IndieView with A.M.H. Johnson, author of Midnight Over Moores

Although, I did throw a character based off my high school self in. Three years, but that was due to being in school at the time and not having a solid schedule and crazy homework. End of Interview:
For more from Ms Johnson, visit her website, follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page. Once I graduated, it took a me a few months to finish it. I’ve submitted it to a couple book awards, which so far it’s doing pretty well, but it’s still early. His response was a gif of Jack Nicholson nodding and smiling like a madman “In memory of my unedited chapter.”
What came easily? I still do that now, but I’ve added preformatting each chapter and adding a chapter summary, so I know what goes where when I’ve written excerpts, which saves me a lot of time now. J.K. We also had an annually changing faculty member, although I’m 98% certain a curse was not involved). And by the end of it, we were all laughing so hard we were crying, and my mom said, “Someone needs to write a book!”
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? We had four main dorms with the same colors as the houses (Yellow dorm and Green dorm were on the lowest level, Yellow closest to the kitchens. She starts being haunted by a local ghost, Christine Wedge, a victim who disappeared 60 years before, and has become a local legend on Moores Island. I used to only do a skeletal outline, like 2-3 pages noting the whole plot and background. The drama in those scenes are a lot more palpable, and most of them came out good the first time. It has modern Paranormal Romance written all over it, however its plot is steeped with Classical Gothic tropes and modern horror and mystery themes. When he returned it, he had circled every “smiled” and “nodded” I’d written in, and it was truly too much. Where do you live now? Do you outline? Did you hire a professional editor? I’m from all over the East Coast. Usually some metal/modern rock is in there as well as classical (Beethoven is great!), pop, hip hop, early 2000’s/’90s soft rock, classic rock, and even 2000s emo/punk rock (which was my jam then, not going to lie), to even Disney and Broadway soundtracks. But again, it was because I’m very controlling of how my book is to look. Midnight Over Moores follows Jenna Sheffield, a young girl from Savannah who goes to Maine for boarding school and finds out she can talk to the dead after a prank gone too far. Not really. I do not, but this is because I have almost 5-years-experience in editing in some capacity. About You
Where did you grow up? After a few months of putting those Amazon sales on it, and getting a few reviews, all of which were positive, but not seeing anything in return, I started asking myself, “What am I missing?” One of which was editorial reviews, which is obvious, but at the same time trying to find editorial reviewers that didn’t cost an arm and a leg was difficult. She’s starting at a new, all-girls boarding school in the middle of high school. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? For example, if I’m writing a bombastic fight scene, ‘O Fortuna’ or The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s ‘Sanctuary’ are both great. Johnson – 20 September 2018
The Back Flap
Jenna Sheffield is an average girl from Savannah, Georgia. Doing research on Savannah (I also didn’t live far from there at the time), I was told this book was required reading. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? At the time, I was dating the man who would later become my husband, another English/Writing major who had already published a few short stories. Red dorm and Blue dorm were upstairs, and even had loft dorm rooms, if you think I’m kidding). However, the idea started two or so days before the drive at my mom’s birthday party as my sister and I shared stories of our boarding school experiences, and my dad shared stories about being a teenager on the island we vacation at, and my mom commented that “Someone needs to write a book!” I agreed then, but that 23 hour drive a few days later gave me enough time to hammer out the plot details and bounce ideas off my dad, and get the first two chapters written. Eventually I did find some that were budget friendly, and that my book applied for, but by then it was too late. I’m a little too controlling of my book, and how it was supposed to look, cover design, everything. So, to not even mildly reference it just wouldn’t give my high school experience justice. However, I would suggest to most authors to get an editor. Do you have a target reader? One of the big things is I’ve switched my main distributor to Ingram, which opens up a lot more doors. The only big difference was Hogwarts was not All-Girls. Then once it’s done, I do another final edit based on my own notes as well as my beta readers’ notes. But I’ve even changed her from being 100% like me. So, I redesigned it with the rest of the series covers in mind. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? with my husband, daughter, and two dogs (both rescues). And a good portion of the scenes with Jenna and Nate. However, the idea started two or so days before the drive at my mom’s birthday party as my sister and I shared stories of our boarding school experiences, and my dad shared stories about being a teenager on the island we vacation at, and my mom commented that “Someone needs to write a book!”
