6 November 2009

Spotlight on Christmas novels with Myra Johnson

This month Im featuring Christmas novels. I have Books lined up for each week and plan to post Tuesday and Thursday some weeks. (That is of course if Blogger co-operates!)

Welcome Myra Johnson to my blog to talk about her Christmas book On Imperfect Christmas. Thanks for coming and visiting today.

1. Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, Jenny! Thanks so much for inviting me today! I’m a native Texan but a recent transplant to “Green Country” in Oklahoma. My husband and I have been married since 1972, and we’re the proud parents of two beautiful and godly daughters, who between them have given us five wonderful grandchildren. I’ve been writing professionally for about 25 years.

2. How did you come to be an author? Is it something you always wanted to be?
I started writing stories and poems as a very young child and always dreamed of publication, but didn’t take purposeful steps in that direction until 1983, when I enrolled in the Writing for Children and Teenagers course offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. I started selling stories before even completing the course and went on to teach ICL’s magazine writing course for about nine years.

3. As this month I’m focusing on Christmas books can you tell us how you came to write a Christmas book?
The idea came to me one Christmas season when all the TV stations were airing Christmas movies. I kept thinking I should be able to write something equally enjoyable but maybe with a little more depth and heart.

4. Did you find it easier having a topic?
Perhaps it helped knowing the story would be about Christmas, but then I spent a lot of time playing the “what if” game before settling on just the right mix of characters and plot elements.

5. How did you come up with the characters for your story?

Wow, I’m not sure I know! My characters always just sort of come to me as I puzzle out the theme and direction of a story. With One Imperfect Christmas, I tried to envision characters who would be most affected by the basic idea I had in mind, that something stood in the way of an older couple celebrating their 50th Christmas as husband and wife. Who would be directly involved in this situation? What would their personalities be like? What occupations would they have chosen? How would family relationships be affected?

6. Do you have a message you hope readers take out of your story?
I hope readers will gain new appreciation for their loved ones and also find hope in the face of adversity. God never abandons us, no matter how awful things look, and His forgiveness and mercy are ours for the asking.

7. Can you tell us a little about your book?
Christmas is the season of miracles, but when blame and guilt keep people apart, a miracle needs a helping hand.
Natalie Pearce loves Christmas so much she’d gladly make it a year-round celebration—until her mother suffers a massive stroke while taking down the decorations. Natalie’s guilt over not being there to help her mom soon builds a wall that separates her from the rest of her family, including her husband, Daniel, and their teenage daughter.
As the next December approaches, the last thing Natalie wants to be reminded of is another Christmas season. Only her family’s tenacious love and an unexpected Christmas gift from her mother can help Natalie mend the broken pieces of their lives.

8. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share?
My next three novels are contemporary romances in Barbour’s Heartsong Presents line, each with a Missouri setting. The first, Autumn Rains, is out this month. Book two is titled Romance by the Book, and the third will be Where the Dogwoods Bloom. For the future, I’m working on more contemporary women’s fiction, but always with a touch of romance.

9. Finally where can we find you one the net?

My Website is http://www.myrajohnson.com/, and I blog at www.myra.typepad.com. You can also find me in Seekerville (http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/) and at Romance Your Spouse (http://www.romanceyourspouse.blogspot.com/).


carla stewart said...

Great interview, Jenny! Myra's my writing buddy, and I'm so thrilled for her. One Imperfect Christmas is such a heart-warming story.

Myra Johnson said...

Aawwww, thanks, Carla! (And I did not bribe her to say that!) Carla is a great writer, too, and I can't wait to read her debut novel, Chasing Lilacs, which comes out in a few months.

Jenny, thanks so much for having me on your blog today. We are always so glad when you drop in at Seekerville!

Jo said...

Great interview. Would love to read book.


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