Interview with Linda Baten Johnson

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
We love traveling. My husband and I have been to all fifty states and twenty foreign countries. Our children say we always have to have educational moments in every trip. We also enjoy spending time with our grandchildren. Watching your children as parents is such a treat.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first article I had published was in the American Airlines in-flight magazine and was about the benefits of growing up in a small town. The place where I grew up has about a thousand people, and for me, it was a wonderful experience.
What is your writing process?
I wish I could be more organized. I start with my characters and plan the book, but sometimes the story takes a different route than planned.
Keeping a daily word count journal and working with critique partners helps keep the book on track. I'm usually working on two or three projects, writing one, editing another, and marketing a third.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember a specific story, but I became avid reader in elementary school. I would find a series I liked and read every book by the author or in the group. Being transported to another person's world was magical. I think reading spurred my creativity and curiosity.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
One of my favorites is To Kill a Mockingbird because the author portrays some hideous happenings through the eyes of an innocent, and the characters are brilliant.
Who doesn't love Gone With the Wind? The characters must keep changing because the course of the Civil War demands it, and then there is the love story.
I love mysteries, prefer the cozy style, rather than the ones with gore. I like trying to solve the puzzle.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read mysteries and romance for pleasure, but I like to keep up with the best sellers through book club reading. I thoroughly enjoyed A Man Called Ove and The Boys in the Boat, which I might not have selected on my own.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my kindle. Years ago, I'd take a huge bag of books with us on every trip. Now I can just take one.
Describe your desk
My work space is neat and organized when I start and end my work day, but not while I'm working. While I'm writing on my computer, my desk also has several folders, sticky notes, different colors of pens, and reference books.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a romance, Cocoa and Christmas Crackers, and I got the idea when we lived in England. We were introduced to the tradition of pulling Christmas crackers at holiday gatherings, and I thought it would be fun to incorporate that into a book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This seemed to be the smoothest and easiest path.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Starting with nothing but an idea and watching it come to full term is like planting a garden or helping students reach their goals. And to hear that readers have enjoyed my stories is definitely a high.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are my encouragement and my compass. I don't want to disappoint them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee, and the chance to find out what my characters are going to do. They have a way of surprising me. I enjoy my time with them and miss them when a book is completed.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple says she has seen all of life in her little village of St. Mary Mead. I grew up in the small town of White Deer, Texas, and I agree with that assessment. You become acquainted with all types of people and in all stages of life. Our town was destroyed by a tornado, and you see the best of people as they rebuild their lives and homes after a tragedy. I think facing adversity is a common theme in my books, probably because of that devastating tornado.
Published 2016-05-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Mystery of Desolation Point
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 48,870. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Historical » USA
Instead of providing a beacon of hope, the lighthouse at Desolation Point reminded all who passed of the dark and tumultuous deeds which transpired there. In this isolated setting, Mary Kruger must face her fears of water and the lighthouse ghosts to unravel past mysteries and solve present problems or her own family could become another tragic entry in the lighthouse log of Desolation Point.