Interview with novelist Jennifer-Crystal Johnson

My
interview guest today is Jennifer-Crystal
Johnson
. She’s chatting with me about her new sci-fi novel Fibers (Infiltration Trilogy book 1).



During her
virtual book tour, Jennifer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble
(winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for
a chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too!
Bio:
Jennifer-Crystal
Johnson is originally from Germany, but was raised an Army brat. She has
published one novella under her former last name, The Outside Girl: Perception
is Reality (Publish America, 2005 – out of print as of 2013), a poetry book,
Napkin Poetry (Broken Publications, 2010), and a collection of poetry, art, and
prose called Strangers with Familiar Faces (Broken Publications, 2011). She’s
also published a collection of short creature horror stories called If You’re
Human Don’t Open the Door (Broken Publications, 2012), a personal development
book called The Ten Pillars of a Happy Relationship (Broken Publications,
2014), and a collection of more horror stories (no creatures this time, just
people) called Our Capacity for Evil (Broken Publications, 2015). She has
several poems and short stories published on Every Writer’s Resource and has
recently published a science fiction novel called Fibers, the first book in the
Infiltration Trilogy.
Jen owns
and operates Broken Publications
and publishes an annual anthology to raise awareness about domestic violence
called Soul Vomit. When she isn’t
writing or editing, she enjoys playing games with her three kids, watching
crime shows on Netflix, or reading. She lives in WA State with her three
children, three cats, and a crazy puppy named Thor.

Welcome, Jennifer. Please
share a little bit about your current release.

Fibers is the story of Anna Reynolds, an
ordinary woman who begins having symptoms of a little-known disease called
Morgellons. Because this disease is so strange and incurable, it is often
misunderstood, and therefore misdiagnosed.
However,
Anna soon learns that it’s much more than just an illness. Of course she feels
like she’s going crazy half the time, but that’s how they get to you… your
mind is slowly but surely suppressed via advanced technology from another
dimension, and you become a conduit for data collection… among other things.
This first
novel in the series introduces you to Anna and how her life goes from normal to
creepy, her health from average to declining, and her world from ordinary to
threatened and overrun with strange occurrences, mysterious medical symptoms,
and shadow people.
I hope you
enjoy it!

What inspired you to write this book?

I learned
about Morgellons disease online when I was researching creatures and
cryptozoology on YouTube. Something came up about “alien fibers,” so I watched
the clip. Once I learned about this disease, I dove into more research and a
story idea began to take shape as I learned. Though this is a real disease and
strange enough in reality, I thought it was perfect fodder for a science
fiction novel and knew I had to write it.

An excerpt from Fibers:

The
twinkling sound of the wind chimes gave an eerie undertone to the night, the
wind blowing through the trees and the darkness seeming more intense than
usual. Anna wrapped her coat tightly around herself, walking briskly back
toward home. She usually didn’t walk anywhere, especially at night, but she’d
decided to get some fresh air and needed time to think. Walking was always good
for that, even if it was a little cold and getting dark so much earlier.
Reaching
into her pocket for her keys, she approached the front door. The porch light
was out – she must’ve forgotten to turn it on before she left. Trying to work
through feeling alone and fending off paranoia, she rummaged in her purse for
her keys and retrieved them just as her foot hit something on her front porch.
Of course she couldn’t see, but it sounded and felt like a box of some kind.
She pulled
her cell phone out of her purse and turned on the flashlight app to see what
was happening. Shining the light on her porch, she saw that it was, indeed, a
box. A mystery box, she thought. As if my life couldn’t get any
stranger.
She
unlocked the front door and flipped the light switch, but nothing happened.
Trying to juggle her phone and the box at the same time, she walked into the
house, set the box down, and went into the living room to try the light there.
Also nothing. Shaking her head and doing her best to quiet her thoughts, she
made her way into the garage with her phone and found the breaker box. She
flipped the switch and the lights came on without a problem.
Things
are getting entirely too weird around here,
she thought, cautiously making her way back upstairs
to her entry where the box sat. She switched off her flashlight app and stood
still for a few moments, listening to see if she could hear anything to
indicate that someone was in the house. She didn’t think so because her door
had been locked, but she was so scared she could hear her heartbeat pounding in
her ears. Everything else was silent.
Satisfied
that no one was in her house, she picked up the box and took it into her
kitchen. She set it on the counter and inspected it. There was a note taped to
the top of it. She unfolded it and read aloud, “Trust no one.”

What exciting story are you working on
next?
To be honest, I have all sorts of crazy story ideas in my head! After this
series, I have an idea for another series as well as another novel, which may
or may not turn into a series. For now, I’m going to focus on finishing the
Infiltration Trilogy, and I plan to begin work on book two more intensively
this summer. Everything is in flux right now because of certain situations
going on in my life, but I’m adjusting to things and will be working more as
time wears on (I recently began working outside the home for the first time in
almost 10 years because the paychecks for freelancing were too sporadic).

