Author Interview – Sarah L Johnson – Infractus (Sci-Fi) & “Suicide Stitch: Eleven Stories” (Dark Fiction/Horror/Romance)

Hey there everyone, it’s Monday again and I’ve eaten all of my Easter chocolates!

(Boo!)

But we have still have Rocky Road brownies left to eat thank goodness.

(Yay!)

And now we should stop drooling over food and swiftly move on to the main event.

However, just before we do that – a PSA.

Just a quick note before we get started properly. I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉

Tonight, I have had the pleasure of speaking with Author Sarah L. Johnson, who dabbles in the arts of dark fiction, romance and physiological horror, as we find out more about her diverse stories, passions and inspirations.

Thanks for reading folkerinos and have a great evening 🙂

 

Hi there Sarah, wonderful to have you here with us today to find out more about yourself and your thrilling dark fiction.

Let’s start with your debut Sci-Fi novel due out this month in a few days time called “Infractus”. This is very exciting news. Please tell us some more background information regarding the premise of your novel and the world that you have built. Will your novel also contain dark/horror elements that you are known for similar to your Short Stories collection?

If The Bourne Identity and the book of Revelation had a baby, it would be Infractus. A grimdark dystopian fantasy where a human assassin and the Archangel Michael join forces to liberate humanity from a totalitarian regime. I’m atheist, but grew up in a religious household. Intensive scripture study was part of the gig, and Infractus is my reimagining of that theology. These aren’t your grandma’s angels – or maybe they are, because your grandma is a badass. I would say Infractus shares the same dark tone of Suicide Stitch. The protagonist in Infractus appears as a child in the story “Three Minutes.”

Infractus

You also have a Short Story collection published (as mentioned above) called “Suicide Stitch: Eleven Stories”. These stories are notable because they have been selected and featured in previous magazines/publications. Can you tell us more about what links the pieces in this collection together and give us some further ideas as to what is in this eclectic mix of sultry psychological horror pieces that span multiple genres.

Every tale in Suicide Stitch is a love story. I’m compelled to write love stories, because love is the most great and terrible force there is. Love brings out the best in us, but also the worst. Suicide Stitch explores those dark rivers of the heart in a variety of relationships – lovers, friends, siblings, parents and children, neighbourhoods and their residents. Love has its own agenda, it is ruthless, and there is no cure.

If any of your Short Stories works or your novel were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?

Honestly, I don’t know. When describing a character’s appearance, I’ll give a couple traits and leave the rest to the imagination. If we’re aiming for verisimilitude, a character the reader has to participate in creating is more real than one constructed for them down to the last detail.

What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?

Getting through the middle of a story is the hardest. Keeping the literary equivalent of flyover states interesting is an arduous endeavour. Vodka helps, but not as much as you want it to. And the easiest part? Spell check, I guess? That’s pretty easy.

Who are some of the authors and historical figures that inspire you?

Virginia Woolf was a visionary. The way she wrote about gender fluidity in Orlando is so ahead of its time that its time is still yet to come. Hanya Yanagihara does pathos better than just about anyone — I may never recover from A Little Life. George Saunders is sublime, and he touched me once. Not in a creepy way, just on the shoulder, but it was like the hand of God.

What sort of research do you do to write your stories?

I confess I’m not much of a researcher, as I tend to write about ordinary people in odd situations. Before I begin the rough draft, I’ll do the dilettante’s google on a topic, like hoarding. As I write and revise, I’ll target my research to get those finer details, like a television perched on baled newspapers, or grocery bags full of elastic bands sorted by colour. Ultimately I want the information to support my story, without raising the conscious thought of “this writer clearly did her research”. Accuracy is important, but as a reader, I find authenticity is derived from specificity of detail rather than quantity.

Suicide Stitch

Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you like being poor and neurotic. If I could quit, I would. Writing is like a dysfunctional relationship. We fight like weasels but the sex is magnificent.

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

When the creative tank runs dry, a book will almost always fill it again. Poetry gets me excited about language. Literary fiction sharpens my subtext. Horror is great for atmosphere. Mystery can untangle plot snarls. I also try to be honest with myself. Am I blocked, or am I simply afraid? Anne Lamott famously coined the phrase “shitty first drafts” and it’s a great reminder to give myself permission to write badly.

You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?

If I’ve learned anything from the movies, it’s not to mess with the timeline. So I probably wouldn’t give myself advice. I’d just watch and cringe.

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

Reading and running and hanging out with my family. It’s my happy cocktail. I also make pies, drink gin, and work as the literary events manager at Calgary’s oldest indie bookstore.

