Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing.
Phoenix has multiple works in progress, and her favourite writing genres are the same as her reading genres; erotica, romance, paranormal, thriller and a combination of these.
Having started out reviewing, Phoenix was nominated for the 2011 Xcite Best Reviewer Award. She has also participated in her first NaNoWriMo in 2012 and successfully completed the challenge with a day to spare, despite also juggling a home life and full time study.
She currently lives on the sunny Gold Coast, Queensland, with her partner, their daughter, their cat Flash and a red Siamese Fighting Fish named Cranky.
Krissy has a hunky new neighbor with a dark secret; Derek is a vet with an interesting past. They hit it off quickly but when Krissy’s abusive ex, James comes to town, Derek shows a side Krissy never could have guessed but James refuses to give up. Can Derek’s secret save them, or will James have his revenge?
She was laying on her side on some sort of cot with her back against the wall. Across the room she saw Derek with his hands tied together, pulled over his head by a chain dangling from the ceiling. He had bruises and cuts across his chest and stomach and blood dripping from his face, mostly hidden by his drooping head. Another pain-filled grunt escaped him as he struggled to breath.
Voices could be heard on the other side of the door. She recognized James’ voice as he ordered someone else around; she presumed it was Brad and Karl. Hearing the lock on the door being worked, Krissy quickly closed her eyes again, then opened them just enough so she could watch what was about to happen.
One of James’ flunkies walked over to Derek and punched him in the belly to make sure he was awake. He then approached where she was laying on the bed. “Come on, princess. James is bored with beating your pet without seeing your reaction. Wake up!” She felt his hand on her shoulder bare moments before he violently started to shake her.
“Okay, okay I’m awake. Jeez, what are you trying to do, scramble a girl’s brain?”
“Well it’s not like James will let you use them once he’s broken your spirit along with your pet’s body.”
What was the first book you had published?
My first book, The Wolf in the Neighborhood, is the first book in my paranormal erotic romance trilogy of novellas and was released in January through Naughty Nights Press.
What was your initial reaction when offered that first contract?
I’ll freely admit that I squealed and cried on and off for about half an hour. It is one thing to be encouraged by family and friends, and having them tell you you’re a good writer; it’s something else entirely to have a publisher think the same and offer you a contract.
Of the books you have written is there one that hold a special place in your heart and why?
They all have different meanings to me and have special places in my heart. The Wolf will always be one of the top ones, however, being that it’s my first accepted and published piece. I think Persephone would have to be a tie for most special, since it’s so close to the books I’ve always read. Her story has flowed the easiest, as well. I can’t wait until her story gets published.
Are you a disciplined writer or do you have to wait for the muse to arrive? Do you have a ritual that gets you in the mood?
I really wish I was a disciplined writer, but my muse, unfortunately is fleeting. However, once she decides it’s time to work, we get a lot done!
What was the last book you read?
The last book I finished reading was Bridge of Dreams by Anne Bishop (book three in the Ephemera trilogy), however I’m currently re-reading Sebastian, book one of the same series. I have read her books so many times that I can read them in whichever order I want to and it still makes perfect sense.
What are you working on now?
I have several works in progress, however the two that I’m focusing on, being that they’re so close to completion, are a m/f/m cowboy themed short story, Jeannie’s Cowboys and Persephone. Jeannie’s Cowboys is my first attempt at m/f/m, so I’m a little nervous but so far the betas have only requested that I flesh out the scenes a bit more, which has me relieved. Persephone is a fantasy romance that is more action and heart break, rather than bedroom heat.
What genre would you like to try and write that is different from your own?
I have quite a range of genres I’m writing, so it’s difficult to say what I’d like to write that I’m not dabbling in already. I’m not a fan of the more realistic fiction stories, I prefer mine to be some sort of fantasy, and I am currently exploring quite a range of genres so right now, I would have to say no.
When you receive edits are you Teary and Disillusioned or Feisty and Focussed?
Definitely Feisty and Focussed. I know that there will be errors I’ll have missed, and I’m pleased to welcome any advice the editor has to offer. Standing as close to the work as I do, it’s always nice to have someone else stand back and show you what you might have missed. It’s the best way to get a story polished so it’s the best it can be.
What is the one thing in your books you’d like to try?
If it were possible to be a werewolf, I would love to try being a wolf, but out of the possible things I could try, I think it would have to be, as mundane as it might sound, having a herd of horses. I’m a horse lover who has never had a single horse, let alone a few. In Acapello’s Lady, Bailey has her stud stallion, Acapello, as well as several mares and foals. And being that most of my stories are primarily paranormal based, there isn’t much that is actually possible that I could try. I do maintain, though, that if all things were possible, I’d love to know what it’s like to run through the forest as a wolf.
Now for some hard hitters with an Aussie flavour!
A sport /sportsperson that you watch? (C’mon there must be one) OR An embarrassing sporting memory.
Well, it’s not my embarrassing sport memory, but it would have been quite embarrassing for the fellow primary school student it happened to. It was sports carnival day, and we were all lined up for the 100 metre sprints. He was busting to go to the toilet, but the teacher told him to wait until after the race. When the starting pistol went off, let’s just say that, despite normally being a middle-speed runner, he won that race and didn’t stop running until he hit the toilet block. *D- Poor kid!
Favourite Aussie Author/Actor /Musician?
Hugh Jackman, easy. Love him, he’s a fantastic actor, he can sing, he’s down to earth… he’s a great Aussie bloke! * D – I posted some pics for you 😉
Your view on Vegemite?
Eew, too salty for me!
Formal dinner party or backyard barbeque?
Tricky. It depends on the company and the situation. Though a backyard barbie is easier to organise.
Adventure holiday or relaxing by the pool?
Relaxing by the pool, easily. Unless it’s winter, in which case adventure holiday in Japan or New Zealand!
Favourite Aussie holiday place or one you’ve always wanted to visit?
Cairns in Far North Queensland, definitely. We lived there for a little while and both miss it quite a lot. *D – bit hot for me to live but a great place to holiday I love Palm Cove 🙂
Thanks for being On the Bench this week Phoenix. I have The Wolf in the Neigborhood in my TBR pile, I love a good wolfie story.
Phoenix’s contact information and book links are listed below.