Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My journey as an author has been atypical. I’m a physician (a Board Certified Hematologist-Oncologist). My first publications were serious articles for medical journals (which would put most people to sleep). Until recently, I was writing patient education articles regularly for local publications in my Florida Town. But the passion of writing fiction has been in me since childhood. Stories jump in my mind and characters beg me to give them life.
I’ve written two novels, but I’m publishing the second one I wrote first (long story). Hope For Harmony: Baby-Makers vs. Peter Pans is the official first book in my series. “The Sunshine State” and was recently released. The next book I’ll be publishing is the first one I wrote “Fort Sunshine, FL,” which is a side-quel for Hope For Harmony.
People often ask me why does a physician write romance. There are many reasons. One is because my patients have taught me that life is too short to hesitate to follow dreams and that, at the end, the only thing that matters in life is having loved. When they ask why do I write Romantic Comedy, I answer “Because the first naked man I saw in my life was a cadaver, and if I can laugh at that now it must mean I have stories to tell.”
You can read more about my other reasons in my website. http://www.pichardo-johansson-md.com
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest (and first published) book is Hope For Harmony: Baby-Makers vs. Peter Pans. It was inspired by meeting my soulmate/husband and seeing the world through his eyes. I became a mother at a young age. When I met my husband I was a divorced mother of FOUR children (including twins) and he was an eternal bachelor, never married, with no kids. The fact that we made our mixed family work and are so happy six years later was a surprise for most people who knew us. I used to believe, like many, that people without children had a very easy life and spent their days “drinking champagne and having bubble baths.” Meeting my husband David opened my eyes. I’ll never forget the day he told me “No, we, people without children (and people never-married after certain age), are discriminated in this society. People assume there’s something wrong with us. Parents get all the privileges, like getting seated first at restaurants, and getting bosses to cut them slack at work.”
The book is not biographical and is very different from my story (for starters, in the story HE is the father and SHE is the free-single woman). But finding love (and so much happiness) with someone so different from me inspired me to write a book about what happens when you meet the person who feels so right for you, it makes you want to re-visit the deal-breakers.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I joke saying that I have a case of Writers-ADHD. I have five books in process right now (and two more in early drafting) and I tend to move back and forth from one story to another one according to inspiration. My other “unusual writing habit” is that I have to start my day with a walk on the beach, ideally at sunrise (one of the advantages of living in a small beach town in Florida). The beauty of the ocean, along with the peak of my morning coffee and the high of exercise usually cause a peak of creativity and productivity.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve read tons of serious fiction in my life — it’s kind of a requirement for being married to a Professor of English. But, interestingly, the books coming to my mind as most influential in my concept of love are creative non-fiction. Richard Bach’s “The Bridge Across Forever” really influenced my concept of a Soulmate right before meeting my husband. Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” did too. My favorite contemporary romance authors have to be Penny Reid and Julie James. I love a romance novel with substance (more than just eye-candy) with a relatively put-together, self-sufficient, mature heroine.
What are you working on now?
I’m giving the last touches to the novel “Fort Sunshine, FL,” which combines the genres of Contemporary Romance with Medical Mystery. It’s a side-quel for Hope for Harmony and a prequel for the second book in the series (which can be read alone) “Just for Joy.” The “Sunshine State Series” includes a total of five books which can all be read as stand alone. I’m working on all of them.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I will let you know when I test them more. It’s too soon to tell. So far I’m really liking the friendliness of Awesomegang.com 🙂
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Always remember why you started writing in the first place. Hopefully, like for me, this is your passion. Yes, book marketing is stressful and even painful. Yes, getting reviews is a roller coaster. But don’t let them make you forget the thrill of creating. See the downs as valuable experience and try to enjoy the process.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Regarding book publishing: “Just keep writing.”
Regarding life: “Happiness is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.”
What are you reading now?
I’m reading the classic romance Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ll be releasing “Fort Sunshine, FL: More Than The Eye Can See”” before the end of the year and “Just for Joy: Overachievers Anonymous” in early 2018. I’ve been entertaining my Newsletter subscribers with chapters of my Creative Non-Fiction book in process “Sexless in The Boondocks.” A comical autobiographical book relating stories of my time as a single woman, before meeting my husband. To get access, you can sign for my Newsletter : http://www.pichardo-johansson-md.com/short_stories/
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love.”
Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love.”
Penny Reid’s “Love, Hacked.”
Julie James “It Happened One Wedding.”