About Anne E. Johnson:
Drawing from her eclectic background in music history and classical languages, Brooklyn-based author Anne E. Johnson writes in a variety of genres for both adults and children. Her short speculative fiction has appeared in Urban Fantasy Magazine, PerihelionSF, Liquid Imagination, FrostFire Worlds, Shelter of Daylight, The Future Fire, and elsewhere. Her science fiction novels include Green Light Delivery, Blue Diamond Delivery, and the upcoming Space Surfers. Anne’s speculative fiction for children and tweens includes the paranormal mystery Ebenezer’s Locker from MuseItUp Publishing plus dozens of short stories. As a way to give back to the writing community, Anne contributes a weekly column called Kid Lit Insider to the website Eat Sleep Write, and she is a volunteer story judge and the social media manager for Rate Your Story.
What inspires you to write?
My father is an arts journalist, so writing is in my blood. Yet my imagination keeps me from being satisfied at writing about someone else’s work. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I finally had the nerve to try to write a piece of fiction. But then I was hooked. I expect to spend the rest of my life in the joyous honing of my craft.
Tell us about your writing process.
I don’t do formal outlines, but I do take a lot of notes about plot. Usually I end up with one line per prospective chapter to get me going before I really start to draft. And no fancy software for me: I outline and draft by hand in paper notebooks. It was good enough for Mary Shelley, and it seems to help keep me closer to my creative process. Once I’ve done one draft, then everything gets moved onto a computer. I use Dragon dictation software. And, wow, do I learn a lot about the piece by reading it out loud at that stage!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m not the talk-to-my-characters type, although I certainly understand and encourage that if it’s natural to the writer. I’m more of a silent imaginer: I have a gate in my mind, and when I open it, plot and character details gush out. I don’t know how to describe it.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read lots of high-quality literature, even if it’s not in your genre. Study foreign languages to get to know how your own language works. Write every day. EVERY. DAY. Even if it’s just a hundred words. The toughest balance to strike: Be endlessly critical of what you write, yet also able to keep moving forward with the work (and eventually release it out into the world).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have done and continue to do both traditional and self-publishing. Each has its values and drawbacks. The great thing about traditional publishing is that the cost of editing and production is paid for. Also, you have people checking your work and giving you feedback at every step. However, as I can attest, working with small presses can be…challenging. It all depends on the company. Self-pub, of course, is gloriously independent; then again, everything is on you.
At this moment, given the people I’m working with, I’d say I prefer traditional publishing, but there is a lot to be said for taking things into your own hands.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I do not believe for a moment that the print book is dead. I think the proliferation of e-books is a wonderful thing, especially the technologies that can change fiction itself, such as the multimedia and hyperlinked novel. The opportunity we have to publish our own work is a double-edged sword (more books available, but also more shoddy work that has undergone no pro-level oversight), but I’d say that, overall, it’s a very positive thing.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, children’s
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.