Interview with D. R. Johnson

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a little town in Oklahoma, barely even a speck on the map. I was miles away from the nearest store, my guardians worked long ours, so more often than not, I was left to my own devices. Having to make up my own games really helped my imagination blossom, and that's a must-have for writing good fiction!
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at a very young age. In 6th grade english, I was given the assignment to write and illustrate a children's book. Of course, for most kids, it was just another boring assignment but, for me, it was a beginning.

There were certain specifications we were supposed to follow in regards to page length, word count, vocabulary, and illustrations. My biggest issue was keeping it within those boundaries. At the age of 11, my creation grew wings and busted out of the limitations (or goals from some of the other students viewpoints) and I continued to work on it even after the assignment. It has now grown into an epic trilogy that is my 'baby.' I have not considered publishing it yet.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The current book I'm working on is centered on the survival in an apocalyptic world that is overrun by a horrible virus. Those that are infected with the virus become very animalistic and try to kill anything that is not infected.

So... Short answer: Zombies.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Every since I started writing my first story, I knew exactly that this is what I wanted to become... 'someday.'

It was always 'someday' in my mind, when I found more time to write. Every now and then I'd jot something down quick but nothing really substantial. That is until I had a near death experience a few years ago and I realized that I couldn't keep waiting for that opportunity to come to me. I had to MAKE the opportunity myself.

And that's when I got everything rolling and found out what it is to actually be a writer. It is a ton harder than I ever imagined, but I also found that I love doing this more than I ever imagined. It's fun!

The doors that have recently opened up for independent authors really drew me in. I never even tried going down the traditional publishing road, although I might in the future. I enjoy the freedom that I have as an indie and, right now, I just don't want to give that up.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I found Smashwords late last year, just before NaNoWriMo started. I was able to publish my NaNoWriMo manuscript as I went and that turned into my first published novel, 'After - Part One.'
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Definitely when the story takes hold of me and I just become the tool trying to get the words down on paper. It's an amazing journey when that happens and I'm always wondering what happens next!
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Every time someone reaches out to me to let me know they liked the story, are begging me for more, and especially that the story left an emotional impact it's wonderous! I never imagined how wonderful that feeling could be. I just need to make sure I can deliver a good story that doesn't let them down!

Now I get to stress over my current works in progress. No pressure, right?
What are you working on next?
I have several writing prompts I keep saved up, some for short stories, some for single novels, and even some for series. I have a ton of stuff waiting in the wings as soon as I get done with The Phoenix Curse.
Who are your favorite authors?
R.A. Salvatore is number one. I have developed such a bond with all the characters in his Drizzt series over the last 25 years, I will truly be sad the day the last book is published.

George R.R. Martin and his Song of Ice and Fire series is pure genius. I was never one for political drama until I started reading his books and now I can't get enough of it!

Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time. I started reading this series when I was still in high school. So glad there was a talented author to take up the reigns and finish this book when we lost The Dragon. Jordan certainly had a wonderful gift.

The last I'll mention in my long list of favorite authors, but certainly not the least, is the master - Stephen King. Again, I started reading his horror stories when I was in high school, and he knows how to weave a chilling tale. There are still some scenes that haunt me to this day!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
As much as I love to linger in bed, I just have too much to do. Can't waste anymore daylight! I need to get up and make the most of it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a gamer. I LOVE to game. MMOs and RPGs are my favorite, although I've been known to flail around in an FPS every now and then, although not often.

I'm also a movie buff and I have a few TV shows I like to keep tabs on.

Lastly, I always have a book I'm reading. As soon as I finish one, I dive into the next.
Published 2013-09-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Phoenix Curse: After - Part One
Series: The Phoenix Curse, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 47,940. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
The world is no longer safe, no longer thriving. It has been inherited by the diseased. The red mist spread, and humanity was infected. There was no stopping the curse once it started, and the world's population was reduced to mindless beasts. Creatures that hungered and raged for the taste of pure, uninfected flesh. Few of those remain. Ali is not one of them.