Laura T. Johnson is the author of Where Would I Be and Unbalanced (Series). Laura was first bitten by the writing bug eight years ago. While reading her journal she began to realize that her story could possibly help others who were going through the same thing.
In 2006, Laura was the victim of an abusive relationship that lasted for two and half years. The relationship was volatile from the beginning. While in this relationship, Laura contemplated suicide almost on a daily basis. If asked, she would immediately tell you that what kept her from going through with suicide were her mother and younger brother. “I couldn’t leave them with that much pain, no matter what I was going through.”
In 2009, Laura began to write her first novel. She thought, as her mother had told her many times before that she was not the only woman who had or will ever go through something like this. After filling up four notebooks, she decided that she might have a book on her hands. Laura went on to make the necessary changes to her writing and started letting others read her work.
When those who’d read her work wanted to read more, she knew she had something good on her hands. Laura has continued her writing and the outcome has been one compelling story after another. She continues to keep her fans wanting more! She resides in Tennessee where she is an advocate against domestic violence.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Thank you for having me! I didn’t know it was my calling until my first book had been out for a few months. I’d always had a knack for writing, but I truly didn’t know it was my calling until I was published. The reactions from readers sealed it. Now, what I love the most about being a writer is creating a world and characters readers can relate to. But what frustrates me the most is marketing. I suck at marketing.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My books are based on domestic violence. I’m a survivor and I believe we don’t talk about it enough. And believe it or not, I write in the romance genre. I know those two topics don’t mix, but believe me, I make it work. To find out more about me and my books, you can find me on:
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently finishing the fourth and final installment in my series called Unbalanced. And I also have a few stories lined up to be released in the coming months.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
For me, it’s the feedback I’ve gotten from my readers. How passionate they are about their feelings for my writing. How vivid they are about their love or hate for my characters. My plan is to be a full-time writer. I would love to concentrate wholly on my writing career.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I’ve always had a thick skin. So, I look at rejection as a learning experience. I now know what to do and what not to do. I just thank God I have received little rejection in my writing career.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
No. Lord knows I need a schedule. But I can’t seem to find the time. As for outlines, I have never used an outline for any of my novels. To be honest, I wing it. My brain works in a straight line sometimes. So, doing an outline may not work for me. Oh my God, that question always gets me. Usually, my books are a year apart. But I’m working to change that.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Absolutely, not. I saw a show a couple of years ago that interviewed a woman in her eighties who started writing romance novels, and they were selling like hot cakes. So no, you’re never too old to pursue your writing dreams. A late start should not hinder anyone’s chances.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
I am an enormous avid reader. From the age of five, I’ve loved books. The first big book I ever read was Charlotte’s Web. I remember being so proud when I finished. Over time, I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve read. The first book that sticks with me to this day is Again by Sharon Cullars. The way she wove the story between eras is nothing shy of masterful. Oh, that’s easy. James Patterson. I’m currently reading The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. It’s a great read.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
This pandemic has been good for my writing. Even though I’m what’s known as an essential worker it’s still been good. I’ve been able to relax and focus on my writing. I do. I love my alone time. This is my prime time. I’ve been training for this. It’s made me work harder. It’s given me time to plan things out.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
With everything we do there’s a good and bad. I believe the publishing industry is still a great field to be in with anything you do, just remember to do your research. Like any author, I would love to get a contract with a traditional publisher. But there’s something about doing it yourself. I like knowing that I made all the decisions and the final product is what I chose. I have a friend who’s a hybrid author, and she likes it. But to be honest, I’ve never considered it. Maybe I’ll research.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I guess I would have to say I try to keep my work as honest as possible. What makes me and my work authentic is honesty. My goal for my work is to always make you feel it. And with that my work has to be at times harsh and hard to read. Writing is therapeutic. It heals, it reveals truths.