What Does a Writer Think About?

Today my guest is Johnnie Alexander, who takes in all around her when she’s writing.

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller. She writes contemporaries, historicals, and cozy mysteries, serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts an online show called Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr.

Here’s what she has to say:

I used to dream of having one published book. When that happened six years ago, I dreamed of having multiple projects all at once. That’s happening now—and I’m finding the reality of that dream can be overwhelming.

But it’s also amazing fun!

In the past few months, I’ve imagined:

  • a postmaster’s daughter who writes anonymous pamphlets for the abolitionist movement,
  • business competitors who want to be treasure hunters vacationing on a tropical island,
  • a young Amish woman in Oklahoma who has a gift for treating animals,
  • an American actress acting as a spy in England during World War II, and
  • a young fashion designer visiting a bed-and-breakfast in South Carolina to retrieve a memory box.

Thanks to one of my newsletter readers, I recently had a real-life conversation with her and her father who grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee—often called Atomic City—after WWII. We had a great time talking about the secret wartime facility.

My heroine for that novella, “Blue Moon,” serves with WOOPS (Women Officers of Public Safety). It’s one of four novellas for the Hometown Heroines Collection which will be released by Barbour later this year.

Most of my adult life was spent in Florida, and I’m fascinated by the state’s rich history. Three other authors and I are working on a project set during the Gilded Age—from about the 1880s through the 1920s. So I’m researching the history of the Alcazar Hotel, built by Henry Flagler in St. Augustine. The hero may be a pilot. Aviation was still a burgeoning industry then and “flying aces” often performed as daredevils at exhibitions or entered aviation races.

This is the blessing of writing in multiple genres—I can delve into history then return to contemporary times then delve into history again. Sometimes I do feel overwhelmed. Even on the verge of panic with deadlines coming closer each day. But mostly I’m grateful. God gave me my dream, and while the contracts and opportunities continue, I’ll have amazing fun creating characters you’ll want to meet and imagining stories you won’t forget. (That’s my deepest dream.)

The first story I mentioned above is “Journey of the Heart,” one of seven novellas in The Erie Canal Brides Collection. Here’s more about the collection and my story.

Erie Canal Brides Collection

Seven romance stories take you back to the building of the Erie Canal and the opening of the Midwest to greater development.

Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Hudson River, and soon other states like Ohio created canals linking Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Suddenly the Midwest was open to migration, the harvesting of resources, and even tourism. Join seven couples who live through the rise of the canals and the problems the waterways brought to each community, including land grabs, disease, tourists, racism, and competition. Can these couples hang on to their faith and develop love during times of intense change?

“Journey of the Heart” 

Charity Sinclair secretly writes abolitionist pamphlets while thwarting architect Tavish Dunbar’s effort to redesign her father’s post office, a hidden stop on the Underground Railroad. When a slave-hunter captures a runaway, Charity vows to rescue the fugitive. But can she trust Tavish with her secret. . .and with her heart?

Here’s how to find Johnnie Alexander:

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