{Behind The Book} Candice Y. Johnson

I was first introduced to Candice Johnson nearly six years ago through author Michelle Stimpson and it has been great to watch her growth as an author and creative talent. That is why I chose her for my next interview. So pull up a seat and enjoy the interview.

King Brooks: Tell us about your new book ‘The Taco-Pology?’
Candice Y. Johnson: This is by far my FAVORITE book baby, and I’m excited to share it with you! The TACO-Pology introduces reality star Presley Pope, part-time taco connoisseur, and full-time hell raiser! The spoiled Miss Pope has it all…until she loses her television gig, fiancé’, home, friends and followers, all in a single day. Presley’s desperate to reclaim everything she lost back, and she’ll do anything to get it. ANYTHING.

King: Where did the idea for ‘The Taco-Pology’ come from?
Candice: I love reality television and I love tacos even more! One day while eating tacos during a reality show binge, I caught myself yelling at the television, “She’s better than me!” That’s when it hit me – what if I wrote a book about a woman who never chooses to be the better person? What would the results be? That’s when I realized I could merge my two loves into a compelling dramedy.

King: For those that don’t know you. Please tell the readers about Candice Y. Johnson?
Candice: In addition to being an author, I am an award-winning choreographer/dancer, independent filmmaker, content creator and self proclaimed taco ambassador! I LOVE life, and live every day to be happy. I’ve gotten knocked down, but each time I got up and rose even higher. It’s my mission to encourage creatives, and do my part to help each one of us see our dreams come true.

King: I was first introduced to you through Michelle Stimpson with the release of your debut book ‘Practice What You Praise.’ How did the relationship with Michelle come about? Why did you leave her publishing company ML Stimpson Enterprises?
Candice: I’ve actually been a fan of Michelle’s for quite some time. Initially, she didn’t know me, but I was a member of the church where her late mother (we called her Mother Music) was also a member and musician. Mother Music was talking about her daughter’s book, Boaz Brown, and I was floored by how awesome it was. Years later, I connected with Michelle on social media with the thought of authoring Practice What You Praise together, but she agreed to publish it with me as the solo author because I have a unique voice. I am so grateful for her taking a chance on an unknown like me. She’s taught me so much, and helped me to publish on my own. She’s still teaching me, LOL! I simply adore her.

King: Tell us about your journey as an Author?
Candice: This has been more than I ever imagined. From the rush of seeing that orange “Best Seller” banner for the first time, to tears I’ve cried when being rejected, I am still a bundle of unpredictable emotions. But I love every part of it. I’ve learned to stand on my own word, how I say it, write it and live it. I am different, and that’s okay. As long as my pen is heard, I’ll keep right on writing.

King: When did you fall in love with the written word?
Candice: As a child. I learned to read from the TV Guide at age 3, and never stopped.

King: What is the best part of being an author?
Candice: The other day, a reader contacted me about a situation in one of my books. She was so passionate and had a (good) bone to pick with me, because it messed her up. But she loved the book. Those are some of my favorite moments – the story sticking with readers, even after the final word.

King: What is the most challenging part of being an author?
Candice: The disappointment and rejection. It gets HARD. I had to get past people who didn’t “get” me. My words don’t fit in a box, and neither do I. But I’ve been fortunate on this journey to have an incredible teacher – Victoria Christopher Murray, who has taught me to focus on what I write, not what people say, and to produce books the WRITE way.

King: What books are on your nightstand?
Candice: Currently, Small Great Things (Jodi Picolt), Lust (Victoria Christopher Murray), Liar’s Game (Eric Jerome Dickey), Ugly Love (Colleen Hoover) & The Preacher’s Daughter (Tiffany L. Warren).

King: Have you read any good books lately? (Please give the readers a few to add to their TBR list.)
Candice: WRATH – Victoria Christopher Murray
All the Things I Should Have Known – Tiffany L. Warren
Verity – Colleen Hoover

King: What book or books are on your TBR list?
Candice: There’s WAY too many to list! But as soon as I finish edits on my next release, I’m tackling them all.

King: Tell us about your new publishing company?
Candice: I’m so excited about Bingeworthy Books! In this industry, I’ve sought a safe place for both my intellectual property and my heart. That’s when I realized, the safest place is with ME. So along with my husband, we put the wheels in motion & Bingeworthy was born. It’s starting as an affordable service for indie authors to publish practically (editing, synopsis writing), and I will publish the many manuscripts I have waiting to be birthed. After that, we’ll see where we head.

King: Where did the idea come from?
Candice: I’m constantly bingeing books and television, so it was a natural fit.

King: Why did you launch a publishing company?
Candice: Because sometimes, you don’t need a seat at the table…you need to throw the whole dang party!!!!

King: You shot a short film for your debut book ‘Practice What You Praise.’ How did that come about and will you eventually shoot a longer version or more movies?
Candice: From the time I wrote the book, I saw it as a film. Once I finally believed in myself and the possibility to bring it to life, my husband helped me assemble a crew and we got it done. Everything literally fell into place by the grace of God. We have plans for more. MUCH MORE.

King: What is next for you?
Candice: After The TACO-pology is released, I’m releasing a devotional (but it’s not what you think), as well as more books to round out the year. I’m also slowly getting back into dancing, and we’re planning our next film.

King: How can readers get in touch with you?
Candice: FACEBOOK: Candice Ordered Steps Johnson
INSTAGRAM: @naturaldancer
WEB: https://www.bingeworthybooks8.com
EMAIL: candiceosp@gmail.com

King: When this life is over how do you want to be remembered?
Candice: I want to be remembered for bringing joy to the lives of others. I think back on their interactions with me with a smile, and believe things were a little bit better because I was there for them. Let them say, “She loved God, and she lived for Him for real.”
Click to Read: https://amzn.to/3ciUqnp (Kindle)

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