Keith L. Johnson

Keith Lee Johnson
Sugar and Spice

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
August 20, 2003

Q. What inspired you to write Sugar and Spice? How did you come about the title?

A. Inspirational storylines seem to come to me out of thin air. However, this particular storyline came to me while I was in Washington D.C. Two months before September 11, 2001. I was in the food court of Union Station, which has a theater in it, and I decided to see Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence. Before the film started, there was an advertisement for a film, which I still have not seen (not even previews), titled Sugar and Spice. I thought, "What a great title for a book." Almost immediately, my creative juices begin to flow and I bounced my ideas off the woman who was with me. She thought the ideas were great and when I returned to Toledo, I wrote prologue.

Q. How did you come about FBI Agent Phoenix Perry character?

A. The Phoenix Perry character was originally a male. And his name was originally Perry Phoenix. But the same woman that I mentioned earlier thought the man's name should be Phoenix Perry. When I heard her say the name, that's when I knew this FBI Agent would be a woman.

Q. Did you do any research to write this novel?

A. Yes

Q. What method do you use to develop your characters?

A. I really don't have a "method" for developing characters. I don't believe in methods or styles because they are too restrictive. Methods are similar to assembly line products. Everything is the same. Since human beings are distinguished by their individuality, which DNA testing confirm, it only makes sense that we be who we are in all that we do. I have found that being comfortable with my attributes and my flaws add to my own creative process. Please don't misunderstand. I am not saying that we should not learn from others. I'm saying learn from others, but blaze your own trail. After all we are created different from every other human being on the planet.

Q. How long did it take you to write Sugar and Spice?

A. It took me about 45 days to write Sugar & Spice. My personal best is 30 days. And that was for my favorite book thus far: PRETENSES, which is scheduled to be released in June 2004 by Strebor International.

Q. Will there be a sequel to Sugar and Spice?

A. Hmm? A sequel? I doubt it. Will there be more Phoenix Perry Novels? There will be at least one more. As I said, PRETENSES is due out June 2004. However, I have several ideas for Phoenix Perry novels.

Q. Are you currently working on another novels?

A. Yes! Iím working a novel titled: SCARECROW. Right now, PRETENSES is my favorite, but if the story continues to go as well as it is going, SCRARECROW may supplant PRETENSES! Iím very exciting about this current work. After that one, I plan to write one titled: SUPERNATURAL. Iíve written the prologue for a work title: THE WHIRLWIND. And I would like to write at least one other Johnnie Wise novel. At some point, I want to rewrite my first work titled: Life Choices. That book was the catalyst for all of the others and so far, Iíve managed to have a member of the Wise family in each book. I donít know how much longer Iíll be able to do that though. I think THE WHIRLWIND will be the first book that does not have a Wise family member in the story.

Q. Which genre(s) apply to Sugar and Spice: Mystery, Suspense or Thriller?

A. I think I have successfully combined all three genres into one. I even have some steamy romantic scenes in the book.

Q. What message would you like readers to obtain from reading Sugar and Spice?

A. The messages in this story are subtly woven into the story. I believe that each individual reader will get a different message.