Writing Superheroes: Sarah Johnson

Join me as another unsung superhero invites us into their personal ‘batcave’.

superhero copy

According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!


All good superhero stories have a sequel–something else happens after the first foe is vanquished. How does your sequel begin?  

As it always begins, I get an idea in my head, and then the muse takes over from there and, before I know it, a story plot has formed! My current project is the end of a four part series that has taken me over three years to complete, but it is fun to see the different changes that have taken place in the original long story version versus this series version of the story.


Sarah JohnsonAll super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity. How has yours grown and changed since you started life as a superhero?

I would prefer to hide in the back corner and never come out, but I have had to learn to interact with people and be personable. Some days it is a major challenge for me. I do not do “small talk” well. But being an author has made me step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people on a new level. In the end it is making me a better person, even if I hate the process itself.


Do you have any side kicks or a new superhero team member? What are their superpowers?

My team members right now consist of:

Kathy Berlin – my first round grammar beta. She sees my projects more than the others, and is wonderful to have on hand for those questions I always have in the middle of writing.

Sophie Andrews – right up there with Kathy, Sophie has a lot of great advice, especially with regard to English vs American aspects of the story. She is my audio book narrator for other stories, and will eventually (hopefully!) be so for this as well, so it is always good to have her input on what would sound better in audio while we are in the writing phase of a story.

Betty Madden – her talent in finding the smallest grammar error amazes me, and believe me, I keep her on her toes with my errors! She graciously and faithfully changes what needs to be changed, and I rely heavily on her expertise in this area!

Joy King – such a wonderful friend, and author herself, Joy is in the position of cold reader and gives me wonderful feedback on the finished product so that I can refine things even more. She has a keen eye in catching character qualities or plot structure that is not quite up to par.


Have your superpowers grown and changed since your last adventure?

After each book, I always ask my betas what they think I can work on to better my craft of writing, and so I hope that I have addressed those items well enough to call it growth. I do find that some aspects of writing are easier than they were a year ago, so I guess that is progress.


What new supervillian have you faced on your latest project and how did you vanquish it? What new lessons have you learned during this new adventure?

My current project (Sought: Leaving Bennet Behind, vol 4)is the end book of a series that has taken me over three years to complete, and while I am looking forward to that final “then end” moment, as I do with all my stories, I know it will be difficult to put these characters behind me and move on. I have grown to really love what they have become and revealed of themselves over the last few years.


What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?

I love those moments in every story when the scene I have to write is so vivid in my mind that I can see it play out. Then to see that vision emerge onto the paper and become reality is just amazing. Not every scene is so easily written, but those are always my favorite and most memorable scenes from every story I write.


If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?

On my last project (Blame the Mistletoe) I changed my writing style to write in chapter form from the start, and, while it proved to be a bit difficult for me at times, I did enjoy doing that instead of writing scenes like I typically do. I might try that again in the future. It made me think more intricately about certain aspects of the plot than just writing a story in scenes does.


Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.

Sought is the final tale of the Leaving Bennet Behind series, and in it we follow Kitty and Lydia as the two youngest Bennet sisters find love. While these two in canon are not the favorite sisters for readers, I hope my changes to their character and the growth they have taken from the beginning of this series can draw the reader into their own stories. This final book has intrigue and mystery as the villains from the series are finally revealed and their dastardly deeds vanquished, leaving our favorite family to grow and develop in a way a loving family such as the Bennets, and their now extended members, can.


What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?

I always have a few stories in the works, and for now those are not ready to be revealed…yet. I do hope to, very soon, make a big change and write an original story instead of a P&P based story. It will happen very soon!



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    • Anngela Schroeder on January 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve always enjoyed Sarah’s writing. Great article!

  1. What a team you have, Sarah. It’s pure selfishness on my part as I get to read a project before it’s released. Yay!

    I couldn’t help but think how much like Fitzwilliam Darcy you are as you described your difficulty with the social aspects of being an author. Just like our favorite hero, you made the effort to change. Yes!

    I LOVE this feature of Grace’s blog.

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