Kerry Johnson has self-published one devotional book, Grace for the Gaps, and will make her fiction debut with Love Inspired Suspense. She lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her husband, two teen sons, her eight-year-old niece, and a colorful, loud menagerie. Kerry is an ACFW Genesis award winner and a member of RWA and ACFW. Congratulations, Kerry!
Harlequin: Tell us about yourself. Our readers want to know!
Kerry Johnson: I’ve been obsessed with books and animals since childhood, and I wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized that many animals are scared of their vet, plus all that blood! Somehow, I always knew I’d write stories. My bachelor’s degree is in English Education, and I taught middle school remedial reading and worked in Public Broadcasting before becoming a mom. I enjoy long walks, iced chai tea, and sleeping in after staying up late reading.
H: Why did you want to become a romance writer?
KJ: I was 12 when I opened one of my mom’s romance novels. I finished the story in a few hours and was hooked. I read across genres, but I always yearn for that romantic tension and the hero and heroine’s emotional connection in the story. All of my favorite books have romance, and I adore creating those romantic moments in my stories. There’s enough darkness in the world—give me an HEA any (every) day!
H: What were the steps in your journey to becoming a published author?
KJ: I wrote my first full length story about a decade ago, then I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) a couple of years later. I entered contests and got pummeled by judges. It hurt, but it helped. Eventually, the advice “keeping writing more stories” sank in and I wrote one more book, then another. I connected with pre-published and published authors, building friendships that kept me going when I wanted to quit. The writing community is amazing.
H: What one piece of advice would you offer aspiring writers?
KJ: Keep writing. Try different genres if you need to. Just write. You learn to play an instrument by playing a variety of pieces. You improve your craft and find your voice by writing more stories.
H: What did you do when you got the call from Harlequin?
KJ: I was home getting dinner and saw my agent’s text. It was unusual for her to call or text at that time, so I went into the (Christmas decoration-filled) garage and called her back. She asked if I was sitting down and I promptly fell onto a box of Christmas décor. Nothing broke, thankfully, but I sure cried. I told my husband and kids then I called my parents and we all cried. It was such a blessing after a difficult year.
Now let’s hear from the editor, Dina Davis!
“Sometimes there’s just something about an author’s voice that sticks with you. That was the case with Kerry. Her agent sent me a submission for a different imprint a while back that just wasn’t quite the right fit, but when I told her to send in another submission, I was excited to see what she’d come up with. This romantic suspense gripped me right away and it was a story I knew our readers would love. I can’t wait for everyone else to dive in and get lost in Kerry’s words!”Dina Davis, Associate Editor Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense
Read more I Got the Call stories from our debut authors!