About C. S. Johnson:
C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family.
What inspires you to write?
There are always a lot of things that inspire me to write, but most of my inspiration comes from a desire to try to understand something or help other people understand something. Sometimes it is just me trying to figure out what I think about things, too. It would be very hard to know what I think about things if I didn't pretend to experience some of them!
Tell us about your writing process.
I like to play with ideas, and I often use questions as a starting point for my work to take over. One of my favorite stories for this is how I started writing "Across the Floors of Silent Seas," which is a prequel novella to a book I'm working on. The idea for the book came from asking the question of whether or not mermaids would believe in humans. There are plenty of people who have a wide range of beliefs, and I always have to wonder if mermaids would be possible. It makes me smile to think of how they might consider the "myth" of humans who live so close to the sun and on dry land.
Depending on how weird or intriguing I find the question, the story soon follows. I usually feel better about having an outline, but I like to jazz up my own outlines anyway.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I like to listen to them more than I like to talk to them. I really like allowing them to have the freedom to tell me what they want to, and to try to figure out what to do on their own. It's very interesting and adds a whole other layer to my own life in the process.
What advice would you give other writers?
The first thing I tell people is to read A LOT of books. I like starting to read the good books, the ones who have stood the test of time, but I also tell them to read the popular books, the bad books, the short and the long books. When you decide to become a writer, you're essentially deciding you will be a literary chameleon, a worker who is capable of adopting different styles and changing colors. But at the end of the day, you are who you are, and who you are will always come through your work. It's best to know it and celebrate it before you're surprised by it. Writing will offer you plenty of surprises; it's best to keep your guard up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started to write books, and eventually publish them, because I just wanted more from the books I did like, and while some of the books I wasn't crazy about offered up good ideas, I didn't like everything about the book. So I started writing more books that are a blend of genres, books that offer a dichotomy of complicated fun, books that become more fun the more you read them. A book that can be enjoyed in one sitting at one point in time is not a book that will stay with you over the years. My best books are the books that offer me something new every time I go to read them, and I want my own work to have that distinctive feature, too.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that as much as it changes, the more of it will stay the same. There will always be experts and critics and people who are there purely for the profit, and then there will be people who are brilliant who will never been celebrated in their time.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: fantasy, romance, science fiction, fairy tales, historical fiction, historical fantasy, comics, teen and young adult, steampunk
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
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.