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Brooke Johnson
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THE BRASS GIANT available for download May 5, 2015. 

About the book:

Sometimes, even the most unlikely person can change the world

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. Still, she refuses to give up, tinkering with any machine she can get her hands on, in between working and babysitting her foster siblings.

When Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and a far more dire fate would await Petra.

Working together in secret, they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council … and their automaton is just the beginning.

Preorder now ($2.99)!

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00M719Z06

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-brass-giant-brooke-johnson/1121123553?ean=9780062387165

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-brass-giant

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-brass-giant/id904017054?mt=11

HarperCollins: http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062387165/the-brass-giant

add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22836684-the-brass-giant

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THE BRASS GIANT cover reveal!Available for download May 5, 2015. About THE BRASS GIANT: Sometimes, even the most unlikely person can change the world Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught...
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Congrats! Since I'm a broke teen atm, can't buy it now. But once I get a summer job, I sure will ^_^
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Alden has discovered that his mother transformed into a llama-manticore hybrid while he was away bargaining with the demon, and now he has to figure out how to explain everything without her catching on to the truth... (for the previous scene, click here: https://plus.google.com/+BrookeJohnson/posts/g46RLJ71Lre)

My mother’s shrewd eyes narrowed, her glare made more dangerous by the fact that she now had a sharp beak and twelve-inch talons to impale me with should I answer with something less than satisfactory. The problem was: I didn’t even know the truth. How was I supposed to come up with a believable lie if I didn’t know what really happened? The demon wouldn’t dare to do something so devious under Phineas’s roof, and the minions… I smacked my forehead as the realization dawned on me.

“The cookies!” I said, whirling around. Not a minion in sight. They probably scampered the moment my mother sprouted a beak, knowing that I would likely strangle them for poisoning her with whatever weird experiment they backed into the cookies. I should have known better than to offer my mother something that the minions created. 

“The cookies?” repeated my mother.

My heart sank. Probably not a good idea to suggest that they might have been poisoned by some evilly magical concoction brewed up by the Dark Lord’s minions.  I couldn’t explain the real reason why she was now a squawking llama-manticore hybrid. My mother didn’t—and couldn’t—know that I was a Dark Lord’s apprentice. She thought that I was a pedologist. So, how would a pedologist answer? I needed a valid enough excuse to explain away her sudden transformation without her catching on to the truth.

“Yeah…” I said slowly. “The cookies were… um…” It was at this moment that I really wished I would have read up on what pedologists actually did—or at least asked Seeress Aveline, since she was the one who named me a pedologist in the first place. All I knew for certain was that they dealt with dirt.

“The cookies were what, Alden?”

“Dirty?”

 She narrowed her eyes further. “Dirty,” she repeated. “And how is it that a pan of cookies—that you baked—being dirty cause me to turn into—into this?!” she shrilled, gesturing with her extra limbs to her enormous mutated body. The feathers of her wings bristled, and the fur on her neck stood on end. “Look at me, Alden! I’m a—a—” She squawked, and a spout of flame escaped her dark beak. “Whatever the blazes this is!” 

A claw of guilt wrapped around my heart and held tight; it was my fault that she was in this situation. I just had to remind myself that everything would be all right—just as soon as Phineas arrived. I just needed to stall for time. 

“Well, you see…” I started, trying not to look directly into my mother’s eyes in case she saw through the lie. “Master Phineas and I… we did a bit of… um… dirt collecting early this morning, and some of it must have gotten into the cookie batter while I was mixing. I probably forgot to wash my hands, and well… you see… the dirt was from a… um… well…” 

I glanced around with a frown, trying to piece together an explanation that she might accept. “From here. From the Griffinwold. And well, you know how the forest is enchanted and everything, and we were… um… studying the magical properties of the soil, and…” I shrugged.

She frowned. “I was under the impression that you wouldn’t be dealing with magic as part of your apprenticeship. Or traveling to such dangerous locations,” she said evenly. “Your master promised me that you would be safe and out of danger, and here you are, studying enchanted soil in a dark, evil forest! I can’t think of a more dangerous thing for you to be doing!”

“I’m perfectly safe, Mother,” I said, forcing a smile. “I swear to you—”

“And what if you had eaten those cookies instead of me, hm? Then you would be some horrid grotesque creature stuck in the darkest, evilest forest in the kingdom, and your poor forgotten mother wouldn’t know a thing about it because you never write her!” She growled, and another spurt of flame escaped her beak. “You are just like your father, you know. Never a word from him as he sails off to the ends of the earth, facing krakens and worse, plundering seaside kingdoms and getting kidnapped by mermaids. I swear—if this pedology is half as dangerous as your father’s profession…” She shook her head and pointed a lone finger toward me. “If I wasn’t in this current state, I’d have half a mind to take you home right now and apprentice you myself.”

