Interview with Natalie Johanson, author of “Shadow’s Voice”

It’s with great pleasure I have today Natalie Johanson, the talented author of Shadow’s Voice, the first of what will become a trilogy. If you want to know more about Natalie’s inspiration and this magical book, check this interview.


Hi Natalie, great to have you here! First can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! It’s great to be here. Thanks for taking the time. I grew up in Utah, in the Rocky Mountains. Right out of high school I went to Westminster College, intent on getting my English Degree. After some time, I realized I had other dreams in mind and, honestly, was afraid of the debt I was looking at if I continued. After a short stint in the military (I broke a few bones so that didn’t last long) I finally achieved my dream of Law Enforcement. I write in my free time, of when I should be sleeping (ha!) In the summer I’m doing the Spartan Race, Dirty Dash, Tough Mudder etc.
I am a cat mom to two boys. They are long haired blue Russians (or nebelung for those being pedantic) We adopted them from the shelter after their previous owner (who raised them from birth, how adorable!) had to go into a nursing home. We renamed them Holmes and Watson but some days I think we should’ve named them Pinkie and the Brain.

How was your passion for writing born? How old were you?

Looking back I think I always loved writing, I just never realized that’s what it was. In the first grade I was writing stories about horses and their snake friends. In Jr. High I was writing, what is now called fanfic, for my favorite TV shows. I really got into writing when I read a book, which is still my all time favorite series, and the main character didn’t hook up with her beau. It killed me. So, I started writing my own ending to the book and realized I couldn’t ever publish it. I couldn’t ever see my writing bound with my name on the spine. That sparked my efforts to write my own story.

And when did you decide to publish your first book?

When I finally finished Shadow’s Voice, after years of starts and stops, starting over, and changing it completely, I wanted to publish it. I knew when I started it, I was writing it with the intention of publishing it. It was just a matter of actually finishing it.

Did you have any unfinished books until that point? How did you decide when was the right time to put your work out there?

I have several unfinished stories, all with the intention of eventually finishing them and publishing them. I may actually, someday, get around to them but right now all my focus is on the Shadow’s Voice trilogy.

Shadow’s Voice‘ is a magical fantasy book featuring a character named Rose Trewin. What was the inspiration behind this character?

A lot of the inspiration for Rose is me. I based a lot of her on my own personality traits. A lot of the traits I wish I didn’t have are in Rose. I did this because I was tired of reading so many characters in books that didn’t seem to have any major character flaws. In real life, people do. They have a lot of flaws. They make really bad decisions. So I put of a lot of the things I don’t like about my own personality into Rose. I wanted to make her real. I also put traits of people I admire in her. I put a strength of will in her that I wish I had; that I hope I can achieve one day. I gave her my sarcasm.

And were there any other authors and books that influenced ‘Shadow’s Voice‘?

A huge influencer of Shadow’s Voice is the Green Rider books. Above I talked about a book where the main character didn’t hook up with her beau. That’s Green Rider. I adore these books and the author, Kristen Britain, will always be one of my favorites. I drew a lot of inspiration from her writing. I also drew a lot of inspiration from characters like Anita Blake, from Laurel K. Hamilton, and Dory from Karen Chance’s Midnight Daughter’s books. I like the amount of badass-ness these characters have.

What was the most exhausting part of writing your book?

Editing! Editing is brutal and exhausting and frustrating. You spend all this time writing down your masterpiece and then someone tells you it’s not good enough. I know, that’s not what is really happening but thats my knee jerk reaction to editing comments. Editing is hard. It takes a lot of patience to figure out what scenes need to be cut; which characters need to be re written. It is exhausting to read, re read, and then re re read your work and fine tune everything about it. It’s worth it, 100% but it takes time and patience. Which…I don’t really have.

What do you think makes a good book?

Well balanced characters. I think you need to be able to connect to the characters you’re reading and you can’t do that if they don’t feel like real people. Your characters need to make mistakes that aren’t only for the purpose of plot. They need to say the wrong things and be selfish. Because people are. And if you can relate to your characters then you’ll relate to the book.

What was the best decision you made as a writer?

Paying for a good editor. A good editor will save your book. Unless you are an editor yourself and do it professionally, you’ll never be able to look at your own work and tear it apart so you can build it back together better. An editor will. And a good one will make your book into an amazing work.

What do you think of book reviews? How do you deal with them?

I love book reviews! Even the bad ones. I love the interaction that it allows and I love hearing what people think. Even if they don’t like my book, it helps me see why. Maybe it’s something I can address in the next one. Maybe it’s just something a simple as taste and opinion. Either way, reviews are invaluable.

Thank you so much for being here today. Any last words for your readers and fans?

My last words would be this: write for you! Write what you want to read. Write because you want to. You’ll find more joy in it that way.

I’m already working on the next novel in the series, so stay tuned.

Thank you so much for your time!


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Shadow’s Voice

1

Rose Trewin is on the run. Pursued by memories of her father, she runs from city to city, seeking normalcy. But Rose can’t escape her past, or the magic running through her veins, the magic that allows her to slip through the shadows unnoticed. The magic her father once used to mold her into a mercenary sent to destroy his enemies.

Now her magic is growing and changing, becoming something new and untamed. Rose is unable to rest. Wolves wrapped in fog follow her relentlessly along the countryside. Desperate, she uses her magic to escape, but the shadows are pushing her towards the center of a conspiracy.

Now, her country teeters on the brink of a civil war as a Lord Governor gathers power against the king. An enemy, with magic similar to her own, emerges in the chaos of political intrigue.

Faced with a country at war and a king brought to his knees, Rose must accept who she is and harness her powers in order to save her country and herself.


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Natalie Johanson grew up and lives in the valley of Salt Lake City surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Her days are spent trying to herd her two cats, Holmes and Watson. Natalie’s summers are spent camping with her fiancée or doing obstacle races with her best friend. She usually spends her winters hiding from the snow. This is the first of what will hopefully become a trilogy, but sometimes the characters do what they want.

For more news and events, visit nataliejohanson.com

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