A.M.H. I changed from the old cover, because I realized with it being a series the first cover I designed wouldn’t work for branding reasons. Jenna isn’t anyone I know in particular, but some of her experiences are built off of experiences I’ve had and my family and friends have had, with a twist. It’s a mystery surrounded by ghosts, demons, magic, and young love. I asked him to look at my roughest chapter. My dad, who was surrounded by many of his childhood friends at this party talking about their shared high school summers and all the shenanigans they got into. It builds your name, which builds your brand. My mother, who also had a job proofing/line-editing documents for a company for almost ten years, takes a look as well. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was where I got the idea for my book’s title. She’s having to learn how to deal with a roommate who seems more inclined to torture her than be friends. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? The summer I started writing it, I cranked half the book out in a month and a half once I returned to Maine later that Summer. Where did you get the idea from? Starting out, I figured I could go ahead and self-publish, then be taken on by a major publisher, but I found that doesn’t usually happen. Give yourself ample time and budget to market your book. Rowling because Harry Potter was a big part of my teenage years as well as many of my friends, and everyone going to my boarding school noted striking similarities between our school and Hogwarts. If so can you please describe it? Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? Yes, for both the old cover when I first self-published and the new. If the scene is more of a mellow internal struggle about love, I’m sifting through my early 2000’s soft rock ballads. Not to mention several others who may not have professional/educated experience like my husband and mom, but who I trust to give me sound advice on readability. About the book
What is the book about? My husband, who took the same editing courses as I have for our degree, takes a look before it’s sent out. Most of the scenes in Limbo (at least that’s what I call it. At my Mom’s birthday party, after the whole group had a couple drinks, my dad, my sister and I got to talking about our teenage experiences. I promptly went home and rewrote it, and sent him a message once I did. All Christine wants is her body to be found, but this mystery is shrouded by 60 years of local legends and feuds. And on top of all that, she learns she has inherited her family’s ability to communicate with the dead, when the ghost of Christine Wedge starts to haunt her. Each design detail I made had a specific reason behind it. I’ve learned over the last couple years marketing is an investment that more often than not pays in some way. Absolutely. However, this year her life is about to change. I think the important thing for a song to help me write a scene is the message/emotion of the song has to fit in a place in my writing. My writing had started to go through an evolution at the time, because I’d started taking Creative Writing classes at my university, and some of the chapters I’d previously written when reread were very very rough. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? So, I listen to different types of songs for different scenes. Rowling and John Berendt are obvious influencers as they and their works are mentioned in the book. When did you start writing the book? How long did it take you to write it? It was gradual, but I always had an idea I might go that way anyway. Born in Newburyport, Mass., mostly grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians in Virginia just outside of DC, and went to school in Pennsylvania in the middle of Amish country. So, what am I doing different now? Even many of our teachers had direct parallels to the Hogwarts professors that many of the students agreed with (Yes, we had a Snape, and he was one of the best English teachers I ever took. But Acadia National Park in Maine is probably the most constant location in my life. I’d also add Richelle Mead, Kelly Creagh, Edgar Allen Poe, and Stephen King (especially later in the series). Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? That also doesn’t mean I’m the only person with editing experience looking at my writing before publication. I’ve posted about my book on more than just Facebook, since I now have an author twitter, Instagram, Foodreads, Facebook, Linkedin … you name it, I’ve posted about my book’s re-release on there. I can’t even remember how many, but after the first several “We’re too busy at the moment,” rejections, I started really looking into self-publishing. As for my tastes … they’re kind of all over the place. Amazon suggests Kirkus, which is too expensive for people paying out of pocket. Primarily, I edit as I go. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? Was it a particular event or a gradual process? Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? My sister and I were talking about going to our boarding school and all the shenanigans we’d get into. It’s a solid Young Adult novel, but it’s a book horror buffs and murder mystery readers will enjoy as well. I always have fun writing, so when I can, I do. Can Jenna crack this cold-case, or will Christine drive her insane, or worse, kill her chances at getting into a good college? I’ve submitted for reviews and have already begun using those in my marketing. If I’m not listening to music while writing, the music is definitely blaring when I’m conceptualizing each scene, so when I write it down later I’ve seen the scene over and over and over again. Do you listen to music while you write? Get your copy of   Midnight Over Moores from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Yes. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? For a year (and even now) I proofread/line-edit for the company I work for, and the last four years I was moved up to Document Specialist, which added formatting/copyediting to my proofreading duties. So unwittingly, I plunged head first into Indie communities, and the people there gave me invaluable information that led me to want to set up my own indie publisher, which is what Midnight Over Moores is now being published under. The second book’s cover in no way was going to look like the original cover, which is crucial with series works. We all know how important it is for writers to read. Same with all of my characters, except maybe one or two side characters. Officially, I started writing it in early June 2011, coming back from a family vacation up in Maine driving back to Georgia. There were many places I struggled, but one of them has a funny story with it. They’re kind of both. As far as waiting for an agent to pick it up, I’m just not a patient person. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? The first time I published it, I just winged it, which after a month of selling 30 copies I realized was a big no no. Another thing a successful indie author told me was to write and publish as much as you can. I just unleashed it on the world, told my friends and family, some of who bought it and shared it. Purgatory and the Spirit World also works). I live just outside of Atlanta, Ga.