My uneasy smile faltered. “And be a shopkeeper?”

“Yes, a shopkeeper—a nice, respectable, unhazardous profession where no one gets killed, maimed, or kidnapped. I wouldn’t have to worry about you running into trouble every single day.” She frowned around her beak. “This was exactly why I wanted you to be an accountant. Nothing exciting happens to accountants. You would have been safe and secure, and nothing horrible would happen to you away from home.”

“Nothing horrible is going to happen to me, Mother.”

“I just worry, you know,” she said with a sigh, crossing her many arms over her chest. “About you and your father.”

Guilt weighed on my chest—for lying, for not writing her, for the fact that she was now stuck here in the Griffinwold as a mantillama with no sure guarantee that Phineas could turn her back. I swallowed thickly. “I’m sorry.”

My mother shook her horned head. “It isn’t your fault, I suppose. This is your destiny after all; that’s how these things work. Your father was destined to become a ‘seafaring entrepreneur’ and win the heart of a foolish young girl, and you were destined to do this pedology, whatever the result.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Does that mean I can stay?”

She wrinkled her beak. “Oh, I suppose. But only if you write to your poor mother on occasion and let her know that you’re still alive and in the boyish shape I left you in. Agreed?”

I nodded. “Agreed.”

#DarkLordinTraining  
#SaturdayScenes  

read more on #wattpadhttp://www.wattpad.com/story/18510972-dark-lord-in-training
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Always a joy to read.
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Brooke Johnson

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writing epiphanies

nearly 1700 words written on Chroniker City book #2 today.

i had an epiphany about one of my characters today that suddenly turned my dreadful feeling toward the book into excitement.

in the planning stage, i had nothing more than a concept of this character--the stoic, duty-bound soldier there to complicate Petra's story goals. as i finally got to the point of introducing him as a major character near the halfway point of the story, i realized how little i actually knew about him, so i sketched out a character profile, sticking to the stoic, duty-bound persona i had first imagined. then i continued the story.

i wrote his introduction, but things felt... off.

i thought it was plot related, or revision related, words-i-had-already-written related. oftentimes, when i get stuck in a draft it's because something is wrong with an earlier part of the story and i need to fix it before i can move forward. that's what i thought was wrong this time, so i stopped my forward progress, dug back through the draft so far and cut out a lot of the excess that needed trimmed out.

it was necessary, and the book was better for it, but i was still stuck. and i couldn't figure out why. but i kept writing anyway. word after painful word. still, the scene wasn't working, for reasons i still couldn't figure out.

then i just stopped worrying about it and wrote. i just let the scene unfold without care for how it happened, because i figured that words on the page--even bad words--were better than no words at all. you can't edit what doesn't exist.

so i kept putting words on the page, even though it wasn't playing out like i had planned. my stoic soldier wasn't behaving. he was being annoyingly cheeky and charming and roguish, everything opposite of how i had originally envisioned him. but i was writing. words were on the page, and they were coming more easily than they had for the last several scenes. but it was wrong, i thought. this isn't what this character is supposed to be. he's supposed to be grim and serious and reproachful. 

or maybe not.

the more i tried to box him into the grim soldier persona, the more difficult it was to write. but as soon as i let him free and let him be cheeky and charming, everything came more easily. maybe this was the character i needed to write, the character the story called for.

and as soon as i realized that, this dark burden of dread that i've been feeling toward the book, this obligated apathy, vanished. it was gone. 

this whole time, the last month of dread that i've been feeling toward this book was all because i was trying to force a character to be one thing when i needed to write him a different way. it wasn't my plot. it wasn't my writing. it wasn't anything i had done wrong in the earlier chapters. it was merely because i made a decision during the plotting stage that didn't--couldn't--take into account the way the story would unfold as i wrote. 

so anyway, this is long-winded and rambling, but i just wanted to share the fact that i've overcome that dread, or at least a small part of it. the doubt and the fear that this book is shit is still there, but at least i'm no longer stuck.

i don't know how the plot outline will stand up to this new character development, and that scares me, but this is all part of the process for me. some things i plan and they develop as i originally imagined, and then some things grow beyond that plan. 

but this is my process. no matter how much i organize ahead of time, the story always finds a way to make a mess of things before the end. 
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Brooke Johnson

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okay, so actually seeing an interview where the interviewer asks relevant questions to an actress was just kind of wow to me.

like, i was aware that women are normally asked more about costume and makeup, relationships and appearance type things, but actually getting to hear an actress respond to legit acting questions was awesome.

