Hello my peeps! Today, I'm flattered to have 2011 debut Middle Grade author Terry Lynn Johnson over for an interview! Let us begin
Terry Lynn Johnson's passion for the outdoors evolved while she paddled Quetico Provincial Park as a Canoe Ranger. One winter she worked for a dogsledding company and 18 huskies followed her home. She was hooked bad. Terry's writing has been published in Dogs in Canada, Adventure Kayak and many other magazines. Her first book, Dogsled Dreams will be published through 4RV Publishing llc. Terry is a member of SCBWI and Outdoor Writers of Canada and lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario. Visit her at www.terrylynnjohnson.com
How did you react when you heard that your book, Dogsled Dreams, would be published?
I had imagined how I would react when I finally got an acceptance. In my mind I saw myself jumping up and screaming through the house, leaping into the arms of my man and together we'd giddily dance to Joe Cocker's Feelin' All Right while shaking and spraying champagne over our heads. Okay, I'm a writer, vivid imagination is part of the job. But I confess to visiting this fantasy in my head a few too many times.
The reality was slightly less dramatic. I received the contract offer by email and just quietly savoured the moment. I read the email over and over. I sat for a long time alone with the news and with a big grin on my face.
What's your book about?
12 year old Rebecca is an inventive but self-doubting musher who dreams of becoming a famous sled dog racer. She trains her huskies near Thunder Bay, Ontario and tackles freezing blizzards, wild animal attacks and flying poo on her road to success.
When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I've always wanted to write. But it wasn't until last year I decided I needed a little kick to the pants and took an on-line writing course, Winghill School of Writing. That forced me to submit to magazines and writing competitions. I came in as a top 12 finalist in The Writers' Union of Canada 2009 Writing Competition for a dogsledding vignette. I knew then that I was best at writing about my passion - dogs. My tutor convinced me to try writing for children.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book?
I used to own some pretty crazy sled dogs. Their personalities and the adventures we had together made for a rich base to this book.
What are you working on now?
Currently I'm working on another dogsledding adventure as well as writing for magazines.
Anything else to add?
I absolutely love my publisher! They've already consulted me in some of the decisions such as whether to include a few illustrations in the book and they let me decide what the title would be. 4RV Publishing has a family feel to it - very welcoming and encouraging. Vivian Zabel is easy to talk to and answers all my questions. The other authors have reached out to me also.
I still get thrills in my stomach whenever I think about holding this book in my hands. If I could give any advice, I'd say find a great crit group or partner. *gives a bow to Linda Provence* I think that's what edged the odds in my favour.
Thank you again to Terry Lynn Johnson for the awesome interview!