Interviewed by Jayne Ormerod
|Victoria M. Johnson|
Author of The Doctor's Dilemma
Yes, we all have bios on this website, but there is so much MORE to know about our Classic and Cozy bloggers. So the 2nd Friday of each month is dedicated to getting to know us better.
Our first volunteer for 2015 is Victoria M. Johnson. She's active on our list and I thought I "knew" her, but boy was I surprised with her answers! Such an interesting life! Please give a warm Classic and Cozy Blog Welcome to Victoria!
1. Okay, inquiring minds want to know…why a writer? Certainly not for the fame and fortune…or maybe it is?
I knew by the time I was ten years old that I wanted to be a writer. I wrote short stories back then but many years passed before I began writing my first novel-length manuscript. I had a few honorable professions: Air Force medic, police officer, and airline representative, but I really wanted to be a writer. I even had a twelve-year career as a grantwriter for a nonprofit, which I loved doing and loved using my writing skills and creativity. Yet I longed to write romance novels. It's just as well that I experienced other occupations first--those experiences enriched my life and supplied fodder. As for fame or fortune: I'm not one to seek fame but I do like fortune, and I welcome getting paid for writing :-)
2. When did you first put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to create the your classic and cozy characters?
I created my characters for The Doctor's Dilemma in 2010 and the book was published in 2011. I was thrilled that this book caught the eyes of the editors at Avalon Books. The book was my baby and I wanted it to have a good home. Avalon Books was the perfect place for it and it debuted in hardcover. Montlake Romance later acquired the book and released it in paperback and ebook formats. The Doctor's Dilemma, came about from a visit to the rural part of Mexico in the novel’s setting. I knew I wanted to write a novel or two set in that remote location and I always loved reading doctor and nurse romances so I combined the two. The Doctor’s Dilemma, tells the story of a doctor and nurse who work in La Clínica Pediátrica, and the villagers whose lives they touch.
3. Do you have a set writing schedule?
No. I only know what major projects I'm going to tackle in a year and in-between those I write all the shorter pieces.
4. Is there a certain routine, food/drink, or location that summons forth the muses for you?
I write first thing in the morning. I don't have a word count or page count requirement. I just stop when I get hungry or I need to stretch or I have somewhere to go. As for place, I like sitting at my desk in my office or looking out the window in my dining room when it's raining. Walks on the beach, or anywhere really, prod the muse but then I have the task of remembering those thoughts or ideas when I return to my desk.
5. What do you do when not writing?
I attend poetry readings, sometimes I read my poems other times I'm there to support friends. I attend many literary or art events each month. I'm lucky to live in a town with a vibrant, creative environment and I attend or participate in whatever events I can. I was a volunteer for a few nonprofits for many years but I cut back on that last year. Now I volunteer for one organization. I still make short films or work on the crew of others. I take zumba classes and I enjoy jogging with my hubby. I love to cook and of course I spend time with my family. My husband and I have two grown children that live close by, and four lovely, energetic grandchildren. Visiting with them and other family members (I come from a BIG family) is always a pleasure.
6. I imagine you’ve been reading all of your life (all great writers have.) What was your favorite book as a child?
I read Clara Barton by Helen Dore Boylston when I was about ten and that book became my favorite thereafter. I read it so many times that the binding wore out. It's possibly the impetus of my joining the medical corps of the Air Force.
7. Do you re-read books? If so, which one have you re-read the most?
My to-be-read shelf is overflowing so I don't re-read novels anymore. I sometimes re-read a nonfiction book and I often re-read poetry collections.
8. But there is more to life than reading, writing (and arithmetic)…what is your most memorable adventure in your life? <<I think this is the point where Barbara Walters would ask you if you were a tree, what kind would you be, but I’ll skip that and throw a softball…>>
I prefer to answer the tree question. I'd be a Christmas tree because I love the colorful lights and the bling on all the ornaments. I'd only have to look pretty for a short period of a few weeks and then I'd be tucked away and forgotten--which means I could read and write to my heart's content.
9. If you were on American Idol, what song would you sing to WOW! the judges?
I'm very patriotic so I'd sing the National Anthem because I'd sing with everything I had in me. I'd put all my heart and soul into it and I'd have those judges in tears and applauding and giving me the highest praise.
10. Last question…movie rights…who will play your two main characters when Hollywood comes knocking on your door?
Bradley Cooper would make an excellent smart and sexy doctor, and Natalie Portman would be fabulous as his strong-willed yet vulnerable nurse.
Victoria M. Johnson knew by the time she was ten that she wanted to be a writer. She loves telling stories and she's happiest when creating new characters and new plots. Avalon Books and Montlake Romance published Victoria's fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist). Her other fiction book is a collection of romance short stories titled, The Substitute Bride, and a novella titled, Hot Hawaiian Christmas. She is also the writer and director of four short films. Visit Victoria's website at http://VictoriaMJohnson.com for inspiration and tips and connect with her on Pinterest Twitter and Facebook.