ignore her. Expect to hear barking from the canine chorus. After we’ve said our hellos, I’ll introduce you to the collies, our AmStaff mix, and Rugby, my nine-pound papillon who trees the resident raccoons.

 

Tell us about your new release. What inspired this particular story?

 

When Love Arrives-Book Cover-1Brett Somers, the hero of When Love Arrives, played more of an antagonistic role in the first book in the Misty Willow Series. To be honest, he was a conceited cad whose world got turned inside out.

In this story, he’s trying to reconcile the consequences of his past with his new-found faith. Though a skilled businessman, he senses he can’t bargain with God. All he can do is trust His love and mercy.

I guess Brett himself inspired the story. This is his journey away from a “looking out for #1” kind of life.

All I did was introduce him to a young woman unlike anyone he’d ever dated before. She captures his heart until he learns they share the same childhood tragedy. But what he thinks of as her betrayal forces him to face the ugliness of his past.

 

 

 

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?

 

Please don’t take away my writers guild card when I publicly confess that I don’t drink coffee. Just never developed a taste for it. During my last writing sprint toward a looming deadline, I drank way too much Coke. Now I’m trying to eliminate it altogether, but that hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps tomorrow??

 

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first-draft reader?

 

Three things: attending writers conference, participating in amazing critique groups, and entering contests. This is the best advice I can give to anyone who seeks a writing career. The conferences are great for learning and networking, the critique groups help identify your weaknesses and your strengths, and the contests provide (mostly) impartial feedback.

 

So which book have you re-read the most?

 

Besides the Bible, I’ve read these books multiple times: Les Miserables, The Secret Garden, and The Sand County Almanac. Oh, and Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

 

Right this moment, what does your office look like?

 

Just looking around, I’d have to say my writing room looks rather neat and tidy. Bookshelves line the wall behind my desk which is a narrow wooden top painted dark teal. It’s angled toward a window so I can see the down the hill. It’s getting late so Rugby and my collie Griff are stretched out near my feet. Mounted posters of two of my book covers are propped on my cedar chest. Messy papers are tucked in a drawer of a small chest. Out of sight and out of mind (at least for today).

 

What book is on the top of your TBR pile?

 

I’m currently reading The Knight by Steven James and The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn. Next up is The Black Moon, the fifth book in the Poldark series by Winston Graham.

 

Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?

 

One of the first reviews I received, a 2 on Amazon, wrecked my heart. I didn’t talk about it to anyone for months, and whenever I thought about it, the embarrassment and humiliation washed all over me again. I just wanted it to go away.

 

But bad reviews are part of being a writer. I know now that if all the stars are fours and fives, potential readers may question whether the reviewers are all friends of the author. So a few lower ratings provide a kind of balance. That doesn’t mean they aren’t still hurtful, but they no longer devastate me.

 

I read the negative reviews because I want to grow as a writer. I read the positive reviews because they warm my heart. LOL!

 

What’s your favorite writing snack?

 

Twizzlers.

 

What are your biggest distractions?

 

The antics of the dogs and the cats.

 

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

 

I struggle to come up with new story ideas. Even if I know a certain event or setting, those initial decisions about who the characters are and what they want are difficult to make.

 

As I wrote that, I realized there’s a connection between what I like least and what I like best that I hadn’t picked up on before.

 

One of the best things about writing is when a character surprises me. I may think I know what’s supposed to happen only to have something occur I never thought of. Those moments are deeply satisfying.

 

So creating characters is difficult but when they become their own persons—that’s golden!

 

My great adventure has been…the alpacas. I wanted one for a long time, but back then I lived in a Florida subdivision. No place for an alpaca!

 

But after I moved here, God granted my crazy dream. For a couple of years, my daily chores included feeding and watering, not just one alpaca, but a herd of twelve. I learned to give shots, clean up afterbirth, and hold on tight to a long neck when I had to. I also saw newborns take their first adorable clumsy steps.

 

Circumstances have changed again, and we sold the herd a few months ago. As much crazy fun as it was to own alpacas, I believe the future beckons with promises of great adventures still to be had.

How can readers connect with you?

Facebook is probably my favorite place to hang out—on both my personal profile and my author page. Join me at: Facebook Profile (Friend or Follow!) or Facebook Author Page.

