Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Chicago, but moved to Indianapolis when I was too little to remember living anywhere else. I have two small kids and a wonderful husband. I write YA fantasy and I adore reading and chocolate and I have a degree in Political Science. Also, as you may have gathered, I have a talent for being exceptionally random.
Tell us about your upcoming release, CLAIRE DE LUNE. Tell us about any sequels you may have in store for readers.
CLAIRE DE LUNE! Coming to bookstores May 18th! Huzzah! Okay, now that that’s out of the way - CLAIRE DE LUNE is about Claire Benoit, a girl who discovers on her 16th birthday that she’s a werewolf. She’s descended from a long line of female werewolves - it’s actually a female-only species. Unfortunately, she’s also just begun a romance with Matthew Engle, the ultra-hot soccer star who’s father is leading the hunt for a rogue, human-killing werewolf in their hometown. Claire has to struggle with her new identity while also dealing with the danger that seems to be coming at her from every direction . . . with life-changing results. And there will be a sequel! It’s currently slated for publication in the summer of 2011. I’m drafting like mad. Writing like crazy. Staring at the computer endlessly. It’s awesome.
You somehow juggle a demanding writing regimen and raising two small children. How do you do it?
I don’t. Seriously. I could be a more effective mom if I wasn’t a writer. I could be a more effective writer if I wasn’t a mom. But I love both of those roles so much - they’re so essential to who I am. Also, I think I’m *better* at each of them because I am both. The logistics work because I have a really fabulous mom and a great husband and a couple of fantastic baby-sitters who help out with the kids so that I can get my writing done.
What inspires you?
I love this question! Great books inspire me. Every time I read something new that I really love, it makes me want to run off and write. I also always come back from long walks and hot showers with new ideas - that’s when the knotted-up scenes come unsnarled, or a sticky sub-plot gets greased. And NPR is great, too. Seriously! I’m always hearing stories on NPR that give me ideas for new things to think about - new jumping-off points for my own stories.
What advice to you have for aspiring writers?
Read. Write. Repeat. You can only know what you’re aspiring to by exposure - hence the reading. And you can only creep toward those aspirations by trying and failing and trying and failing and improving inch by inch until you’re good enough. And also - there’s a boatload of patience and a modicum of luck involved, so be prepared to weather the passage of much time and also the unfairness of an agent’s or editor’s personal tastes.
What kind of books would you like to see more of on the shelves?
Oooh! YA fantasy, just like the ones I write! (Heh. I’m working on my shameless self-promotion, since it doesn’t come naturally to me. How did that sound? Kidding!) Okay. I think - I really like the direction that the YA genre has gone in the last few years. The books, as a whole, are treating teens as legitimate, capable, discerning readers. Which they *are.* The more honest and well-crafted the books are, the better the genre does, the more teens read, and the happier I am. I think it’s happening already, but I really want to see it continue.
Tell us something we may not know about Christine Johnson.
Oh, man. Let’s see . . . I’m passionate about and obsessed with sharks. Matawan, NJ, anyone? I’m miserable at math. I can’t stand the word “ointment.” Just typing that made me shudder a little bit. Hey, Lisa! Thanks for having me by for an interview. I always love talking to you. Let’s do it again soon!
Thanks, Christine, or C as she is fondly known in our corner of the world. Gee, didn't know about the shark or ointment thing. That's pretty hysterical. I'm going to press you on that to find the root of your aversion when we meet up in June!