Sarah Johnson Pies

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific after the launch of your novel or do you have plans in the pipeline?

The sequel to Infractus. It’s not a series, or even a trilogy. I just wrote one huge pig of a novel that had to be broken in two. “Little Sister, Little Brother” from Suicide Stitch is being reprinted in Comet Press’s Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Vol. 2 in June. My horror story “Riven” will appear in November in Weird Winter Wonderland from Coffin Hop Press. I’ve also got a horror novel and an urban fantasy in various stages of draft work.

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

Are you sure you want this? Like, really sure? You are? Okay…Number one piece of advice: read a lot. Read critically, across all genres, for fun, for escape, for enlightenment. Whatever. Number two: don’t be in a hurry to publish. Take the time to learn your craft through classes, workshops, and professional critique. Learn all you can and never stop, because while publishing feels great, the pleasure of creating and growing as an artist will blow your mind.

And finally, don’t worry about being talented enough. Talent isn’t nothing, but it’s almost nothing. Lots of writers are talented. Hard work and tenacity will get you further than any amount of talent. The rest is luck, my friends. I wish you heaps of it.

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for joining us Sarah, all us Sci-Fi & Horror fans are really going to enjoy getting stuck into your books 🙂

Bio:-

cover photo

Sarah L. Johnson, is the Literary Events Manager at Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary. She is also a Best Selling Local Writer, whose short fiction has appeared in several journals and anthologies including Room Magazine, Shock Totem, Crossed Genres Magazine, and the Bram Stoker Award nominated Dark Visions 1: A collection of Modern Horror. Her first novel, a literary thriller titled“Infractus” is coming soon from Coffin Hop Press.

You can connect with Susan via the following Social Media channels:-

Twitter:- @leadlinedalias (Twitter)

Website:- Writer, Reader, Runner – The Website of Author Sarah L. Johnson

You can buy her books here:-

Buy Sarah L. Johnson’s books in the UK/Europe

Buy Sarah L. Johnson’s books in the US/Rest of the World

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Still want more? Well, as authors we tend to try to tailor our tales to excite ourselves and enthrall our readers. Since Sarah’s Short Story Collection is called Suicide Stitch, I thought this was a very relevant pun and similar theme too 😉 For more articles relating to the theme of ‘Tailor’ then check out the links below:-

