Today, I’d like to introduce you to a special children’s author that I met at a recent book event in beautiful Boca Raton, FL. When I met her, I immediately knew she was going places. I want to share her interview with you and you’ll see for yourself what I’m talking about.
Tell me something about yourself. (Where did you grow up, significant relationships, what do you do for fun besides writing, as little or as much as you want).
I am from the Caribbean but I grew up in the South Florida area, with my mom and brother. Besides writing I enjoy reading, going out with friends, shopping, and trying new things like skydiving.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always written journals but after college, I began to write stories in my head. Then about six years ago I decided to put them on paper.
What have you written? Tell me about them.
So far I have self-published five children’s books:
My friends’ daughter Sofia inspires the first two. In Sofie at Bat, she has the dilemma of learning how to hit the ball without using the tee. In Sofie at Dance, she has become friends with Chloe from her dance class, and their friendship is challenged when they both want the top spot in an upcoming recital. My third book is a compilation of poems dedicated to the children that I know and have worked with. The book is called My Heartbeats. Aiden the Soccer Star! Is my fourth book. My cousin’s son who is also named Aiden inspired this book. Aiden has to overcome his fear of a new position on his soccer team. My latest book is Our Military Family. This book tells how a family has to cope when Mom is away serving in the Army.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Currently, I am enjoying writing Children’s Books
Tell me about your writing process.
When I write, I create the stories in my mind first. I will change and rearrange the story multiple times before I actually write it down. Sometimes I write an outline other times, I scribble down the whole thing.
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
My inspiration comes from people that I have met, then I ask myself, What if?
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
Depending on the book I may talk to people who play the sports, I have read about players involved.
With my latest book, I combined my ideas of how to help military families with those I found online from public agencies.
Do you have a special place where you write?
I can write anywhere, different locations are better for me.
Do you have any type of music you listen to while you write?
I don’t really listen to music, while I write. But background noise does not affect me.
Do you have any rituals before or while you write?
My writing ritual is to handwrite my outline/story first then I type it up.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book?
The time varies, because I organize the stories in my head, first. The stories are ongoing all the time.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
After my mom passed away, I felt more inclined to do what I had not done before.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I feel that I constantly moving, and with each book, I become more confident in what I write, that is my evolution.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about education.
Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?
The poetry book had a great effect on me. One of my poems was dedicated to my mother, called Flashback, and I wrote it in one setting from my soul. I did not know I had it in me.
What can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect more children’s books, I have another series in mind, and I want to complete the Aiden trilogy.
In the far future, I plan to put my adult books together, for now, I am just rolling the stories around in my head.
If you could jump ahead in time, w, at would be happening for you?
I will be touring my children’s books, doing readings, and projects with the kids. I will also be touring my adult books and doing book signings.
What influenced your decision to self-publish?
I began with self-publishing because I knew two people who went that route. I have considered the traditional way, and I may try that too.
How do you market your book?
I market through, Facebook, Instagram, and my website. I have also joined writing associations to help with networking.
Do you design your own book covers?
I do not.
Suzan Johnson has been the Media Specialist at an elementary school for the past nine years. She is a voracious reader of books of all genres. Growing up, she loved and enjoyed participating in sporting activities such as cheerleading and softball. As a teacher, she encourages her students to read a variety of books and participate in sports. Suzan is a member of Florida Reading Association and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Johnson currently lives in the South Florida area.
Facebook and Instagram: shjstories
All of Suzan’s books are available on Amazon