Johanna Randle is a YA Author. Her current series is a Paranormal Romance that is a must read. Here is an interview I recently did with her. I will link her book for purchase at the bottom of this post.
1. What inspires you to write?
The written word has changed my life in so many ways and at various points throughout my life. Whenever I felt alone or like no one understood me, books were my salvation. I found so many characters that I could relate to, or plot lines I could escape into. My inspiration for writing stems from those feelings. I want to contribute books that invoke those same emotions for other readers. I strive to write relatable characters that give readers all the feels. That and I have so many stories spinning around in my brain just begging to be told.
2. Tell me about your book/series.
The Inevitable series is a mixture of different genres including romance, contemporary, paranormal, and in the third book, a teensy bit of fantasy. It’s written to be geared toward the young adult audience, but adults who’ve read it have liked it thus far.
The series follows Elizabeth and Jimmy, who were once best friends before a terrible falling out in middle school. Both are pulled back toward each other with no explanation until they discover they are experiencing visions and hallucinations of a different life. They are told by a psychic that they’ve had multiple past lives together, but all have ended tragically. She believes someone has placed a powerful curse on their love, and the closer they get to each other, the more dangerous it becomes. They have to decide if their growing feelings are worth the risk.
Book one is The Inevitable Fate of E & J, where they learn about their supposed curse. It’s available now on Amazon.
Book two is The Inevitable Retribution of E & J, where learn more of the consequences imposed by the curse. I’m hoping to release it at the end of this year, or early 2020.
Book three will be The Inevitable Destruction of E & J, which will be the last book. The plot is top secret. Though I can say that the reason for their curse will be revealed. I’m aiming to release this one also sometime in 2020.
3. What authors influence your writing?
I think every book I’ve read influences my writing in some manner, so I’d say all authors influence me. However, I really like the sweet romance style of Kasie West. I wanted to keep my romance sweet and clean, for the most part. Kasie West’s success helped me believe that sweet romances were marketable. Lois Duncan was also a huge influence on my writing. Although I can’t write suspense like she did, it was her books that inspired me the most to write my own stories.
4. How did you come up with your plot?
When I was a teenager, I loved to read all things supernatural and paranormal. But I only ever found one book about past lives – Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan. I fell in love with the concept immediately, and I didn’t understand why there weren’t more similar books out there. Then, at sixteen, I met my now husband and we would talk about the possibility of having past lives together. I’ve been thinking about my book ever since. I knew I wanted the main characters to be cursed, but it wasn’t until a year ago that I really figured out what that would look like, who cursed them, and why. I’m so excited and I want to share it, but I know it will ruin the series if I do.
5. What advice do you have for young writers?
I’m still learning so much about writing myself, so I’m not sure how great my advice is. But I will say to any young writers out there, don’t wait to write. Just do it. Don’t wait until you think you’re talented enough, or have learned enough, or until you have time. Make the time. Believe in yourself. And write and write some more. I gave up so many times and destroyed the only copy of so many manuscripts, and I sorely regret it now. Even if you aren’t happy with something you’ve written, save it and revisit it later.
6. How do you balance writing and working full time?
I struggle with this immensely. By the time I get home from work, my brain is mush and I’d rather escape into another book or show than write my own. That being said, I am always plotting out the book in my head. I’m picturing the characters and what they are doing as if I’m watching a movie. This helps when I do actually sit down to write. The words tend to flow out of me because I’ve been holding them in so long, almost like a burst dam. I wrote the first draft of book one in a notebook in my car on my lunch break. It only took me a month.
7. Describe your writing routine.
I don’t really have a strict routine. I generally come up with an idea, jot down notes on the characters and overall plot. Then I’ll make a chart of the main plot points and where I want them to happen as the story progresses, and fill in the blanks as I go. I also don’t give myself specific writing time. I write as much as I can whenever I have the motivation. There are days I’ve walked in the door from work and told my husband he can’t talk to me yet because I have to write a scene down before I forget. I also don’t work on one book at a time. If I’m stuck on one, I’ll flip to another.
8. What are your must haves when writing?
The only must have is silence. I can’t write when there are too many distractions going on, including my own brain. If there’s a lot on my mind, it’s impossible for me to write. If there are a lot of conversations going on around me, I can’t write. But if I’m in a quiet space with a computer or pen and paper, or even my notes app on my phone, I can write.
9. Do you prefer writing with a notebook and pen or with a computer?
I like both for different reasons. As I’m first plotting, I prefer to hand write all my thoughts. I feel closer to it that way, though I’m not sure why. It’s almost as if the physical act of hand writing is an extension from my swirling thoughts. When I’m typing on a computer, it feels more business and less creative, probably because I’m on a computer all day for work. But that works when I’m ready to draft the whole chapter because then it is about getting down to business.