1. When Grandma knows better. – cathdean.com
2. Writing Exercise: Tailor – Dreaming with Your Eyes Open: Points of Light
3. Branching Out – There is a Deeper History though…
4. Ever dated with Dates? – Her Dupatta Swag
5. Invisible Illnesses – Daily Prompt – Fragrance plus 24 more words
6. Finding Yourself – Wholeheartyhappy
7. Two Become One – Dark Side of the Moon
8. Comestibles – MAG Stories
9. Sandmanjazz – Let a Smiley be Your Umbrella
10. The Homeless.. – Life After Fifty
11. A Diary of A Single Man: Heavens Peak – Harlem Cafe
12. New Ideas And Inspirations – Savor (Moxie; Tailor; Bumble)
13. Forgive Yourself For Mistakes – believer’s diary
14. Fashioning Life – Debbie Gravett
15. Exploring the concept of spirituality III: Pauline and Christian roots – a brave new science
16. Your ambitions, my dreams – Playing with words
17. Photography – Water Worries
18. Indira’s Blog – Tailor- The Daily Post
19. Jibber Jabber with Sue – Tailor Made? Not For Me, Thanks!
20. I Wish I Could Swim – themanbehindtheglass
21. I MISS BEING PREGNANT – Grief Poetry
22. ME – “OH GOD, NOW WHAT?!”
23. To The One Who Broke My Heart – Specscladeyes
24. Swell Time – Tailor made love
25. Tailor-made Fiction (Daily Prompt) – Sketches By Nitesh
26. Five O’clock – E. Denise Billups, Writer
27. Mainline_Matter – Mommy Who’s Their Tailor?
28. Inevitable change – The Chaos Within
29. Tailored Dream – Around the World
30. Life’s tailor-made… – all life is yoga
31. Fancying France – Snack
32. Irrevocably – Coffee and hot cross buns
33. Waiting at the Dental Clinic – My First Blog
34. My special tailor made coat from 1981… – Mum’s the Word Blog
35. Thoughts on Life – Tailor
36. Omena Fish – Kenyan Food – Her Nairobi Kitchen
37. Tailor made… – Mum’s the Word Blog
38. witchlike – Punk Rock Shakespeare!
39. Eternal Search – epiphanyofsumi
40. Tailor – The Bag Lady
41. Tangled Webs – Write What You Know
42. A Diary of A Single Man: This Bleeding Heart – Harlem Cafe
43. Privacy on Display – On a mission
44. A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought – Harlem Cafe
45. The Eternal Rule of the Uterus – The Delight Project
46. The Wrong Size – Leigha Robbins
47. y – drowning doesn’t look
48. You’re my Jailer – Beauty Mirrors Beast
49. Tailor – wordsareallihavesite
50. Ad Punctum – Tailors, Twain, and Presidents
51. Walk with God – What’s in a Name?
52. juantetcts – Daily Post
53. rolling, – Tiny Fawns Writings
54. Tribute to the toiling Tailor – rupalislale
55. Tailor – calliemm
56. Forgotten Tales – atrangizindagieksafar
57. Making it write – Tailored to fit
58. The Garter Belt – Dangerspouse
59. The Noodler 7.14.17 – Mah Butt Itches
60. Weight Loss Study – Attie Calisto Design
61. Meeting Her – Zeckrombryan
62. Daily Post Tailor – All About Writing and more
63. Living In Crimson – Lanugo
64. Bumble and Tailor–Daily Prompts – Fearless
65. Scottish Legend’s Blog – Tailor (A Ten-Word Story)
66. Connecting With Our Roots in Romskog – The Hockey Mom Fit Life
67. Socializing is Confusing – Autism in Our Nest
68. Wants – Just me and us blog
69. The Queen is 1 Year Old – therealqueenofstuff
70. Allychat’s Blog – Tailor Trash
71. Geen verwarring meer // No Confusion more – Groeten uit #Tienen
72. HEELoverFACE – Made just for me
73. Fluffy Pool – Chocolate Chips
74. GOD’S CHAIR – Tailor-Made Destiny
75. Daily Prompt- Tailor – Dream Desire Achieve
76. When he left – Stories from A Closet of Errors
77. Rosarian – Lose yourself in my imagination
78. Your Vicious Words (A Poem) – The Foxy Igorota
79. Life On The Skinny Branches – Altered Love
80. Tailor Made – thehouseofbailey
81. Headache Free Foodie – Cocoa Three Ways: Hot Chocolate, Brownies, and Chocolate Wafers
82. Success Inspirers World – Tailoring is a gold mine…
83. The many layers of Jen – What’s in a birthday?
84. Damned i-phones! ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
85. When Silver Linings Rip, Stitch ‘Em Up – along the side of the road
86. Keeping This Real – Can we do it?
87. Cheap Pop Shot – Figure it out!
88. B*_ live – Dressing me
89. Na’ama Yehuda – Heart Tailor
90. Notes to Women – Papa Joe
91. Covert Novelist – Tailor
92. Exploring the World around us – Healer
93. Tailored Writings… – Success Strategies
94. Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Walstore Tales #1 #amwriting
95. Dissolved – Percolating Poetry
96. Cookies & Moo – I Am A Tailor
97. TAILOR: STITCHING PERFECTION – Subhanshu’s Journey
98. Tailoring my Invisibility Cloak – Folksy Snippets
99. Common Pursuit – Mr. Miago the Tailor
100. Flowers and Breezes – Tailor
101. Tailor – The Inkwell
102. The Tailor – Words With Walsh
103. Insach – Tailoring.
104. Shortcomings. – Ordinary Travels
105. The many names – The Girl on a Journey
106. Excruciating – Journey
107. Tailor Cut – Wings Of Poetry
108. Jaded Psychodelicide – The Performer
109. Curious Hart – Revealing Character
110. The Daily Post – Roaming Urban Gypsy – Tailor
111. Tailoring Your Life – Wholeness for the Broken
112. 3 Easy ways to tailor your personality – positive guider
113. Tips For Bloggers 2 – Groeten uit #Tienen
