If you've ever wanted to write a book or if you love stories in general, I've got a fantastic interview for you. I recently spoke with Indianapolis resident T.K. Johnson who is a fantastic writer with three books published in the Loraillvon series. She has another one set for release this year in 2021. Her stories help readers face dragons of our world through fiction before they confront them in reality. Here are some highlights of our conversation.
How did you get into writing?
It goes back all the way to fifth grade. I basically wrote like a fanfiction. I loved the video game was Zelda Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64. And I started writing a story about an aging hero who was too old to fight anymore, butwas too much in love with his country to give up the fight. And so I wrote about him training the new generation of fighter. I look back and like, wow, I was really advanced for a fifth grader. The writing was terrible, but the idea was spectacular. That's where it started. And it kind of just grew from there little stories here at a time, I started using story to communicate with my family. I remember I got really mad at my sister one time, they went off with friends. And I wasn't invited. And so I wrote the story about a girl who had been left out, and how hurtful how hurt she was by that. And I left it up on my computer for my sister to read when she came home because we shared a bedroom. And she read it and she left her reply. And I woke up to the reply the next morning and I use it as a communication tool for a while.
How you always been drawn to deeper topics? Because even in your bio, it says in facing the dragons of our world through fiction before confronting them in reality. Have you always kind of been that way?
I think so. What made me care more about the deeper stories, the stories with the deep hurts but redemptive value. The very first time I got into reading was in fourth grade with Harry Potter. I loved it. It was a good adventure. He had a difficult home situation. I thought that was unique to see a kid in a situation like that. Ella Enchanted is another influence. I got so emotionally involved with Ella's story, her sister steals her necklace, and I was so mad. I was gonna quit reading the book. I couldn't stand that sister. I was angry about it.
Take me to back to when you were writing your very first novel, what was it about?
The first one was called the Princess of heart. And what's funny is, this is another one, I wrote that one in high school. I want to go back to rewrite and publish that one. Because it was written with a young high schooler's mind. But I loved The Princess Bride growing up. I love that classic romance with a little bit of humor, adventure, you know, all those little elements thrown in.
But you know, I didn't think much of writing a book. It wasn't a big thing back then to write a book, it was just I have this really cool story.
Knowing that fantasy is primarily based on the hero's journey, is that your favorite structure?
It is. I'm a fan of third person writing and multiple point of views. Now, obviously, you can't have too many point of views, it gets really hard for the reader to follow along. But my very first book I wrote is in first person. And then I learned third person gives you so much more flexibility. Switching point of view, makes it more fun for me as a writer. And you get a little bit more insight into all these different people in the book, which allows you to kind of question a little bit more people's motives. What's going on? What could be coming? All my characters tend to have a secret. There's always someone with a secret.
What are you working on right now?
I recently watched Neil Gaiman's Masterclass and he gave the advice that if you're a young author, write outside your genre. You have to try something new. It makes you grow, it makes you learn. And so I'm working on a contemporary fiction. That's kind of like Snow White meets The Circle. So Snow White meets these big tech companies that are spying on you. And that seems like a very strange mashup. But I'm so excited. It's gonna be great. But the venture that's in the planning and outlining stages as I write These Favorite Shadows, which is the next Loraillvon book.
So you're writing that new book, along with the other at the same time?
Yeah, These Favorite Shadows is the dragon rider book. Then the other I'm calling the influencer, which is the contemporary fiction. I'm kind of outlining and planning as I write in the first time I've tagged teams, it's actually going well, because when I feel hung up or stuck on one book, then I can swap and it's switching gears.So awesome. So any advice for other writers? crafting a series? Because that's, that's a whole different ballgame than just writing one book.
So fun. Thanks so much to T.K. for taking the time to chat with me. I can't wait to see those new books come into the world.
Have you ever thought of writing a book? What would it be about?