Saturday, 19 January 2013

Your Saturday Evening Dessert: Phoenix Johnson


  Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing.
  Phoenix has multiple works in progress, and her favourite writing genres are the same as her reading genres; erotica, romance, paranormal, thriller and a combination of these.
  Having started out reviewing, Phoenix was nominated for the 2011 Xcite Best Reviewer Award. She has also participated in her first NaNoWriMo in 2012 and successfully completed the challenge with a day to spare, despite also juggling a home life and full time study.
She currently lives on the sunny Gold Coast, Queensland, with her partner, their daughter and cat Flash and a cranky Siamese Fighting Fish.

She lives here, by the way...
 Yeah. I'm jealous too.

The woman behind the word:

Ms. Johnson, who are you as a person?
I’m a stay at home mother of 1, soon to be 2, cat owner, fish owner, engaged to the man I’ve loved and lived with for about seven and a half years, as well as full time student, proof-reader, sketcher, photographer and all-round horse nut! I have an eclectic taste in music, clothes and movies, but my bookshelves are filled with mostly paranormal or horsey books. I’m a country girl at heart, having grown up in a fairly rural town, yet I also enjoy the city and the beach.

Oh my. You're not busy much, are you? How about who are you as a writer?
I write what I read, paranormal and horses. However, I’m expanding them with sub-genres; erotic romance, contemporary romance, horror/thriller/suspense. I have a fickle muse whose presence is often fleeting, but when she’s here, she helps me smash out large chunks of story that often are sending chills down my spine, making me cry or getting a chuckle from me. A consistent timetable is something I’m trying to work on, but with so much also on my plate, it’s a challenge. Doesn’t help that Australia is in the middle of a very hot summer right now, either! Me + heat = poor concentration. I am looking forward to moving, and of course to winter so I can concentrate again.

Yeah. Me + heat = death. Or an exaggerated case thereof. Have any other big passions?
Besides writing and reading, tattoos, horses, and drawing are definitely up there. I love my ink (only one so far, but working on changing that!), obsessed with horses and dabble in drawing when I am in the mood. What I draw? Horses and have managed to squeeze out some tattoo designs as well, of course.

I wouldn't be surprised at this point if you told me you sing concerts for thousands and save orphans from burning buildings on weekends. Anyway, how did you get into writing?
I’ve always been a reader, and had these fanciful dreams and scenes that would run through my mind day and night. I started dabbling with writing in high school, but never felt like I had the support to keep it up, so I gave it up. I tried again just after graduating, but wasn’t able to stick to it then, either. However, a few years ago, when we had our daughter’s Naming Ceremony, the celebrant mentioned how well written my emails always were, and asked if I was a writer. Between Helen and my aunt, Annette, I was encouraged to try once more. Just over a year later, after much practice and a few lessons learned, I submitted my first manuscript, The Wolf in the Neighborhood, and just shy of two months after that, I got my first acceptance email. I haven’t looked back since!
Naughty Nights VICTORY!

Congratulations, by the way! From what I've seen it looks like the start to a very successful career. With that in mind, what do consider your greatest accomplishment or your worst defeat, and what lesson have you taken from it?
One of my greatest accomplishments would have to be getting accepted for publishing. I’ve definitely seen since then that time-management is something I need to stick with, and up until late December last year, I had been doing fairly well. Things have been pretty hectic since then, though, so hoping things calm down again soon so I can get back to my usual schedule. I feel so lost without being able to stick to the schedule I’d fallen in to!

Oh, don't I know. If I don't schedule myself, I end up lying on the floor babbling incoherent words like I chewed up my manuscript to regurgitate random chunks of it. So you think writing has  changed you as a person?
I think it helps me remain calm and sane, so to speak, though most writers I know are a little crazy. In the best ways, of course! It’s given me sense of self outside of my relationship and being a mother. It also shows me that determination and will pay off, and it’s worth all the frustration when the story is finished and gets published.

You know what? Obama would bow down to your spirit and optimism. Let's keep that going. What are your hopes and dreams?
Outside of my books becoming so popular I don’t have to actually work if I don’t want to, my dreams are fairly normal; buy our own house on a large block of land where I can ride horses. Be financially stable enough that we don’t have to worry about bills, and can have nice things, and go out to dinner just because we want to. Fairly regular hopes and dreams, but not less special because of their normality.

