Today we get write to the point with Johnnie Alexander. Read on to learn more about her and wonderful books.
Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). The first of her three contemporary romances, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series), releases from Revell in January 2016.
She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest).
A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area where her morning chores include feeding dogs, cats, chickens, and a small herd of alpacas.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
After growing up in Ohio and raising my children mostly in Florida, I’m now living with twelve alpacas, a flock of chickens, and a few dogs and cats in the Memphis area. It’s an interesting life, especially when the resident raccoon scavenges in the garage and the family of foxes decide to have a chicken dinner . . . but I miss my kids and grandkids.
I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, but for years my publishing history was sketchy—a few poems and essays. I got serious about fiction writing several years ago after participating a couple times in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and discovering the joy of creating characters.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home but it wasn’t until I attended a small Bible college that I truly understood the importance of a personal relationship with Christ. Though I’ve gone through times in the “Valley of Superficiality” since then, my spiritual growth is now intentional and ever-deepening.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
The next few months will be so exciting.
In August, Tyndale is releasing the print edition of my debut novel, Where Treasure Hides. (It was released as an ebook a couple of years ago.) The story, set in World War II Europe, is about a Dutch-American artist’s love for a British soldier and their struggle to survive the difficulties of war.
Then, in January, Revell is releasing my first novel in the Misty Willow series. Where She Belongs is a contemporary romance set in central Ohio. A young widow longs to raise her children in her grandparents’ home which has been abandoned for several years. But as she uncovers long-ago betrayals, she realizes her family’s spiritual legacy is much more valuable than their material one.
Both these stories explore the blessings and burdens of family legacies and heritages. My prayer is twofold: 1) that readers will be encouraged to create and pass along their own treasured family memories, and 2) that these stories will linger in the readers’ minds and hearts long after they close the last page.
If you’d like to read chapter one of Where Treasure Hides click here.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
My guests have an option of what type of posts they’ll write, but a favorite choice is Story Spark. Authors share the creative inspiration behind their novels—a topic I always find fascinating.
I also participate in Christian Fiction Fridays, a blog hop where authors post snippets of a work-in-progress on their own blogs. The story I’m sharing, When Memory Whispers, is an unpublished World War II story that I wrote before Where Treasure Hides. It’s about a young American actress who gets caught up in war-time espionage and falls in love with a German soldier.
The blog itself is a work-in-progress. If you take a peek, you’ll see there wasn’t much activity in recent weeks but that’s because I was traveling without my laptop. My whirlwind trip from Memphis to Ohio to Tampa to New York City to Washington DC to Orlando then back to Memphis didn’t leave much time for social media interaction. (But I sure had a lot of fun!)
What are you reading right now?
Room with a View by E. M. Forster
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Safed and Keturah by William E. Barton
Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
At first, I struggled to come up with something big and dramatic—but my siblings never threw me in a pit (though they may have wanted to) and I doubt I’ll ever be Pharaoh’s second-in-command.
But harm is often subtle. And sneaky.
A few years ago I was assailed by parenting guilt. Again and again I was burdened by things I wish I’d done and things I wish I hadn’t done. I longed for that most impossible of things—a do-over, a second chance to get it right. Often I kept these thoughts to myself but sometimes I shared them with my too-soon-grown-up kids. One day, after another listening to my regrets, my middle daughter glared at me. “Mom,” she said, her voice firm and unwavering. “Your daughters are happily married and your son’s a youth minister. We’re all Christians and serving God in some way. Even if you had done things differently, would the outcome be any better?”
She was right. Because of that conversation, those ugly doubts don’t have the power to injure my soul anymore.
Love it! Thanks for sharing that with us. The enemy would’ve loved for you to keep silent and continue to beat yourself up over those lies. So glad you daughter was able to speak truth to you 🙂
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
More than one! But Colossians 3:1-2 is definitely my most significant passage. It advises us to set our hearts and minds on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (paraphrase).
Where can we find you on the web?
Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/johnnie.alexander.author
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/JohnnieAlexanderDonley
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/author/johnniealexander
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
Thanks for having me as your guest, Melissa. I appreciate the opportunity to become better acquainted with you and your readers. God bless you and your ministry.
Thanks so much for visiting with us. You’re books sound wonderful and need to be put in my TBR pile. May God continue to bless your writing journey.