Liz McKinney-Johnson spent the majority of her professional life as an award-winning marketing copywriter and creative director, running her own agency for most her career.
There she honed the ability to wade through piles of client-provided data, unearth the one or two pieces of information a normal person might actually find interesting, then craft that discovery into an attention-grabbing message. It’s a skill that translates well to plot and character development. As does the field itself, since most advertising is about 98% fiction.
In her debut novel, The Eulogist, Dead But Not Forgotten, McKinney-Johnson slips into the skin of a character 180˚ from her own reality, turning her back on the classic advice to, "write what you know." She believes the goal of a writer should be to expand what you know, to delve into new, intriguing topics that can be woven into stories to captivate an audience. "I get to meet all kinds of interesting people," says McKinney-Johnson. "I've interviewed psychologists, neurosurgeons, pharmacologists, priests, even FBI agents. Everyone has a story to tell, and I love to listen. Eavesdropping on the people in front of me in line at Starbucks® or the grocery store is kind of a nasty habit, but great for dialogue."
McKinney-Johnson was raised in, and still writes from, the Pacific Northwest, staring out between sentences on a view of the forested foothills of the Coast Range. Her three children are grown but still spend plenty of time around the house and its surrounding twenty acres, or as it is better known: Rancho Relaxo.
When not writing, McKinney Johnson is a sewing and craft enthusiast who knows her way around a buttonhole and blind hem. She is one of the masterminds behind Sew4Home.com, a wildly successful sewing website that brings home décor creativity to over a million visitors each month. And, she can bust out a triple time step, thanks to a love of tap-dancing that goes all the way back to high school