114. Women – The Diary of a Weird Teen Boy
115. mycreatorscreation – Daily Word Prompt: Tailor
116. Miss Pelican’s Perch – Self-designed Retreat
117. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Tailor of Mankind
118. Tailor – Image & Word
119. Charmed Chaos – The Sound of Night
120. The Elephant and the Tailor. A Short Story with a Moral. – kindergartenknowledge.com
121. Musings of a Random Mind – A Case of Mistaken Identity
122. Soft As Cotton – Smell The Coffee
123. My poor poor tummy – The Diary of a Weird Teen Boy
124. Yours is Worse than Mine – Resting Bitch Personality
125. Bathroom Window – tamaldasblog
126. Piper’s Adventures – A Tailored Day
127. Should we tailor ourselves to meet someone else’s needs? – Sophie Hagan-Boyle
128. SERENDIPITY – MY MOTHER WAS A TAILOR – HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
129. The Tailor- Made Life and How to get There – thepathtocreativity
130. Afterwards – Probing – a cautionary tale
131. Merge – Dance of the Soulful Words
132. mydailylife@kochi – Tailor
133. Oh! Where is it gone? – The Diary of a Weird Teen Boy
134. Something went wrong, somewhere. – The Diary of a Weird Teen Boy
135. Daily prompt :Tailor – Tachispeaks
136. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Tailored Feline
137. A tailor made cartoon… – Bad Dad Cartoons 101
138. Do the Birds Envy the River? – Know my Voice; I am Temporary
139. without women!! – Life After Fifty
140. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – The fifty bob tailors
141. A letter from South. – wizard3417
142. Urban Poetry Where Legends Live in Words. A Digital Art & Poetry WordPress By Linda J. Wolff Free Verse – Swallowed Whole
143. VirtuousParagon – Let the Wind Blow
144. The Roaring Twenties – CD-W, Author Flawed to Perfection
145. The Tailor – Thoughts From The Ledge
146. Be your true self or you, and usually others, won’t like yourself in the end – Bird Flight
147. Ways to Mend a Broken Heart – Revolving Around Life
148. Piper’s Adventures – The Tailored Stairway
149. The tailor bird – Goodreads
150. Just Brittany Moments – My Obsession!
151. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – This, That, and The Other
152. Tailor of a specific kind – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
153. Vivid Tales – I can’t take my eye off..
154. Haiku: A Crow Blessing – whippetwisdom.com
155. Silk Dress – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
156. Of Agonizing Adieus – surrealspectre
157. Bonkers Away! – Tailor
158. People Suit – emotionsoflife2016
159. Charron’s Chatter – Glam Track
160. A Day In The Life – The Suit Fund
161. Made To Be Me – December Rose
162. Wingman – writemebad
163. Write Here: Write Now – My Great-grandfather was a tailor; possibly!
164. Tailor-made Misfit – Kuma House
165. Zombie Flamingos – What? I missed Kitten Thursday??? Noooooooooo!!!!!
166. I don’t wanna grow up – Motherish Childish
167. thelonerose – Tailor
168. She Couldn’t Tailor To It : – Storysite
169. Asylum – Journey
170. Original-Dante – Process.
171. The Path Of Least Resistance – AHAmoments
172. It starts with me – When Family Hurts: A Tailored Love
173. Tailor the rag
174. A Bespoke Being – As I was saying…
175. I’m Considering Dropping WordPress – This, That, and The Other
176. Blissful Stress Relievers – Blissfully Bianca
177. A Giant Named Og – A Unique Title For Me
178. short story #8 – Stories
179. Tailor – TheMicroRead
180. Tailor – Pravarthika’s log
181. Singer – for art lovers
182. TAILOR : OF CLOTHES AND RELATIONSHIPS – IDLE BRAIN
183. Tailor made Perception – Actually, I am not sure…
184. Jane’s Journals – Sanity Sewing
185. A singularly Chennai sight – Don’t hold your breath
186. Tailor – All About Writing and more
187. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Tailor
188. radhikasreflection – Daily Prompt – Tailor
189. favorite ways – play the dealer
190. mylocalweb – Tailless tailor
191. the15thday – cursed be the collection of historic shaggers
192. This Moment – Wonder Awaits
193. Dronstad – Todays daily prompt sucks
194. You are entering my Mind – daily word: Bumble and tailor
195. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: tailor
196. { Tailor-Made Training } – My Word Soup
197. Tailor-made Life – Haiku Abound
198. Tailoring – aroused
199. Frank Prem – minor adaptation
200. sonja benskin mesher – 28.9
201. CopyCat Cafe: A Few Home Truths – Redux Of Rex
202. Frank Prem – The hat that won the cup
203. Frank Prem – Fashion Cleanser
204. Designer Sophisticate – “They come runnin’ just as fast as they can…”
205. Outlier – Wells Baum
206. Producing for the masses – Wells Baum
207. I wrote a book. Now what? – The Aftermath Of Rejection
208. The Wandering Poet – Tailored to gross you out
209. Science Traveler – Extra!! President Abraham Lincoln is Dead
210. Self-Reflective Representation of the lost…. – Individual expressions of a naive mind.
211. Hot White Snow – The Navy Man and the Poet
212. Cimmerian Sentiment – #2 Gathering Wood – (Beth & Sean)

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