This week I am uber thrilled to have Johanna Rae with me. So belly up, grab some liquid noms and join me as I pick Le Brain of pure Fab!
So, what inspired you to write your first book?
Writing and telling stories has been a part of my soul from the moment I could communicate. I’ve always had a huge imagination and sharing that with others can be very rewarding. My first significant effort at writing a book came at age 11. I wrote a short thriller about a girl being followed on the way home from school, and how she outwitted her potential abductor.
Then once I hit my teens, I discovered the complex world of Stephen King. I would have to say it is he that really brought my passion for writing to the surface. I adored his books (still do) and respect him as an author. I’ve learned a lot from his writing and things he has said in interviews.
In my early twenties I discovered fantasy (a’la David Eddings, Terry Goodkind and similar authors). Then finally I found my place to belong, in the realm of the paranormal. (JR Ward, Laurell K Hamilton, Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Mary Janice Davidson etc…) I realized that the reason my writing had never taken off before was because I hadn’t stumbled into the right world for the characters in my head to emerge and thrive.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) during it? Did you find yourself daunted at all?
For me writing is rarely daunting. I look at it as a means of relief. I am allowing the characters to escape from my brain, to see that made real upon a page is very exciting. Writing is ingrained in my soul. Even if I had no audience at all, I could never stop telling stories. The only part of it I find daunting is sharing a new idea with that first person, the initial risk of wondering whether this piece will be one for the world or one to pull out of the bottom drawer now and then to reminisce. When you do share a story that is well received by the betas/friends, it is the most incredible feeling. It makes an author brave enough to reveal the story to strangers. (And thus begins a new journey).
Do you ever find yourself torn between what YOU want for the character and what ACTUALLY ends up happening?
*Laughs hard* I gave up thinking I could tell the characters what to do a long time ago. I have a rough beginning and a rough ending, with a couple of key events here and there in between. For me, the characters are always what drives the story, not the plot. Therefore, they choose how to get from A to B to C. Occasionally they will start at A, skip half the alphabet and end up at Q, somewhere I’d have never envisaged in a million years. (And yes during those times I do sit there sporting an incredulous expression while thinking ‘hmmm, didn’t see that one coming…’)The only times I’ve tried to write a scene where I’m torn between what I want and how the story ‘should’ go, the characters either refuse to come out and play, or they grab the story and run in the opposite direction.
Do you have a particular style of writing? Organized or do you wing it?
I don’t outline at all. Some people raise an eyebrow at that, but I love letting the story unfold naturally. I don’t always write in order either. I’ll write the scene that is screaming the loudest in my brain and gradually work my way outward in both directions. My brain is a very organized place of chaos, fueled by caffeine.
What's currently cooking in that amazing gray matter of yours?
My shapeshifter series Therian Secrets is my priority at the moment, however I don’t want that to be all that I am. I’m also working on a short story collection called ‘Beyond the Darkscape’ and a story about a demon, an angel and a vampire, which will be called Stronger than Blood. If all goes well, those two projects and book three in my series will all be released next year. (2014)
If you could choose any writer, who would love to have as a mentor?
*grins* Stephen King.
Time for the "randoms" as I call them:
Fave food group? I don’t know about food ‘group’ but I adore Italian food.
Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne? That’s a tough one. I think I’d have to say Bruce Wayne. There’s just something about his dark side that one cannot ignore.
Celebrity Death Match...name your top two? Chuck Norris against Dwayne Johnston… because I like to keep it interesting…
Historical, sci-fi or fantasy? I think for me ‘right now’ I’d say fantasy. However because Sci Fi (Stephen King) is still a big part of my journey, that would be a close second. Historical is hard for me to get into unless it has one heck of a plot, or somehow involves something a little supernatural as well.
Of all your characters, which one is closest to YOU?
I could never say that any one character is more important to me than another. All of my characters carry a piece of me from the moment they are created. However, there is something about Rufus Ramanui. He resides in a part of my heart no other character has ever found yet.
Care to share an excerpt from any of your works?
From Therian Secrets Book 1 – THE MERCENARY
Before Jodie could answer, they heard another knock at the door. Ainsley had abandoned the coffee making in favor of rummaging around in the pantry looking for cake, and Laura helped Rose seat herself at the table. Jodie hurried back out into the hall and threw open the door. There on the doorstep, left thumb hooked through a belt loop, stood one of the most gorgeous guys she’d ever seen.
Standing at about five feet ten, his fitted white t-shirt and faded bootleg jeans enhanced his lean muscular physique, closely hugging the smooth lines of his body. A long silky ponytail hung at the nape of his neck, such a rich and decadent caramel hue that Jodie longed to reach out and touch it. The fine chiseled features and well-sculpted jawline came alive, cobalt blue eyes twinkling with mischief as he smiled a little. Perfect dimples appeared in both cheeks as his full lips stretched upward. Oh. Wow.
Jodie wondered why he looked so amused and then remembered she still had her pajamas on. Blue satin pajamas that Ains had given her as a birthday present, printed with ‘I don’t function without sex or coffee’. Jodie blushed to the roots of her un-brushed bed hair and looked back up at the stranger.
“Um… hi,” she stammered as she froze, unable to pry her eyes from his captivating expression.
“Hi yourself,” he grinned again. “I’m Daniel Archer.”
A brief moment of awkwardness followed as Jodie struggled to think of something intelligent to say, but he seemed un-phased by her inability to conceive rational thoughts.
“Shall I come back after you’ve had coffee?” His smooth velvety British accent sounded incredibly dreamy, leaving Jodie ready to melt into a puddle at his feet.
“Jodie, what are you doing out there?” Laura called out, her tone suspicious.
A few seconds later, Ains appeared in the entranceway behind Jodie. Her snug cream-colored sweater and chocolate mini skirt offered a stark contrast to Jodie’s appearance.
“Danny!” She gushed, mahogany curls jiggling as she trotted over.
“Hello Ains.” He gave Ains a brief non-romantic hug, gazing at Jodie the whole time as though gauging her reaction.
“You came here to see Ainsley?” Jodie gave him a questioning look.
“Pffft, of course he didn’t!” Ainsley rolled her eyes and laughed. “How would he even know I was here?”
“Indeed,” Danny mused, dimples still on display. “Would it be alright if I came in for a short while?”
Want to keep up with our Jaunty Johanna? Check out the links below!
Author Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/johannamrae?ref=hl
Book Trailer (Therian Secrets 1 – The Mercenary) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQaeR_kosjQ
Book Trailer (Therian Secrets 2 – The Fury) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boFbgiTx08w
Buying link http://www.amazon.com/The-Mercenary-Therian-Secrets-ebook/dp/B00EQ2N0AU/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1380966905&sr=8-1&keywords=the+mercenary+johanna+rae
Johanna can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for stopping by today and chatting a spell with me. I wish you much joy, luck and magic in your ALL your endeavors!