Hey all well I recently got the chance to interview author of Dead girl B.C.Johnson and this is what she had to say.
1. Where did you get the idea for your book?
My older brother Bill and I have always been working on this sort of “supernatural horror” type
universe, something we just started chatting about in the swimming pool as kids and just never stopped
building. At this point the whole universe pretty much just floats around in our brains like gumbo, but
we do plan on doing something with it at some point. Deadgirl is sort of the first major stab at the
What Lucy becomes in Deadgirl is a new monster idea I had during those talks. What if a person was
supposed to die but just . . . didn’t?
2. How long did it take you to write it?
I’m not the fastest writer on the Earth, and by that I mean I’m super, duper slow. When I’m writing I
pound out the words like a mad man, but I’ll go months in between projects, or I’ll get stuck and have to
come back weeks later. I’m a “fits and starts” kind of writer, in general.
I started Deadgirl during the 2008 NaNo, but I didn’t finish the manuscript until late 2009. Most of my
books take about a year-and-a-half, generally. That’s not counting the abandoned books, of which there
are many. When I fall out of love with an idea, I fall hard and smash my face and never want to see it
3.What is your writing process like? Do you storyboard?
Every book ends up using a different process, so I guess I just use whatever feels right for the book. I
wrote Deadgirl in one linear shot without any storyboarding – I knew the ending, I knew the characters,
and I just ran as fast as I could toward it.
The Deadgirl sequel, which is finished and winging toward the publisher within the next few weeks,
involved a ton of outlining. I even broke it down by acts, chapters, and scenes before I wrote a single
word. The story was more complex, and the world was getting bigger, and it was really important to
keep track of everything.
Other books I’ve done some mixture. I almost always write linearly, though – beginning to end. I’ve
never been good about jumping around through the timeline. Some writers love it, but I kind of want to
hear the story as I write it.
4.Should we all be on the look out for anymore books after this one?
Definitely! Unless the publishers hate the sequel (pleasenopleasenopleaseno) I’m hoping that will be out
within the next year, but there’s nothing official. Just desperate hope, which is where I tend to live. I
have a short story in the second annual Curiosity Quills Anthology, which is out at the end of November I
After that I have a few manuscripts finished, and we’ll see where those take us. I do think the Deadgirl
series will be four books – I’ve already got the third book written almost entirely in my head, I just have
to pour it onto a keyboard.
5.How long have you been writing?
I’ve been dabbling since I was seven, but I don’t count that. I’ve been seriously writing since I was 19, so
10 years? Geez, 10 years. Well now I feel old.
6.Do you draw inspiration from any others?
Everyone and everything. Movies, TV, books, video games – I find the more I consume, the more I write,
and the better my writing gets. You can’t not help learning by exposure. You’ll absorb lessons about
storytelling by accident if nothing else.
7.Do you have any advice for young writers?
Kinda nicking off what I said earlier, but read. Read everything, in every genre that you love or want to
learn about. Pay attention to the exact moment when you started digging a character and take notes.
Pay attention to when the book gets boring, and write down why. When you’re reading a book that you
don’t want to stop, and it leaves you reading all night, try to figure out why (and more importantly how)
it’s doing that. Is there constant tension? That works for some people. Is there a good ebb and flow of
action, moments where the characters are allowed to relax? Some people prefer that, the “day in the
life” approach. Know what you want to write and do it on purpose, that’s the key.
Learn to read like a writer. Try to predict what’s going to happen next, and see if you’re happy or
disappointed when you’re proved right. If the writer pulls of a spectacular twist that blows your mind,
start looking back at the train tracks the writer laid earlier in the book to make certain he’d hit you with
the train in that exact spot.
And last but not least, write. Write when it’s great, write when it sucks, write when you’re tired, write
when you had a bad day, write when you just recovered from a stab wound (but don’t write while
receiving a stab wound), write on your birthday.
Look back a year ago – wouldn’t it be awesome if you’d started writing a book that day? So do it now,
and next year you’ll be like “Past-Me! You kick a$$!”