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Tuesday 12 April 2016

ℚ♫ Fibers: Infiltration Trilogy [1] - Jennifer-Crystal Johnson

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Fibers (, Broken Publications, 209 pages), a Science Fiction Novel, book one of Infiltration Trilogy series.

Sign up to Jennifer's Newsletter to receive 12 free pre-view excerpts in text as well as videos of Jen reading them, so please do check it out!  We have the first one in this excellent series in our Video Excerpt!

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Video Excerpt | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Jennifer-Crystal Johnson; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

We love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Fibers, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I listened to so much different music during the creation of this book!  Lots of electronic music without words, but also a lot of music with words.  Most of the time I listen to my Ellie Goulding station on Pandora, which plays a lot of different artists.  I also have a station devoted to mellower instrumental and electronic music as well as a dubstep station that I love to listen to when I need to get some cleaning done as well as when writing scary or action scenes =).

Below are some of my current favorite songs.   They contain pretty much the entire album Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head Vol. 2 by Celldweller.  And also Here with Me by Susie Suh and Robot Koch, a song that found me a day after I found out a friend of about 7 years died in a car crash on his way here to WA from IN. RIP, David.
I also listen to pretty much everything by Ellie Goulding... I hear her music on my Pandora station all the time =)
What was the inspiration for Fibers?
"I was originally inspired to write this series because of something I discovered online (Morgellons disease) through YouTube (go figure) and my consistent dreams of creatures, aliens, and other dimensions.   Lots of people don’t remember their dreams, but I usually do... and my dreams show me strange, out of the ordinary things that most people can’t interpret and even most dream dictionaries fail to decipher with much accuracy.  I mean, sure, you can find meaning in just about anything, but if it has nothing to do with your life or anyone in it... then what?

So I did more research.  I started talking to friends about the idea, and someone recommended that I look into shadow people and sleep paralysis, and that cemented the concept in my mind. It just would not leave me alone until I turned it into something epic.  I certainly hope that I combined real life concepts with fiction well enough for the series to be considered an epic story =)."
I am always fascinated by the research that goes into writing fiction - I am an absolute research junkie - can you tell us a bit more about it?
"Sure!  So here are some of the things I looked up while researching for the book... dust masks, yellow coveralls (they end up having to clean up some "left over" human remains in an anatomy lab), a mass spectrometer machine and electron microscope, a photo of real Morgellons fibers, and a depiction of the shadow people as described by several people on a website dedicated to sightings of them.

Mind you I also had to look up how to dispose of human remains in a lab setting... it's so true that an author's browser history is probably chock full of crazy stuff lol.

Another very interesting thing I ended up doing research on is how they're developing a way to store data on quartz crystals.  One little square piece of quartz crystal can hold over 300 terabytes of information.  Isn't that insane?  Here's an article that explains some of the most important aspects of this type of data storage: Revolutionary “Superman” Memory Crystals Can Store Data Virtually Forever  And just a little more: New 'Superman' crystals can store data for billions of years  So basically, a tiny, tiny piece of quartz crystal could potentially store a LOT of information, which plays a role in this first book =)."
5D Optical Storage Writing examples of books stored on crystals
That is mind boggling!  But talking about disposal of human remains... my partner works for a mortuary.   I shall say no more...  ;-)

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"There are a few things... I’m a freelancer, so both of the female characters are freelancers.  I’m also a single mother, and I wanted to have an element of that in my book as well, consciously or not ;).

The cooking is definitely there – I absolutely love cooking for my family, whether it be just for me and my three kids or for extended family, too.  I find that preparing meals is not only therapeutic but relaxing, while at the same time getting me on my feet and doing something aside from sitting at the computer, which drives me nuts sometimes.  I read once that a first novel reveals a lot about the author... and I definitely agree.  There are many elements from my actual life and personality within this novel."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Fibers - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The concept for the cover was developed based on a specific scene in the book – one of the scarier ones, if you ask me, because that scene in particular introduces how strange a condition Morgellons disease actually is within the novel.

I wanted the cover to be shocking, eye-catching, and unique... to me, nothing stands out more than a person’s eyes, especially when only one is the focus, because the eyes are, after all, the windows to the soul, which has a sort of double meaning for this story in particular (but no spoilers... I’ll let readers figure that one out for themselves ;).).  I always loved drawing eyes as a teen and this whole scene seemed very fitting for the concept of this book.

I happened to have a friend who was studying movie and special effects makeup, as well as another long-time friend who is a photographer.  Once I explained the concept to them, they both started brainstorming ideas with me and it turned into this sort of mind-meld of how we could make these effects happen realistically.

Malinda Ayers is a very talented artist, no matter the medium (she also did the original painting for the cover of my poetry collection, Strangers with Familiar Faces), so makeup was a natural step for her to take – Dan Nattress has always been very visual as well and I’ve known him since I was 19 and worked with him at a pizza delivery place.  Between the three of us, we tried to take that scene of the book and recreate it as a striking image, and the model was my now 13-year-old daughter, who has these beautiful, big eyes =).

We all got together, did makeup, and did a photo shoot right in my living room for the cover of this book.  These behind the scenes pics are some of the best ones =).  I had a lot of options for the cover art before I chose just one, and this was our process of getting those pictures.

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The model is my oldest daughter, Guenevere Cunningham; the photographer is Daniel Nattress of Hadley Rae Photography; the makeup artist is Malinda Ayers."
Why should we read Fibers and what sets it apart from the rest?
"I won’t ever presume to tell anyone what to do ;).  However, if the topics fascinate you, then by all means – read it.

