Ya’ll, I am interviewing one of the most uplifting and supportive members of the writing community: Serah Johnson, the Queen of Brightside! She’s always there giving advice and encouragement! I thought an interview would reveal more about the woman behind the once purple eye.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview.
First I have to ask, why the purple eye and why the change?
To be honest, I’m not really sure. I was playing around with a picture one day and just happened to make it. I thought it looked pretty cool so it stuck with it. In terms of the change, I just wanted something a little more genuine to me.
Do you mind telling me a little about yourself?
Sure! I am a cardiovascular nurse, I have a daughter, whom I adore, I spend most of my time adventuring with my boyfriend, Michael Brightside, to all sorts of places, and my favorite tv show is a mix of Friends and The Andy Griffith Show.
You are heavily active in the Twitter writing community. How did that start?
I had a friend tell me I needed to start a twitter page when I started writing my book. I didn’t really use it for the first few months, then I found the writing community and found myself more engaged. It was a fun community to interact with and I decided to stick with it and see how I could help others.
Do you write yourself? If so, what? Have you been published yet?
Yes, I am a writer. I have a YA Fantasy book that I have been working on. I’ve completed the writing process, and now I’m in the editing phase. I also have a collaboration with Michael Brightside that were working on at the moment. In terms of being published, not yet, but I firmly believe my work will be available soon.
You have so much valuable information, both for new indie writers and traditionally published writers. What made you want to share that knowledge?
In all honesty, I just really enjoy helping people and watching them grow. We all started out at the bottom once, and one of the best ways to grow is with a helping hand.
Readers of this interview. Sorry, Serah is very much taken. How did you meet Mr. Brightside?
We met at a book event in Seattle, and just continued to talk from there. We both knew we wanted something much bigger, and it eventually happened. I couldn’t be happier. It took a while for him to fall under my spell though… but he’s truly amazing nonetheless.
You’ve definitely achieved social media influencer status. How does that feel?
I don’t really consider myself an influencer. I just see myself as no different than anyone else. Michael says this often, too, but I’ve never really put much thought into it. I just try to be the best person I can be and hope that it has a positive effect on those who follow me. It’s definitely an interesting feeling to have that many people who want to listen to what you have to say.
How do you balance your “real life” with your social media life? You seem to have a very healthy balance.
I wouldn’t be able to do that without Michael. I can be a bit scattered brained at times, so he helps keep me in check. I hear “Serah, get off of twitter!” from across the house pretty often! Since we’re in each others presence most of the time, his balance is my balance. As most people are already aware, he doesn’t use social media unless he has to, so I tend to follow suit when I can.
What’s one thing about you readers would be surprised to know?
I have a pet rooster. Also, my great great grandfather was a published author.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen authors new to Twitter make?
One of the biggest things I see is that they have really good questions, but when they post them, they turn it into a tag-game. In this case, only certain people interact with it and it loses its ability to reach out in places it normally would. Also, as Michael is shouting from the background, new authors spend too much time trying to get people to buy their book rather than find new readers. I think a lot of new authors make it a money game in the beginning. Not all, but quite a few.
How much do you read? Your favorite books? Genres?
To be honest, I only read on the weekends or on road trips. I prefer young adult or romance novels. In terms of favorite books, I’d have to say Harry Potter or anything by Nicholas Sparks.
I remember once you were considering leaving Twitter. I’m sure I’m speaking for all of the Twitter writing community when I say we are glad you stayed. What made you decide to stay?
Michael told me to stay, that my voice was too important to up and leave. And, as I said earlier, I really enjoy helping people and I felt that if I left, I would miss that immensely.
Your following is tremendous. How did that happen? What’s your biggest tip to new members in the community when it comes to getting followers?
When it comes to getting followers, it really just comes down to a few things; Kindness, relatability, and willingness to connect with others.
What are your own goals and aspirations?
Really, my only goal is to be happy and make sure others are happy. I want to see people live in each others happiness, not their misery. In terms of long term goals, I hope to become an agent one day.
Is there anyone out there you want to give a shout-out to or thanks?
The group that I was part of when I began writing my book has a very large thanks from me. They’re the ones who pushed and encouraged me. They know who they are, and I wouldn’t be here without them. And as always, a special thank you for Michael who keeps me grounded and focused.
I’d like to take a moment here at the end, to thank you. I feel like people like you, in our community, the selfless and knowledgeable, those that are there for others and uplift each other, help us all through the darkest part of this crazy thing we’ve all decided to do. Write.
Follow Serah Johnson on Twitter.