About the author:
Growing up, Helen C. Johannes read fairy tales, Tolkien, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, and Ayn Rand, an unusual mix that undoubtedly explains why the themes, characters, and locales in her writing play out in tales of love and adventure. A member of Romance Writers of America, she credits the friends she has made and the critiques she’s received from her chapter members for encouraging her to achieve her dream of publication.
Today on my blog I have author Helen Johannes, she writes fantasy romance novels. Bloodstone is her newest novel.
Tell us a something about yourself that is not in your author bio.
I’m a tea drinker, and I like to bake.
What inspired you to write your first book?
THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy inspired me to write a quest tale of my own, so I began several during my high school years. It took me years to return to and finish what I started.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a pantser. I get an idea for characters and a story situation and let it mull for a long time. When I do start writing, I have the general high points figured out, but I usually let the story and characters take me where they want to go.
What type of research do you do before writing?
No specific research, but I draw on a fascination for history and my ‘compulsive reader’ nature for tidbits and insights.
Do you have a specific place you like to write/music you listen too, etc?
I usually work on my laptop at the kitchen table (easy access to hot tea, etc.) and sometimes I listen to Celtic music or movie soundtracks.
Do you have any authors that have influenced your writing?
I learned about spare writing from Hemingway, humor from Janet Evanovich, intense setting and backstory from Tolkien, and heart-felt emotion from Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in grade school. I ‘decided’ to take up the craft seriously when my children were small and I needed an outlet for my creative energy.
How do you come by your ideas?
From the oddest places. My current book began with a scene imagined from my father’s experience panning for gold in Alaska and an idea I’d been mulling based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche (a Beauty and the Beast story). My first book grew out of my passion for medieval European history and seeing on the nightly news coverage of Middle Eastern ethnic schisms.
Are you published with a publishing house or self-published?
I’m published by The Wild Rose Press.
What do you think was the hardest part about writing your novel/s?
Doing the publicity because I’m really not a public person. Getting the words on the page sometimes is very difficult.
Are you currently reading anything? Any new books out this year that have really sparked your interest?
I’m a great fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, and I’ve started reading Darynda Jones’ FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT series.
What made you decide to write in your current genre?
I love fairy tales and Arthurian legend. There’s something fascinating about a hero with a sword on horseback.
Have you ever started writing something and then scrapped it?
I have lots of ‘starts’ in the drawer, some half-finished stories, and some completed manuscripts waiting for me to return to. I don’t know that anything is ever ‘scraped.’ It’s just in the mulling stage.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Part time. The day job pays the bills and definitely cuts into my writing time.
Tell us about your current release/or new release?
My new release is BLOODSTONE, a fantasy romance out on Amazon Kindle Select October 28th. It’s a Beauty-and-the-Beast type of story revolving around the search for the title object, drops of petrified dragon’s blood.
What made you decide to write about this particular subject?
This story grew out of the Cupid and Psyche myth. In the myth, Psyche is forced to wed what she thinks is a monster so horrible he refuses to let her see him. They can meet only in the dark. It’s a story about trust, and I wanted to build on that concept with a cursed hero who’s taken on a heavy load of guilt. He needs to be redeemed by a woman courageous enough to do ‘anything’ to save him.
Are you currently working on a new project? If so can you tells us what it will be about?
I’m working on THE LORD OF DRUMARWIN, a sequel to my first book THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. I also have a children’s fantasy I’m working on.
Find Helen Johannes on the internet:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Helen-C.-Johannes/e/B003JJDQWS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1383180734&sr=1-2