Friday, May 10, 2013

Author and Teacher, Jennifer Johnson

Hello Jennifer! We're excited to hear if there Is a story behind A Heart Healed?

Cancer plays a main role in the story, as it does in the lives of so many of my family and friends. The disease is something that has touched each and every one of us in some capacity, which allows each of us to connect to the hero, Kirk, and heroine, Callie. Both characters must choose to have faith that God is sovereign and has a plan for their lives, past, present, and future.

Tells us a little about your life. Is there anything that distracts you from writing?

Hmm…life! I have a husband, who tends to lose things...he’s a terrific guy, though. I love you, Al. I have three daughters. The oldest is newly-married and student teaching. She’s in meltdown mode at least three times a week. My second daughter is just walking drama of disaster. God loves that child and so do I, but whew that girl can wear a momma out. My youngest is a freshman who enjoys being chauffeured from one thing to the other, and who also shares her heart with her mommy quite often. Note: I’m very thankful my girls will talk to me. 

Outside of family, I teach 150 6th graders a day. Now that’s a distraction. I also tend to like to play Ruzzle, Family Feud, SongPop, and Pics & Words. And I’m a Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, Duck Dynasty, and American Idol junkie. I suppose I’ve been known to get caught up in Good Luck, Charlie- love that mom, Reba, and a few of the other shows my girls suck me into watching. I’m telling you, it’s all their faults. 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 

I love reading Christian romance. I will read anything written by Denise Hunter or Deanne Gist. Probably my favorite story by Denise is A Convenient Groom, a story in which the hero depicts Jesus, a man who loves his bride even when she doesn’t love him, and the heroine depicts us, the bride who continually denies him. And I love Deanne’s book Courting Trouble, which tells the story of a woman who discovers the true Love of her life.

As a middle school teacher, I also read a lot of young adult fiction. I admit I love the Twilight and Hunger Games series by Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins respectively. I also fell in love with the book Legend by a new author, Marie Lu. Like the Hunger Games series, the setting is a dystopian society in which the people are ruled by a cruel government.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

Just about everything makes me smile or laugh.

I love babies…as long as they’re not mine, I’m too old for any surprises…grandbabies are welcome in a few years.

I love a sunshiny day.

I love to laugh at myself when I do something silly at school…it allows my students to see that it’s okay to do something a bit embarrassing and then laugh.

I love to hang out with my husband, my girls, and my friends.

Oh…I know! I can’t help but smile when I see my three big girls (21, 19, and 15) sitting side-by-side on the couch or the pew at church or anywhere- my oldest is married and finishing college two hours away and the middle lives at a dorm thirty minutes away, so it’s usually just my husband and I and the youngest girl hanging out together.

I love when God does something and then shows me. For example, one time I sent a card to a church friend. I just kept feeling the Spirit’s pressure to send her a note about how much I loved her. Well, I mailed that letter and come to find out she received it on her deceased husband’s birthday…the very first birthday she spent without him. I didn’t know it was his birthday. I was just obeying the spirit to uplift a friend. It was very cool, and just made me smile again. 

I love when my girls tell me I’m a total creeper because I smile at everyone. In fact, if you meet me on the street and I’m not smiling, please ask me how I’m doing, because something is definitely wrong!

You are a busy lady. Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Things I do because I dread them:
1)    Write proposals- This makes me laugh, but the truth is writing a synopsis is like pulling teeth. Just let me write the story already. J
2)    Grade on demand papers- In Kentucky, students write on demand papers. They are exactly as they sound. The students are given a prompt, then they have forty minutes to write a two-to-four page response to the prompt. Okay, maybe I should love digging into their papers, and maybe I would if there weren’t 150 of them to grade each time I assign an on demand. J
3)    I hate cleaning. I mean, I do it, because somebody’s got to, but I don’t like it. I’ve been known to start cleaning my house at eight o’clock or later because I’ve put it off the whole day.
4)    I’m not a fan of going to the grocery store. This morning my husband was whining because we didn’t have milk. But the grocery always puts a big dent in my pocketbook, so I avoid it at all costs. J

I could probably continue this list, but I’m not sure I want you to know all the things I put off. Unless it’s something I want to do, I’m a habitual procrastinator. Not a very disciplined girl.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? 

A meal that has become one of our family favorites I found on Pinterest a few months ago. It’s good and easy for a mom who’s on the go and doesn’t like to cook. You put three or four chicken breasts, a big can of enchilada sauce, a taco packet, and two cups of cheese in the crock pot, and let it cook for six hours or so. When you’re ready to eat, fix some rice. Place the rice, the chicken mixture, and maybe some sour cream on a soft taco shell, and viola! Dinner is served! 

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

YES! I love to write about God’s faithfulness and mercy, and that He can use us no matter how we’ve sinned and no matter what sins have been done to us. We live in a world that for the most part bows to the wrong master. As a result, we mess up, even after accepting Christ as our Savior, we mess up. And sometimes evil affects us, even when we’re doing nothing wrong.

God-fearing men and women have affairs, get hooked on drugs, steal, lie, cheat…they do things we can’t believe…and we talk about them. Children are abused. People are killed in accidents. Evil abounds. None of us are immune.

Can I give you an answer WHY some of these things are allowed, how a sovereign God would be willing to see those things happen? I can’t. What I can say is that we serve a good God. One who has a plan for our lives, who offers rest and comfort for the weary, who will save us from ourselves and this world, who will use everything that’s happened for GOOD to those who love and trust Him.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

My next book, A Family Reunited, tells Pamela and Jack’s story. Pamela is Kirk’s sister in A Heart Healed. It releases October, 2013.

Thanks for sharing with us, Jennifer!

Connect with Jennifer Johnson at

Jennifer Johnson is giving away a copy of A Heart HealedTo be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


cjajsmommy said...

My dh is a breaker. Just this week -- the frames for his glasses ($200), cell phone holster (it's the second time since he bought it in Oct. so I don't know if it will be covered again, if not $60); ran over his set of keys for my van with the lawn mower ($120?). Lost his "I've got to have the best" stylus for his cell phone (also the second time since October $25). But on the flip side, he smiles at everyone and creeps them out. Parents of young kids look at him and move their kids away, old people come right out and say, "Do I know you?" I tell him it isn't fair to befuddle the elderly, there must be a Bible verse for this, right? Any way, please enter me to win a copy of your book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Patricia Bradley said...

I have experienced similar things when I obeyed God's prompt to send a card or note to someone. Isn't it the greatest thing! Would love to win your book. pat at ptbradley dot com

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Judy said...

A Heart Healed sounds like it would be very interesting. Having battled with breast cancer I'm sure I can relate to this story which involves cancer.

Jennifer you are a new author to me and I really enjoyed this interview with you.

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for this giveaway.

Judy B

Anonymous said...

Jennifer is a new author to me; however, I feel like I know her because we have a lot in common! I'm also a teacher (currently doing the stay-at-home mom thing and loving it!) and I'm also a procrastinator now (didn't use to be until I had kids), although, I do like to clean - just wish I had more time to do it! Loved the interview and can't wait to read this book! :)

Erin S
emstclair {at} gmail {dot} com

Library Lady said...

I enjoyed reading the interview with Jennifer.
Thanks for entering me in the book giveaway.
Janet E.

Jo said...

This book sounds like a great read and one that I want to read. Thank you for the opportunity.


Rose Milligan said...

Great interview. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Merry said...

Lovely interview! Please add me to the drawing for A Heart Healed. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Teela said...

Great interview. Thank you for this giveaway. teelayoung at hotmail dot com

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