Peg366's Blog

Surprise- Writing Career for One Writer. Part One.

Posted on: January 13, 2010

This is the first installment in a 3 part interview with fellow author Nina Johnson. The second part of the interview appears on 01/14/10, and third part is scheduled for 01/15/10.

Nina and Peg Networking

           I have always wanted to promote fellow writers in their quests for success in their careers. Recently, I’ve talked to several writers who have chosen to start a writing career at a later time in their lives. Many have raised their children, had a full career and are finally embarking on a journey to their dream. They inspire me to dare to dream.

              One of those inspirations is Nina Johnson and I’ve invited her to join me on my blog.

Peg:     Welcome Nina. It’s so nice to talk with you again. Thanks for taking time away from your busy schedule of the holidays and house hunting to share your journey with my readers.

 Nina:   Peg, thanks so much for having me. I’m honored that you would find my story interesting. Thanks for the invitation. As you know I’m travelling in the south as we get together for this interview. It is fun to take time out to touch base with writer friends.

 Peg:     Did you always know that you wanted to write?

Nina:   No. As a matter of fact, I didn’t realize that I had any inclination in that direction.  I did write a lot but never thought of it that way. I mean I did not write stories but travel logs and letters to friends and relatives kept me busy.

Peg:     You and I share a passion for writing picture books. But you also write

Nina:    I write as I just said letters to friends and family about travel and whatever comes to mind. I always have. Also I write a journal.  I don’t always keep up with it as I should but it really helps me to keep ideas flowing.

 Peg:     What lead you to your writing journey? Were your parents and teachers support of your writing?

Nina:    I always got good grades in school and loved writing reports and doing homework. I loved the feel of the pencil or pen in my hand. I did not equate it to writing, just doing my assignments. My parents were proud of my grades but I don’t think they ever realized that I wanted to write.  How could they? I never knew myself.

 Peg:     As a child or young adult did you have a favorite author or two?

Nina:    No, not really. I did not read much as far as books go. I was an active tomboy and since I was the oldest of six girls, I spent a lot of time with my dad working on cars and doing whatever I felt a son would do. After all, my father had no sons and 6 daughters. I thought he needed someone on his side.

Peg:      I know what you mean. I was kind-of  a tomboy at one time.

Nina:   I did read a lot though.  I read cereal boxes at the kitchen table, instructions for everything and never gave that a thought. Never thought that I was reading because they were not books.

Peg:     I was the same way.

 Peg:     How did those authors impact your writing?

Nina:   I guess as I got older, maybe when I was around 12 or so I did find science fiction fascinating. I don’t remember any authors in particular but I liked the “Best of whatever year” type of collections. Some of those stories I will never forget.

Peg:     Tell my readers how you actually became a writer. Tell them what your husband said.

Nina:   My husband said to me one day, “ Nina, you have spent these last years helping me get my company on it’s feet, now I want you to do what you have always wanted to do.” I asked him what that might be since I had no idea what I always wanted to do.  He said, “You want to write children’s books!”

Peg:     That is so cool. He’s really supportive, isn’t he? 

             Want to hear more of Nina’s story, check out the next installment of this interview.


4 Responses to "Surprise- Writing Career for One Writer. Part One."

Nina, you have a gem of a husband. Plus you are a really neat person!!! Can’t wait to hear more. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for checking out the interview. You’re right. She is a

really neat person.

Peg Finley/peg366

Great interview, Nina. I was a tomboy, too, but for different reasons. I had two older brothers to keep up with!


Thanks for stopping by the blog. I’ve enjoyed getting to

know Nina as well.

Peg Finley/peg366

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I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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July 2009

January 2010
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My Favorites:

I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

I love the cool colors of blues and purples.Those colors are peaceful for me.

I love The Velveteen Rabbit. Even as an adult, I still feel the urge to cry when he becomes real. I know, silly, but a good book can make me laugh and cry as it takes me on a magical journey.

Authors and Illustrators:

Authors, Author/Illustrator, Illustrators that I know and/or Like.


C= Children

MG= Mid Grade

T= Teen

YA= Young Adult

A= Adult


Bonnie Adamson *

Kathi Appelt *

Tedd Arnold


Natalie Babbit

Molly Bang

Bonnie Becker

Jan and Stan Berenstain

Judy Blume

Tracey M. Cox

Linda Crotta Brennan *

Jan Brett

Janie Bynum *

Eric Carle

Pam Calvert

Nancy Carlson

Beverly Cleary

Kevin Scott Collier

Sharon Creech

Doreen Cronnin

Tomie dePaulo

Kate DiCamillo

Kathleen Duey *

Dotti Enderle

Jan Fields *

Denise Fleming

Mem Fox

Kelley Milner Hall

Amy Heist

Kevin Henkes

Ellen Jackson *

Jeff Kinney

Jackie French Koller

Ursula K. LeGuin

Leo Lionni

Lois Lowry

Mercer Mayer

Robert Munsch

Laura Numeroff

Linda Sue Parks

Dav Pilkey

Patricia Polacco

Peggy Rathmann

Bethany Roberts

David Shannon

Aaron Shepard

Donna J. Shepherd *

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jerry Spinelli

Diane Stanley

Chris Van Allsburg

Rick Walton *

Lisa Wheeler

Mo Willems

Karma Wilson *

Audrey Woods

Jane Yolen *

Favorite Websites:

Favorite Blogs:

• ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
• Alice’s CWIM Blog
• A Fuse #8 Production
• Cynsations
• Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent
• Editorial Anonymous
• Miss Snark’s First Victim
• Writing for children and teens

Favorite Quotes.

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