Michael Johnson

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was something I wrote in my senior year of high school. Unfortunately, I do not remember the title of the story but there is an interesting tidbit behind it. I received an assignment from a science class in which the students in my class were to write a story about yourself and three friends construct an underwater vehicle, travel to three different continents, describe what you see while traveling on the ocean floor and on the surface and return home. I was worried because I was not doing well in the class and I didn't have a strong grasp on science. I thought if the story was interesting enough, the lack of scientific expertise would be overlooked. I followed the few parameters the teacher set but otherwise the story would be something that would resemble a horror film. The vehicle was overtaken by a omnipotent presence who murdered two of my friends. When the vehicle resurfaced on land, the local citizens were in a trance while dressed in white, or dead. One of my friends on the vehicle was the person who controlled the tragic events of the story. When we returned home, my friend revealed to me the people who were still alive had taken pills to have their memories erased and would live forever without pain. Those who refused the pills were killed. My two other friends on the ship refused the pills and were killed. My character was intended to remain alive and absorb the memories (good and bad) of those who had taken the pills. My character did not want to carry that burden alone and ended up stealing pills and joining everyone else living a lobotomized existence.

My teacher read it and mistook it as a cry for help and notified the school counselor who then called my mother. My mom was rattled because she thought I was suicidal. The school did not want another Columbine situation. Once the school counselor interviewed me, the fears were alleviated. I got a 94 on the paper.
What is your writing process?
I am not terribly organized as a writer. I can write for eight to ten hours at a time and then go days without writing at all. I do need to be alone as I have difficulty concentrating on my writing and doing much of anything else. I need silence when I write stories. I project a lot of my personal thoughts and feelings into my characters. I may feel a certain way and that feeling is reflected in my writing. I may read it some time later and decide that is not what I want for the character or the story and delete it. Sometimes I push myself to express something I may not be totally comfortable saying. When I push internal boundaries, I know I have found something great.
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Where to find Michael Johnson online

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Legacy Kids: Why HBCUs Are Failing Black Youth
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 11,780. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Behavioral management
This book is designed to help readers understand how the mass, mental conditioning of African Americans corrupts all levels of black culture. Black people often criticize the inferior education we receive from public school but we ignore the inferior education we receive from HBCUs.
Lessons From The Chessboard: Why Black People Remain Powerless
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 7,980. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » General self-help
Lessons From The Chessboard...is a short narrative intended to help all people understand the impact of racism in America through analogizing the game of chess to the plight of black people.
Shades of Gray: The Introduction of Walter Harrison
Price: $10.99 USD. Words: 95,110. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » Urban life
Walter Harrison is a twenty something owner of an apartment building, Harrison’s Palace, which he inherited from his father, as a patronizing gift to remind Walter of the disappointment he has become. Walter carries the burden of feeling ostracized by his fellow African Americans and internalizes a toxic combination of anger, self-pity, and resentment towards black people.

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