Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Interview with fantasy author Natalie Johanson

Fantasy author Natalie Johanson joins me today to chat about her new novel, Shadow’s Voice.

During her virtual book tour, Natalie will be giving away a signed physical copy of Shadow’s Voice (US only). To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Natalie Johanson grew up and lives in the valley of Salt Lake City surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Her days are spent trying to herd her two cats, Holmes and Watson. Natalie’s summers are spent camping with her fiancĂ©e or doing obstacle races with her best friend. She usually spends her winters hiding from the snow. This is the first of what will hopefully become a trilogy, but sometimes the characters do what they want.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Shadow’s Voice is about the heroine, Rose Trewin, who has the magic to walk through shadows. This magic is something she hates, and wishes she never had. Rose is on the run and is looking for nothing more than a simple and quiet life. Instead she is pulled into a coup and the workings of court. Shadow’s Voice is about how this young woman learns to accept herself all while trying to save the king.

What inspired you to write this book?
I really wanted to write a story that had the ending I wanted. Then as I was writing, I decided I wanted a story with characters that feel real. I wanted a heroine that made stupid mistakes and was selfish, and sometimes you just want to throttle. Because that’s how people are. No one is black and white. So, I wrote that character.

Excerpt from Shadow’s Voice:
Nico, back in that small clearing, was limping backward with his sword held defensively in front of him. A strange man paced back and forth in front of Nico, a sword held in one hand and a dagger in the other.

It is not my problem, she thought to herself and started to pull back, but stopped. When did she become this callous? She’d done terrible things in her past, more to stay hidden from her father but when did that make her soulless? She watched Nico struggle to stay on his feet. He had been kind to her, had tried to help her, and Rose had been about to leave him to his death. When had she become so cold?

Rose growled at herself and dropped into the mists of her shadows. She would not let herself become that person. Her head pounded, and Rose grit her teeth against the ache. It was a few quick steps through the darkness and Rose was back in the clearing with Nico and the mercenary. Rose stayed in the shadows, a shapeless form flowing in the darkness, looking and waiting.

Two were following Nico but only one was here. Where was the other?

“Where is it?”

Nico shook his head and adjusted the grip on his blade.

“The information you stole, where is it?” the man sneered. “I’m killing you either way, but if you could save me the time of hunting down any partners you have…”

The man raised his sword, and Rose saw her moment. She emerged from the shadows, saw stars as the pain in her head exploded, and kicked out hard with her foot. The clearing echoed with the man’s scream as her foot crashed into his knee.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Shadow’s Voice. It’ll pick up right where Shadow’s Voice ends at and will some exciting new characters from Rose’s past. This book will start to really address the true threat that is hinted at in Shadow’s Voice.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I started calling myself a writer when I was working full force on Shadow’s Voice with the intent to publish it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I had the time to write full time! I have a full time job that requires more than full time hours of me a lot of the time. I try my best to write on the weekends or in the evenings if I'm not too tired. Usually I binge write several dozen pages in an eight hour period then don’t get a chance to write again for days.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if I’d call it a quirk, but if I can I love to hand write my pages first before I type them into my word doc. I can type really fast. Really fast. So, having a hand written page first, when I go to type the page I'm usually able to do a decent amount of editing and expanding right there.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be so many things. A teacher. Then a literary professor. Lawyer. Barrel racer. Cop. So many things. I’m a detective now, so at least one of those dreams happened.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Read anything you can. And write anything you want. Even if it’s fanfic. Write because you want to.


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