By Jamie Ruby
National best selling author Jean Johnson is possibly as well known for her fanfiction as for her published books. While she doesn't have time to write it anymore, it still has an impact on her writing. "I won't deny I did it—and I did it solely for fun and parody, heeding all author rules on fanfics that I could find--because of two things. Fanfic helped improve my writing skills immensely from the great feedback I received from fellow fanfic readers, and fanfic was what got me noticed by an editor, giving me my chance at getting published."
For published work, Johnson is probably most known for her Sons of Destiny
series of romance novels. The series follows eight brothers (four sets of twins) who fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy and are exiled to Nightfall Island where they will not be tempted by women and therefore not fulfill the prophecy. The brothers stay alone and celebate until the youngest brother, a mage, brings a woman from another universe into theirs. "It started out with a "what if?" question about if a woman from our world ended up in a realm of magic, but didn't actually get to have any magic of her own to use, breaking the usual trope for such things. Then I had to come up with people for her to interact with, which meant coming up with the eight brothers, the reason why they were exiled, the prophecy verses triggering that exile...and boom, eight book series based on the eight verses. It was just that simple.
"I knew pretty much from the start the general gist of how everything would end from when I first started book one, The Sword
. There are things in book one which end up being relevant in book eight, as well as the books in between. Some are blatant, most are subtle."