Welcome, Liz. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I try not to put too much of myself into my characters, but always the spiritual lessons that I’ve been learning end up being the same lessons that characters struggle to figure out. In my most recent book, A Promise to Protect, my heroine has to learn to be weak in order to let God be strong. Learning that in my own life was an awful challenge for me, but when I finally caught on to what He was teaching me, I was able to help my characters come to understand similar things.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was 19, I decided that I needed a nose ring. At the time, I was working at
DisneyWorld, and I
wasn’t allowed any visible piercings except my ears. So I had to wait for about
two months, but the day before I left Florida,
I got my nose ring, which I wore for two years. And the day I graduated from
college I took it out. Sometimes I still miss it, but it doesn’t exactly go
with my day job, so I guess we’ve seen the last of my nose ring.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m not sure I ever really discovered. I was just sort of always writing. When I was seven, I was given a school assignment to write two paragraphs about a bear. I ended up writing several pages. That was probably the first indication that I was going to be a writer.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading just about anything. I’m a big fan of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and other books. My all time favorite book is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, a Newberry Award Winner from 1955. But close behind that are The Princess Bride and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. From dystopian YA to historical romance to biographies and Christian living books, I’ll pick it up.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I’ve done a good job of keeping my sanity, but I do find that when I feel overwhelmed, stopping for a moment to listen to a worship song always soothes my nerves.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I’m not great at naming my characters, but recently I’ve discovered BabyNameGenie.com, which randomly offers names, and I love that! I almost always have it open in my browser to help with naming secondary characters.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I think I’m most proud of being my nieces’ and nephews’ favorite aunt. It’s taken no small amount of time on the phone with them reminding them that I’m their favorite. And I’ve spent a lot of time shopping to spoil them. Okay, seriously, I love being an aunt, and I love spending time with all five of my nieces and nephews. I’m also honored to get to write and to have been published in some really successful books, and that’s a blessing I never expected. Getting letters from readers who have been encouraged by my books is maybe the best part of being a writer.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I’d like to be a horse, strong and graceful. They’re just so beautiful. But realistically I’m probably closer to a house cat. If I have the chance, I love a good nap.
What is your favorite food?
My dad’s hamburgers fresh off the grill with a little ketchup, cheese, lettuce, and pickles.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m a terrible procrastinator. But I’m also grateful that I write better under pressure. Procrastinating makes meeting deadlines hard, but I’ve found that I can set up a schedule, set smaller goals, and find folks to keep me accountable to write. These help me make my deadlines and keep me moving forward with my writing.
Tell us about the featured book.
Navy SEAL Matt Waterstone knows about keeping people safe. When his best friend’s sister is attacked, Matt promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer–not on his watch. But Matt’s not the only protective one. Ashley will do anything to safeguard the residents of the battered women’s shelter she runs. She’s sure she can handle the threats she gets in return. What she can’t handle is the way Matt scales the walls around her heart. Yet when she falls prey to a crime web more sinister than she’d realized, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive.
Please give us the first page of the book.
"When do you go wheels up?" Ashley Sawyer asked as she walked down the street toward the local grocery store several blocks away.
"And you're avoiding the question." Tristan had been deploying with his team of U.S. Navy SEALs since she was sixteen. She knew that when he didn't answer a question, it was usually because he couldn't. Stepping onto the curb, she asked, "Well, you and Matt just take care of each other, okay?"
Silence hung on the line for so long that she checked her phone to make sure she hadn't dropped the call.
"Matt's not going this time."
Her heart squeezed just a bit. She'd counted on Matt Waterstone, her brother's best friend since their first day in SEAL training, to watch out for Tristan. Matt had a habit of being in the right place at the right time, protecting Tristan from at least one bullet during their deployments. And that was just what he would actually own up to.
She swallowed an unexpected lump in her throat at the thought of harm coming to the man she'd had a crush on once upon a time. "What happened?"
"Nothing major. He'll heal up just fine with a little time. Hey, maybe I'll send him your way for a visit—keep him from getting bored here on his own."
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I enjoy connecting with readers and fellow book lovers at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com, www.twitter.com/lizjohnsonbooks , and www.facebook.com/lizjohnsonbooks .
Thank you, Liz. We loved learning a little about your life and your book.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Promise to Protect (Love Inspired Suspense) A Promise to Protect (Love Inspired Suspense)
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