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Pride-iversary: An interview with MC Johnson

Today, we have an interview with MC Johnson! She tells us all about her latest book, Aurora and the Wolf, her characters, and her writing process.


And that's not all! We'll have a giveaway running from 5pm on Instagram, where three lucky winners will receive a free ebook!

 

Introduce yourself! What should our audience know about you?


Hi! I’m Megan, or better known as MC Johnson. I’m a 32 year old author from California who currently lives in Texas.



You’ve just revealed the cover for your erotic shifter romance, Aurora and the Wolf! Can you tell us about this book and what inspired you to write it?


Aurora and the Wolf, is my first attempt at a writing long-form fiction. Everything prior has been 10k words and below. It’s been a fun ride. It actually came to be because a few work friends of mine asked why I was always on my computer during my lunch break. We talked about my stories, bonded over our mutual enjoyment of smut and romance books. One day, they joked that I should write a smutty book and they would read it and offer feedback. I came up with the premise, and they offered a few guidelines of their own and Aurora and the Wolf was born.





Tell us a little bit about your characters. Which, if any, did you identify with most and why?


The two MCs are Aurora Moira Darling and Harper Charpentier.


Aurora is the co-owner of Lady Java and niece to the local Werewolf pack alpha’s mate, Wenry. Since she was young she’s always strived for her independence even if that makes her life more difficult.


Harper is a rogue werewolf trying to find a pack that fits her needs. Her human and wolf sides make it hard for her to settle. Her wolf is dominant enough to be an Alpha, but the woman in her needs a person to serve. This dualism has made it near impossible to find a place that feels like home.


I identify a little with most of my characters, but above all I would have to say Ivy/Ivan Bogdan is my spirit animal. They are an energetic and exuberant ball of energy and sarcasm. I love writing for them because what you see on the outside is not always what you get on the inside.



What drew you to the paranormal romance genre, and to shifters in particular?


I’ve always loved myths, folklore and paranormal stuff, so when I decided to write a longer story it was a bit of a no brainer.



Tell us a little bit about your writing process! Are you a plotter or pantser? Did you overcome any challenges and how?


The longer I’ve written, the more of a plotter I’ve become. I have a short story that will never see the light of day in its current form, but it was with that story that I realized, during the writing process I had lost the plot, so to speak. After the utter failure I started dissecting stories while reading them, and I read a few books that broke down plot structure and storytelling. Since then I have come up with a few frameworks that I used depending upon the gener and length of the story I’m plotting out. It’s come to the point that as I’m writing out new story ideas, I end up hitting the main beats without even realizing it.



Kindle Vella is still quite new in the world of publishing, but your work is available there. Why did you decide to pursue this format and how has your experience been with it?


I work best with deadlines, especially if they are frequent and ongoing. So a serialized release schedule worked best for me. I considered Wattpad and Radish, but each were saturated with content so I decided to go with a new option in the hopes that I would be able to be noticed more easily. It’s served me quite nicely so far. As with most Amazon based stuff, it’s not the most streamline, but the new features they’ve added like commenting are awesome. So overall I really like it. In a few months I will be starting my next Kindle Vella release, The Red Queen’s Realm. I cannot wait to start releasing it!



What are your favourite tropes to write? Are they different from the ones you like to read?


I honestly don’t really have a favorite trope to write. However, I do have a few favorite to read. I love BDSM, forced proximity and found family tropes.



Who are some of your favourite queer characters from other media, and is there any representation you’d like to see more of?


The list can go on and on if I were to tick off my favorite character from the lesic community, so I’ll highlight my mainstream favorites. Above all else I absolutely love that Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are canonically a couple. Wayhaught from from Wynonna Earp is swoon worthy. Lastly, Korra and Asami from Legend of Korra are amazing. I was totally shipping them from season one. In mainstream media I would love to see more disability/queer rep in general. From indie authors, I think we are very good at adding in a decent bit of everything.



We’d love a hint about any of your current projects! Are you working on anything that might please or even surprise your readers?


Right now, my main focus is on part one from the Red Queen’s Realm. However I have about a dozen other projects. The highlights include: A horror/romcom, seven side stories that dive into minor character’s backstories and the next four parts of The Guardian Archives (Aurora and the Wolf is part one). Aside from those, I am intermittently working on about a dozen different stories (mostly shorter ones like my 4k, Until You Scream short story I released on Gumroad.) I love chatting with people, so if anyone wants to know more about them all they have to do is reach out!



If you could give any advice to authors set to make their debut, what would it be? Is there anything you’ve learned as you prepare for your own release?


Finish your project, edit it to the best of your ability and let people read it. When you like the finished product, release it. Wattpad and Kindle Vella are amazing platforms. Or reach out to publishers. Again I have an Excel spead sheet of all of the LBGTQ+ publishers I know of, I’d gladly forward the sheet to you. We all have a unique voice. Let yours be heard!



Have any shows, movies, books, or games influenced your own work at all?


All of them. I read a TON, I game and watch TV as often as I am able. I pull influences from everywhere. In fact, earlier this week, I was listening to a female version of Hellfire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s villain song and it helped me finetune a character backstory I’ve been trying to iron out. This is super secret (only because few know and I’m sure fewer care), but Petra’s pack is styled after Peter Pan. I have Wenry and Petra’s backstory in my “someday soon” pile. Also Ryn is a kinky re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland.



Our podcast focuses on media we’re currently loving. Are there any books, shows, movies, games, or podcasts you’re enjoying this Pride month? Any recommendations for our audience?


I recently started buddy reading, Loathing You by Amina Khan, and I love it! As for future media you can always find me jamming out to Emeline, Meg Myers, Bea Miller, or Mary Lambert. For shows I’m super excited to start Gentleman Jack, A League of Their Own, Marvel’s Runaways and Dead Ringers. I am horrible about getting around to watching shows or movies. As for books, my TBR is endless… okay probably in the 200 range between all the platforms. But, dude it keeps growing! I’m really looking forward to starting Rea D Magdon’s newest release Song of Stars! I love her writing! And her AO3 fanfic is out-of-this-world!


 


M.C. Johnson is a Southern California native currently living in San Antonio, Texas, with her wife, two kids, and a hoard of animals and friends. By night she writes fiction, and by day she is a not so mild-mannered grocery store employee. When she’s not working, writing, or playing with her family, she is either weightlifting or cooking while blasting music or an audiobook.

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