Back to regular programming here, dear readers, with some catchup to do! There’s still time to enter a number of the anniversary giveaways and you can check them out in my sidebar.
Today, I’m chatting it up with Johnnie Alexander (the guinea pig for my new interview format – thanks Johnnie!) about her latest contemporary romance. her favourite season, a book she always recommends, what she is currently binge-reading, and what didn’t make it to print in her novel! Thanks to her publisher, Revell, I’m giving away a copy of When Love Arrives so be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
Please describe yourself in three words
Consensus from my three grown-up kids: kind, quirky, objective.
What’s your favourite season, and why?
I love spring’s sunshiny days and gentle breezes. Green, my favourite color, returns to the world, butterflies emerge from their cocoons, and the daffodils bloom on their long slender stalks. Adorable baby chicks and ducks scamper around in huge metal tanks at Tractor Supply.
What is the best part of your day?
It’s evening, and the house is quiet and dark. The day’s tasks are done, and I’m either thinking about tomorrow or reading or writing or watching TV. Rugby, my papillon, snuggles beside me while Griff, my collie, stretches out beside the bed and makes these strange sounds that I think are deeply satisfied sighs. All seems at peace.
What do you miss most about your childhood?
The first thing that popped in my mind was climbing treehouses. I think it’s more than that, though. I think I miss the soul-stirring belief that the future is filled with endless possibilities and unanswered questions.
Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by?
You know, I don’t pay much attention to those types of shows so I couldn’t say. It’d be fun to do a TV interview though—I love radio interviews.
You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?
What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?
Christy by Catherine Marshall. Still a classic!
What is one author and/or book you always recommend?
I love Ann Tatlock’s Once Beyond a Time.
What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?
I’m binge-reading Winston Graham’s twelve Poldark novels. With number 11 close to an end, most of my reading time lately has been spent with Ross and Demelza Poldark. These books were written at a time when it was okay to slide from one POV to another and even be omniscient. The approach works for these stories, and Graham shares deep insights into the characters’ thoughts, conflicting motivations, and inner struggles.
Dani Prescott came to the children’s hospital to spy on Brett Somers–so how did she end up on a date with him? Weeks earlier she’d seen an interview in which he blamed her mother for the plane crash that had killed his parents. But the crash had killed her mother as well, so Dani can’t believe the story Brett’s trying to sell to the media.
Vowing to find a way to discredit the privileged–and maddeningly handsome–Brett, Dani has been following him and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use against him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself offering up a fake name and agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something–but he’s got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Will Dani and Brett look beyond their own heartaches to discover a love that could heal their deepest pain?
What was the working title?
Love’s Deeper Season—this was inspired by an e.e. cummings poem, “yes is a pleasant country” which includes the line “love is a deeper season than reason.” The hero in this story, Brett Somers, is surprised to fall in love. He’s always been the calculating one, the “in-charge” one. But for him, this surprising love is deeper than reason—thus a deeper season. But I love the new title. It fits with the titles of the first and third books respectively, Where She Belongs and What Hope Remembers.
Describe your book in 5 adjectives…
The novel is a hopeful, compassionate, and redemptive story of two broken people. One reader wrote me to say the story captured her heart.
Which character took you by surprise?
Since I do little plotting beforehand, I often find myself saying, “I didn’t know that” to a main character. But seven-year-old Elizabeth, who is (stay with me here) the hero’s cousin’s fiancée’s daughter, surprised me most when she showed up to comfort Brett, the hero, in his most broken moment.
What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
I don’t remember pulling any all-nighters with this one. I may have stayed up past midnight a couple of times.
Which character’s name was the hardest to choose?
Dani’s name was both the easiest and the hardest. She’s the heroine of the story, and I knew she was Dani from the get-go (though I can’t tell you why; the name just fit). However, I didn’t want her name to be short for Danielle because I thought that’s what readers would expect. So I searched for just the right name for her. I think I changed her surname a couple of times too.
What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
A couple of scenes with Dani and Brett’s former girlfriend were cut when the focus of the story changed. At one time, I considered having them team up to find a way to get back at Brett for his indifferent treatment of women. But that wasn’t the “true” story.
Johnnie Alexander imagines stories while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, was a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), her first contemporary romance, was a Library Journal Pick of the Month. Recent releases include The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection) and When Love Arrives (Misty Willow Series #2). She lives near Memphis with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance. Join Johnnie at www.johnnie-alexander.com to experience the charm of country living, the love of random travel, and the joy of treasured memories.