Talkshow Thursday: Author Johnnie Alexander
Linda: Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on your recent release The Mischief Thief. I absolutely loved the story. What was your inspiration for the plot?
Johnnie: I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Linda. The reviews have been very encouraging. (And that makes me smile big-time! LOL!!)
Very early on, I hit upon the idea of a Les Miserables meets Leverage story.
Most people are familiar with the powerful scene in Les Mis when the bishop gives the silver candlesticks—and amazing grace—to Jean Valjean. The television show, Leverage, is about a team of reformed criminals who help people in need of justice.
I enjoy stories of “bad guys doing good” so it was fun to write about a con artist with a conscience.
LM: Through your book, I learned a great deal about the horse racing industry as well as other interesting topics? How did you conduct your research, or did you already have a knowledge base?
Johnnie: The internet was definitely my friend! Since you’ve read the story, you know that part of the con (slight spoiler alert here!) involves a claiming race. My sister told me about there was such a thing, then laughed because I looked up the legislation for such races in the Florida Statutes. I also looked up information about the racing industry and what’s known as the Horse Murders.
LM: In addition to writing and publishing, you support authors through your podcast Novelists Unwind. How did that come about, and how do you balance the different parts of your writing life?
Johnnie: Oh, wow! I’m in my third year of interviewing inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. It’s a joy to talk about writing journeys and characters and whatever else happens to come up in the conversation.
I was already cohosting a weekly show called Writers Chat. Interviewing authors seemed like a natural next step. Thanks to you, Linda, for being one of my recent guests!
Balance is not one of my favorite words. I prefer to think in terms of ebb and flow. As writers, we have responsibilities that go beyond imagining stories. For me, that includes scheduling two to three Novelists Unwind interviews a month, a monthly newsletter, mentoring responsibilities, and other platform-building interactions.
I usually have weekly word count goals to meet, too.
It may sound like a lot, and sometimes it is overwhelming. But I’m so grateful for the opportunities God gives to me. Writing stories is my dream!
LM: Turnabout is fair play. What do you do to unwind?
Johnnie: I love this question! Right now, I’m in a season where I’m starting a new story almost before I’ve finished the current one. I love going to the movies which isn’t possible right now. So I unwind by stretching out in the recliner with either a book or a binge-worthy TV show.
LM: If your story was going to be made into a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters?
Johnnie: I rarely cast characters as I’m creating them, but this story was an exception. Early on, I searched for someone to “be” Adam Thorne, the male protagonist who is a minister without a ministry. He’d be played by Liam Hemsworth who played Gale in the Hunger Games movies.
I also found a photo of a cute pixie-like girl with short blonde hair and trendy glasses to be Chaney Rose, my con artist with a conscience. AnnaSophia Robb would be a great choice to play her!
LM: Here are some quickies:
Coffee or tea? Neither! Strange as it may seem, I don’t like coffee or tea. But I love cocoa!
Walk, bicycle, or drive a car? I don’t have a bike right now, and I love road trips!
Lake or ocean for vacation? A lake—as long as there are also lots of trees.
LM: Can you tell us what writing projects are on your plate right now?
Johnnie: I’m writing a romantic suspense novel for Annie’s Fiction Sweet Intrigue Series, planning a WWII novel, and keeping my eyes open for another Rose & Thorne story.
Linda: Where can folks connect with you?
Johnnie: One of my favorite places to interact is through my newsletter which features updates and a monthly Let’s Chat giveaway. Readers can sign up at my website: http://bit.ly/JAWriter
Here are a few other links:
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/JA-Author
Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/JA-FBk
Facebook Profile: https://bit.ly/JA-FBP
About the Mischief Thief
Two wrongs don’t make a right...except when they do. For con artist Chaney Rose, life hasn’t been easy. In desperate need of cash, she readily agrees to find Mischief, a stolen racehorse. Hunting for clues, she breaks into the suspected horse thief’s home only to be caught—with a few pilfered items in her pockets—by the police detective who’s tailing her. By-the-book Adam Thorne was fired from his church because of his father’s involvement with the valuable thoroughbred In a burst of Les Miserables-inspired grace, Adam tells the detective that he gave Chaney the stolen items. Adam wants Chaney to find his missing father. When Chaney learns that Mischief’s owner intends to kill the racehorse, she needs Adam’s help to expose the cruel plan before it’s too late. Will a con artist with a conscience and a minister without a ministry risk imprisonment to do the wrong thing for the right reason?
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/38qP7jJ