Jennifer Johnson, author of A Heart Healed, interview


jennifer johnsonJennifer Johnson joins us today. She has sixteen published books with two more coming out this year. Her latest book, A Heart Healed, was released on April 5.

In addition to being a writer, Jennifer teaches sixth grade writing at her local middle school. She has been married to her husband, Albert, for 22 years and is still over-the-top in love with him. They have three daughters. 

What distracts you from your writing?

Hmm…life! I have a husband, who tends to lose things…he’s a terrific guy, though. I love you, Al. I have three daughters. The oldest graduates next month from Western Kentucky University with a degree in elementary education. She is newly-married to her high school sweetheart, Derek, and is student teaching. She’s in meltdown mode at least three times a week. My second daughter is just a walking drama of disaster. God loves that child and so do I, but whew that girl can wear a momma out. She is in college studying to be a nurse My youngest is a freshman who enjoys being chauffeured from one thing to the other, and who also shares her heart with her mommy quite often. Note: I’m very thankful my girls will talk to me.

Outside of family, I teach 150 6th graders a day. Now that’s a distraction.  But I love every minute of it. Well, maybe just most minutes of it. I’m thankful my class is set up to be a semester class, which means I am able to teach all of the students at our school. That’s about 300 sixth graders a year! We dig into grammar, usage, mechanics, and on demand writing (which is what it sounds like—the kiddos are given a prompt, then they write a response within forty minutes). We also read a novel, Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick. I highly recommend it!

I also tend to like to play Ruzzle, Family Feud, SongPop, and Pics & Words. And I’m a Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, Duck Dynasty, and American Idol junkie. I suppose I’ve been known to get caught up in Good Luck, Charlie- love that mom, Reba, and a few of the other shows my girls suck me into watching. I’m telling you, it’s all their faults.

What makes you smile and/or laugh?

Just about everything makes me smile or laugh.

I love babies…as long as they’re not mine. I’m too old for any surprises…grandbabies are welcome in a few years.

I love a sunshiny day.

I love to laugh at myself when I do something silly at school…it allows my students to see that it’s okay to do something a bit embarrassing and then laugh.

I love to hang out with my husband, my girls, and my friends.

Oh…I know! I can’t help but smile when I see my three big girls (21, 19, and 15) sitting side-by-side on the couch or the pew at church or anywhere- my oldest is married and finishing college two hours away and the middle lives at a dorm thirty minutes away, so it’s usually just my husband and I and the youngest girl hanging out together.

I love when God does something and then shows me. For example, one time I sent a card to a church friend. I just kept feeling the Spirit’s pressure to send her a note about how much I loved her. Well, I mailed that letter and come to find out she received it on her deceased husband’s birthday…the very first birthday she spent without him. I didn’t know it was his birthday. I was just obeying the spirit to uplift a friend. It was very cool, and just made me smile again.

I love when my girls tell me I’m a total creeper because I smile at everyone. In fact, if you meet me on the street and I’m not smiling, please ask me how I’m doing, because something is definitely wrong!

I’m assuming you like to read. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I love reading Christian romance. I will read anything written by Denise Hunter or Deanne Gist. Probably my favorite story by Denise is A Convenient Groom, a story in which the hero depicts Jesus, a man who loves his bride even when she doesn’t love him, and the heroine depicts us, the bride who continually denies him. And I love Deanne’s book Courting Trouble, which tells the story of a woman who discovers the true Love of her life.

As a middle school teacher, I also read a lot of young adult fiction. I admit I love the Twilight and Hunger Games series by Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins respectively. I also fell in love with the book Legend by a new author, Marie Lu. Like the Hunger Games series, the setting is a dystopian society in which the people are ruled by a cruel government.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

1)    Write proposals- This makes me laugh, but the truth is writing a synopsis is like pulling teeth. Just let me write the story already.

2)    Grade on-demand papers- Okay, maybe I should love digging into their papers, and maybe I would if there weren’t 150 of them to grade each time I assign an on-demand.

3)    I hate cleaning. I mean, I do it because somebody’s got to, but I don’t like it. I’ve been known to start cleaning my house at eight o’clock or later because I’ve put it off the whole day.

4)    I’m not a fan of going to the grocery store. This morning my husband was whining because we didn’t have milk. But the grocery always puts a big dent in my pocketbook, so I avoid it at all costs.

I could probably continue this list, but I’m not sure I want you to know all the things I put off. Unless it’s something I want to do, I’m a habitual procrastinator. Not a very disciplined girl.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

YES! I love to write about God’s faithfulness and mercy, and that He can use us no matter how we’ve sinned and no matter what sins have been done to us. We live in a world that for the most part bows to the wrong master. As a result, we mess up, even after accepting Christ as our Savior, we mess up. And sometimes evil affects us, even when we’re doing nothing wrong.

God-fearing men and women have affairs, get hooked on drugs, steal, lie, cheat…they do things we can’t believe…and we talk about them. Children are abused. People are killed in accidents. Evil abounds. None of us are immune.

Can I give you an answer WHY some of these things are allowed, how a sovereign God would be willing to see those things happen? I can’t. What I can say is that we serve a good God. One who has a plan for our lives, who offers rest and comfort for the weary, who will save us from ourselves and this world, who will use everything that’s happened for GOOD to those who love and trust Him.

Here’s a blurb about Jennifer’s newest book, A Healed Heart.0f72c77d8bb165d47fb56e1ce1ff136c

Callie Dawson has spent the past five years caring for her terminally ill parents and working as a hospice nurse, and now her small-town roots have called her home to Tennessee. Used to healing others, she needs to make peace with God…and start over. But first she has to face the past. A terrible misunderstanding separated her from Kirk Jacobs, the rancher she once loved with all her heart. Is this her chance to make things right?

Kirk can’t believe Callie’s back—working at his family’s B and B and rekindling powerful feelings. The rancher knows he should take things slowly, but his heart tells him something else…. And when a devastating diagnosis threatens their newfound bond, Kirk has to show Callie that he’ll always be there for her. Because he can’t lose her a second time.

A book review by Flo Brumley on Amazon, in which she gave the book five stars:

As Jennifer Johnson has done in her previous books, she takes the reader with her into the story and lives of the characters in her latest book, A Heart Healed. Johnson writing shows a great talent for detail, language and storytelling, which draws the reader into the scene. In A Heart Healed, Johnson tackles issues such as pride, misunderstandings and forgiveness as well as the role faith plays when we deal with both the ordinary events of our lives and the trials we face. An inspiring book that I enjoyed very much.

Thank you, Jennifer, for visiting with us today!

You can find Jennifer’s books through Heartsong Presents which is a Harlequin line. Some of her books can be found at www.barbourbooks.com and some can be found at www.harlequin.com. All of her stories can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, or any major book distributor. She would love to hear from you. You can email her at jenwrites4god@bellsouth.net. Her website is www.jenniferjohnsonbooks.com. You can also find her on Facebook at jennifer.c.johnson.353, on Twitter at Jenwrites4Jesus, and on Instagram at Jenwrites4God.

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