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An Interview with Tinisha Nicole Johnson

Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Photo courtesy
Tinisha Nicole Johnson.

Tinisha Nicole Johnson was born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and grew up and still resides in Denver, Colorado. She is an entrepreneur, an only child, a wife and mother of two. Tinisha's newest book, Searchable Whereabouts, is published by Xpress Yourself Publishing and was released in February 2008. She has written three books, but Searchable Whereabouts is her first to be published in print. Tinisha is also editor and co-founder of the non-profit organization Authors Supporting Authors (ASA). Tinisha also publishes a quarterly newsletter for the group.

We recently had the opportunity to speak to Tinisha about her new book and what she's working on next.

Mysterious Reviews: Searchable Whereabouts is your first published novel. Tell us a bit about the pathway you took to get it in print.

Tinisha Nicole Johnson: I knew I wanted to have it published the traditional way so I began by sending out a lot of query letters to various agents and publishers. After several rejections, I was finally accepted by a publisher.

The book has an unusual title. Is it something you had in mind all along, or was it suggested to you by your editor or publisher?

Yes, I know the book title is unusual. I get that a lot. Itís a funny thing because the book title was really hard for me to come up with. Iíd like to think the title adds mystery and invites people to know what is inside. Since the book has a lot to do with the main character Rahkel searching for answers about her uncles murder and not knowing where to find them, that led me to the title.

Tinisha Nicole Johnson: Searchable Whereabouts

Is Searchable Whereabouts a stand-alone mystery, or do you envision a series developing from its characters?

No, no series. I have been asked that. Itís just a stand-alone mystery.

You were already a published poet before you began this book. What prompted you to write a crime novel?

Yes, I was already a published poet and I had even published a short story in one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. As far as writing a mystery novel, Iíve always loved watching crime shows and movies. Iím a big fan of that. I love the problem solving and figuring out whodunit. So by being a fan of mysteries, I finally thought Iíd just sit down and write one myself.

Was the plot of the book inspired by a real event? Or is it completely fictional?

Searchable Whereabouts is completely fictional. There may be some characters with personalities that are derived from real people, but thatís about it.

The principal character of Searchable Whereabouts, Rahkel Williams, has a romantic relationship with the private investigator she hires to investigate her uncle's mysterious death. How would you characterize your book for potential readers? Thriller ... romantic suspense ... chick-lit mystery ... something else?

As one reviewer said, ďItís a thriller with charm.Ē That had a nice ring to it, but really, Iíd say thriller and suspense. Although there is a romance that evolves within the story, the focus is mainly on unraveling the whereabouts of the person who murdered Rahkelís uncle.

As a first-time novelist, what advice would you offer to others who may be interested in publishing a book?

I really believe everyone has a book in them. However, when most people even think of writing a book it seems like trying to climb a mountain. At least thatís what one person told me. But the advice Iíd offer is that you have to be passionate about writing. And you also have to be consistent. Do your best to set a schedule, and stick to it. If you donít, you could find yourself one day writing a few pages and then weeks later adding to it, and then months later trying to sit down again and writing some more in a book that you have forgotten what the first paragraph was about.

Your website states you have two other books written but not yet published. Are these books also mysteries? And if so, what can you tell us about them?

Yes, I do have two other books Iíve written that are not published. The very first book I wrote will be coming out early 2009. I wonít give too much away, but Iíll say its contemporary and drama - no mystery. The book is sort of like a fictional biography of one womanís troubled life from her teen years into adult years. The other book I have is a non-fiction, self-help book. And, I am also working on my fourth book. And that is definitely classified as Thriller/Suspense. It involves a serial killer.

You're the co-founder of the non-profit group Authors Supporting Authors. Can you tell us a little more about the organization?

Yes, this group was formed in September 2007. This group has helped me out tremendously and Iíve formed a lot of positive relationships. The group basically helps promote avid reading, and also helps support other authors. Some of the ways we help each other is by e-blasting a quarterly newsletter that I run which promotes authors and their books. The newsletter discusses tips and information on other literary information in the industry. Our group also discusses ways to promote ourselves and to reach the readers. We have online contests and book give-a-ways. We also take each other's promotional materials with us to our own book signings, book events, etc. You can learn more about Authors Supporting Authors at our website: FreeWebs.com/asanetwork.

We'd like to offer our special thanks to Tinisha for speaking with us. For more information about Tinisha, visit her website at TinishaNicoleJohnson.com.

Date of Interview: March 2008