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An Interview with Linda O. Johnston


Pamela: Tell us about your latest book?


This month, my fourth Pet Rescue Mystery, OODLES OF POODLES, was introduced.  OODLES OF POODLES takes place in the film industry.  It’s sort of a story within a story, since it’s about a movie being filmed about rescued poodles, starring--you’ve got it!--rescued poodles!  My cozy mystery protagonist Lauren Vancouver, chief administrator of the wonderful HotRescues animal shelter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, gets involved because of those adorable poodles and because the HotRescues benefactor is one of the film’s co-producers.  Lauren visits the film sets often to observe how the dogs are being treated.  One night the director, who had been endangering the poodles during the filming, is run over by a car.  Murdered.  The chief suspect is Lauren’s good friend, veterinarian and TV personality Dr. Carlie Stellan.  Of course Lauren has to find the real murderer and solve the crime to help Carlie... and the dogs.


Oh, and by the way, my fourth paranormal romance in the Alpha Force miniseries I write for Harlequin Nocturne, UNDERCOVER WOLF, was also published this month.  Alpha Force is a covert military unit of shapeshifters! 



Pamela: We would love to know your writing schedule?

Although I’m a lawyer by background, I’m now a full-time writer.  I generally get administrative things done in the morning, including... responding to interview questions!  Then I get down to writing for the rest of the day.


Pamela: What booksignings and conventions do you have planned for this year?

It’s a busy time.  I’ll be attending the California Dreaming conference for the four Southern California chapters of the Romance Writers of America, as well as the California Crime Writers Conference, Malice Domestic, the Festival of Mystery, and the Romance Writers of America National Conference, with lots of local booksignings in between.



Pamela: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Keep going!  Finish that book, join local and/or online organizations to meet others at all stages of writing, and then get your work published.  These days there are a lot of alternatives, from traditional publishing to small publishers to self-publishing, so you’re bound to figure out which is best for you--and more than one may be your way to go.



Pamela: Okay, for some fun questions..what is your favorite dessert, place to vacation and charity?

Dark chocolate and chocolate ice cream; cruises, especially to Alaska; and any legitimate pet rescue organization including the one where I volunteer: Pet Orphans of Southern California. 


Pamela: How do you pick the names for your characters?

They sometimes tell me.  Otherwise, I try several and look in books for people looking for baby names.  For last names, I sometimes pick up an old directory of California lawyers and choose one.  I always check the names out on the Internet to see who actually has the name I’ve chosen, and I’ll sometimes change them based on who those people actually are.



Pamela: What advice do you have about "Writer's Block"?

 Once again, just keep going.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it since my mind’s always at work even when my fingers aren’t, but if I start worrying I just sit down and write or edit some more.


Pamela: What do you find the most challenging to write? Beginning, middle or the ending?

I’ve always found the middle most challenging.  I know what will happen first, and how a story will end, but even though I have some idea how things will occur to get to that ending, doing it in scenes and chapters that work means lots of planning and revision.


Pamela: In closing what would you like your readers to know and think about when reading your books?

For one thing, in case it’s not clear, I love animals and have fun writing about them, whether it’s in a Pet Rescue Mystery or shapeshifters in an Alpha Force story for Harlequin Nocturne.  Also, all my stories contain romance and suspense, with the genre or subgenre dictating which aspect is most important.  Most of all--have fun reading my stories!


Pamela: Be sure to leave us the addy to your website and any other information you would like us to know.

My website is:

I blog weekly on and also blog on the 18th of every month at  Plus, you can friend me on Facebook.


  1. I'm looking forward to Oodles. I really enjoy this series.

  2. Delighted that you like the title, Mayhem and Magic! Wish I could take credit for it, but a Berkley editor thought of it.


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