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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Author Guest Post: Christine Johnson

photo credits: Trinity Gossett-Lee
FULL NAME: Christine Johnson
BIRTHDATE: 02/02/1978

I grew up in, moved away from, and finally came home to Indianapolis, Indiana. While I was in the “away” part of that adventure, I was living in Chicago, Illinois, where I went to DePaul University and met my husband. I majored in Political Science. For the record, Political Science is a totally useless degree. But it’s also totally fascinating and I loved studying it. I fall into that trap a lot. I graduated with about nine million extra credit hours because I was forever taking classes that seemed “interesting” instead of classes that I needed to fill requirements.

After college, I lived in Chicago for several more years with my husband. I had a string of jobs – some I liked, some I hated, but none of them ever stuck with me as a career. Writing is different. For this job, I could be a workaholic! Anyway, after several more years in Chicago, my husband and I moved back to Indianapolis. (We got tired of constantly looking for street parking in Lakeview.)

Now, I live in an old house in an old neighborhood with my husband and kids. I have too many books and a weakness for anything sweet. I love yoga and cooking, but I’m not much of a movie person. I like watching soccer, and always look forward to the first sweater-worthy days in the fall. But mostly, I like making things up and writing them down and having people read them. So, that’s what I do, and I’m very, very lucky to be doing it!

~Christine Johnson


(I'd say my family, but the question is about *things* . . . so . . .)
Books (duh)
My laptop
Really comfortable jeans
Baby wipes (Yes, seriously. Those things have a million and one uses!)


So, about a week ago, I finally saw the movie CAPOTE with Philip Seymour Hoffman. And man, was it brilliant (yes, I know I’m several years behind on this review. What can I say? I’m not really a movie person. I’m more into, like, books.) Talk about incredible acting! I was totally in the moment, involved in the story . . . until something struck me. There was a scene where Capote was working on his novel, and there was a shot of Philip Seymour Hoffman, pecking away at a big, black typewriter.

A typewriter. Oh my God.

As he pulled the freshly-written page out of the machine and glanced over it, I actually shuddered. And that’s when I began to wonder just how big a role technology plays in my ability to write. To understand what a bizarre moment this was for me, you should probably understand that I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world, and I don’t really want to be. Sure, I lusted after an iPhone for awhile, but then my husband got one and I couldn’t type anything on the touch screen, so I stuck with my old-school cell phone. All my relatives wanted to know if I was excited about the ebook readers like the Nook and the Kindle, and my answer was – “Meh. Not really.” I mean, I love the feel of a novel in my hands, and I’d rather turn the pages of a story than click through them. (And will we still describe things as “page turners” if the ereaders take over? Will they become “scrollable” instead?) Anyway. The point is – I’m no fiend for the latest trends.

Or am I? The thing I realized while watching that poor man clacking away at those stiff, raised keys was that I rely intensely on my computer while I write. Almost as fast as I think of the words, I can type, move text, delete, revise, and create subtly-or-seriously altered drafts to compare later. It would take me forever to do that with a typewriter! Even doing something as simple as writing out a greeting card, I find myself getting frustrated – I lose my train of thought, misspell things, and think of a better word choice after I've already inked the message. Can I correct those things? Sure, but it takes forever. And the thing about me – as a writer – is that I like to go fast. I love to sprint along at the speed of thought and then put it all away and look over it the next day to see what the result was, what revisions it needs. I can email my editor at 2 a.m., when a phone call would be worse than rude. I can save my work forty-three different ways (and I do!) So it turns out that I love technology – at least, this specific part of it. And more than loving it, I lean on it to help me do the work that I adore.

I know not everyone feels that way. Writer friends of mine still draft things long-hand. I’m sure someone out there can’t come up with an original thought unless their fingers are poised over their typewriter. But for me, the speed of modern technology is a crucial part of my writing process. Now that I’ve realized that, I’ve gotten really interested in the role it plays for other authors as they work. Why they love it or hate it. So – the question of the day is . . . technology – friend or foe? You tell me.

Hanover Falls hasn’t had a werewolf problem in over one hundred years. Seattle, Copenhagen, Osaka–they’ve had plenty of attacks. But when humans begin dying in Claire Benoit’s town, the panic spreads faster than a rumor at a pep rally. At Claire’s sixteenth birthday party, the gruesome killings are all anyone can talk about. But the big news in Claire’s mind is the fact that Matthew Engle–high-school soccer god and son of a world-renowned lycanthropy expert–notices her. And flirts with her. A lot.

That night, Claire learns that she is the latest in a long line of Benoit werewolves, and that contrary to popular belief, all werewolves are female. Killing humans is forbidden by the code of the pack, but a rogue werewolf has been breaking that law, threatening the existence of Claire’s new pack. As the pack struggles to find and fight the rogue werewolf and Claire struggles with her lupine identity, her heart and her loyalties are torn in two. Claire must keep her new life a secret from even her best friend–and especially from Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt…and with whom Claire is impossibly and undeniably falling head-over-paws in love.

Coming May 18th, 2010 from Simon PULSE.


Rex Robot Reviews said...

Great post! I haven't read this book, but it sounds good- will be adding to the TBR =)

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say this book is fantastically spellbinding. It's going to be a 2010 summer block buster.

dr redshift

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