Liz Johnson: The Inside Scoop! and a giveaway

Liz Johnson

 

 

The Inside Scoop!

Liz Johnson

and her contemporary romance

The Red Door Inn

Revell

*****

I grew up in…

Yuma, Arizona, mostly. And in Iowa and Wyoming and Minnesota for a bit too. But Yuma is my hometown.

I was inspired to write my first published novel by…

My friend Kelly Blewett. I’d been writing since I was seven—all sorts of stories and several really terrible novels. When I was 26, I was living in Colorado Springs and was a publicity assistant for a Christian publisher. While Kelly and I spent one afternoon mailing an endless number of books, I told her about an idea I had for a book. But I knew I’d never finish it. Kelly told me I could do it, and she’d help me. I set up a writing schedule, and Kelly checked in with me every day to make sure I’d written the night before. I didn’t want to disappoint her, so I wrote every night for three months. That book idea became The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, my first published novel, and it featured a little dog named Henry, just like Kelly’s beloved pup.

The books that have most influenced my life are…

Wow. There are so many books that have been influential. When I was 13, Gilbert Morris’s The Appomattox Saga made me want to be an author. (It also made me stay up way too late every night, which usually included my mom telling me to turn off my light and go to bed sometime around 2a.m.) I started reading Max Lucado’s books when I was 15, and they gave me a deeper and fuller understanding of God’s grace. And when I read The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers at 21, I knew I wanted to work in Christian publishing. Pursuing that dream has taken me from Oregon to Tennessee and many stops along the way. It’s been a grand adventure that I’m so thankful for.

My biggest challenge when writing is…

Staying focused. I’m very easily distracted by the internet and television and (when I’m on an urgent deadline) even cleaning my house.

One of my favourite authors is… Why?

It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one. I snatch up every Julie Klassen and Karen Witemeyer book. I love how they transport me to a different time and place, and I get lost in their stories. Denise Hunter is one of my favourite contemporary romance authors. Her books make me swoon. SO romantic!

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…

A marketing manager—which is actually my day job now. I really enjoy what I do, helping to spread the word about great books.

The superhero talent I would love to have is…

Teleportation. Is that something a superhero would have? Either that or super-speed. I’d like to be able to travel wherever I want whenever I want.

The Red Door InnThe Red Door Inn

Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she’s hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.

Seth Sloane didn’t move three thousand miles to work on his uncle’s B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian–and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.
The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they’ve got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?

Step into the Red Door Inn, a lovely home away from home tucked along the north shore of fabled Prince Edward Island. It’s a place where the wounded come to heal, the broken find forgiveness, and the lonely find a family. Won’t you stay for the season?

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives…

Encouraging, sweet, warm, sometimes-funny, heartfelt.

My main character is…

Marie Carrington is a 28-year-old on the run from a host of bad memories. Her big blue eyes are the color of Rustico Harbor, and she wears her chestnut brown hair long and a little wavy. She’s not much more than 5-feet tall and is a wisp of a thing. She’s rather pretty, no matter how much she tries to conceal that beneath bulky sweaters and a grim expression. But she lights up around antiques and paint samples, interior design one of the few joys left in her life. When she leaves Boston, she thinks she’s running away, but when she meets Jack and Seth she realizes she might be running toward something better than she ever imagined.

My main characters resemble….

I always think Marie looks a lot like actress Rachel Bilson. Seth Sloane, a former contractor-turned bed-and-breakfast renovator, looks like the actor Jonathan Patrick Moore.

A previously unknown fact about this novel is…

The inn in the book is modelled after a private residence in North Rustico, PEI. It overlooks the same boardwalk and harbor in the story. When I saw it, I thought it would make a better inn than a single-family home. Although if I owned it, I don’t know if I’d share. :)

My story’s spiritual theme is…

God’s goodness no matter the circumstances we face and his ability to weave all things together for the good of those who love him.

