what is your name?
Hart Johnson, at least as a writer. My full name is Tamera Hart-Johnson, but I publish scientifically, so have dropped my first name, so as not to cast a fictional hue over the real stuff—it is largely out of respect to my co-authors.
how would you describe what you do?
By day I work full time as a researcher in an academic institution. By night, once the family is managed, I become a marginally insane writer, shedding my clothes, hopping in the tub and WRITING. (seriously, 90% of my writing occurs in the bathtub)
what are you currently working on?
It is called CONSPIRACY and is the third in a trilogy about a trio of families connected by an art thief ring. When my Muse gets bogged down, I work on a little fan fiction or my Blog Opera.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Honestly? The Potterverse. By that I mean the books brought me to a group of people who encouraged me to return to writing, then supported me enough to convince me I could write more than fan fiction. Fan fiction was an excellent writing school forum, but the personal connections will stay with me forever. My writer’s group was also born out of this, and I’d be nowhere without their help and support.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
Probably the contradictory identity. My personality is playful…erm… and naked. My books are rather more dark…the two don’t go together very well, but I can’t seem to be other than I am.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
Greatest strength? Character. Greatest weakness? Character. I am a social psychologist by training, and a ‘deep reader’ meaning I strongly prefer to really get to know characters—truly understand them. I love character growth, life lessons, grand irony… I think those things give me the drive and skill to write very well, but we are living in short attention span times, and a chapter one that commits pages to getting to know people is not proving to be a great sales gimmick, not to mention that it makes my books long–my first draft of my first book was 800 pages.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
The online community has been crucial—I never would have connected with the people who led me, through discussions of the HP series, to the realization of how one FINISHED a book, nor would I have met my support. My Writer’s group is also exclusively online, and their feedback and encouragement are what got me through that first book (not to mention things like Facebook, Blogging, and NaNoWriMo as tools to network, share information and challenge myself.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
That the muse only shows up now and again. Really making a go of writing is actually about perseverance.
where can we find you online?
Facebook: Hart Johnson; Blogging: www.waterytart23.blogspot.com and www.ondwayblogopera.blogspot.com; on Twitter: hartjohnson, and in the fan fiction world at HPANA.com, under the screen name Gnargles&Snorkaks.
what are you reading at the moment?
I just finished ‘The Flander’s Panel’ by Arturo Perez-Reverte and am currently reading ‘The Losers’ by David Eddings.
what are you listening to at the moment?
Sweet silence. There are things I can do to music or entertainment, writing isn’t one of them.
anything else we should know?
Just that I love this networking thing. I’ve learned a lot from fellow writers, so definitely invite contact if anyone is interested.