Interview with Steve Johnson

Describe your desk
My desk is big and old, recovered from a slow decay outside an equally run-down tavern in Wisconsin. My dad restored the desk to its former glory, and now it is a place of inspiration and intermittent flurries of progress.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My parents moved the family to a country place south of the Twin Cities when I was seven, and it was there in the woods and fields and on deserted gravel roads that I piled up memories as a country kid. The world was filled with writing inspiration, from crickets and tree frogs at night to day-long explorations of what we thought were distant lands, to mesmerizing northern lights in summertime. I remember sitting with paper and pen out in the back yard at 2 a.m., listening to a chorus of wildlife and writing about that 'midnight musical.'
Our cabin on a northern Wisconsin lake served as another enormous source of inspiring life, and I spent a good chunk of my childhood coming of age in the north woods. I still write from that same area---different cabin now, same good vibes.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Ten books prior to this one were all traditional print. I started into this world with query letters and SASE's and six-month-later rejection letters. I am fascinated with the publishing world and genuinely enjoyed seeing my books come to life and rest proudly on a bookstore shelf. Waiting two years to pay off an advance and see a royalty check became a little stressful, and I was excited to see what the rapid-fire world of e-pub would be like.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is my first Smashwords book and with an October release, I am only starting to realize the benefits. All good so far!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having that tiny nugget of an idea in my mind, or seeing or hearing something that for a lightning-quick moment, triggers something, and turning that inspiration into a real thing, a thing that is pliable and growing and defiant, but after a while matures and becomes an extension of myself that I hope others will see and appreciate just the same.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have yet to see a clamoring fan base outside my door, but if I can transfer whatever talent with words I have into a story even one person reads through, with a good reaction or bad, I consider that a success.
What are you working on next?
I am nearly finished with the first draft of my first children's book, which I hope will be the start of a learning adventure series. It is a new challenge and I am really enjoying it. Hope to be doing readings to gaggles of grade-schoolers very soon.
Who are your favorite authors?
That is a very tough question, like what is my favorite Christmas cookie? Far too many to narrow down, but I'm a big Vince Flynn fan, Nelson DeMille, and a handful of other action authors. Edward Abbey, Leopold, Muir, Thoreau and the like are always front and center on my bookshelf.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The simple joy of having that day to go into. For my November (2014) column in my local newspaper up nort' in Wisconsin, I wrote about finding that place 'where the days go' and what we might do with that chance. This is the last paragraph:

I would go to this house of days, if it were there. I would change what I could to make more laughs than tears. But right now there is today. Follow where it leads, embrace what comes. Hug your kids. Find that person and say it. Believe in that promise. Go to that place and do.

What will you do with your day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Showing my kids the finer things, and helping them appreciate the simple ones; doing anything outside and active, mostly on my bike, on a hiking trail, or with snowshoes in a foot of new fluff.
Published 2014-11-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Longer I Run - 100 Days Across America
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,620. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Running & jogging, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Running & jogging
(1.00)
The physical fortitude to run 40 miles is in itself a laudatory feat. Repeating that performance 100 consecutive times, from one coast of the country to the other, is a spectacle. Doing it all as a recovering alcoholic fighting a debilitating intestinal disease would be impossible without one vital component—courage. Follow Steve Knowlton on a 3,717-mile run to redemption.