Author of the Month: Marcia Johnson

Photo of marcia-johnsonTell us about yourself.

I’m a bit of a late bloomer. The older I get, the more confident I feel of my abilities and the more deserving I feel of success. In my younger years, the slightest disappointment or routine rejection would set me back for months or years. I’m happy to say that I’m now much better at letting things roll off my back.

When did you realize you had a passion for writing?

I’ve always dreamed of writing. I loved books that came in series such as the Anne Shirley, Little House, and Narnia books. As a child, my goal was to write about my own series. Ten years into my acting career, I had the opportunity to collaborate on original pieces. This gave me the urge to write on my own.

What pieces of writing/authors have had the greatest impact on you?

Lynn Nottage is one of my favourite playwrights. She writes about such difficult and painful things like the plight of women in the Congo (Ruined) without ‘beating up’ the audience. She shows respect for the topic but folds in much-needed comedy and subplots.

I’m also a huge fan of Tony Kushner for his masterpiece Angels in America plays. This fantastical play addressed AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia in the eighties. These were issues dear to his heart and he shared them brilliantly.

How and when do you find time to write?

I like to write first thing in the morning before I talk myself out of it.

What has been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?

I learned the hard way to not read reviews.

How have you changed as a writer over the years?

I’m much better at writing dialogue and creating distinct voices for different characters. In my earlier work, the lead character (always based on me) had a lot of monologues and tended to have the last word. I hope that my interactions are more realistic now.