I like the way you think. What's the best advice you've ever been given, or have given?
One of the ones that stick in my mind was when I was talking to Cassandre Dayne about a scene I had written and read back over. I said to her about the chills I got as I read it, and feeling silly over it, to which she said “That is how you know you’re doing it right.” Ok, paraphrased, but that was pretty much what was said. So now, I no longer feel silly when I cry during a sad scene or feel a bit hot under the collar during a steamy scene. If the author doesn’t feel it, then mostly likely neither will the audience.

Gosh, Ms. Dayne is just everywhere, is she not? That's really good advice, actually, I'm gonna pot that to a post-it note by my computer. What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have a number of works in progress, including a western style contemporary romance, my first attempt at a m/f/m ménage (short story, also western style), a paranormal thriller with the same feel as Underworld, yet entirely its own, and a paranormal horror, my first foray in to the horror genre. I normally am not a fan of being scared silly, but I look forward to what horrors my muse has in store for me while I write The Crypt! They are just some of my works in progress, and goodness knows what will come after that!

Well, goddammit if you didn't make me excited about your stuff. Next you'll have to make a paranormal western horror erotica! Since you've kick started writing with a paranormal erotica, tell me: If you were a supernatural creature, which would you be and why?
Definitely the Phoenix; although dragons and unicorns have their own beautiful tales of mythology, the Phoenix is the most symbolic. It rises from the ashes of the old life, being reborn in to something even more beautiful, passionate and strong. Born of fire, forged from the flame to be something greater. How can you go past such beautiful symbolism?

Well, when you put it like that, I suppose we all should strive to be phoenixes. We'll just remember who our alpha bird was.

I think it's high time we learned about your breakthrough piece, don't you think?

The Wolf in the Neighborhood- Book One of Wolf Smitten
  This one was quite fun to write. It came to me randomly one night as I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep. The first scene popped in to my head, so I jotted a note down on my phone and got to it the next day. I knew it was going to have some heat to it, but I was not expecting the paranormal side to it, nor did I know it would become a trilogy! It’s been well worth it, though, now that I see it out in the world being well received so far!

Could a dark secret revealed by a new lover be something you could overlook just to have him?

Krissy has a hunky new neighbor with a dark secret; Derek is a vet with an interesting past. They hit it off quickly but when Krissy’s abusive ex, James comes to town, Derek shows a side Krissy never could have guessed, yet James refuses to give up.

Can Derek’s secret save them, or will James have his revenge?

An excerpt from The Wolf in the Neighborhood:
   “I’m certainly not complaining about the wakeup call. I just don’t want it to be some kind of obligation after last night, or – well, you know – before.”
   “Let’s not talk about that right now. I just want to get as much of you as I can.” She leaned in for another deep kiss before he could say another word, grinding her hips as she did so. His moan in her mouth told her he was happy to forget about everything that wasn’t her on top of him.
  His hands moved around to her back, holding her close, barely giving her the space to move back one last time. “So when is this sheet going to be removed from between us? We can’t give in to ecstasy with it still covering your waist.”
   “You’re the one sitting on me, so I guess it’s up to you,” Derek replied, all sass and cheek.

Check out the book trailer, and once you have been rightfully charmed by her spell, find the story at:
Naughty Nights Press (available in ePub, Kindle, and PDF)
All Romance eBooks
Amazon UK
And at some point Barnes and Noble

Phoenix Johnson is quite the prolific social media enthusiast; she can be found at the following:

Twitter: @Phoenix_Johnson

Thank you, May, for hosting me. It’s always a pleasure to get out and about, even if it’s only a cyber visit, to see new people! I hope people enjoy the snippet of The Wolf in the Neighborhood, and thanks to anyone who buys it. Don’t forget, reviews are welcome on Naughty Nights Press estore, Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords etc. Every bit helps!
Thank you, Phoenix, for your hard work and your art. Your career is bound to catch fire like your inner phoenix and only grow stronger. It's been a pleasure!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again May, it's been great! Definitely a fun interview.