Author Spotlight: Meet Erin Johnson
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
This past week I was so excited for the chance to interview fellow author Erin Johnson, whose Spells and Caramels series was one of my first paranormal cozy mystery reads, and still ranks as an all-time favorite for its clever humor and charming island setting. Erin has a new book, Much A'Broom About Nothing, that launches August 3, and is part of the Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries, a shared-world series that also includes authors Nova Nelson and Trixie Silvertale.
First, I have to say I am counting the minutes until my pre-ordered copy of Much A'Broom About Nothing shows up on my Kindle. The whole Ren Faire concept is so brilliant, which makes me wonder, what part of this book was the most fun to write? For Much A'Broom About Nothing, it's the first book in a shared world with Trixie Silvertale and Nova Nelson. We worked on the series together for months, via emails and Zoom calls. We even created a Wiki page to keep track of all the details on characters and places at the cursed magical faire. I absolutely loved playing off what they'd written and getting to create this world with them.
When it came time to write the vampire undertaker, for instance, I loved going into the Wiki to read snippets of how the other ladies had already described him. It gave me so much inspiration and a lot of laughs because they're so clever and funny. I had a great time collaborating and building the world with them.
Working with other authors can be such a unique part of the writing experience because we're all so different in our approaches. What else is part of your writing process? Do you play music while you write, or do you prefer quiet?
I either don't listen to music, or if I do, I listen to binaural beats. There's a channel on Youtube that plays this sort of meditative background music specifically for ADHD which really helps me focus and get lost in the writing.
What a great idea! I was introduced to binaural beats by a friend who is a holistic massage therapist, as a way to relax before sleeping, but I never thought about how that could improve concentration when writing. I'm always looking for ways to improve focus, which is why I have to get all of my research books in print. I just retain the information so much better that way. Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?
I went through a phase where I was mostly reading ebooks, but found I really missed the tactile fun of reading print. Now that I'm back to reading paperbacks, I'm reading so much more! So it looks like it's print for me. I collect bookmarks and (don't judge me) really enjoy breaking the spines lol.
I can't judge at all because some of my favorite books, especially from childhood, look like they've been taken into battle. Speaking of favorite books, what books did you grow up reading?
I grew up reading a lot of fantasy. Roald Dahl, JRR Tolkien, Sarah J Maas and classics, like Jane Austen. But I did read all the Nancy Drew books and have always loved mystery TV shows, so paranormal cozies are kind of a natural fit for me.
Nancy Drew was one of my favorites, too. My aunt had the entire set, the ones with the yellow covers from the 1960s. I've spent several summers at the antique markets trying to complete my own set of those! Actually, most of my family are avid readers, which is one reason I was so nervous to let anyone know when I first started writing. Especially the romances. (That's what pen names are for!) How about you? Would anyone in your family disapprove of anything you’ve written?
Not yet! One of the best things about writing cozy mysteries is how they're suitable for just about any age and are clean, while still allowing for a lot of humor and intrigue. I'm lucky enough to have a lot of support from family and friends. I also like to sneak in inside jokes, so every now and then I'll hear from someone I know who had a good laugh when they caught one.
Humor and intrigue are definitely two of your strong points, which is why I can't wait to start reading Much A'Broom About Nothing as soon as it goes live! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, and good luck on your new series!
Readers, make sure to get your copy of Much A'Broom About Nothing to find out what happens when former pilates instructor Adelaide "Laidey" Ryan becomes trapped in a magical Renaissance Faire and is accused of a murder she didn't commit!