Book two is
going to be epic… I’ve already begun drafting and outlining as well as making
sure my ideas are always written down, and what I can tell you is that things
are going to get very personal between a number of the characters (crazy drama
will ensue) as the entire world falls apart and all hell breaks loose. Readers
can look forward to learning more about James and why he’s such a jerk, not to
mention learning more about Sophia and getting to know Jake better.
Because
Anna and Andrew did so much research and learned a lot about Morgellons in the
first book, this second book will be pretty fast-paced… even more so than the
first ;). LOTS will be happening in Numbers,
book 2 of the Infiltration Trilogy =).
As far as
other ideas go, I have one about the spirit world (not ghosts… it’s not what
you might initially think) which is the next series I want to work on. I have
another idea about the splitting of the universe into two distinct dimensions
(for a very specific reason, which many may find controversial so this one is
not a priority yet as it needs more development), and an idea for a short story
series (although I might be able to lengthen it) about time travel via astral
projection and solving serial murders.
There are a
lot of different concepts floating around in my brain, so hopefully I will have
the honor of working on them with the care, love, and attention they deserve =).

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?

It started
when I decided to write my first “novel” in about fourth grade…. I never
finished it, but have recently been considering revisiting the idea after a few
tweaks. What cemented my “officially” being a writer was when I was approached
by the owner/operator of an online magazine/forum for teens to help with the
publication. It was only online, but I was able to write short stories,
articles, whatever I wanted… and help moderate the forums. I got this job
when I was 13 and worked there for a year for $100/issue. Even though it was
only a quarterly publication, the money I earned there along with money from
babysitting allowed me to save up the $300 I needed to record a three-song demo
CD in a studio in Gig Harbor, WA when I was 14. Then I wrote an article about
that.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I wish! Up until recently I was working from home full-time for the last
almost 10 years. Unfortunately, life has thrown me and my family a few
curveballs in the last year or so, with the craziest one being most recent. I
decided to follow through with an opportunity that presented itself to work
part-time as a home care aide for a friend of a friend who is in a wheelchair.
I work roughly four hours a day, get done in time to make it back to town to
get the kids from school, work on something from home for 2-3 hours (unless I
have errands to run, in which case I do that), cook a healthy meal for all of
us, try to get some cleaning or at least folding laundry done as the kids
finish up whatever they have to do, then we all head to bed and do it all over
again the next day.

As far as
making time to write, I do what I can. As a single mom I have a lot of
responsibilities resting on my shoulders, one of the main concerns being money,
which you need for pretty much everything. When there’s money, there’s no time,
and when I have time, there’s no money so everything is stressful lol. Of
course when readers buy my book, some of that concern is alleviated and I know
simultaneously that they’re entertained for a few hours. It’s a win-win =).

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
It’s funny
that you should ask that, actually… I used to go to Denny’s to drink coffee,
write poetry, and smoke cigarettes (before they banned smoking indoors here in
WA), and in order to really get to some good writing from the depths of my soul,
I had to have specific conditions.
Eventually,
someone pointed out to me that my writing is my writing no matter whether the
planets are aligned or the moon is full or it’s the last Tuesday of the month.
It really doesn’t matter where I write or what tools I use; it will still be MY
writing.
So I made a
conscious effort to curb the OCD and focus on what’s important: the writing
itself. Now, although I prefer using my computer for longer works and my
journal for poetry and other thoughts, I also recently got a laptop that I will
be using to work on whatever I can when I’m away from home. I can write
anywhere ;).

As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?

A
musician/songwriter/singer and an author. I always knew what I love =). Now
it’s just a matter of my dreams making me a good living.

Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?

If you
haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out Fibers, book 1 in the Infiltration Trilogy. I know every author
says that about their book, but go look at the product page and read the blurb
and some of the reviews… it’s a unique book that intertwines fiction with
aspects of reality and will continue to do so throughout the series. Book 1
focuses on Morgellons disease, the condition that starts it all…. It contains
vital information to understanding the interdimensional beings and their
intentions, how Morgellons is involved, and what each side’s intentions are
versus what ends up happening. I’m really excited to write the second book!
Thanks so
much for having me on your blog! I appreciate it. I hope everyone reading this
has an awesome week from here on out, and don’t forget to read a good book this
weekend!

Links:

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guest on my blog!


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23 thoughts on “Interview with novelist Jennifer-Crystal Johnson

    • Jen says:

      Thanks for your comment! Something surprising about me is that I might just be one of the only women in the world who doesn't love chocolate lol. I might have a piece once or twice a year, but that's about it :).

    • Jen says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and awesome question! I'd have to say that the hardest part of writing a book for me is trying to stick to a schedule. Between two jobs, three kids, four pets, and a house, my life is usually a ball of chaos and craziness lol. That's probably why the first book took five years…. Book two has a semi-strict deadline 🙂

      I hope you love the book :).

  1. Ally Swanson says:

    I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

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