Catherine Devore Johnson On The 5 Things You Need to Become a Great Author

Kristin Marquet
Authority Magazine
Published in
13 min readFeb 13, 2023

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…Try to write regularly (daily, weekly, whatever works with your life), and don’t get discouraged if you can’t always stick to your schedule.

As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine Devore Johnson. Catherine Devore Johnson was born in Chicago and raised in Texas, with a short sojourn on the East Coast for college. A former attorney, she now works as a writer and editor for a children’s hospital in Houston, Texas. When she isn’t writing or haunting one of her favorite coffee houses (or, even better, writing in one of her favorite coffee houses), Catherine loves spending time with her husband and two children.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here! About twelve years ago, my husband brought home a course catalog with the newest continuing education program offerings at Rice University. He had flagged a one-day seminar for aspiring novelists. “You should do this,” he said. I’d been talking about writing a book for a while at that point and realized that maybe it was time to stop talking and start writing. I attended the seminar and was introduced to an extraordinary community of loving and creative people who supported me as I took my first, tentative steps on the road to becoming a writer (though I give the most credit to my husband who gave me that all-important first nudge and has been my biggest cheerleader ever since).

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

When I first started writing a book, I had the same dream that many other writers have — to score an amazing literary agent who would sell my novel within a matter of days to a top publishing house. Glory and movie deals would follow. This is not what happened to me. Briefly, I wrote my first novel, rewrote it, hired an editor to help me polish it, rewrote it again, and finally started querying literary agents. One hundred and ninety-seven query letters (and a number of full and partial…

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Kristin Marquet
Authority Magazine

Publicist and author based in New York City. Founder and Creative Director of FemFounder.co and Marquet-Media.com.