I also am on:

Twitter

GoodReads

Pinterest

My websites are www.johnnie-alexander.com and www.mistywillowseries.com.

Thanks again for dropping in to share your story, Johnnie! Keep us posted on the drinking-too-much Coke habit! 🙂 And readers, don’t forget to leave Johnnie a comment for a chance to win a copy of “When Love Arrives!”

 

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Dent says:

    Hey Suzanne , I have not read anything by JohnnieSlexandet ,but always looking for new authors .
    lizd225(at) gmail(dot)com

  2. Katrina G says:

    Sounds like a good author! I need to check her books out now!!

  3. JJ says:

    I won’t tell anyone you’re not a coffee fan. I love coffee, but it increasingly doesn’t like me. Now I drink way too much hot tea. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  4. Shirley Chapel says:

    All the best to you in your new adventure in your lives. You are a new to me writer and there’s always room for more writers of Christian Fiction . Thanks for the giveaway. God bless.

    • Shirley, you are so kind! Thank you. I’m on an adventure right now that has kept me from replying to everybody’s comments as soon as I would have liked. My sister and I are at a cottage on Prince Edward Island where the wind blows and the internet comes and goes. In fact, I’m on her laptop because mine will not connect. Tomorrow we’re going to Green Gables!

  5. Christa says:

    I enjoyed reading the interview 🙂 Thank you for the chance to win too!

  6. Lari Procunier says:

    Sound like a great book!

  7. Have never read any of Johnnie Alexander books,thats for the giveaway

  8. Bonnie Traher says:

    Looks like a must read.

  9. Mari says:

    It’s always nice to be introduced to a new author with some personal information about their life and book. “When Love Arrives” sounds like a nice read. Thank you for sharing and the opportunity to win a copy. God bless you, Suzanne. I love all your books and how you are introducing new authors to readers.

  10. Connie Saunders says:

    Thank you for this interesting interview. I look forward to this book.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Jordann says:

    I have never read any of Johnnie’s books, so I’m so glad that I stopped by ! I loved learning more about her and look forward to adding her books to my to read list! It always makes my day when I discover a new to me author! Thank you so much for the wonderful giveaway!

  12. Lesley says:

    Great interview! Thanks for the chance to win a book. It’s always interesting to hear a little about an author’s life.

  13. CJR says:

    A great review. I enjoy books about those coming to faith in Jesus and how they turn their life around. WHEN LOVE ARRIVES sounds like a great book to read and added it to my to read list. Thank you for another great review, Suzanne. You and your books are a blessings.

    • Hi, CJR. Thanks for adding When Love Arrives to your reading list. It was a joy to experience Brett’s change of heart with him. I pray his story is a blessing to others. Thanks!!

  14. Suzanne says:

    Johnnie…Thanks so much for sharing your insights and author journey here. Loved your Alpaca story! Eager to read your book, Johnnie!
    Warmly, Suzanne

    • Hey, Suzanne! Thanks for having me as a guest. As I told Shirley (above), I’m having internet connection issues so I’m glad to finally get on and “chat” with everyone. My sister and I are at a cottage on Prince Edward Island with a breath-taking view of the sea. It’s windy though, and that seems to affect the service. Thanks again for showcasing When Love Arrives and for the giveaway. I so appreciate it!!!

  15. Martha says:

    I love the AMISH way of life and was wondering if you could send me for FREE, the BEST BOOK you have written?

  16. Martha says:

    Could you send me Johnnie’s new book, free, also?

    My Address: MARTHA FRENCH
    420 BROWNELL RD.
    MALTA, NY 12020

  17. Martha says:

    I AM RECOVERING FROM A STROKE AND CAN’T DO ANYTHING EXCEPT READ. PAPERBACK AND USED BOOKS WOULD BE APPREACHED.

    MARTHA FRENCH
    420 BROWNELL RD.
    MALTA, NY 12020

  18. Hi, Martha. I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Prayers!

  19. Fun to learn about this author and her book. It sounds good!

  20. Shirley Chapel says:

    Prince Edward Islands ! A beautiful maritime province in Canada. I have been once.

  21. Carla Moore says:

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great read. If loves comes leave the past Behind nothing good can come from it.