Bio: Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father's House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near
. Augusta, Georgia
Welcome, Rose. (Actually, Rose is my middle name.) Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Probably more than I realize. My protagonist , Lily Rose, and I share many of the same interests—the love of writing and the French language, gardening—and in many ways, our lives took similar paths.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In the privacy of my own backyard, I have been known to hug an old oak tree.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child, when I was no more than eight or nine, I wrote plays for my two sisters and brother and I to perform in a large back room of our house. I can’t imagine why they always listened to my directions. My stage name was always the most beautiful actress name I could think up at the time—Sandra Blake. Later, in high school, I dreamed of being a writer one day and started writing in college.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read non-fiction more than fiction, and books on religion and spirituality, in particular. I like devotionals. I love Oswald Chambers and have read his complete works. The classics and the “must-reads” for college were foundational for me. But I love bestsellers sagas such as The Thorn Birds and A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I read novels by Daniel Silva and John Grisham, and occasionally a Stephen King novel. All the Light We Cannot See is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My relationship with Jesus and my quiet time with God keeps me focused.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I do spend some time choosing names. But, basically, I go with what sounds suitable and fitting for the story and the heritage and personality of the character. Lily Rose could have only been a Southern girl named after the flowers in the spring.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising my six children
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d probably be a dog, maybe like the little terrier who takes up with Lily Rose on her trek to Wilcox Station.
What is your favorite food?
That’s hard to say; I’m not a picky eater and I come from a family of good cooks so I really enjoy eating. Favorite food? Let me say—crème brulee.
I love that, too, but I don’t eat it very often. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m still working on the greatest roadblock, which is managing my time to write. My family has always been my priority, so I have to work very hard to carve out time to write. Often I have to give myself permission to make writing time for me.
Tell us about the featured book.
One reviewer called it “a triumphant story of hope.” I think that describes it. It reminds me of the verse Psalms 27:13:
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
“Go on, Darling, and see about the colt,” I said. He stirred a cup of steaming coffee, and then handed it to me. When my hands wrapped around the warm ceramic mug, he leaned down and gently pressed his lips to my forehead. I closed my eyes, grateful for his touch.
“I love you,” he said, while taking me by the shoulders and gently pulling me into the circle of his arms. I laid my head against his chest and felt its rise and fall.
“Go,” I whispered. “I’m going to take a walk and look at the gardens.”
He rubbed my back in wide slow circles.
“I’m grateful she died in the spring,” I said.
“I won’t be long. I imagine I’ll find you sitting under the magnolia when I return.”
“I’ll join you there,” he said.
I followed him out onto the porch and watched him walk to the truck, stop, and turn. He fixed his gaze on me, and I knew he didn’t want to leave. I smiled then, and he nodded before getting in and backing down the driveway. He waved, and something about his smile and the gentle blue of the sky strengthened my heart. I watched him disappear down the street before I turned and walked back inside.
Yesterday we buried the woman who raised me, tethering my heartstrings to both heaven and earth. Full of simple goodness, her love never let me go. She wanted to be buried next to her husband, and so she is, and before we lowered her body into the red
clay, we read the 23rd Psalm. The words flowed like a soothing balm.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This morning the words are whispering to my soul, and I can’t help remembering.
Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/217Bvib
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rosecjohnson/boards/Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/18188725-rose-chandler-johnson
Thank you, Rose, for sharing this book with us.
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