Kimberly Rose Johnson - Suspenseful Mystery set in a Small Oregon Town
Kimberly Rose Johnson is the 2018 Faith Hope and Love Reader’s Choice winner for short contemporary novel. She’s married to her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child, Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kimberly’s hobbies include reading, watching chick flicks, playing the piano, long walks with her hubby and their yellow lab, drinking coffee and eating dark chocolate. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Sleuth's Conundrum.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Sleuths Conundrum is about.
Sure. The Sleuth’s Conundrum is a suspenseful mystery set in a small Oregon town. Here’s the back cover description.
Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?
Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?
Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?
Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?
When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?
What inspired you to write a series featuring a librarian sleuth?
The series was inspired by Nancy Drew.
Tell us more about Tara James. What makes her tick? And why did you decide to feature Tara more prominently than Nancy in this one?
Tara has been a reoccurring character since book one. She is Nancy’s librarian assistant. Each book has three points of view, meaning we get inside the head of three characters. Nancy is always one of those characters. Book one was completely devoted to Nancy and her love interest. Each book after that has a different character in the story that is related to Nancy in some way along with her romantic interest.
As I mentioned, Tara is Nancy’s librarian assistant. Since arriving to town she has been somewhat of a mystery. We find out why in this book.
What makes Adam and Tara such a great team?
They clicked from the moment they met, but Adam works for the town newspaper and that causes some angst in Tara. Adam is a great guy and she chooses to trust him.
Why did you pick Tipton, Oregon as the backdrop for your book?
Tipton is a fictional town based loosely on Dallas, Oregon. I like making up fictional towns so I can place things whatever I want. If I need a store to be in a certain location I can do that. It gives me a lot more creative license than if I set my series in a real town.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I play piano and sing, and I also enjoy reading. I have a fascination with pottery and hope to work that into my life soon.
How does The Sleuths Conundrum tie in with the other books in the series? Can it be read as a standalone?
The Sleuth’s Conundrum can absolutely be read as a standalone, but it’s best to start at the beginning of the series. Nancy is the glue that connects each book.
Readers say this book kept them at the edge of their seats. How did you pull this off?
I love suspense and my passion for that genre came out in a big way in this book. The Sleuth’s Conundrum is hands down the most suspenseful book in the series. The book begged to be written in this way.
Which of your characters has been the most challenging to write for?
That’s a difficult question. I think each character posses their own challenges. Whenever I have to start fresh inside the head of a character it poses a challenge to me. At this point, Nancy is my easiest character to write.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
Yes, I am a very disciplined writer. I write Monday through Friday with a word count minimum of 1,000 a day. If I can get in more I do and once and a while if the story isn’t flowing, I allow myself to settle for whatever I was able to get done that day then make it up by the end of the week.
My schedule changes based on what’s going on in my life. However, this past year I found a rhythm that is working well for me. I work on blog posts, interviews, and social media beginning around six in the morning. Around 10:30 in the morning I take a break and exercise, then have an early lunch. I’m usually back to writing between 12:00 and 12:30 depending on how long my workout was. After that, my creative juices are running strong, and I am able to knock out my word count in two hours or less. After that I usually do my house chores.
I am not so rigid that I don’t stray from this routine, but that is generally how my days flow.
When working on a new book, what’s the first thing you do?
I determine characters and what they do. Sometimes I have a plot idea and I start with that. I’m a seat of the pants writer, so once I have even a slight idea of the story I start writing. The first chapter is always the most challenging since I write this way. I often have multiple drafts of the first chapter and sometimes my original idea morphs into something completely different.
What are you working on right now?
Currently I am finishing up editing the next book in The Librarian Sleuth Series.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Thanks for asking! The best place to find all my outlets is via my website. https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/ I am on Facebook and Twitter. I am on Pinterest and Instagram as well, but I’m mostly to look at pictures that others posted. LOL I have a hard time remembering to take pictures and post them.