07 February, 2015

#Interview with Johanna K. Pitcairn, #Author of 32 Seconds

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.
So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.
With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?
What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.
A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.

Available on Amazon

An Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
- I was nine years old. 

What inspires you to write?
- Everything. The stuff I see, hear, experience, everything is bound to be reused in a story. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
- From my own life experience. I wanted to use my personal story and transform it into fiction. What I learned, the obstacles I had to overcome, the self-doubt, it all went into this tale. 

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
- Oh yeah. A dystopian thriller which I might use someday. And a bunch of screenplays, and detective novels. 

Tell us about your writing process.
- Well I hear/see/experience something interesting, and then I brainstorm with an author friend. I let it sink in, sometimes for months, until a story comes to life. I create characters, and a very loose plot. I always know the beginning, the middle and the end. Then I let the characters drive the story. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
- I love the first chapter. The imagery is very strong, and the way I described Julie Jones makes everyone hate her from the get go. And it’s great, because then the reader learns to love and feel for her. There’s nothing better than a beginning that takes you right in, and doesn’t let you go. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
- Julie inherited basically everything. The others not so much. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
- I really don’t have one. I write everywhere, because I work full time. I listen to music, start a fire in the fireplace, or listen to nature (from my backyard). As long as I’m in the zone, I write. But I write on the subway, and the bus, and on breaks, so really, I don’t need much to write. 

What is your usual writing routine?
- I put on some music and I write. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
- Yes, I read. I love the classics. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe. Current authors I love Brett Easton Ellis, and David Wong. These authors just make me believe it’s possible to write in a unique way, and be successful. They forced me to think out of the box. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
- When you finish a book, and after many editing rounds, you think you’ve done the story justice, think again of a better way to write the story. If you come up with the same story, try again, until it becomes impossible for you to tell the story any other way. Then you can publish.  

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
- Writing isn’t a race. Writing doesn’t make you rich right away or maybe ever. If you don’t love words, you won’t stand living with them 24/7. But if you think words do for you what a brush does for a painter, then write, and write more, until you can’t spend a day without thinking about writing. Write a story, get it edited, publish it, and let words take you on their journey. 

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t think of stuff like that. If I start thinking of actors to represent my characters, then all hope is lost on my end. That stuff just blocks my creative process. I could tell you Julie is 5’8, brunette, skinny, but after that, oh boy. I need a casting director. Help!

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
- A thick notebook (because my computer wouldn’t work), pens, and lots of drinking water. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
- I usually unwind on my couch. I watch TV, work out, spend time with my boyfriend and cats. Easy stuff. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
- Go to Hawaii. And make the NYT Bestseller list. Yeah. I know. LOL

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I learned English by watching South Park (I already could speak English, but South Park kicked it up a notch, if you follow my drift). 
I’m a rebel at heart, but I let out the real steam through my characters (no, not going to kill anyone in real life, that wouldn’t be good). 
I love Dreamworks cartoons and cartoons characters. They just make me laugh so hard (besides South Park, of course).  

What do you have in store next for your readers?
- I’m working on an urban fantasy/sci-fi trilogy called The Manicheans. The Manicheans are individuals with superhuman qualities – but they’re unaware of them until they realize they have been chosen to save mankind from extinction by ill-intentioned aliens. The first volume, titled Esperanza, will be ready for elease next Christmas 2015.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
- I welcome reviews, so please if you’re interested in a free copy of my book for review purposes, let me know. And thanks for the support as always. 

About the Author
Johanna K. Pitcairn has dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood--authoring her first novel at the age of nine, and countless poems, stories, and screenplays by the age of seventeen. Later, rather than pursuing a career as a director and screenwriter, she decided to go to law school, driven by her father's opinion that "writing does not pay the bills."

Ten years later, she moved to New York City, which inspired her to go back to the excitement, wonder, and constant change of being a writer. Pitcairn is a huge fan of psychological-thriller novels and movies, and delves into her hopes, fears, friends, enemies, and everything in between in her own writing.

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