The Burning Willow Press authors wish to help you celebrate the best month of the year, October. How you may ask? By giving you a different author from the ranks each day with in-depth answers to questions that our staff has decided to ask them. Many will be generic, others not so much. Let’s get to know the authors of BWP! Oh, and did we forget to mention… the staff there are all authors too so they have decided to chime in with some answers of their own.
CINDY JOHNSON, author of Keys of Childish Scrawl being released 2019.
So first, when did you realize that the voices were telling you to write stories or go mad with all that stuck in your head?
After a very strange dream a story began to formulate in my head, and “Keys Of Childish Scrawl” was born. Since then I’ve gotten ideas from many sources. I hope the ideas keep flowing.
What is your favorite book not written by you? See that question is not the same as the other one above… to follow up, what was your favorite book that you wrote?
It’s hard to choose a specific book, but I’ve always been an avid reader. I read a lot of things by Stephen King. Of course, my favorite of the books I’ve written is Keys of Childish Scrawl.
When the muse is off doing their own thing instead of pushing you to write, albeit by gunpoint at times, what is your favorite time-waster?
I’m also an artist, so when I’m not writing I’m painting or drawing. For me, being an artist has helped me as a writer, because I’ve gotten story ideas from my paintings.
What is the one thing that you must do to get into a writing mood? For me, it is listening to 80’s hair metal.
I love the 80s music and that often gets me in a writing mood. As I mentioned, painting will do that too. Sometimes I go back and forth between writing and painting.
Is editing your story just part of the job or does it literally kill a part of you to “kill your children” as it has been said? What about making revisions?
I don’t like to kill my children, but if it helps the story it doesn’t bother me to do some rethinking. Revisions are often necessary, so that doesn’t really bother me. I’ve found that doing the revising does improve the story.
When you read a book by another author do you ever look at it and criticize it or edit it in your head as the way you would have done it yourself?
I usually respect the author and his/her writing choices, so I’m not too critical. There have been a few times I’ve wished they had done something differently.
What would you like to be chiseled into your headstone?
“She was a brilliant writer!” of course!!
What was your favorite candy to get at Halloween as a kid?
Anything chocolate, but Tide pods hadn’t been invented yet.
What is your favorite Halloween ritual? And if you do not do that… what is your favorite Halloween movie?
I don’t really have a ritual, but I think my favorite Halloween-type movie would be The Fog, with Jamie Lee Curtis.
Beach, Mountains, Country, City? And follow up… favorite season… just a hint here… you should say, Autumn.
I love the beach, and of course, my favorite season is Autumn.
I know my “To Be Read” list is never ending and grows daily… how is yours? And do you prefer paperbacks or e-books? Notice I did not ask about audio?
I have many Burning Willow Press books I intend to read and have already read some of them, and I prefer paperbacks.
What was your childhood ideal job to be as an adult?
I wanted to be an actress.
Cats, dogs, both, other?
I like dogs, but I prefer cats.
Most newbie authors are told to write emotional state in what they already know… so how did you break away from that newbie status of writing what you know in the beginning?
Technically, I guess I’m still a newbie, but I think it’s helping me get rid of the newbie status by researching my topics thoroughly, and not being afraid to branch out. And, I will have some other things published soon.
Advice in one sentence to a new author who is not published yet?
Never give up!
Do your siblings or other family members support your choice to write horror? Fantasy? Erotica… if you do? SCI-FI? Other genres?
My family has been very supportive. Horror, ghost stories specifically, is what I write. It isn’t a genre most of them enjoy reading, but they’ve always respected my choice.
Do you ever use writing as an excuse to get out of doing things with the family… especially the in-laws?
Usually not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a notepad with me to jot down an idea now and then when we’re all together.
If you had written a sex scene in your book, would you be embarrassed to have your mom read it?
Beta Readers, Proofers, Editors… all are important to produce a better work of literature. So, who would you say is the most important in your team? Or do you not have those in place and are working on that?
I have worked with Editors and Beta Readers. I believe all are important for improving the quality of a story. After all, the ultimate goal is to create the best story possible. Both Editors and Beta Readers have always had my best interest in mind, and I appreciate their input.
In your day of writing… do you push through it all day or do you take mental breaks?
I must take breaks, but when I am doing something else I usually still have the story on my mind.
Do you ever get to travel as an author? Do conventions? What have you learned in those endeavors?
I haven’t done any of those yet, but I’m sure I will someday. I have gotten story ideas from traveling, though.
Book signings? Necessary evil even for the introvert?
I think book signings are necessary, even for the introvert, because I think it can help that person overcome any fears he/she might have. Book signings get your work out there and help you promote. I have my first book signing coming up soon for Southern Fried Autopsies, in which I have a short story titled, “The Light in the Window.” I’m excited.
What do you have coming out in the next year and who is producing it?
My first novel, Keys of Childish Scrawl, will come out March 2019, but I have two short stories coming out this year in Southern Fried Autopsies, and Crossroads In The Dark IV: Ghosts. I’m excited about all of them, and they are all with Burning Willow Press.
What is your ‘go-to’ alcoholic beverage of choice?
In the book, Misery by Stephen King, his main character celebrates the end of the Misery books series by smoking a cigar and drinking a scotch so, how do you celebrate a finished story?
If there’s a movie I want to see, I’ll usually go to one, and, also out to eat. That’s after I’ve told everyone I know about finishing the story, though.
Ideas come from all over. I get mine everywhere… so my question is what was the inspiration for the last (or upcoming) book you released?
I got the idea for Keys of Childish Scrawl from a strange dream that included my title. I didn’t dream the book, but the dream gave me the idea for it.
Who would you compare your work to and would love to have them read and give you a review of or even better, a tweet and post about it?
I’d like to imagine I could be compared to all the great horror writers, but I’m not sure about that just yet. It would be great if Stephen King read my book and gave me a review, tweet, or post.
Have you ever seen a movie that was better than the book? If so, what was it and why?
I thought 1408 was better than the book. The book spent more time with the hotel manager telling the writer he shouldn’t stay in that room. I think the movie was much more interesting.
Do you ever base characters on people that you know? If so, do you ever kill said characters and feel bad?
I do have many characters based on people I know, myself included. I’ve only killed one so and that was one of the only ones not based on someone I know. I thought it improved the story, so it didn’t really bother me.
Do you ever feel that your characters have a mind of their own and change the course of the planned storyline?
I do feel that way sometimes. Before I started writing my novel, I decided how I wanted my characters to be, giving them personalities. Sometimes I’d be writing a scene and think to myself, he/ she wouldn’t do that or say that, so I would rethink it.
Where can we stalk you at? Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, website?
I have a Facebook author page and Twitter. I will have an Amazon page soon.