Margaret Johnson-Hodge

Margaret Johnson-Hodge
Some Sunday

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
September 24, 2002

1. Who is Margaret Johnson-Hodge?

I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a 'giggle' partner and a writer.

2. What inspired you to write the novel “Some Sunday”?

It came to me as a sequel to "Butterscotch Blues". When I finished "Butterscotch", I didn't feel Sandy's story was over and so I explored more of her life in "Some Sunday".

3. How did you come about the title “Some Sunday”?

I'm a huge Phoebe Snow Fan. The original title for "Butterscotch Blues" was "Harpo's Blues" which is a Phoebe Snow tune. So when it came time to write the sequel, "Some Sunday" stuck because I thought it was the name of an old Phoebe Snow song too, but I think it was actually called "Come Sunday"..

4. How long have you been writing?

Since I was 12 years old. My mom had brought home an electric type writer and I had read Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings". I decided to try to see if I could write a story.

5. How many books have you written?

I've written a lot of books but I have six (6) in the bookstores, with a seventh (7) due to come out in October 2003.

6. How did you come about Sandy’s character?

She came to me after I got the story idea.

7. How did you come about Randall and Winston characters?

I've known quite a few people and families of Caribbean descent (including my in-laws who are from Aruba, St. Maarten, St Kitt, etc.)and there is a certain spirit to them. So I just gathered up what I knew and wrote them.

8. How did you come about the relationship surrounding Janice,Rachel and Cliff?

When I write, I let the story 'tell' itself. What happened between Janice and Cliff, and Rachel and Cliff, is what my story said should happen. Their back story is examined fully in "Butterscotch Blues".

9. How did you come about Calvin and Martha’s relationship?

Again, it was the case of letting the story 'tell' itself. I will get a premise, the main characters and work from there. I don't try to direct the story line, but allow it to direct me. When I write the first paragraph, all I have is an opening scene. Everything else just follows as I write it.

10. How did you come about the Janice’s character?

Okay, I'm sounding like broken record here, but again, how Janice manifests herself is how she came to me as I was writing. Did I think she was a little nuts, yes. Could I have made her a little less nutty, no, because that's who she was.

11. How did you come about Maurice and Britney characters?

It was just how they came to me. I know this is the fifth time(?) I've used this answer, but it's the only answer. I find out things about my characters as I write them. Often I am just as surprised as the reader. But I've learned to trust the direction the story takes me.

12. Will you tell the readers a little about your new book “True Lies”?

It's the story of a triangle that isn't suppose to be, involving a single father name Rick, his daughter's mother Gina, and the woman Rick wants to make a fresh start with--Dajah. Rick thinks he knows what he wants and even convinces others but is it really what he wants? We often say one thing and mean another and we do it for so long that often what isn't real becomes real, thus the title "True Lies".

13. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

I love dusk, that special, quiet, hushed time right before sunset. Sometimes I put on music, sometimes I need to hear just my thoughts. Other times I need some distraction, like my family about the house. But I can write anytime if I'm in a pinch.

14. What messages would you like readers to receive from reading “Some Sunday”?

Life isn't always pretty, fair or just. The only thing you can really do about it is to keep on moving and try to learn yourself along the way--who you are and you aren't. What you need and what you don't.