Laura: I would like to welcome and thank you for joining me on trips down imagination road! Please, tell us a little about yourself?
C.S. Johnson: Hi Laura! Thanks for inviting me to share along in the journey. Most of the time I take thisroad alone in my own daydreamy world.
My name is C. S. Johnson, and I am an author with a new book out, The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering, book 1 of the Starlight series. I am also a wife to my husband of almost 4 years, a new mother to my son, Leo, who is almost a year old now, a full-time teacher, a part-time tutor, and a full-time grad student at Southern New Hampshire University. I call myself a human-doing more than a human-being sometimes.
L: What inspired you to write Slumbering?
C: A lot of my high school and college experiences went into it, and the daydreaming that went along with it. High school was hard, and I thought a lot of it was by default. College was harder, but it was more by choice. So during the times when I was lonely, or upset, I would daydream instead. It is still a default for me. I am an escapist. The story came together through a series of different things, but I do want to stress that the story started out as a form of revenge, of parodizing my pain in awkward ways, but it transformed into an act of restoration. Rewriting my own experiences allowed me to love people I never thought I could, or would want to. I think that is the best thing about this series and it is really reflected in the characters’ development.
L: Which was your favourite character to write? And why?
C: Hamilton is my favourite character, no question. He is everything I was not in high school to a large extent: he is confident, with lots of friends, and so certain of what he wants in life. He is very charismatic, and of course narcissistic; but he is also very intelligent, athletic, and in his own way, caring. I actually see Hamilton in many of my stories, even if he has a different face, or a different name; he is my audience as much as my hero.
L: Do you have any writing rituals?
C: I like to write at night, if I can, and I also love to write while I’m in a coffee shop. I don’t actually like regular coffee – I need my fru-fru coffee (mint mocha coffee smoothie with extra milk) but there has to be caffeine in the smell of it.
L: Have you got a reading guilty pleasure? (Whether that is something sweet you eat whilst reading or what you are actually reading!)
C: I love chocolate, there’s no denying that. But if I had to choose a guilty pleasure it would be Netflix. I just love that there are no commercials.
L: What is the most memorable book from your childhood or school years?
C: I’m a huge Star Wars geek. I was dressed up with all my friends at the Revenge of the Sith premiere. I have all the books, and some of the series written alongside of it. I also read through all the Harry Potter books, of course. I also really liked the Chronicles of Narnia series. I love C. S. Lewis’ work. It’s part of the reason I adopted the ‘C. S.’ in my name.
L: What do you think makes a good book?
C: It is the same with book as it with movies: good characterization and good writing will make a good book. I think the characters have to be believable, likeable, relatable, and true to their own selves. A lot of books which have great stories but poor characterization really ruin it. When characters act out of character, it ruins the flow of it.
L: What fictional character(s) would you invite to a dinner party and why?
C: I would love to invite Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Marvin from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. I would also like to invite my own characters, of course. J Hamilton, Starry Knight, and Elysian would be a great round-out to the others. Aslan’s calm, steadiness would complement Marvin’s depressive personality and Elysian’s judgmental tendencies, and I think Luke, Starry Knight, and Hamilton would all really enjoy comparing battle scars and fighting techniques.
Thank you J