7 Nov 2015

Interview with author Johannah Bryson

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published? 
 I've been writing for as long as I can remember, keeping journals, writing poetry and crazy short stories. It took me 15 years of playing around before I got serious and submitted Lake Effect for consideration.
What is it about 'chick lit' / 'romance' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
Well, I'm a sucker for that "happily ever after" thing and the romance genre fills that void. I do read a real cross section of books but my go to is always romance. I would say for every one main stream book I read, I read ten romance novels. LOL, I may have issues!

Can you tell us a little about your latest release? 
Lake Effect is the story of a woman who has lost all she held dear but who manages to pick up the pieces and move on with her life. She's resigned herself to the idea that she will live that life alone but her wise collie dog has other plans.
Get Lake Effect from Amazon.

What inspired you to write it? 
My husband and I love to go to Chautauqua, New York and Lakeside, Ohio which is also a Chautauqua. From the quaint ginger-bread houses to the views of Lake Erie, the area is nothing but inspiration. When I'm there, the peaceful atmosphere just lends itself to writing. We've also raised 4 collies and one Border collie, I could fill a book with dog antics.

If it was made into a film, who would you cast as the main characters? 
Oh wow, that's always such a tough question for me as I don't know my actors and actresses like I should. That being said, I can for sure see Bradley Cooper as Wyeth Packard and someone like Jennifer Anniston for Shelby.

What is your favourite book that made it to the big screen? 
This one is easy for me! Isak Dinesin's Out of Africa. Although the book is still a better story, they did a great job capturing the characters and the feel of that era. I re-read that book every year, it just sings to my romantic soul.

What was the last book you read and would you recommend it? 
The last book I read was Before we were Strangers, byRenee Carlino and yes, by all means, read it! I couldn't put the darn thing down.

Where do you currently write? And where would be your dream writing location? 
Now that our kids are grown and gone I've got a marvelous office where my daughters old bedroom used to be. As much as I love it, a small cottage on the lake or by the sea would be my dream location.

Tell us a random fact about yourself. 
I am a Certified Personal Chef having gone back to college at the age of 48. My husband and I ran a successful catering business together for six years. Now we just cook for friends and family but I will still teach cooking on the odd occasion. You can see my work at Chef In Attendance on Facebook and Instagram.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live. 
Cleveland is an amazing little town with a big city feel. A great food scene, a world class orchestra and theater district, and the amazing beauty of Lake Erie. The Rock Hall, some incredible museums, Tremont, Ohio City, Little Italy ~ can you tell I absolutely love my city? And best of all, these things are all very affordable.

What inspires you as an author? 
Everything! It can be a location, a song, a look on someone's face. It can be something as simple as the way the sun shines through the window. I find inspiration everywhere.

Do you have a muse? 
My husband will tell you it's him and I will tell you he's the dead husband in chapter one that everyone loved, but he's dead. LOL Seriously though, and let's not tell him this, my husband is my muse for handsome romantic hero's.

Who would play you in the movie about your life? 
Melissa McCarthy

What are your (writing) plans for the future? 
I am working on a second and third book that play off a character from the first. I also have a romantic comedy and several other ideas in the wings.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list. 
I want to travel abroad. I want to see Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales first, then I'll work my way through Paris and the like.

What do you listen to whilst writing? 
I write best with no music and no distractions. However, every other minute of my day is filled with mucic and I like it all. I have rap, hip hop, oldies, classical, French, country and gospel on my i-pod, just to name a few.

Name one of your all time favourite songs. 
Currently it's Eric Church's Wrecking Ball, but all time favorite, man that's hard. I'd have to say Van Morrison's In The Garden. Both of them are romance novels in a song form, so there you go, I'm nothing if not predictable. 

Johannah Bryson was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. She loves to tell people about the beauty of Cleveland and the surrounding areas, including the islands of Lake Erie, the Wine Trails you can find in every direction and the many fabulous resources available for chefs, foodies, music lovers and more. She's married for more than 30 years to her real life hero. Together they've raised a son, daughter, and a fair number of collie dogs over the years. In addition to writing, Johannah is a Certified Personal Chef who enjoys supporting the many locally run food specialty shops, green grocers and organic farms in and around the area.
Readers can find Johannah on Facebook at Johannah Bryson. On Twitter @johannahbryson or follow her food life on Instagram at @Chef_In_Attendance or on Facebook at Chef In Attendance.

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