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Steven W. Johnson

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bioNot Much of a Crime – Steven W. Johnson

“If the brothels are closed, how do you plan to replace the six and a half million dollars in tax revenue they generate each year?” Who knew a simple question posed at a town council meeting could result in so much havoc? It caused retired state Senator Henry Springfield to lose out on a lucrative land deal and the millions it would have earned him. But that’s just the beginning. After asking that fated question, Allison King found herself in the limelight and decided to campaign for a vacant seat on the town council, her feared stalker resurfaced, and the chain of events the question put in motion would cost seven people their lives. Allison’s goal had been to retire to a small, out of the way town in Nevada and leave her sordid past, as one of the top grossing star/producers in the porn industry, behind. Now, though, she found herself embroiled in a fight for her life. Does she have what it takes to overcome the political corruption, intrigue, and murder that permeates the town and still save the adult video empire she created in Los Angeles?

Not Much of a Crime was a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter Finalist.

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About the Author


Steven W. Johnson is a 3-tour Viet Nam veteran with a warped sense of humor that manifests itself in his written work as well as his life. Born and raised in southern California, he grew up on the beach surfing and playing bass guitar.

When Uncle Sam sunk his hooks into Steve in ’69, he opted for a third year in the Army to guarantee an MOS that didn’t hump the boonies and to keep a Secret clearance in effect.

Steve has been married to his wife, Dorothy, twenty-one years come Halloween ’14 and it is her love, patience, and Cajun cooking that manages to keep his head on straight and an electric cattle prod that keeps him writing.

Steve is currently living in exile in Pahrump, Nevada.

Website – http://www.stevenwjohnson.com


 

In the Dog Pound with Steven W. Johnson – August 16, 2014


bioSteven, thanks for joining us. Is that MilkBones I smell?

No. Strictly Kitty Treats. We have 2. One is all black about 9 pounds and named Bullet because that is about how fast she runs. She was feral when we picked her up. Her tail has been kinked so it looks like she has a question mark at the rear end. The other one is named Muffin – a rescue cat – and he weighs about 18 pounds and has enough hair on him to knit a sweater. He must have been cute as a kitten because I can’t see anyone really naming this cat Muffin. Floor duster, perhaps, but not Muffin. Ah well, that was his name when we got him so no sense in forcing him to learn a new word when it comes time to give him his treats. Anyway, Bullet is Dorothy’s lap kitty and Muffin is mine.

 

bioMany of our readers may recognize you as “Seal” from the Createspace forums but tell us about the author behind the persona.

Back in the day we used to go to the Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, or Seal Beach almost every day during the summer. I used to keep beat with the music by clapping my hands and a friend stuck that moniker on me so I kept it (not because I was a SEAL). You know how kids are when they want to fit in when they are in that awkward age trying to act grown up but just not quite ready to accept the full responsibility… So, on rare occasions I hide behind my nickname.

 

bioYou have a well documented military history, does that personal experience affect your writing?

Everything affects my writing. I don’t write about war, but I do write about conflicts. In Not Much of a Crime the obvious conflict is between a former porn star and a politician. But both have internal conflicts and I have done my best to bring those to the surface in the pages.

 

bioAre there other parts of your life or perhaps other writers that inspire you and influence your style and technique?

In my earlier years – back in the 70s – while I was still trying to cope with my Viet Nam experiences I read a lot of SciFi/Fantasy. Now it seems to be Crime Fiction and personal histories about previous wars. I do my best to avoid anything dealing with Viet Nam, but I find earlier wars as well as later conflicts. I think it has to do with how my generation was perceived by my generation. My dad came home in glory, we came home with urine thrown on us. Ah well, this isn’t really the forum to moan and groan about things that happened 40 odd years ago. So, forget I mentioned it.

 

bioWhere did the idea for a porn queen turned politician stem from?

I currently live in Pahrump, Nevada where brothels are legal. Dorothy and I have been to a couple parties hosted by the brothels when I was publishing a magazine. It is certainly a unique experience. During these events I had an opportunity to talk to a few of the women who worked as prostitutes and their stories – real or not – touched something in me that made me want to show a human side to the adult entertainment business.

About the same time, there was a preacher here in Pahrump who was working on closing down the brothels for the “health and welfare” of our young. Needless to say, one thing led to another and the germination of this seed created Not Much of a Crime in 4 months with only 3 hours a day spent pounding the keyboard.

One of these days I will tell you the full story about the battle, but the opening line in the description is accurate – at least it was in 2009 when I published the book. With some of the whales coming in from Las Vegas, now that the economy is better, six and a half million in tax revenue is probably conservative.

 

bioNot Much of a Crime was nominated as a quarter finalist for the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, what made you finally decide to throw your hat in the ring?

I believe Not Much of a Crime is not only a good story, but a well written book. When it was selected as 1 of 100 out of 10,000 entries I knew I was right. It is a compelling story that I have found others can identify with. I have had some fans email me (notmuchofacrime@gmail.com) and ask when I had traveled through their town because I nailed their county sheriff.

 

bioIt’s quite the honor, what effect has it had on the book?

It has helped with face to face sales, but not so much on Amazon or Kindle. The idea of getting a publishing contract from Amazon and having them push it was fantastic, but it didn’t materialize last year. No biggie. Being a quarter finalist is almost as good as winning which is almost as good as having a best seller on the New York Times list. So I figure I am only two tiers away from being a household name. The important thing is that I have written a book (actually I have written several more as well) and others thought it was good enough to move into the ABNA quarter finals. That was a kick in the butt!

 

bioI mentioned earlier that you are quite active on the CreateSpace forums under the moniker “Seal”, we now know where the nickname came form but how did you get involved in the community?

I finished Not Much of a Crime in 2005 and started shopping it around to the traditional publishers. One held it for almost a year before saying thanks but no thanks. Needless to say by 2009 I was ready to pack it in but thought perhaps a Vanity Press might be the way to go. During my search I stumbled upon CS and the rest is history.

With CreateSpace, I have found the more work you do for yourself, the less it costs to get your book printed. As I have 30+ years with newspaper and magazine layout I found both the typesetting of the book AND the cover to be extremely simple.

Amazon has done a great job with CS and I have two brothers and a sister who have now published books through them as well.

 

bioAre you actively working on a new project? What can we expect next?

I have several books in the works at the moment. But the one I am spending the most time is titled Aggravated Ransom. My wife came up with that title today. The working title was Huntington Beach Kidnapping and before that it was Bunny Hunt: Kidnapped. I am about 1/3 of the way finished with it and hope to have it finished by my birthday in September. So, between that and having to build a new handicapped ramp for my wife who is recovering from a ruptured appendix (1 month in the hospital and one month in rehab) I am running out of time.

 

bioThanks for taking the time to be with us, any last words for the readers?

Write away your troubles and if you can’t write, read! So much for my take on philosophy, huh?

 


 

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