Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes two mystery series for Midnight Ink involving dogs: the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, and the Superstition Mysteries. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and also currently writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries about shapeshifters for Harlequin Nocturne. Her most recent release is her 44th published novel, with more to come.
That’s a pretty basic question for authors, and yet I don’t always think about it.
Why do I write? And, if you’re an author too, why do you write?
For me, I suppose the answer is both simple and complicated. It’s who I am.
I’ve always written something. I started out enjoying writing essays for my classes in school, and then a touch of fiction, in grade school, then junior high and high school. College, too, though what I usually wrote there were assignments rather than just doing it for fun. My undergraduate degree was in journalism with an advertising emphasis, so my classes involved a lot of writing.
Later, I wrote articles for a small newspaper, then actually got a job in advertising and public relations–working for my father. One of the most enjoyable things there was writing articles for a house organ magazine for the firm’s largest client, a men’s hairstyling and hair products company, though I could write nearly anything for the magazine.
Shift, while doing that, to law school. I had a couple of articles published in the Duquesne Law Review, which was both prestigious and enjoyable.
And fiction during this time? Not a lot of it. But after I got my JD degree and started working first for a law firm, then in-house for Union Oil Company, I began getting up an hour earlier than anyone in my growing household so I could write.
I soon actually began getting published, and of course that spurred me to write even more fiction, along with the contracts I reviewed and drafted. In fact, that’s what stimulated me to come up with one of the phrases key to my life: Contracts are just another form of fiction.
My law career ultimately ended, so now I’m a full time writer. And have you gleaned from all of this the answer to why I write?
As I said before, it’s because that’s who I am!
I know a lot of other writers. Some, like me these days, write full time. Others maintain their “real” jobs as well. But they’ll always find some time to dig in and write what they want–and that helps to make them who they are, too.