i wish more interviewers would dare to ask these kinds of questions to actresses. and the absurdity of asking the "feminine" questions to Mark Ruffalo just goes to show how sexist and objectifying those interview questions really are, regardless of whether you're talking to a man or a woman. 

let's stop objectifying, okay? let's treat actresses as professionals instead of as eye candy. is that so hard a concept for hollywood/media to grasp?
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+Brooke Johnson You're watching the wrong interviews then.
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writing update

after three weeks away from Chroniker City book #2, i opened the file today and wrote 1250 words.

not my best pace, but i've just about given up on trying to nail 2000 words a day anymore. trying to hold myself to the same standards i held for myself almost three years ago isn't fair in the least, so i'm not going to stress about the fact that i don't write as easily or prolifically as before. i'm a different person now with different responsibilities, and my writing output is going to reflect that. 

the total word count is at ~38,800. i have a little over 41,000 words left to write before i reach my target word count, and it's anyone's guess at this point whether or not the story will be finished by then. i full expect the first draft to be much longer than necessary, and i'm sure to have a lot to trim and cut and rip out in the next draft. i'm just going to have to accept that fact and deal with it instead of trying to proactively limit myself with each sentence i write. 

it was painful sitting down to write today after so long away. i stepped away from it because i had other shit to do to prepare for the release of The Brass Giant, but also because i was stuck in the draft and didn't want to work on it anymore. i was paralyzed with fear and worry and obligation, and it made writing feel like a slog through the muckiest of swamps. 

but i wrote, even if every word, every sentence felt like a struggle. even if i stared at the same arrangement of paragraphs for about an hour, wondering if there was a better way to start the scene. even if i hated every word that i wrote. i kept writing anyway.

i'm still plagued with worry, with doubt. but i don't have much of a choice at this point but to keep writing, to finish the draft and hope it doesn't suck as bad as i think it does, to tell myself that i can fix whatever is wrong with it in the next draft. and maybe i'll eventually get to a point where i don't hate every word that i write, where i don't doubt myself, where i can write and enjoy every moment of it, but today is not that day.

if i write an average of 1650 words every week day, i'll be on target to reach 80,000 words by the end of next month. so that's my goal right now. one day at a time. 
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All right, I'd say that what happens is that you've raised your expectations, +Brooke Johnson . I problem I don't have since mine are extremely low =)

In my uneducated opinion, you're doing what needs doing: you're pushing forward. You have your plot, your cards, you know the story and what you want to tell. All that's left is writing it. As I've read in this community quite often, when in that position you just sit and write. And later, you can fix whatever needs fixing.

In fact, I think I've read you giving this exact piece of advice before!
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i very much enjoyed the first season of Daredevil, and this article does a good job exploring the religious side of the show, something i didn't pay much attention to or even notice at first glance, but seeing it laid out like this, i appreciate the writers' take on the Daredevil origin even more than before. i've always been interested in asking questions of faith and religion, so seeing it so fearlessly explored in a television show is fascinating to me. 

spoilers for the show in the article
By embracing Matt Murdock's Catholicism, Netflix has given us the best version of Daredevil yet!
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+Stanley Morris Goes back to the root of the word Catholic, universal. Idea being that the Catholic Church as formed, is the result of the twelve apostles, with Peter (the first Bishop of Rome, from who all Popes authority is passed down from) as Jesus' successor. So the Catholic Church has the position that they are the direct continuation, and sole authority, on Christendom, i.e. the universal in the sense of only true church in all creation.
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Brooke Johnson

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THE BRASS GIANT comes out in two weeks!

and Harper Voyager has set the price to $1.99 at all online stores for the time-being, so grab a copy of the book on the cheap (regular price $2.99; save a dollar!) while you can! (US only for now, it seems)

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00M719Z06

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-brass-giant-brooke-johnson/1121123553?ean=9780062387165

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-brass-giant

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-brass-giant/id904017054?mt=11

add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22836684-the-brass-giant
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+Eduardo Suastegui Oh definitely. I do have an Amazon.com and an Amazon.es account, and ebooks must be bought using the .es site (over here in Spain, of course). And thus offers sometimes translate, sometimes they do not.
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Brooke Johnson

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found the absolute perfect craft table today while out looking for a liquor cabinet for our dining room.

i mean look at this thing! the work space! the storage! 

I NEED IT.

and i could probably write a list of 100 reasons why i need it in my office like yesterday. i have never found anything so absolutely perfect for my needs as a crafter until now. 
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It looks like a special order. And getting it shipped to Missouri probably won't happen. sadface Ah, well. I'll hunt for something similar around here, or commission one, or something. That is just too nifty to not get.
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Brooke Johnson

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it's even more depressing for traditional publishing. considering how little royalty money i get per book, i need like... 50,000 book purchases per year to make a meager living. FIFTY THOUSAND PER YEAR

the 1000 true fans thing falls pretty flat once you put numbers to it. 
 
