Amanda Marie Johnson was born and raised in Valrico, Florida. She’s now surrounded by mountains with her husband and three children in Ogden, Utah. She attended Weber State University and graduated with her A.S.N. She is a full-time registered nurse and works on the mother/newborn unit. Reading and writing have always been something she is passionate about. She loves to write about the human experience, love and happily ever afters. Still Life is her debut novel.
Pages Abound is pleased to bring you an interview with the amazing A.M. Jonhson. Please help me welcome Amanda to the blog!
- Amanda, please share a short bio with us.
I was born and raised in the surrounding suburbs of Tampa, FL. I was an English major for like seven years without actually getting a degree. Haha. I had my first son and changed my major to Nursing. I have been a nurse for a little over 7 years. I am married and have two sons and a daughter.
- At what age did you discover writing?
I was in third grade when I wrote a very terrible short story about getting allergy shots. HA! In High School I participated in the Creative Arts Magazine for our school; I wrote very teenage angsty poetry.
- When were you first published?
I self-published Still Life in April 2015 before I was picked up by Blue Tulip Publishing, and Still Life is now being released by them.
- Who are your top three favorite authors?
I’d love to do this genre specific, but that would go long. So… here is my attempt. Sylvia Plath, Amy Harmon and Kurt Vonnegut (Romance Tillie Cole, Rachel Van Dyken, and Katja Millay for The Sea of Tranquility—that book is boss!)
- Who is your favorite character from a book?
Fern and Ambrose from Making Faces by Amy Harmon……ooooo and Archer from Archer’s Voice
- Which character from your writing do you identify with the most?
My books, so far, are a series of interconnected standalones about three different men and how they meet their ladies ;). Sawyer, Todd, and Seth. Forever Still Series was originally going to be called Pieces of Me Series because each man is a part of me. Sawyer is my heart, Todd is my King, and Seth is my Shadow. I have to say I relate the best with Todd, he’s loyal and loves fiercely. Sawyer is very personal for me, and Seth… he’s my naughty side.
- How many books have you written?
I’ve completed two, Still Life and Still Water and I am 30000+ into Still Surviving.
- How many stories have you currently started, but not yet finished?
I have a paranormal romance that is sitting sad in the corner on my desktop, and next I plan on writing an Erotica Novel under a pen name.
- What does a typical day of writing look like since you work as a nurse full time?
I work nights, so I do not write on the three nights a week I work 5pm to 5am. Instead I try to write at least a chapter a night on my nights off. I generally keep the graveyard schedule and start writing once my kids are sleeping, finish at 6am, then send off to my betas and go to sleep by 7am. It’s grueling because I do not always get to sleep late the next day. And when my hubs is in school (he’s still a full time engineering student), I do not get to sleep. So needless to say, I’m a vampire that does not sparkle.
- Describe your writing in three words.
Genuinely, passionately human!
- What do you do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that!? Kidding, not kidding. I love hiking, hanging with my family, and READING!!!! Oh… and I may have a small obsession now with graphic design.
- This book is dedicated to Kort. Is there anything you can share with the readers regarding the background, and why this book was dedicated to him?
Kort was my very good friend, and my best friend’s husband. He served two tours in Iraq and was injured by a roadside bomb. He was an amazing man who lost his battle with PTSD and succumbed to his own demons, leaving behind his wife, two daughters and a wake of people who loved him more than I think he ever really knew. I chose to dedicate this book to him because, like him… like me, people struggle daily. These men, these beautiful heroes, die every day; they take their own lives because they can’t see another option. This book is about being a survivor. Both the female main character and male main character deal with PTSD, have hope, and a HEA. I wanted to take something that was genuine and real for me and give it a happy ending, because there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Kort or how sad it is that his daughters will never know the great man that he was. And I hope that my little, silly, stupid book may be a comfort to someone who struggles, and maybe, just maybe, it can give them a little hope!
- What do you hope readers gain after completing the reading of Still Life?
Just that….Hope! I want the reader to feel hope, to know that there is always bad shit in the world, but at the end of the day, there is something out there greater than you, and you have to keep that hope… you know?
A very special thank you to Amanda for spending a little time sharing about herself and for providing a powerful and heartfelt insight as to what this book means to her. Pages Abound encourages you to pick up a copy of this fabulous read today!
Loss… a word Elizabeth Haddington knows only too well. Despite the tragedies she’s endured, she’s been able to rise from the adversity she’s faced and begin her life again. Being a self-assured and strong woman, she knows she doesn’t need anyone to make her whole.
Hate, pain, and twisted memories are all Sawyer Bryant’s ever known. He’d slowly lost who he was and what he should’ve become. His only escape was the military… Eight years later, as an ex-Navy SEAL, he’s forced to confront his father and their disturbed and violent past.
Then one day, his life is turned upside down, when he glimpses a woman singing in her car at a set of traffic lights. Thinking he’d never see her again, amazingly he finds her performing with her band at the local bar. This chance encounter brings these two lost souls together. Once Sawyer gets a taste of her melodic voice, there’s no turning back.
For Elizabeth, when she meets Sawyer… she realizes she’s fallen hard. But is this really love she’s feeling or does love build slowly over time?
What happens when fate turns things around on you, creates flashes you can’t turn from… moments that will shape your life?
They are faced with the choice of darkness surrounding them or to rid themselves of the guilt and pain and move toward the light.