Between a mysterious medical condition, sleep paralysis, the shadow people phenomenon, multiple dimensions, and government conspiracies plus a little romance thrown in... it’s definitely not techie science fiction because I don’t write like a scientist or technology guru.  However, I love to play with concepts of science, spirituality, social psychology, and other topics together because they fascinate me, so if you love the world of possibilities, this book might just be for you =)."
Can you tell us something quirky about Fibers, its story and characters?
"I always try to name characters based on names I don’t currently know anyone by, if that makes sense... the last thing I want is for someone I know to read my book and say, “You stole my name!” or, “This is nothing like me!” or whatever the gripe may be.  I don’t need that kind of drama!  Two tweens provide me with enough drama as it is ;).

However, I will tell you about a weird quirk.  I was doing a sort of character sketch or analysis of the main character, Anna Reynolds, a name that I threw together by looking through baby name and surname websites.  I asked myself that night, “Who is Anna Reynolds?”

The next morning, I opened my email inbox to find an email from an Anna Reynolds, and the subject line read, “Allow me to introduce myself.

How creepy is that?!?! lol

It turned out to be a marketing email from a CRM company because I’d been looking into creating an email list, but still!  Too crazy to be coincidental.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  So after that, I became more obsessed with the story, but I was also a little freaked out.  I hope she’s not out there freaking out, too!"
LOL  That is a little to creepy...

Who would you recommend Fibers to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mainstream sci-fi – nothing too complicated to understand, although some of the research was hard to grasp for me but I never went that in-depth in the book as far as description goes.  I want to entertain people and make them think, not make them want to throw their Kindle across the room ;).

There is implied sex, but nothing detailed because I personally believe that’s private.  Most couples don’t feel comfortable being watched by an audience, right... why would I have my characters go through that when they have so many other challenges?  Making love is between them.  It’s unnecessary for the story when everyone understands what’s happening, plus the self-consciousness of open sores and an externally obvious incurable disease... poor Anna deserves a little bit of privacy =).

The one true disclaimer I will offer is... If your body is raped, your body will heal.  If your mind and soul are raped, then what?

I know, it sounds cryptic, but I can’t reveal a whole lot more without giving something major away.  You’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens ;). "
If you could / wished to turn Fibers and the Infiltration Trilogy series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"JJ Abrams would definitely have to be involved. Genius.  That’s pretty much it... I would want to witness the entire process and have creative input, but honestly, everyone is trained at what they do and have experience.  I wouldn’t want to step on their toes, just like I wouldn’t want some amateur to come to me and tell me how to write or edit or self-publish.  I would want to watch, have creative input, but leave the professionals to their work.  It would be so exciting to be a part of that process, though =)."
What do you like to write and read about?   Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love to write sci-fi and horror/thriller as far as fiction goes, and I also write poetry and personal development.  I love to write about the publishing process as well, which is why one of my websites is all about teaching people how to self-publish and self-promote (

Honestly... anything that I can share with the world that may help, touch someone deeply, or entertain (ever have those movies you watch again and again and continuously have aha moments during?).... I read mostly personal development because I edit so much.  Reading for pleasure is often the last thing I do because I spent all day correcting and revising and correcting some more....  My brain usually hurts at that point.  But I will tell you this... when my brain hurts and I need to relax it, my favorite things to watch are sci-fi and crime investigation shows (fictional)."
What is your writing process?
"I honestly don’t know that I have enough experience to have an actual process for a novel yet. I have an editing process... print and eBook formatting process... book cover process... publishing process.... but my writing process?

This is my first full-length novel... my first novella, along with my songwriting and singing, were torn apart and criticized to no end by my ex-husband.  He was abusive, which is why I’m no longer married to him.  I suppose you could say that my finishing and publishing this work is part of a long-term healing process =).  The experience also inspired me to start the Soul Vomit anthology ( to raise awareness and help other abuse victims and survivors.

As far as my writing process is concerned... ask me that three or four books from now =).  I’ll have it figured out by then for sure!"
What is in store next?
"This trilogy is completely planned out except for the details, but the main plot structure and the characters are all there =).  I have no idea when book #2 will be out (it all depends on whether I have time/money to write and take care of my kids), but the second book is called Numbers, the third Embers.  You can try to guess what happens ultimately, but your guess is as good as mine at this point ;)."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a collection of 26 journals, 23 of which are completely full of my thoughts, poetry, memories, challenges, confessions, photos.... you name it!  I have a shelf devoted to them (the shelf by my head lol).

I do have three cats and a puppy (you can watch a hilarious 20-second video of our puppy, Thor, here), but my journals have been a constant in my life since I was about 12, so this collection is pretty important to me. Sorry my face isn’t completely in there! lol"
Brilliant - thank you very much, we loved having you hers and I look forward to reading Fibers!
"Thank you so much for your time! I hope you enjoy my novel & have an amazing week! =)"

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Jen Johnson said...

Thank you so much for hosting! I LOVE the way this post turned out =). If anyone is interested in receiving a series of book excerpts via email, I invite you to visit and sign up for my author newsletter. I'll be sending out a number of excerpts (12 of them, to be precise) to read or listen to me read on video =).

Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my book and listen to me ramble ;). I hope you love the Infiltration Trilogy!


Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, really love the song :)

BooksChatter said...

Hello Jen, thank you for visiting us!
NOW the post is as it should be ;-)


BooksChatter said...

Hi Victoria - I have updated the playlist, there are actually 34 songs there!
enjoy :-)