I thoroughly depressed myself this morning doing my round for +The Scriptors blog. If anyone needs me, I'll be offline eating ice cream.
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(Okay read the article now)

I might be wrong, but I think the concept of 1000 true fans began more with visual artists. At least I've seen the concept there a lot and it works there. Merchandise is fairly big with Web comics etc.

As a side note, I have read often enough from authors that they don't make money from their books, rather it's the related sales like guest appearances and whatnot that pay the bills. In effect, the story draws in the true fans and the related merchandise/services gets you fed. 
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Brooke Johnson

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new chapter of Dark Lord in Training up on #wattpad!

Chapter 21: A Recipe for Disaster

The tower was eerily quiet as I descended the stairs, the laboratory still and silent as I passed the third floor. I felt the need to tiptoe, anxious about what might await me below. 

When I reached the bottom of the staircase, I hesitated, only the recently fabricated magenta curtain standing between me and my mother. I exhaled a heavy breath, hoping Radmila had kept my secret. If not… Well… So much for being fated for Dark Lordery.

I closed my eyes and stepped through the curtain.

In an instant, Radmila rushed forward, her blue eyes wide as dinner plates. “Alden, I—” She twisted her hands in front of her. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how it happened. She just…” She shook her head with a shrug, seemingly at a loss for words. “And now I can’t change her back.”

My stomach sank. “What do you mean?”

She grabbed my hand, her expression serious. “You’ll just have to come see for yourself.”

I glanced around the kitchenette and dining area but didn’t see my mother anywhere—nor the minions. “Where is she?”

“Outside.”

I felt my stomach sink even deeper. “Which outside?”

Radmila paused before the door. “Well I couldn’t very well let her out into the streets of Rosehall, so…” She winced. “She’s in the front garden outside the tower proper.”

My eyes widened and my voice rose an octave. “You left her in the Griffinwold?”

“Well what else was I supposed to do? You weren’t here!”

I touched the Griffinwold rune and rested my hand on the door handle. “She’s going to kill me,” I muttered.

The young seeress grimaced. “Watch out for the talons.”

The door swung open, grim sunlight streaming into the tower through the mask of eerie fog over the treetops. I gaped at Radmila. “Talons?”

...continue reading: http://www.wattpad.com/123140561-dark-lord-in-training-chapter-twenty-one
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Brooke Johnson

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i would actually buy/use this.
if it wasn't $299. jeez.

http://amzn.com/B00QFVKXIC
 
Polaroid Plans To Produce The Instagram Camera. 
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+Brooke Johnson makes sense. Never committed to contract myself, but use lots of data and got good deal. Liking the terminology "dumb phone" :-D
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THE MECHANICAL THEATER cover reveal!

Available for download June 9th!

About the book:

Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork city’s boiler rooms to help support his large adopted family. When Le Theatre Mecanique holds an open call for their upcoming performance, he decides to audition. However, the only role he is suitable to fill is that of the theater’s custodian.

Leaving the well-paying boiler job behind him, Solomon immerses himself in the theater—watching rehearsals, studying the performances, and working with an emerging young actress to improve his skills. But back at home, his family feels the sting of their reduced income when his younger sister Emily develops pneumonia and the only treatment is too expensive.

Solomon will be forced to make a difficult choice: fulfill his dreams of stardom, or help save his younger sister.

Preorder now ($2.99):

Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B00MMG19GO

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mechanical-theater-brooke-johnson/1121648209?ean=9780062387189  
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-mechanical-theater

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-mechanical-theater/id908431229?mt=11

HarperCollins: http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062387189/the-mechanical-theater

add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22895363-the-mechanical-theater
THE MECHANICAL THEATER cover reveal!Available for download June 9th! Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork...
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Looks fantastic!! 
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People
Have her in circles
4,366 people
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Education
  • Arkansas Tech University
    Creative Writing, 2007 - 2010
Contact Information
Work
Email
Story
Tagline
word wizard. steampunk and history geek. (she/her)
Introduction
I write both fantasy and steampunk for young audiences, and I have several projects in the works, including The Brass Giant (May 5, 2015), the first book in a new young adult steampunk series with Harper Voyager Impulse, and a middle-grade fantasy Dark Lord in Training, available to read for free on Wattpad.

I am also a stay-at-home mom, amateur seamstress, RPG enthusiast, and art hobbyist.

Work
Occupation
Writer of Fantasy and Steampunk
Employment
  • Home
    Fictionalist, 2010 - present
  • Home
    Freelance Editor, 2013 - 2014
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Birthday
January 30