Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Summer Spotlight: Renee Johnson

90 Comments

189_7374461562651070902_n (2)Hi Jill and all of your blog followers and readers. Thank you for allowing me to join your wonderful list of author interviews. It’s been fun and interesting getting to know the writers a little deeper.

For those who are already familiar with my work, you’ll recognize me as the author of http://writingfeemail.com and http://reneejohnsonwrites.com. The first is for pleasure, photography, and whatever pops into my head. The second is based solely on my journey as a writer – what I’m doing, thoughts on working with an editor, etc.

My first novel – Acquisition – is being published by The Wild Rose Press and is scheduled for release on November 7, 2014 through http://thewildrosepress.com and all of the other usual sites.

Now onto Jill’s questions.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

So many people came to mind, but in the end I decided on the first one to pop into my head – Ernest Hemingway! He had so much courage, yet in the end, succumbed to his depression. How enlightening would it be to sit with the man who changed the way we write and then naturally get his opinion on some of my work! (Of course, I might then wish I’d chosen a different answer.)

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Speak other languages fluently, especially French and Italian. Even when I work at it the words seem to fly out of my head as quickly as I chisel them into it.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Time. There seemed to be plenty of it when I was a child. I could read for days on end. Now, there’s barely a spare minute for even the blogs I follow, much less the many novels waiting for me on my Kindle.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
A lot of answers popped into my head for this question. There are physical challenges, mental and emotional ones, and some professional hurdles as well. But in the end, I think I’d have to say releasing that first manuscript for someone’s critique took a lot of courage. Writing is such a personal act, even if the scenes and characters only exist in your imagination. When others read your words, they are traveling not only through your novel, but through your mind. It’s very intimate and makes me feel quite vulnerable.

If you could visit any place in the entire world, where would it be?

Egypt. My traveling friend and I were discussing visiting when the uprising occurred. Since then, it hasn’t seemed wise. But there is something about the history of Egypt and its pyramids which speaks to me.

If you could go back in time to change one thing what would it be?

Oh boy. This gets tricky. There are so many things I would want to change, such as my father’s death – as untimely as Ernest Hemingway’s if you know what I mean. But, in the end, if you like the person you now are, you also have to realize changing events in the past alters who you would become in the future. So given the necessity for the courage and determination these events seared into me, I suppose I’d change nothing and just learn to be at peace with everything up to this point.

Thank you so much for taking the spotlight, Renee. I know it’s a busy time for you with your book release and the writer’s residency. I wish you all the best and I look forward to reading Acquisition.
Up next week, I’ll be back!

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

90 thoughts on “Summer Spotlight: Renee Johnson

  1. Great answers, Renee! How exciting about your novel; I’ll definitely be waiting for that.

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  2. Wonderful to meet you, Renee! I love your answers. I wish I could speak some another language fluently. All my years studying Spanish (high school, college, self-study) and still I can barely get past “Hola!” Congrats on getting your book published. I like how you describe letting go of your manuscript. I can imagine how vulnerable you must have felt. I’ve felt the same even just giving stories to my friends to read 😉

    Thanks to Jill for hosting you and thank you for being on Jill’s blog. Happy Friday!

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  3. Hi Renee!
    Enjoyed your last answer the best ~> The sand causes the pearl.

    Best of luck with your pending publication!

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  4. Great answers. I enjoyed the read. I’ve learned a couple of languages myself that lasted about ten minutes. I can’t tell you the number of times I learned Spanish. There are about five words that have stayed with me. Ha!

    “But, in the end, if you like the person you now are, you also have to realize changing events in the past alters who you would become in the future.” I live by this statement. My life might have been so different had things not turned out the way they did…and I am now in the happiest place I could be. All was necessary to get here.

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  5. Hi, Renee!! Congratulations on the publication of your novel. That’s very exciting!
    I hear you about missing the time we had when we were kids. I had so much time on my hands to write stories and read. Now I’m trying to squeeze time to do what I love to do.

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  6. It’s good to meet you and good luck on your book. I’ll put it on my read list!

