7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

castle ruins
At some ruins my friends and I stumbled upon just outside Pisa.

I’m doing an unofficial blog hop with my friend, Jennifer Loizeaux, based on a Facebook meme. So without further ado, here are seven random facts about me that you’ve always wanted to know. Or something.

  1. All through high school and college, I hosted Harry Potter birthday parties. Not Harry Potter themed parties for my birthday. Actual birthday parties for our favorite Boy Who Lived, every July 31. We’d make butterbeer and cockroach clusters, have scavenger hunts and triwizard tournaments, and play all sorts of games. I made a version of Clue, complete with moving staircases; my brother invented two pretty awesome card games.
  2. By age 5, I was reading the American Girl chapter books. By age 9, I was reading James Michener’s Chesapeake. Now, at age 27, I’m basically camped out at the young adult bookshelves.
  3. In ninth grade, I won first place at the science fair for the biology division. My project was trying to figure out if you could determine a horse’s genetics for coat color by looking at their offspring. Turns out you can, sometimes, but usually not.
  4. I have five copies of Hamlet. The original, a modern adaptation novel, a manga, a graphic novel, and the David Tennant/Patrick Stewart film adaptation. What can I say? I love him. (Oh, and I wrote a monologue for Ophelia in my college Shakespeare class. Maybe I can dig up a copy…) Edit: I stand corrected, I also have a choose your own adventure Hamlet. So six copies, then.
  5. For the past few years I’ve been slightly obsessed with the Titanic. I’ve been reading books, watching documentaries, listening to music that the infamous band would have played. National Geographic in DC had an exhibit when I worked just down the street, but it couldn’t compare with the Franklin Institute’s exhibit in Philadelphia. I even have a book planned that will take place on the Titanic. Get excited.
  6. I’ve loved archery since my first lesson in Girl Scouts. I joined the archery club at UVA (which sort of exploded in membership with the Hunger Games). I have a traditional longbow — and I mean traditional. There’s no shelf to rest the arrow, no bead on the string to consistently nock the arrow. It’s basically the best.
  7. I have a dream series, since I don’t know what else to call it, where I’m back in high school trying to find my classes and remember my homework and all that nonsense. It doesn’t repeat, I just dip back in a few days or weeks later. I haven’t been to my French class since the beginning of the school year, and I’m failing, so I’ve just been avoiding it every day by going to the library. I’m pretty sure I have a major calculus project due soon, so I’ll probably start avoiding that class as well.

Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Meet The Narrator’s Prince Calder

CalderI’ve been tagged for the Meet My Character Blog Hop by Juneta Key, who’s working on Guardians of the Seals – Apocalypse, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. It’s a novella about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and looks pretty interesting. I “met” Juneta through Holly Lisle’s writing classes — if you’re a writer, I can’t recommend them enough!

For this blog hop, I’m introducing you to the protagonist of The Narrator: Prince Calder.

What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historical person?
Prince Calder is definitely a fictional person. He’s the main character of both The Narrator and the Narrator’s book.

When and where is the story set?
The story is set in a book, but that book is set in the kingdom of Anwingda. It’s your classic medieval fantasy setting.

What should we know about him?
Calder starts off as your typical knight in shining armor. He wants to be the hero, to save the damsel in distress from certain destruction. Not for fame or riches, just for the sake of doing good. He also strongly believes in fate, and doesn’t like people interfering with it. At the beginning of the story, an old woman tells him that it is his destiny to save the princess of Faraday Castle.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
When Calder sets out to rescue the princess, the narrator of the book intercepts him. He tells Calder to turn back, that he won’t narrate such a cliche story as a prince rescuing a princess. When Calder refuses, the narrator literally rewrites his life. Calder’s no longer the Crown Prince of Anwingda, but the youngest of three sons.

What is the personal goal of the character?
After his run-in with the narrator, Calder has to find a way to both return to his previous life and rescue the princess despite the narrator’s interference.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
You can read more about The Narrator on my dedicated page.

When can we expect the book to be published?
I’m still revising, and then I want to send it out to agents to see if I can get it traditionally published. But let’s dream big. Let’s say next year.

Crown Prince Calder departs the kingdom to rescue a princess from her classically evil captors. He expects dangers, but there is one thing he does not expect: his story’s narrator.

Refusing to narrate even one more boring quest plot, Pennington materializes and orders Calder to ignore the kidnapped princess. He will create a more engaging story, one that a truly great narrator deserves. Calder doesn’t believe his claim to be the narrator and, determined to be a hero, refuses.

Then Pennington completely rewrites Calder’s backstory. Suddenly Crown Prince Calder…isn’t. He is now a younger son, and has lost his inheritance and the confidence that he is a real person in one sentence. Calder’s story is no longer as straightforward as he thinks. Does the princess still need to be rescued? Can he get his life back as the crown prince? If he continues to defy Pennington, will he even recognize himself?

Losing his sense of identity and reality, he clings to his quest, determined – at all costs – to beat the narrator and end his story, his way.

Now, hop on over to my friend Jennifer Loizeaux’s site. You can meet one of the characters of her upcoming mystery, Flight Risk, when she posts next week.

Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.