Darlene Johnson, author of of DREAM IN COLOR and the newly released As We Lay lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her two young sons and nephew. When Darlene is not writing, she spends as much time as she can outdoors, hiking and camping with family and friends in the Wasatch Mountains and area canyons that surrounds Salt Lake City. She also enjoys snowboarding, visiting hot springs, and working out at the gym to stay in shape to keep up with her boys. Darlene is a Quaker and is the editor of the Salt Lake Monthly Meeting Religious Society of Friends monthly newsletter.
1. What made you want to become a writer?
The best way to answer this question is to say; I didnít exactly choose to be a writer. Being a writer is very much what I am, much the same as saying I am an African-American, I am a woman. When I am writing I am centered. When I am not writing it feels as it a large part of myself is being denied.
Like most writers, I started out an avid reader; spending a lot of time at the library reading everything I could get my hands on.
2. Tell me a little bit about AS WE LAY?
AS WE LAY is the story of a love affair between a young woman, Breck and her married lover, Eric. The decision to have an affair is a choice and we see Breck and Eric struggle with the decision not to succumb to their desire, but later struggle with the choice to act on them and how that choice affect their lives and the people around them. This one lie leads to so many other lies and affects many lives. Breck soon learns that even though her independence is intact, itís not all-glamorous being the other woman.
3. Are you a full-time writer?
At this time I am not a full-time writer. Although, I did take two years off when my first novel, DREAM IN COLOR was published. I work in information technology. Iíve worked in information technology over thirteen years.
4. I know that AS WE LAY is your sophmore effort. Tell us a bit about your first release and your journey to publication?
DREAM IN COLOR is the story of self-discovery that occurs with the help of a series of daydreams. These daydreams take on lives of their own and Victoria loses herself in them in order to find herself. DREAM IN COLOR is full of sex, drugs, and good old rock and roll J. Upon reading DREAM IN COLOR, you will find three stories entwined into one. The daydreams are independent of each other but both play an important role in the decision Victoria makes to take control of her life and finally realize her dreams.
DREAM IN COLOR was initially self-published the summer of 2000. Due to a need to be adventurous, I didn't pursue a publisher. I found self-publishing to be an extremely rewarding experience. I put together a marketing plan and promoted the book with just about every extra cent I could find lying around the house and the effort led to a two-book contract with Random House. Self-publishing is difficult, it is time consuming, and expensive, but if a good plan is put together it can be rewarding and successful.
5. Who are your favorite authors?
I read so many different types of books that it is difficult for me to say I have a favorite author. Iíve read just about everything by Maya Angelou. That much, I can say.
6. What's next for Darlene Johnson?
Darlene Johnson continues to write and work. Iím working on my next novel, tentatively titled, PIANO IN THE DARK. I have a penchant for songs. Music plays an important role in most of my novels. However, if things remain the same, the fourth and fifth projects are not named after songs.
When Iím not writing Iím a single mom to two young boys and I have a nephew that I support as well. Iím always planning my next phase as a mother, a woman, and all of us as a family. The journey never stops.
7. Any special message for the aspiring author?
Keep writing. Youíve heard it many times before and Iíll say it again here. There are times when life just gets the best of you and you may stop, for a spell. Let it be for just a spell. When life settles again, pull the manuscript out of closet and get busy.
8. How can readers contact you?
Feel free to visit my website at http://www.darlenejohnson-online.com. There are many places to click to send me an email. I look forward to it.
ROMANCE IN COLOR would like to thank Ms. Johnson and wish her continued success.