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  7. Renee, I have enjoyed your answers to Jill’s questions! I can relate to vulnerability regarding your manuscript (And cannot wait to read your book!), because I am a visual artist. And once you submit your work for criticism, it’s gone………and there is no going back. You feel like all your practices, failures and hard work and exercises and all that went into your piece is being judged quickly and let’s face it, not with a lot of heart. It really, (apart from the successes which I take full credit for… Haha), comes down to what the person judging had for lunch or if they had enough sleep the night before. At least that’s what I tell myself when I am rejected… 🙂 Looking forward to reading your book and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

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  8. Handing that first manuscript off to critiquing eyes is indeed tough. Luckily it gets easier over time, and at some point, we start to welcome the negative feedback (as long as it’s done well) because without it, we can’t improve our work.

    Always a pleasure to read these interviews, Jill!

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  9. Hi Renee lovely to see you here 🙂 Love all your answers as I am a Hemingway fan. I think if I was a man I would aspire to be just like him sans the addictions. I can definitely relate to your thoughts on writing and I too think that, if I could, I would go back in time and somehow stop my dad from crossing the street when he did and dying so young 😦 Looking forward to reading your book!
    ps. Jill I am very happy to hear you will be next! Looking forward to reading your answers.

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    • Hi Yolanda! Thanks for stopping by to learn a little more about Renee. I believe she is still at her writer’s retreat with limited internet access. I’m hoping she’ll be able to join in the conversation when time and technology permits.
      Have a fantastic weekend and Happy Thanksgiving! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • From your lips to God’s ears. Here I am, taking in all of your positive energy. Jill, this is perfect timing after all. A Sunday afternoon on Martha’s Vineyard and I feel as if I am bringing you all along with me, sitting on the dock watching the yacht club. Go ahead….sigh…

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  10. Nice to meet you Renee. I agree with the notion of so much time being available when we were young. It’s a sad fact that we don’t often appreciate what we have until it’s too late.

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  11. Pleased to meet you, Renee. ACQUISITION sounds very interesting; I’m putting it on my list.

    Jill, you choose interesting writers; it’s like being at a conference and meeting wonderful new people. Thank you!

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  12. Best of luck with your novel, Renee. Sounds like an exciting time for you!

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    • Hi Eric! Thanks for stopping by. It is a very exciting time for Renee. She’s been blogging about her experience at a writer’s retreat, which is quite interesting. Enjoy your weekend!

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      • Eric and Jill, this is the time of my life. I’m also meeting other writers whose interviews I hope to bring to my blog and soon we all know them as the terrific authors they are as well. Being on Martha’s Vineyard has been phenomenal.

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  13. Renee, congrats on the book publication! I follow your writing blog, but I’m wondering if you have a schedule for posting.

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    • Hi Luanne! I appreciate you stopping by. If you follow Renee’s blog, I guess you’ve read about her writing retreat. I hope once she is home, she’ll have time to stop by. As far as I know, she doesn’t have a schedule posting date.
      I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

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      • Thanks Luanne. I don’t even have a schedule for eating right now. Hopefully, I will get back to a routine soon. It’s been a bit hectic with a full time job, the edits with my publisher, getting the next novel out, and preparing for this retreat. But what a wealth of ideas and people and like a thousand pictures.

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  14. Hi Renee, great to see you here over at Jill’s spotlight series. I enjoy reading your writing blog and so excited for you on your upcoming release of Acquisition. Loved your answers and as for Egypt, that is a place I’ve always wanted to visit too. Looking forward to your updates 🙂

    Thanks again Jill for your wonderful blog spotlight series. Really looking forward to having you back next week! Have a great weekend 🙂 xoxo

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    • Hi Sherri, great to see you! I’m happy you’ve enjoyed this extended summer series…I didn’t want to turn anyone away. 🙂 I’ve had great fun learning more about everyone.
      I hope you’re having a great weekend and getting in a little rest and relaxation! Talk to you soon. xoxo

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  15. Hi Renee! Last but not least and a novel on its way! Can life get any more exciting? I don’t think I’d be brave enough to ask Hemingway’s opinion but you found the courage to submit your work for publishing. I hope it’s a huge success 🙂

