Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
My guest today is Madison Johns, author of Armed and Outrageous: An Agnes Barton Mystery and Coffin Tales Season of Death.
VH: Hi Madison, I must say before we start that I love your name. Okay, let's get to it. For what are you grateful?
MJ: I'm grateful for my amazing family who I love so very much, even though I say some real crazy things sometimes. My schedule is just nuts! I'm grateful for everyone on Facebook, many of whom stop by every morning to say good morning back even though they are from Australia and it's nowhere near morning there. I'm thankful for all my writer friends who I chat with daily. I'm amazed at how talented you all are. If not for all the encouragement you give me I'd be nowhere today. I'm so very grateful and can never say thank you enough. When I started project smiles and toted on about being positive, I had no idea so many people would respond the way they have. I think smiles are very contagious, and of course, saying thank you goes a long way.
VH: What is the worst advice you have ever given someone? How did it work out?
MJ: I have told someone that was single that he or she would find the right person or told someone that was down things would get better. I think it sounds good, but it's not good advice for the person. I know now that is the worst thing you can say. When you're single and can't find the right person, you hate it when people say so sweetly, "You'll find the right person." You kinda want to choke them. They don't know how you feel, nobody knows how you really "feel," how can they? I found this out the hard way when I was single. Same thing goes with telling someone that is depressed or down that things will get better. What if they don't? There is nowhere to go from there. I have learned to listen more. Sometimes all a person really needs is for someone to listen to them, unless you can share similar feelings. I will encourage anyone to find something they really enjoy and focus on that, it works for other writers at least.
VH: Yes, I agree sometimes listening can go a long way.
Lastly and on a lighter note, if a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
MJ: I work at a hospital, and I'm exposed to many contagious diseases already and have yet to catch a cold. The way I'm thinking is that I'm immune to a point unless I get bit, right? So I figure I'm not going anywhere near the hospital! Now that might sound bad to you, but that's the first place an outbreak will occur. Haven't you watched a zombie movie before? Hospital. Dead. I'm not going into any alleys either. Come to think about it I don't think we have any in town. I don't own a gun so I think I'll use cane or walker for protection, it sure works like a weapon at the nursing home I worked at.
VH: Canes and walkers are all fair game. I'll definitely take your advice about staying away from hospitals. It's been great fun Madison. Thank you.
Armed and Outrageous
Agnes Barton is not your typical senior citizen living in Tadium, MI, on the shores of Lake Huron. She drives a red hot Mustang, shops at Victoria's Secret, rankles local police officials, and has a knack for sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. What does a murder that happened forty-three years ago have to do with missing tourist Jennifer Martin? Agnes makes it her personal mission to find out, and she's not letting the fact she's seventy-two get in the way. Butting heads with Sheriff Clem Peterson is something she's accustomed to, but lately Clem seems to be acting even more strange, making Agnes wonder what he may be hiding ala the Martin disappearance. Agnes’ partner in crime, Eleanor Mason tags along, Watson to her Holmes. Together, they unearth clues. If only Eleanor would behave, as although lovable, she has a knack for getting into trouble by tangling with her rival, Dorothy Alton, or flirting with anyone—male or female—and gossiping! She's incorrigible, but she does carry a Pink Lady revolver in her purse, one that has proved useful at times. Life for Agnes and Eleanor are shaken up when Agnes' former boss and secret crush comes to Tadium. Before long, the lady sleuths have more on their hands to content with as goons roll into town and bullets begin to fly.
Coffin Tales Season of Death
Two twisted tales of terror!
Curiosity gets the better of Travis and Willie, and they can't help but want to know what creepy Old Man Johnson is doing this year. Fifty years ago four children disappeared, rumored, from the Johnson farm. Mr. Johnson always had the scariest Jack-o'-lanterns every year, and they can't help but wonder how he portrays the images so graphically.
Hanover, Illinois, had always been blessed with bountiful crops, but it also attracts hordes of crows. Hell Crow is a legend in this town, but as the equinox approaches—Bobby Sue scrambles to rally the towns people to help build a scarecrow before it's too late!
As a child, Madison Johns preferred to distance herself from other children her age, and had been described as a dreamer. Even as a small child, she remembers staying awake many a night fighting dragons, being whisked away to foreign lands, or meeting the man of her dreams, all in her mind of course.
Madison Johns is a self taught writer who started writing at the age of 44 for no apparent reason, as if it were preordained. She then pounded out a book a year for the next three years and published her first horror ebook, Coffin Tales Season of Death, which is a collection of two short stories on November 2011, and her first cozy mystery and novel, Armed and Outrageous, May 2012.
Her caring nature led her to the healthcare field where she was employed at a nursing home, and it was there that she was inspired to write her first cozy mystery, Armed and Outrageous.
"When the going gets tough, the tough get writing!" Madison Johns
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~