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Friday, July 31, 2009

Spotlight on Liz Johnson and The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn


After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, LIZ JOHNSON set out to work in the Christian publishing industry, which was her lifelong dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-being an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she wrote articles for several magazines and worked as a freelance editorial consultant.

Liz lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she enjoys theater, ice skating, volunteering in her church’s bookstore and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nephew and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn is her first novel.

by Liz Johnson
Published by Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Suspense


Myles Parsons is just another inmate in Kenzie Thorn’s GED course until he kidnaps her, offering only a feeble explanation–that he’s actually FBI Special Agent Myles Borden. Terrified, Kenzie doesn’t want to believe his story of being undercover to protect her. Moreover, she can’t believe that someone might really want her dead.

But just when Myles thinks he has her out of harm’s way, his plans start to fall apart. He attempts to take Kenzie to a safe house—but the stubborn woman won’t go! So together they must uncover the clues that will reveal a most shocking perpetrator. All the while Myles tries to keep his distance from Kenzie…but finds himself falling in love.

Readers, buy your copy of The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn today!


1. This is your debut novel. Congratulations. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

It’s hard for me to pin down one specific inspiration for this book. There are a lot of little ones. I think that a big part of developing Kenzie’s story was where I was at in my own life. I had just made two major moves in the span of six months, and I was 1100 miles from my family. I felt like the only one I could lean on was God, so reliance on Him became one of the key themes of Kenzie’s story. I also had a friend from high school who made some really poor choices and ended up in prison for five years. His sister asked me to write to him, and I did. For five years we wrote back and forth, and his letters made me wonder if there was anything that would cause someone to willingly go to prison. It all just developed from there.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Well, my characters wouldn’t be mine if they didn’t have reflections of me and my experiences tucked in there. My relationship with Jesus Christ is really important to me, so it’s essential that my faith is reflected in their lives. A lot of times the spiritual lessons that I’m learning end up being core themes in my WIP. On a more individual basis, I’ve noticed that certain characters have picked up some of my bad habits—Kenzie Thorn has a terrible habit of putting her foot in her mouth, which I’m completely guilty of. Sometimes I give my characters traits that may be similar to my own struggles but aren’t exact. While writing my second manuscript, I realized that I have a terrible habit of shopping any time I’m feeling stressed and worried, and I saw that my hero had his own comfort activity in drinking coffee, which I really hate. That's definitely his alone.

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Kenzie would definitely be a peppermint ice cream. She's both sweet and spicy--as Myles always says she is.

4. Are there any themes in The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

As I was writing this, God was busy teaching me about relying on Him, so that's definitely one of the biggest themes in the book. I hope readers will see that God can be relied on in every situation. He cares for those who hope is in Him. Less planned themes include how men will fail us, but God is constant and the need for forgiveness.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The first couple chapters were definitely the hardest to write. I always find the first bit tough, as I'm still trying to figure out where the characters are going. But once I got rolling, my favorite part of to write was the chase scene through the forest. Myles is chasing after Kenzie, and it's high intensity. I love writing the heart-pounding moments.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book isn't under contract yet, but I've just completed my second novel, a follow up to Kenzie and Myles's story. I'm eagerly waiting to hear from my editor about it. It's the story of Myles's boss, Special Agent in Charge Nate Andersen, and the girl he's trying to find. It's a fun romp through fictional Crescent City, Colorado.

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Thank you, Liz, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book!
Please enter me! Thanks!

Cherie J said...

It's always fun to learn about a new author and I would love to read Liz's debut novel. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Wow! Only 2 comments for this one. That's quite unusual of late. Anyway...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I have sent your mailing information to Liz so she can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.