Author Interviews

* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (, including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Author interview with Vanity and Vanessa Johnson (revisited)

Back in February 2013, I interviewed authors Vanity and Vanessa Johnson for my interview-only WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more.
image_1Today’s is with romance authors Vanity and Vanessa Johnson (Vanity is answering the questions today).
image_2A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Vanity. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Vanity: My name is Vanity Johnson, my business partner is Vanessa Johnson. We are based in Chicago, IL and we decided that we wanted to write a book together a long time ago. We wanted to write a poetry book but we wanted to tell an updated version of Prince Charming. So Prince Charming My Way came to life and many more.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Vanity: So far it is romance, we are looking at others right now as well.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date?
Vanity: Right now we have a book called Prince Charming My Way and working on another book as well.
Morgen: You’ve self-published, what lead to you going your own way?
Vanity: Yes… We wanted to know about everything about how and why about the book. In the people at Xlibris were very helpful.
Morgen: Is your book available as an eBook? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Vanity: Price Charming My Way is available in book form and eBooks. I love reading eBooks and I told the company what I wanted and they made sure it was done.
Morgen: If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Vanity: We would love to see all of our books made into a film and I would want to see a fresh face as a lead.
Morgen: Which author(s) would you compare your writing to?
Vanity: No one – we are in the process of creating books in the eye of unknown. We don’t want to look like everybody else we want to show that we are different in a unique way.
Morgen: Did you have any say in the title / cover of your book? How important do you think they are?
coverVanity: Yes we did. In order to catch the eye of the reader you have to create a cover that catches the eye. Who else but the person who has the vision of words should put in something into it?
Morgen: What are you working on at the moment / next?
Vanity: We are working on a book that is focusing on an adult relationship and ways to get to where you need to be in life.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Vanity: We write when we are in the mood. We do get block sometimes but when we walk away it hits us and the journey begins.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Vanity: We take what life has to offer and go with the follow.
Morgen: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Vanity: Our creations process takes us to names that express who are characters are built around and what personality the sign is.
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Vanity: We have a process where we do a raw outline then go deeper into the words.
Morgen: Do you have to do much research?
Vanity: Yes...
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Vanity: We like discovering all possibilities.
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Vanity: Poetry is also included in the books and yes we also can write non-fiction and short stories.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Vanity: No, everything will come out and amaze people.
Morgen: Have you had any rejections?
Vanity: Not so far…
Morgen: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Vanity: Facebook, Twitter, personal website, word of mouth.
Morgen: What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
Vanity: The process of creating a book is awesome. The printing stage seems like it takes forever.
Morgen: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Vanity: Never give up the inspiration comes in goes but little things can hit you at odd times. Carry a pen and paper with you at all times.
Morgen: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Vanity: I would invite my grand ma and uncle and Lucille Ball. We would cook Vanity special steak dish.
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Vanity: Cook and military duty.
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Vanity: Great possibilities…
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Vanity: Xlibris bookstore or
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Vanity: We are also going to come out with a book about being twins.
Morgen: Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Vanity: Did you ever dream that you would be doing this 20 years ago?
Morgen: I didn’t, no. Despite being an avid reader (of Stephen King) in my teens, it didn’t occur to me until I started attending a creative writing evening class that writing was an option. I wouldn’t do anything else now. Thank you, Vanity.
I then invited Vanity to include a synopsis of her and Vanessa’s book…
Are happy endings possible in real life? Is Prince Charming even real? In Prince Charming My Way, authors Vanity and Vanessa Johnson weave a modern-day fairy tale laden with lessons and insight about love and life. The story centers on a woman who comes to terms with her past. She goes on a remarkable journey that will let her find, lose and rediscover love and teach her the essence of family, identity and relationships. During the course of the transformational odyssey she will also discover some new things about herself and the people around her. Unfolding in brilliant poetry, prose and compelling dialogs between characters, the book ultimately reveals what it means to love and live fully.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Vanity and Vanessa Johnson embarked on a fascinating journey when they joined the navy. During that time they were able to see the world in a different point of view. As they experienced life at its fullest, they decided to write about how they felt and this eventually gave way to eye-opening poetry and short stories. They have finally decided to come to together and show the world what they have created and hope that their readers learn something new about themselves.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog,, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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