Interview with E.Van Johnson

Describe your desk
I have a small office with all my reference books and writing materials near at hand so I do not have to move to reach anything want.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the North East of England to a single mother with six children. Our house was crowded but I always remember it as being full of laughter, and we all pulled together. Some would say it was deprived, but I would say had a very happy childhood.
When did you first start writing?
I worked offshore as a diving superintendent and was very bored when sitting all night during long decompression stops. I wrote a novel of over 300 pages just to keep myself awake. It was rubbish and has never been published.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In the 1960's I was a folk singer, and one song stuck in my mind. It was called Lady Franklin's lament.

In 1845, Sir John Franklin headed an expedition of two ships The Erebus and Terror, to find the North West passage.

They became beset; that is trapped in the ice, and were lost with all hands.
Lady Franklin spent the family fortune for the next ten years trying to find her husband.
They have never been found.
She tried to keep the search alive by offering a reward of £10,000 an absolute fortune at the time.
I am trying to parallel the story in modern times and explain the disappearance.
It is titled,'Terror Beset'.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on my autobiography.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly musical scores as I play guitar and sing in local bars.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had an agent when I started writing in the 1970's, but the I felt the industry has changed and agents are is now looking for block busters written by celebrities rather than good literature which may be written for a niche audience.
What do your fans mean to you?
I write to entertain and inform, so hopefully my readers enjoy the book as much as enjoyed writing it. After all, it is written for them. without them a am left alone, singing in the wilderness to quote Omar Kayam
Who are your favorite authors?
There are too many to pick any individual.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The joy of a new day
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Weather permitting, I spear fish or sail during the day and in the evenings I play guitar and sing in bars clubs.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I belong to a number of writing circles.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was offshore running saturation decompression in the Ekofisk oil field. I had read everything on the rig and was bored so decided to write a book. It was called 'Bottom door open' referring to the moment the lower door in a diving bell open to let the diver swim out.
I completed it in 35 days, and it was a load of rubbish. I decided to join a writers group and find out a bit more of how it should be done.
What is your writing process?
I try to write for two and half hours every morning.
I use a hard back book to make notes and chapter headings.
How do you approach cover design?
I always have an idea of what I want then search until I find something suitable. Then use my graphics package to put it all together.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
A Shropshire lad by A E Houseman because he paints pictures with words.
The complete works of Robert service because he make me smile.
Exodus by Leon Uris because I lived in all the countries he writes about and he is a master of the written word.
The Wake of the Red Witch, one of the best sea stories ever written.
I Claudius & Claudius the God by Robert Graves. I love history and for me, he captures the essence of roman life.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The pleasure of creating my own world and putting froward some of my own ideas within the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My poetry teacher introduced me to poetry and I love the way they paint pictures in words. My favourite is Last Poems by AE Houseman.
Published 2014-11-28.
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