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    • Hi Jo! You’re right, it is an exciting time for Renee. She chose to open a new door when she decided to submit her work and she is proof that dreams comes true when we’re brave enough to open that door. I’m very happy for her.
      I hope you’re enjoying your weekend and getting ready for some walking! xo

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  16. Renee, this is quite an accomplishment and I congratulate you on your becoming published! Best of luck and will hope to follow the progress and read this someday! The cover looks quite exciting and promising! I find time to be one element in my life, I wish I could change. I also agree, I would like to keep my Dad alive longer, but this may have changed quite a lot of other areas. It is like the Dominoes effect, tumbling down other events and changing them, may not be the life I lead now.
    I appreciate this interview, Jill! You captured some great people who have a lot of experience and interesting viewpoints to share with us, which really does help us feel encouraged to go out, try new things and hope to become published or respected someday in our own interests.

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    • Thank you, Robin! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the interviews. I would have liked to put you under the spotlight, but perhaps next summer. 🙂 I’m blessed to have a great group of blogging friends, including you! xo

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      • That is a wonderful and kind thought, Jill! I could get my daughter to update my gravatar and post a photo to be able to send to you… When there is a will, there is a way. I enjoyed everyone you featured here and would be proud to join your spotlighted bloggers/authors next year, Jill. Only if it works out with your plans. Thank you!

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      • The thing about losing my father as a child, is that we never had the chance to have one adult conversation. But who would I be if not for that loss? Who knows?

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  17. Nice to meet you, Renee. Great questions and answers and best of luck with the book 😉

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  18. Hi Renee. congratulations on the upcoming release of your first novel.

    I know what you mean about the words of a foreign language seeming to fly out of your head as quickly as you chisel them into it. I did alright with Spanish when I was in school, but when I tried to learn Chinese, I was almost thirty years old, and the words didn’t stay stuck.

    Your last answer seemed very wise to me.

    Thank you, Jill, for hosting Renee.

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  19. Nice to meet you Renee! I enjoyed your pictorial tour of Concord, Mass. Hope you enjoyed your trip up there as much as I do when I get the opportunity to go back. And congrats on your upcoming publication!

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  20. Renee great to read about your story and congratulations on the published book. Egypt haunted me as a child I had such an interest and when I did finally go I was not disappointed. I hope you get the chance.

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  21. Nice to meet you, Renee! Congrats on the forthcoming publication of your book! I look forward to reading more about you in future posts. Have a nice week ahead. 😊

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  22. Great answers Renee, I particularly like your philosophical view on what you would – or wouldn’t – change. Jill, really enjoyed your series and getting to meet some wonderful bloggers, but also looking forward to having you back.

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  23. Reblogged this on Renee Johnson Writes and commented:
    Jill Weatherholt is hosting an interview with me. Check out her blog. It’s fantastic. And thank you, Jill, for doing this interview. You are so kind.

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  24. Very Interesting interview, answers, insight.
    Yeah, I agree, Hemingway would be a kick.
    And he loved beautiful women, so he’d probably critique your work over several drinks!

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  25. Congratulations on the upcoming book. I’ve marked my calendar!

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  26. It’s a great pleasure to meet you, Renee, and nice learning a little about what makes you tick. I’d like to wish you much success with the new book. I once had a book published by Wild Rose. Loved my editor there. You physically remind me so much of someone I know. And don’t worry, that’s a compliment. Like you, she’s gorgeous. 🙂

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  27. Intriguing answers. (Egypt – so many treasures!)
    Enjoyed the interview

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  28. Wooohooo on having a date for the release. If you need a reviewer let me know. And I loved your answer about what you miss the most about childhood. Yes time! And I wish I could remember how to relax when I was a kid. I could spend hours watching the clouds and feel completely at peace. Now when I try I start thinking, “I need to pay that bill. Oh I need to make a vet appointment.” It’s hard to shut off an adult mind.

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  29. Renee, how exciting that your publication date approaches! Congrats! I, too, would love to meet Hemingway. Have you ever visited his home in Key West? Worth the trip!

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