Author Interview: J.E. Johnson

J.E. interviewed me on her blog yesterday and I thought I’d do the same for her.

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

The Legend of Oescienne – The Finding, a middle-grade/YA fantasy.  Jahrra is just another ordinary girl. But how can she be, with a dragon as her guardian in a world where humans are a myth?

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why? 

I love all of my characters, all for different reasons, but I’m going to have to go with Jaax as my favorite.  So what makes him so special?  Well, for one he’s a dragon, in all senses of the word, and he has a lot of hidden agendas.  Yet, at the same time, he keeps everything well bottled up.  He’s a mystery and a thorn in the side to my main protagonist, and it’s going to be fun playing these two off of each other.  Complex characters are always the best, in my opinion.


3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?


Hmmm, as an author, I’m always wanting to change parts of my novel.  This is why I eventually had to set it aside and convince myself it was done.  The one thing I might change, if it were possible, is the length.  It is a bit long and perhaps a bit intimidating for younger readers, so if I could somehow shorten the word count but keep the essence of the book intact, I’d do it.

4.)   Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:


Nearly the entire province of Oescienne (where the first and second books take place), is based on California’s Central Coast where I grew up.  Everything from the lake where the characters hang out to the haunted forest surrounding Jahrra’s home are reflections of locations that actually exist.  Sometimes I go back to these places to help draw inspiration.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?


The best place to find information and contact me is through my website,  I also have a fan page set up on facebook:

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?


I have several projects in the works, all in the fantasy genre but ranging from children’s to a more mature audience.  The books I’m most focused on right now are those in the Oescienne series (I plan for the series to be four to five books at its completion).  I’m also spending a lot of time on another YA novel and an adult fantasy that is set in a land based on Yosemite Valley.  Other than that, I can’t tell you much.  Perhaps when I’m closer to finishing the books.

7.)  What is your favorite junk food?


I have to pick a favorite?!  I’m a junk food junkie, but I might have to go with French fries for this one, or maybe sour patch kids ;).

8.)  Where do you write?


I write in several places (having a laptop helps).  Sometimes I’ll write in my room, either at my desk or while lounging in bed.  Some days I write in my garden or if I’m in town I’ll go to the closest coffee shop or Starbucks.  When I’m at work, I will sometimes write during my breaks.


9.)  Favorite movie?


I have to admit, I’m not much of a ‘favorites’ person; I tend to like a lot of things equally.  One movie I do tend to watch again and again, however, is The Princess Bride.


10.)  What else do you like to do?


Lots of things: reading, drawing, camping, hiking, gardening, bird watching, geocaching.  My friends and I have decided to take up archery (we’re taking a class in the fall where we will be making our own longbows). 


11.)  Do you watch Vampire Diaries?  And if so, Team Damon, Team Stefan, or Team Elena?

Can’t say that I do.  I’m afraid I haven’t been bitten by the vampire bug (I just don’t seem to have a liking for them for some reason, BUT there is always hope).

12.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:


“What now?” Denaeh asked, looking puzzled.

“Nothing, it’s just . . .” Jahrra began. 

Denaeh raised her eyebrows and Jahrra sighed. “Well, you know my classmates dared me to come here, but the thing is I have to prove that I came all the way to the Belloughs.  But I have no idea how to prove something like that!”

Jahrra then told the Mystic everything, about the challenge, about her stupidity in falling for the twins’ ruse, and especially about Lake Ossar. “You see, only if I bring back some proof will they stay away from Lake Ossar for good.  It was the only place I could go to get away from them.”

Jahrra sighed deeply and slouched back to the ground, her legs crossed and her shoulders slumped.  What was the point in going back if she had failed?  She could bring back one of Denaeh’s mushrooms, if the Mystic would let her, but what would that prove?  It was no use; she had nothing to show for her accomplishment.  She almost wished now that Denaeh had been a witch intent on eating her.

Denaeh gazed down at Jahrra, her lips pursed in scrutiny.  She drew one hand up to her chin and her young face took on a pensive look.  Jahrra didn’t notice when the Mystic’s thoughtful stance relaxed, but when she finally looked up at the young woman, she was beaming brightly at her.

“What?” Jahrra asked, confused by the Mystic’s sudden joy.

“Jahrra, how good are you at acting?” 

That was an odd question, considering the circumstances.  But Jahrra simply shrugged, “I guess I’m alright at it, I’ve never really acted before.  Why?”

“Well,” Denaeh grinned, her golden eyes sparking with mischief, “I have an idea . . .”

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