While writing this novel I was challenged by…

The same questions that Marie asks. Is God good even when my circumstances are not? Is he present when I don’t feel him there? Through a wild year of highs and lows, I discovered the answer to each of those questions is a resounding yes. God’s goodness is constant, and I need only turn to him.

The title was chosen by…

My publishing team and I chose the title. I suggested a few titles, and they suggested others. We went back and forth a few times and landed on The Red Door Inn, which is exactly the heart of the book.

As an author, the hardest scenes for me to write are… Why?

No scene is particularly easy for me to write. :) But the emotional ones make me cry and leave me feeling drained. And yet, they’re still my favourite to write.

The story I’m currently working on is…

Where Two Hearts Meet, book 2 in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series, which releases in October.

You may not know this about me, but I…

I am a sucker for sappy Hallmark movies. I can’t help but watch them any time of year.

If I could be a character in any novel, I would want to be…

Juliet in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. She’s a writer on the hunt for a story. She’s so compassionate and loves so strongly. And she’s a good friend.

Thank you Liz!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Seal Under Seige,  A Promise to Protect,  Code of Justice Vanishing Act and The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn
Character spotlight on Myles & Kenzie and Will & Jessalynn
Visit Liz’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: The Red Door Inn or Koorong

The Red Door Inngwy

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29 Responses to Liz Johnson: The Inside Scoop! and a giveaway

  1. Brittany Keating

    I have not visited Prince Edward Island…yet. Thanks to Anne of Green Gables, it’s at the top of my list of places I want to visit.

  2. I have never visited Prince Edward Island, but I would like to someday. A friend has been there 4 times!

  3. OHHH!! This is SO cool!!
    And umm, points for having been to North Rustico!?
    What about for getting kicked out of Green Gables?
    Awesome post, Liz and Rel!!

    • Wow! You mean, I walked along the same North Rustico shores at the famous Jennifer Major? :) It’s one of my favorite places on the island! And you get triple points for getting kicked out of GG. :)

  4. I am so excited to read your PEI books! I lived there as a child, and to this say it is one of my favourite places in the world. Every time I read an L.M.Montgomery novel I am transported back “home”. Looking forward to going to North Rustic with you!

  5. No, I haven’t been there but I would love to visit Prince Edward Island. Thanks for this interview and giveaway
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. No, I’ve never visited or even heard of Prince Edward Island til reading this post. I did Google it and the pictures are so quaint looking.

  7. I have not visited Prince Edward Island but I have read so much about it and I would really like to sometime.

  8. Nope never have visited Prince Edward Island.

  9. I have never visited Prince Edward Island. But like so many who grew up reading Anne of Green Gables or at least watching the movie , I would love to visit one day .

  10. I’ve never visited Prince Edward Island but the photos I’ve seen of it are lovely. It would be a fun place to visit. Thanks for the chance to win The Red Door Inn.

  11. Sounds like an interesting read. Love your blog, Rel, and like the title and theme of this story.

  12. I haven’t been but it sounds like a great place to visit one day!

  13. No, I have never visited Prince Edward Island. The closest I have been to it is Montreal. But I would love to visit one day.

  14. I have never had the pleasure of seeing it in person. It’s somewhere I have always wished to go, having grown up on the Anne of Green Gables books. A dear friend of mine went a few years ago, so I was able to visit vicariously through her, and of course, she brought me back lots of wonderful goodies! :)

  15. Being Canadian, I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve never visited PEI either. I’ve been to the West coast numerous times but not the East. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were talking of our next vacation and the East Coast was mentioned. We’ll see what happens.

  16. No, I haven’t visited Prince Edward Island YET. :)

  17. I have never been to Prince Edward Island but seen pictures online and it looks gorgeous. Would love to visit!

  18. I have not been to Prince Edward Island, but I would love to go!

  19. I haven’t ever been to Prince Edward Island. The closest I have ever been was living in Montreal Quebec for five years. I’m very sorry now that I never took advantage of living so much closer than I do now.

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