There have been many famous wizards over the centuries — Prospero, Merlin and Gandalf, to name a few. But we also have quite a few here at Crowd Content. They may not be sorcerers, but our wizards do possess that powerful magic that can conjure up great content.
It’s this wizardry and skill that we celebrate in Writer Spotlight. After all, we know it’s formidable talent and not enchantment that pulls solid, sparkling copy out of thin air. And I trust that this month’s featured writer won’t mind the sorcery comparison, knowing the magical worlds that live on her bookshelf.
Meet Bea Johnson. Originally from a small town in middle Tennessee, Bea now calls north Fort Worth, Texas, home. She’s going onto nearly two decades of working as a professional writer, transitioning from web and graphic design. “While building sites, I discovered I liked writing the content for them more than I liked building them,” Bea explains. “So, BOOM! Here I am.”
Bea’s got a certain way of making prose shine, and I suspect it’s from her avid love of words. She bubbles with exuberance when responding to our question about her favorite books.
“I’m not sure I have a favorite-favorite so much as a favorite in various genres,” she begins. “Like with urban fantasy — my main fluffy squeeze. My favorites are Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series and Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series.”
(The Dresden Files is about Chicago’s first and only wizard P.I. There’s wizardry everywhere. But, back to Bea’s bookshelf.)
“As far as standalone works go, I love Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas, of which half was the basis for the movie The Ninth Gate,” she continues. “I also enjoy older stuff like Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus! trilogy, which I quote excessively, and modern crime drama authors like Elmore Leonard.” Bea also slips in a “great big nod” to Neal Stephenson and graphic novels such as Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.
“In all honesty, though, I’d read the back of a cereal box with gusto if that’s all I had on hand,” Bea concludes.
Bea is a mainstay on our platform as both a writer and editor, although she doesn’t remember how she found Crowd Content all those years ago. “I’m just glad that I did because I love working with y’all,” she comments. We’re glad, too, Bea!
She appreciates the platform’s open lines of communication. “The project managers are always quick to answer questions and address concerns, and most writing platforms could take a page from CC’s book in that regard,” she says.
Her favorite project was Darice, because of her love of crafting. “Also, all the research I did for it took me on some interesting tangents and aided me in improving my own personal projects…and even landing some other writing projects,” she adds.
And what about life beyond words? When Bea’s not reading about the wholesome grains in her cereal bowl or writing for Crowd Content, you can find her watching CatTV. No, it’s not a new streaming service. It’s right outside her window.
“My guy and I enjoy watching suburban wildlife,” she explains. “We started leaving food out for the feral cats in the cul-de-sac to help out and entertain our indoor cats, calling it CatTV. After a bit, we naturally started seeing foxes, raccoons and opossums pretty much every day.” I think Bea’s onto something. I can hear Sir David Attenborough narrating the series.
And now it’s time for Writer Spotlight to really dig deep. Harry Dresden, wizard detective, doesn’t let up on an investigation, and neither do we.
What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? “I love a perfectly seared medium-rare sirloin and baked potato when we go out…because I don’t have to fight with the cats for it.”
What’s your favorite TV show or movie? “I don’t really have a favorite. We’re just finishing up Justified. We binged on Banshee and The Boys earlier this year, and I think we’re doing Deadwood next, followed by Life, this really great show with Damien Lewis that only lasted two seasons.”
Where do you write? “I write on the sofa with my laptop, well, on my lap. It’s just easier for me than toting it all over the place.”
Have you been published by any notable sites or organizations? “No. I actually try to fly below the radar.”
What do you find most challenging about writing content? “Making outlines. I avoided long-form content for so long just because headings and subheadings make me nervous.”
If you could change one thing about our platform, what would it be? “I’d love it if you could fix the spell check issue on the new editor.”
Do you have any advice for new writers? “Don’t take feedback personally, but do use it to improve your writing. When you’re too attached to your writing and can’t take criticism, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Like most anything else in life, it’s about the effort you put in, and part of that is knowing where you lack and working to fix it.”
Complete this sentence: When I’m not working, I love to… “Hang out on social media and meme with my friends…and play with cats. Luckily, my guy is the same.”
What are the five worst words in the English language? “No words are bad, but usage and context might make them so, depending on who utters them. Some words sound better than others…but they all have their place in the tapestry.”
Poof! And just like that, another Writer Spotlight is in the books. My thanks go out to Bea for her time. And I hope you’ll join us again next time when we lift the curtain on another Crowd Content writing wizard. Maybe it’ll be you!