Monday, September 18, 2023

An Interview with Kimberly Rose Johnson

Kimberly Rose Johnson

Michelle: Hello everyone, today I have the pleasure of chatting with award-winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson! Kimberly, to kick things off, let's get to know you a bit better with the fast five favorites:

Color: Blues
Season: Fall
Animal: Dogs
Beverage: Chai tea latte
Movie quote: "I'll be back." - It's the only one I can remember!

Michelle: Hey, it's a classic line! Well, you must be happy to be approaching your favorite season right now, huh? Here in Tennessee, the leaves are just starting to turn colors, and I can't wait for the full burst of fall foliage!

Now that we know a bit about your preferences, let's talk about your writing process. Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? How does that affect your writing and social interactions?

Kimberly: I'm an introvert. It’s hard for me to write when there is anyone around. Though I love interacting with others, it’s also quite draining on my creativity lol. That being said, I don’t let it stop me from interacting with others.

Michelle: I think many authors understand the need to lock yourself away from the world to spin a tale, like a writing hermit crab. I might know someone else like that (cough - me) Okay, let's talk about your writing influences. Who are the rockstars of the author world that have had you air-guitaring your way through your own writing journey? Tell us, Kimberly, who's your literary guitar hero? 🎸

Kimberly: Dee Henderson and Colleen Coble.

Michelle: Both incredible authors! I hope you've been practicing your brevity skills because I want you to describe yourself in just three words. Three! Can you handle the pressure?

Kimberly: Driven, kind, and positive.

Michelle: Having had the pleasure of meeting you at several writing conferences over the years, I can personally vouch for the "kind" part. We've had the pleasure of meeting before, I can certainly attest to those descriptors! Kimberly, do you have a favorite Bible verse to share with us?

Kimberly: Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Michelle: That's a beautiful verse with a powerful message. Finally, would you be willing to share something that the Lord has been teaching you recently?

Kimberly: Of course. Just because we seek to live in His will does not mean what He asks us to do will be easy. In fact, it can be downright hard.

Michelle: Thank you for sharing that insight, Kimberly. It's a reminder that the path of faith often comes with challenges.

Readers, before we wrap up, I want to remind our viewers that Kimberly has 32 published Christian fiction books, including her newest release, Found: An Almost Perfect Christmas, and you can learn more about them on her website at

Michelle: Kimberly, thank you for joining us today and sharing a bit of your world with us. It's been a pleasure getting to know you better.

Kimberly: Thank you, Michelle. It's been a pleasure talking with you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Welcome JPC Allen, YA Mystery Author

JPC Allen started her writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. She’s been tracking down mysteries ever since and written mystery short stories for Mt. Zion Ridge Press. Her Christmas mystery “A Rose from the Ashes” was a Selah-finalist at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2020. Her first novel, a YA mystery, A Shadow on the Snow, released in 2021. Online, she offers tips and prompts to ignite the creative spark in every kind of writer . She also leads workshops for tweens, teens, and adults, encouraging them to discover the adventure of writing. Coming from a long line of Mountaineers, she is a life-long Buckeye. Follow her to the next mystery at Facebook, Instagram, Bookbub, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar here.

JPC is giving away two signed hard copy books to one person: Christmas Fiction off the Beaten Path and A Shadow on the Snow. Leave a comment by September 22 to be entered in the drawing.

Let's start with a few quick favorites:

Drink? Irish or English Breakfast tea or chai.

Candy? Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups

Place to relax? Sitting on the bank of the river by my house

Season? It used to be fall, but my kids are so busy in the fall now, I'm not sure. I think it may be spring because that's when school let's out.

Can you tell us a bit more about you?

What genre do you enjoy reading most?

Mysteries. I've tried other genres, and mysteries are always my favorites. The sub-genre of mysteries I like best are fair-play mysteries, where the author lays out the clues for the reader, so she can try to solve the mystery along with the detective. Since I love to read those kinds of mysteries, those are the kind I write.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my very first story on the front and back of a sheet of notebook paper in second grade. It was a mystery based on Scooby Doo. I think I've always daydreamed about being a published writer, but I never wanted to make my living from it. As a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. In reality, I worked ten years as a children's librarian in public libraries before I stayed home to raise my kids.

Do you have any upcoming projects, releases, or sales?

I've just finished my second novel for the Rae Riley mystery series. The working titles is A Storm of Doubts. I'm usually terrible at titles, but I think this one sums up the story accurately. And it's catchy.

I'd like to hear more about A Shadow on the Snow

What's your latest novel you've written?

A Shadow on the Snow is my first novel, a YA mystery. It's a sequel to a short story I wrote, "A Rose from the Ashes" for the anthology Christmas fiction off the beaten path. I fell in love with the characters while writing "A Rose" and couldn't wait to put them in another story. That's why I wrote A Shadow on the Snow. Here's the blurb:

“Nineteen-year-old Rae Riley can barely believe her gamble paid off. After spending seven months investigating the identity of her father and whether he tried to murder her mother, Rae has been accepted by her dad, Sheriff Walter “Mal” Malinowski IV, and his immediate family with open hearts. And for the first time in her life, Rae is making friends, jamming with three cute cops who play outlaw country music.

But someone is leaving Rae threatening notes, reminding her of her late mother’s notorious past when Bella Rydell wrecked homes and lives during the few years she lived in rural Marlin County, Ohio. Fearing the threats will make Mal and his family reject her, Rae investigates the mystery on her own. But her amateur sleuthing may cost her the father she’s always wanted when the stalker changes targets and takes dead aim at Mal.”

Do you find yourself returning to a similar theme in your novels or do you have a new message with each release?

All my stories involving Rae Riley, except for a short story in which she has only a cameo appearance, deals with her journey to find and get to know her father. I think Rae's journey mimics how many people want a Heavenly Father but don't know how to find Him. And once they do find Him, they have struggles and victories as they get to know Him better.

When I began writing about Rae, that wasn't the theme I had in mind, but it has grown naturally out of the personalities of the characters and the plots that have come to me.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Selecting the right names for characters is very important to me. Since I was a kid, names have fascinated me. I own several books on names, including one about common surnames in the U.S.

When I had to create a name for my female teen detective, I wasn't sure what name to pick. I wanted something memorable but not weird. Alliterative names are memorable, like Clark Kent or Bruce Banner, so I came up with Rae Riley.

When I had to name her father, I liked the idea of the whole town calling him Mal as a nickname for for his last name, Malinowski. It would give the story the small-town feel I wanted.

But then I started asking questions. Why did this guy prefer his nickname? Well, he probably hated his first name. What kind of first name would a millennial guy hate? I picked Walter. But why would his parents name him Walter? They were nice people. I decided it had to be a family name. So Rae's father became Walter Reuel Malinowski IV. That set off more questions. Who was Walter III? Walter Jr.? From that name, I developed two more characters.

Just for fun:

If you could travel anywhere without worry about cost, where would you travel?

England or India. I've read so many mysteries set in England that I'd like to see the country. For some reason, I've always been fascinated by India.

Thanks so much for joining us on The Diamond Mine of Fiction. JPC is giving away two signed hard copy books to one person: Christmas Fiction off the Beaten Path and A Shadow on the Snow. Leave a comment by September 22 to be entered in the drawing.