The Wondering Drive-by: Sharon M. Johnston

Sharon M. Johnston is one of Australia’s new voices. She’s a talented YA author and active blogger over at She has just been short-listed in the Australian Literature Review’s YA Short Story Competition with her tale KARMA: Keep an eye out for her work! Here she decides between donuts and danishes, threatens to spit ball Lady Catherine de Bourgh (boo-rah!), and talks about the joys of Holly Black’s White Cat.

1. I first knew I was a writer when …

I can’t pinpoint the moment. I had written for years to help deal with things, like the suicide of a friend, and for fun, but when I finished Mishca I posted an excerpt on a YA community site called Inkpop I got amazing feedback from teens and that’s when I thought I could maybe BE a writer. Since then the crazy ideas keep banging inside my head, waiting to be unleashed into my laptop. Getting a story published in the Australian Literary Review’s The Basics of Life makes it feel ‘real’ for the first time though, like I’m no longer playing pretend-wannabe-writer.


2. The book that first let me know I loved spec-fic was …

Holly Black’s White Cat (recommended to me by YOU!) I’d read a lot of mixed genre spec-fic, but this was the first alternate reality one I’d read and I got a much deeper appreciation for the genre.


3. The sentence/line/phrase/paragraph I wish I’d written is …

“We’re the ones who aren’t normal. People are supposed to be like that: obedient, calm, working together. It’s us who can’t focus, who can’t work together, who can’t do the Feeder or Shipper jobs we’re the ones who aren’t normal. We’re the ones who have to take the mental meds just so we don’t go loons.”


4. You get to be your favourite character for the day – who do you choose, where do you go, what do you do?

I love Elizabeth Bennet. If I were her for the day I would spit ball Lady Catherine de Bourgh, dack Wickham at a party and put Lydia in a room with a whole bunch of shiny things in a hope it would distract her.   


5. Donuts or danishes?
Danishes, you know the ones with icing on top and the jam and custard inside hhhmmmmm. They seem to have them at continental breakfasts. 

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