Today I am pleased to have author Liz Johnson visiting with us today. Liz fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she's not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as director of marketing for a Christian radio network. She is the author of several novels including The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories.
Her latest novel On Love's Gentle Shore, releases this July and I know this Canadian gal is looking forward to it. Especially because it is set on beautiful Prince Edward Island.
Welcome Liz! For those who aren't familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a marketing director by day. I write at night, which works well for me since I’m a night owl anyway. I love writing stories of true love with happily ever afters almost as much as I love doting on my five nieces and nephews and spending time with my family.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first short story when I was seven and signed my first book contract at 27. In those years, I wrote a lot of really bad books, took some writing classes, and wrote some not-quite-as-bad books. In 2007 I finally wrote a book that caught the attention of an editor at Love Inspired Suspense, and it released in 2009. I’ve been writing steadily ever since then.
How many books have you written?
I tend to lose count, and always have to tick them off on my fingers when someone asks. As I mentioned, I’ve written many really terrible books while I was learning to write. They’ll never make it out of my desk drawer. Twelve novels, one novella, and a handful of short stories have made it to the public.
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
I am so easily distracted! Staying focused is my biggest challenge on any given writing day. It means turning off Facebook, my television, and definitely Google. Researching cake options for a fictional wedding sounds like a great idea until you’re four hours into the internet and watching a video of a cat terrified of a cucumber, and you can’t remember how you got there, but you know you haven’t gotten any words written.
LOL! Been there. Done that! I think most writers can definitely relate. Let's talk about your latest book which releases this July. What can you tell us about it?
On Love’s Gentle Shore takes us back to the Red Door Inn on Prince Edward Island. Natalie O’Ryan’s fiancé has booked their wedding on the island, so after fifteen years, she’s returning to her childhood home and memories she’d rather forget. But when she’s forced to work with Justin Kane, the best friend she disappeared on, she discovers that the love she’s been looking for may be right where she left it.
Sounds exciting and I love the setting! P.E.I. is so beautiful and since I'm Canadian I look forward to reading this series as a way to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Clearly you stepped foot in P.E.I. and fell in love. When it comes to writing, what advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t be afraid to write badly. Aspiring writers are often told to write. Finish that first manuscript. And that is terribly important. But for many writers, finishing that first book is so difficult because they want it to be perfect—or at least good. And the truth is that the first book probably isn’t going to be great. It takes practice. So don’t be afraid of writing a bad book. Bad books can be fixed. Bad books are building blocks for better books. So write. Even if it’s bad.
Which do you enjoy more? Reading or writing?
Both? Reading is so fantastically relaxing. It requires me only to imagine what the author has already conjured. And I love that. Writing is difficult. It’s exhausting—emotionally and sometimes physically. It’s frustrating when the words don’t come as I want them to. Writing means pulling out my hair, pacing a hole in the floor, and angrily staring at a computer screen wondering why it’s not writing the book for me. But the having written part. That’s the best! When the book is done and as good as I can make it, I’m so glad I put in the effort.
What about movies? Any favorites types there?
Love stories, of course! Actually I like all kinds of movies, but my favorites tend to have a romantic thread. Some of my favorites include While You Were Sleeping, The Man from Snowy River, Pride and Prejudice, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Return to Me. Oh, and I love Disney true-story sports movies like Miracle, Invincible, and McFarland, USA.
Some of my favorites too! Thanks for stopping by today Liz. For those of you interested in starting this series from the beginning or touching base with Liz, just follow the links below!
Visit Liz Johnson through her website at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com