Author Interview - Meagan Johnson

I am a NA Author from Utah. Crowned in Shadows is my debut novel out May 22, 2023. I am married to my best friend and have the best little girl in the world. When I'm not writing I like drawing or painting, playing video games, reading, playing with my toddler, and gardening.

Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what is it about?

Crowned in Shadows is my debut Fantasy Romance novel that follows a princess desperate not to repeat the past and an old flame who makes it difficult for her to move on.

Q2: How long does it take you to write a book? How long does each stage of the process usually take?

I got the idea for Crowned in Shadows when I was 12 years old, and obviously the story has changed a lot since then. I worked on it on and off for many years, but really took it seriously in 2021 when I chose to work on the story for Nano. With earnest intent, it took me a little over a year to get to the publishing stage. Given that this is my first novel, I'm a little more gracious with myself, but I'd love to have a faster turn around time. Working on Crowned in Shadows, each step of my process took about 2-3 months each.

Q3: What is your favourite type of character to write?

In Crowned in Shadows, my favorite character to write was the cinnamon roll love interest. This character is different though because he "looks like he would unalive you and could unalive you" but is such a softie for the female lead and every time he's on the page *simp* I just love that kind of character.

Q4: Do you mine your own life for ideas, settings and/or characters? If so, please give an example from your current book release where you have done this.

I did! In Crowned in Shadows there was a scene I really struggled getting the emotions right for and I went the route of using a very specific incident where I had to tell someone I cared deeply about that I didn't love them like they loved me and it really helped get my main characters to where they needed to be.

Q5: What is something you wish you had known earlier on it your writing career?

That art is subjective. I am a natural born people pleaser and so when I started this journey I was so intent on making sure everyone loved every aspect of my story no matter what. After many, MANY, tears and breakdowns, I was reminded that I needed to write my book for me first. It was my story to tell after all. And that no matter how hard I worked- all the blood, sweat, and tears- there would be people out there who won't like my book, and that's okay. Not every book is for everyone, and honestly, that reminder was very freeing.

Q6: What do you do when you find yourself in a bit of a writing rut? Is there any strategy you find works for you to help the words start flowing again? 

It sounds so cliché, but showers! Showers are nice and relaxing and I believe it tricks your brain into forgetting that you are in a rut. However, that doesn't always work. Sometimes I've found that skipping the scene I'm stuck on and forging ahead helps too. Truthfully it depends on the day and how badly I'm in a rut.

Q7: What is your favourite writing resource?

I really don't have a lot. When I started taking Crowned in Shadows seriously I had no resources. I had tried watching a variety of YouTube videos, read countless articles. And in the end, I found that there is no right way to write a novel. Everyone has their own thing, mine just happened to be flying by the seat of my pants. But also, a good playlist works wonders!

Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

The age old question! This one has always been so hard for me, because in my mind if someone likes fantasy romance then I say, "You should read Crowned in Shadows." What it comes down to is this: If you’re a reader and you love fantasy, unique magic systems, scorned lovers, and a dash of romance, then Crowned in Shadows is right up your alley.

Q9: What authors or books inspire you the most?

Renee Dugan and her books (The Starcashers Saga) helped me a lot. Julia Scott is also another one. She was my first Instagram follower and she was so nice and friendly and I've never forgotten that and following her author Sister of the Stars journey reminds me that it’s okay to take breaks and not burn yourself out. She's a rockstar!

Q10: What are you currently reading?

So many things! I always have multiple books being read at a time (not always by choice- thank you library). Right now I am currently rereading The Selection, but am also reading Zodiac Academy, and I am about to start.

To find out more about Meagan Johnson check out her website or give her a follow on Instagram @meaganjohnson_author.

Crowned in Shadows is now available in paperback and ebook. From the blurb:

Princess Danielle has lost everything at the hands of the Shadow King and his army of death. The start of the war cost her her home, family, and the one person she trusted most. She retreats from public life to find solace in her grief but discovers a determination to never relive the past that nearly broke her. She enlists a group of legendary warriors to train her to fight back against the darkness of the world. After months of training she finds her life once again threatened by the Shadow King. Now, she is prepared to fight for what’s left of her home and family. Everett has continuously reaped the consequences of war since the Shadow King’s invasion. Weighed down by guilt from the choices he has been forced to make, he finds himself in self-imposed isolation. Hidden from the world, he attempts to put back together the remaining shards of his life. When he is called back to his former life at court, he is forced to wonder what the cost of war will be, and how it will affect those that he loves. Can Danielle and Everett confront their past and make the necessary decisions to save the future of their kingdom?


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