Author Interview: New Adult Author Sharon M. Johnston

Welcome Readers! First up in our Introduce an Author in August series is New Adult Author Sharon M. Johnston! Her novel, DIVIDED, an amazing crossover between upper young adult and new adult, mixes contemporary romance with sci-fi elements in a fresh and unique way. But, don't take it from me, read about Sharon and her books in her own words!

1. Tell our readers a little about yourself and your work.
I’m an Aussie, who works in public relations, writing and blogging in my spare time. I have a gorgeous family consisting of hubby, two boys, and multiple fur babies. As a family we love gaming, comics, cartoons/anime, and almost anything superhero related. I’m on the committee for the pop culture convention Sugar City Con as a way to ensure our family gets to further indulge in it’s love of geeky stuff.

I was brought up to look at sensible career options, so a writer was never on the cards. Initially, I studied a dual degree in Law and Economics, but quickly realized it wasn’t a fit for me and moved into Professional Communication instead. I wrote for to express myself, as a way to cope with hard times, or simply for fun. It wasn’t until I let a friend read some of my short stories that I started more seriously thinking about writing as a career. Her reaction and willingness to be my alpha reader for my first novel was what inspired me to try. That first novel was Sleeper, now titled, Divided.

My writing is definitely inspired by the “What if” scenario. What if there were people who delivered Karma? This is a novel in progress expanding on a short story I wrote that was runner up in the Australian Literary Review’s YA short story competition. What if my dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was in high school? A story I’m currently writing. What if males went extinct? A story I’m currently querying. What if Puck was in love with Titania? A short story Shakespeare retelling I wrote for an anthology.

I love daydreaming and letting my mind take me to these weird and wonderful places, and when the idea sticks, I write it.

2. What genres do you write or want to write in the future?
I write a lot of weird stuff that would fall under the Speculative Fiction umbrella and often mash two genres together. Science Fiction definitely plays a strong role in my stories, probably because I like making stuff up and creating new things. I do know it’s also because I want to reflect something that exists in modern life, but feel I can’t represent it truthfully. For example, I want to write about the treatment of refugees, but feel I can’t faithfully capture the culture of refugees not being one myself. So instead I make the refugees aliens and I can create their culture myself.

I do also write contemporaries, but they usually come from something very difficult I have faced in my life. Like the YA I’m writing that has the MC dealing with her father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. I also plan on writing a story where the MC has epilepsy as my son has the condition and we found that so few people understood about his particular type of epilepsy, complex partial. And I know for myself I need to write a story about OCD anxiety, because it’s a condition that keeps me a prisoner in my own mind when I let it take over.

3. What attracted you to the City Owl Press?
Tina Moss was well and truly what swayed me towards City Owl Press. I liked the fact that it was run by authors. It reminded me a lot of Entangled’s original concept, but with a focus on edgier NA and Adult.

4. What has your experience been like working with City Owl Press?
It’s been fantastic. I love working with Tina. She’s pushing me so hard with my edits and I know this will make me a stronger writer. I’m impressed with how much input I get into the promotional aspects of the story. I’ve even been able to contribute to City Owl Press publicity with my idea for an author’s badge. It really feels like a partnership, which I love.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
In five years I hope to have a well-established list of stories across a range of genres and categories. In ten years I’m writing full-time.

6. Tell our readers why they should pick up your book 
DIVIDED is a story that proves great New Adult stories don’t have to be straight contemporary. Mischa’s story takes you on a journey of mystery and intrigue, with a twist at the end that you just won’t see coming. Its perfect for readers who want to love Sci Fi with more Fi than Sci, especially when it has a healthy dose of romance. And DIVIDED has one of the best book boyfriends ever with Ryder.

Thank you so much, Sharon! And I can attest that once readers dig in to DIVIDED, they will be all about #TeamRyder! The cover reveal will take place on August 27th, until then don't forget to pre-order DIVIDED today.

Fill out the rafflecopter below for chances to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and a $10 City Owl Press gift card, and come back next week to meet our next author with more chances to win. 

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