Whether writing Super Sexy African-American Romance Suspense novels or working as an Accountant, this beautiful and gifted writer can still be found keeping it Sexy, Classy, and Real. We caught up with KF Johnson and listened as she explained to us how to write a Super Sexy Romance with a twist.
As a Romance novelist, where do you get the inspiration to form your storyline?
I’m a Romance Suspense writer, and like to think of the twist in a story. It’s just my imagination. I don’t pull from anywhere in particular. It may be a previous relationship, or I’m talking to someone and they are telling me about someone’s relationship and it may spark a plot.
What are some suspenseful twist you like to use to keep your readers on the edge of their seats?
I try not to be predictable, so whatever may seem like the most logical way something is going to happen I try to put a twist on that. To me predictability is boring, and I’m an analytical person myself, so I’m always trying to figure out what’s going to happen. If I can predict it then it’s a little bit of a disappointment, but when there’s a twist in there I like it more.
How do you prepare yourself to get in the zone and keep it flowing?
I think that because I have to write in so many different environments I don’t really have a specific routine. The only thing I might do constantly is eat ice. I try to keep a cup of ice somewhere nearby.
Does your mood at the time of writing effect what your character do, say, and feel when writing your story?
In general I can write whatever. Sometimes if I’m in a bad mood or not feeling good or something I experience writer’s block. It’s harder for me to write an intimate scene if I’m in a bad mood.
What tips would you give someone who wanted to get into writing Romance? What are some key points to remember?
First off, you should have the passion to write, because it is time consuming. At least for me. Some people write really fast, I’m unfortunately not one of those people. Even if I write really quickly I go back and re-read it and I’ll always find something wrong with it then I have to write something all over again. So to me you have to have the passion to do it because it can be a tedious thing to do even if it’s something you really love. The desire to get it right, to evoke the emotion that you want from what you wrote can take a lot of time, so that will be the first thing. Some key points to keep in mind when writing is realism and your dialogue. In your dialogue have your characters speak the way real people talk in whatever level of society your characters are on. What I do is read what I wrote back to myself aloud, so I can hear how that sounds to my ear. Another things is try not to put unnecessary scenes in just to get some emotion. Of course with romance there is going to be some intimacy, there’s going to be some love, there’s going to be some arguments, but try to make sure what you put in there has purpose.
Does the location you’re at when writing affect what goes on in the scenes you’re developing?
Probably not. I write in various places. A lot of times I’m at a desk writing. I find that I write better that way. Therefore, scenery doesn’t really matter as long as I can be positioned correctly. I find that when I’m in an awkward posture I don’t write as well.
You have a Degree in Psychology, is that why the Suspense comes so easy for you, and does the Degree enhance your creativity overall?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really come easy to me. I put a lot of thought in to it. I definitely think my Degree helps me to develop a character and how they would go about doing something or behaving based on their psyche. Just like the character from my book, “What I’d Do For Love”, my main character is a very intense person. She’s experienced a lot of ridicule in her past and she has a lot of confidence issues, so it helps to make sure the actions I try to have her convey shows that it is something she would do based on what kind of person she is.
Which hero do use for the main character in your novels? The Protagonist or the Antagonist?
People love to hate my character, so I would say the Antagonist. That’s the character I enjoy writing the most. For some reason I give them a little more umph, and they stand out more. In my first book, “” people like Bryan because he is such a jerk. My main character in “What I Do For Love” she is doing something to anyone she thinks is in her way. She has a soft spot, but she can be twisted.
When using cliffhangers in your story, are they to end the book and encourage readers to buy part two, or do you use them to end a chapter?
I try to do it in both. I try to leave cliffhangers at the end of each chapter so you’ll want to know what they are going to do moving forward, and I have left cliffhangers in some of my books to make you want to buy the next book. I like to know that it’s so good you don’t want to put it down.
How do you raise the emotional stakes in your stories? What are some things you do to make your readers more emotionally involved in what’s happening?
It depends on the plot of what the story is about. Each character has their own triggers. Usually, it’s with the conflict. There is something that has happened to this character that makes them escalate their behavior in some way. I try to bring up a situation my readers can relate to and understand why this character feels this way. I write in the first person so when you're reading my books you’re reading from the perspective of whichever character is at the center of that particular chapter.
Have you ever written a character who’s had a change of heart, and how do you justify the change?
Bryan is one of the main characters in my first book “Behind Closed Doors”, and he’s pretty must a womanizing jerk. He says and does whatever he wants with no respect for women. As I developed the story I let my reader know the reason he’s that way. He had invested a lot of his feelings into someone and was previously hurt. After sometime, he finds a woman who seems to care for him, and he thought he could give it another chance. He made some changes in his life to try to find the love he’s always wanted. So that’s one character I use to justify his change.
How much of your characters reflect off of your personality traits?
Probably 20%, because one thing I can’t keep out of my characters is sarcasm. I’m a sarcastic person, and I have a good sense of humor. I make them say little funny things or have some kind of reaction to something funny. I’m not afraid to make fun of myself. I don’t have a problem making a character flawed.
What is your experience with Kindle? What are some advantages and disadvantages?
I love Kindle only because as a reader I don’t have enough space on my bookshelves anymore, but I’m an avid reader. Kindle allows me to read hundreds of books without stocking my shelves. I’m not the type of person to re-read books, and with the Kindle I’ll know that I’ve read it. It’s portable and I can take it anywhere. From an author’s stand point, it’s good because it opens you up to people like me who want to take it everywhere. One thing I don’t like is the problem with piracy. There are a lot of websites who will peddle your book for free from your Kindle version.
How do you feel about the shape of this country today, and does it have an effect on your writing?
It effects my writing in a way that it makes me think about what I might be writing about next and incorporating some of those things in my work. It brings fear for my families safety. I went to an HBCU college, and I’m surprised that at this stage in our lives where there are so many people who have mixed heritages that people can still be closed minded and believe that they are still superior to other races.
What would you say to an Aspiring Author who wants to breakout into writing a Romance novel, but may not know where to start?
Google has been a God sent to me because I didn’t initially intend to be an author. I was just writing. My work got out there because I was publishing it for my friends and family, and it went viral. That made me start looking into the professional side of it. If you are thinking about making this a career you should look it up and do your research on what it takes to market and promote yourself. For instance, my first book was titled, “Behind Closed Doors”, and I didn’t know there were a gazillion books with the same title. Now all of my books after that have a more unique title. You want to associate your title with yourself. So once again, RESEARCH what it takes in your genre, and what it takes to be in this industry so you can find some guidance through people who are already involved.
For more information about KF Johnson visit her website at www.KFJohnsonBooks.com
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