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Author Q&A Series > Author Q&A Forum: Vanessa Alexander Johnson

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message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Sep 20, 2010 08:23AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Vanessa Alexander Johnson in her own words:

Vanessa Alexander Johnson has lived all her life in Louisiana. Retired, Johnson now spends most of her time with her family when she is not writing and reading.

Johnson started writing after the close, untimely deaths of her mother and son in August and September 1994. Her first book, dedicated to her loved ones is titled, When Death Comes a Knockin’ (Book Haven Publishing, March 2005, ISBN 1-4116-2470-X), a self-help, inspirational book about loss and grief.

Johnson is also a freelance writer for the New Orleans Times Picayune, as the Thursday columnist for Hahnville/Ama/Killona Town Talk section.

Johnson’s other publishing credits include:
This Far by Faith: Stories of Hope and Victory Through Jesus Christ, Butterfly Press, LLC; February 18, 2008, ISBN-10: 0972885056 ISBN-13: 978-0972885058
Gumbo for the Soul Anthology: The Recipe For Literacy In The Black Community, by Beverly Black Johnson, iUniverse 2007, ISBN: 0-595-42907-06
Songs of Hope by Sachel, Timeless Avatar Press, May 30, 2006, ISBN-10: 0973369264
Help, I've Turned Into My Mother, by ReShonda Tate-Billingsley, Strebor Books, December 2005, ISBN: 1-59309-050-1
Nancy's Christmas Eve Visitor: An Anthology of Short Stories by The Purple Pen, Author House, November 1, 2005, ISBN: 1420873687
Letters to My Mother, Adassa Prendergast Publishers, 2005, ISBN: 0-9715016-0-2
Notes to my Father, Adassa Prendergast Publishers, 2004, ISBN: 0-9715016-1-0
An Essay in Divine Appointment: A Caregiver's Guide by Delores Thornton, iUniverse, (May, 2004) ISBN: 0595318975
An essay, Faith in Healing, in the Living by Faith Anthology, Tina L Miller, Obadiah Press, July 2004, ISBN: 0-9713-2662-2
What Foods Would Have Made You Grow? Down the Cereal Aisle Anthology, Daniel’s House Publications, 2003, ISBN: 0967674034

1. So how did you get into writing?

I started journaling about my experience through the grief process after the untimely deaths of my mother and son on August 28th and September 30, 1994. That journal turned into my first self-published book, When Death Comes a Knockin'.

2. How long have you been writing?

Since 1995

3. What was the first story you got published? How did you get it published?

The first short story published was Nancy's Christmas Eve Visitor: An Anthology of Short Stories by The Purple Pen, Author House, November 1, 2005. I submitted a story and it was accepted and included in the anthology.

4. What genres do you write in? What attracted you to those genres?

I write contemporary fiction, non fiction and poetry. I don't choose the genres I write. I let the voice inside my head dictate what I write.

5. What inspires you as an author and why? Which writers have been influential on you and why?

I'm inspired by meeting and talking to people, visiting new places, as well as my familiar surroundings. As a writer, i read with a readers eye and a writer's eye, noting styles and techniques along the way. I love they way Mary Higgins Clark weaves her plots in mysteries, I love Brenda Jackson's romance style, I love Evelyn Palfrey's take on romance for the marvelously mature, I love the way Tina McElroy Ansa weaves romance into her books, Tim Stelly can really give Futuristic movies a run for their money with his futuristic works and Peggy Love Eldridge can string words together in poetry that'll leave you breathless.

6. So why do you write interracial romance?

I didn't choose to write an interracial romance. It chose me. I got the idea from a conversation I had with my son when he was in college about girl groupies hanging around athletes, even the ones who didn't receive playing time.

7. Tell us about your current work.

Sacrifices In The Name of Love, published 6/3/10 by Red Rose Publishing in eBook format, is about teens Trey Martin, AA and Tessa Phillips WF, neighbors who embark on a sexual journey turned bad when Phillips gets pregnant and attempts to hide her baby's paternity. When she no longer can, she runs away out of fear of facing her racist father, unbeknownst to her that her parents are harboring secrets of their own. The teens learn what it means to make sacrifices under the guise of love and will face racism, deception, family secrets on their journey.

8. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Believe in yourself and your writing when it appears that others don't, particulary where rejections are concerned. Remember, they're only one person's opinion. Also remember, one man's junk is another man's treasure, so keep submitting until you reach your desired goals.

9. What are your goals as a writer? Where do you see your writing career in five years?

Since I'm retired, my goals is to continue working and completing the books I've already started. I see myself getting better and better with my writing and expanding my readership that'll help propel me atop many best seller lists.

10. What message are you trying to convey through your writing? What do you want to say to your reading audience and future readers?

In my writing, I show that humans aren't perfect, but there's always room for forgiveness and growth. I'd like to let my reading audience and future readers know that although we're different in many ways, we're also alike in many ways. We all bleed red blood, we all want to love and be loved regardless of our skin color, our creed or our race.

11. Who is your biggest role model in life? As a writer?

My biggest role models have always been my parents and although they're deceased, I remember the lift lessons they've taught me and my 12 siblings. One of those being you have to have love no matter what your circumstance and always treat people the way you want to be treated. As a writer, my biggest role model was my cousin, Marsha Walker, who's also deceased. As a child five years younger than her, I always admired her intelligence, the way she could string words together and make them sound melodic. She was the one who always helped me with my writing homework and I so much wished I'd someday be able to write like her.

12. Is there anything you want to ask the members of this group?

Not at this time.

13. Is there anything else you want us to know about you?

Yes, I've been married for 32 years, have two children (Haven - 31 and Alexis -11) living and one deceased (Jalen 7 1/2 mos in 1994),and one grandson, Jaylen 5 years. I retired from my job of 30 years at age 48 and am loving it.

Thanks to Vanessa for sharing a little about herself with us here on the Fans of Interracial Romance Group!

message 2: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Johnson (VanessaAJohnson) | 58 comments My thanks to you, Danielle for coming up with such a wonderful idea, and for posting my information.

message 3: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Sep 22, 2010 05:29AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Thanks for participating, Vanessa! I found your story about how you got into writing very interesting and inspiring. I am very sorry for the losses you suffered, but I think it's great you were able to let good come out of that suffering, Vanessa.

message 4: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Johnson (VanessaAJohnson) | 58 comments Thanks Danielle.. It has been a difficult and painful journey, but by the Grace of God, I've managed to accept the new life that was given to me.

message 5: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2002 comments Mod
Awesome interview, Vanessa! You have some wonderful accomplishments and congrats on your first book. Your parents sound like amazing people and I'm sure they're very proud of everything you've achieved in their honor. :-)

message 6: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Johnson (VanessaAJohnson) | 58 comments Thanks Rae. Appreciate you stopping by and leaving such inspirational words. Continued blessings to you.

message 7: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) You got married when I was born! LOL! Great profile, Vanessa!

Best Wishes!

message 8: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Johnson (VanessaAJohnson) | 58 comments Thanks Stacy.

message 9: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 454 comments Very interesting interview and congratulations on all your achievements. Wow, I'm just starting out.


message 10: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Johnson (VanessaAJohnson) | 58 comments Thanks Chaeya. We all had to just start...At least you've started. That's what counts.

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