Author Spotlight – Annika Johansson

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Author Annika Johansson

How did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved words and human behaviour and went into copywriting after university – writing mini stories in 30 seconds for television or radio commercials, or 10 seconds for print. Then on the eve of my 40th birthday, something switched in my brain and I knew I was ready to tackle long-from storytelling so I began diving into writing courses to learn the art form of longer storytelling.

What did you do to actively pursue writing? (Joining RWAus, Mentorship etc)

I tried to suck up as much craft inspiration as possible. I took all the novel writing draft courses at the Writers Studio in Sydney when I lived there (which I now tutor online for). I joined the RWA and my first conference was in Perth which was so much fun. Throwing myself into a world of writing and inspiration and learning how to speed pitch! It was incredible. I also joined the NSW Writers Centre and the ASA and love the short courses and advice offered there.

What do you find are the advantages of being part of RWAus?

I love the annual conferences each year – spending time listening to guest speakers and learning more about the craft and also the business side of writing and publishing has been fantastic. Especially living in a country town, I look forward to this in-person get-together every year.

I have also found so much joy in the RWA anthology competitions – having my work recognised in the 2023 and 2024 anthologies has been the boost of confidence I’ve needed to keep on writing and pursuing my goal of being a published author.

What is your favourite genre and why?

It’s hard to choose! I love the variety of commercial fiction – I think I can squeeze lots of subgenres into this! Rom-coms, domestic noir, cosy dramas… anything with juicy relationship conflict is my cup of tea.

Share a little about your writing process?

I like jumping into the fresh scent of a new story and will get up before the sun rises to write when I’m in first draft mode. When I’m in editing mode, l fit this into any time of day around work and family. Essentially any time I can steal to write – I will! It’s my happy place.

Tell us about your current work in progress…

It’s another relationship drama! Watch this space…

And your latest book…

Empty nesters Rob and Sal find themselves homeless after the 2022 Lismore floods. With limited rentals in the area, they reluctantly agree to flat share in Ballina with another couple, also affected by the floods further upstream in Mullumbimby. A couple who couldn’t be more different to Rob and Sal.

A two-bedroom, one-bathroom flat with very thin walls. Surely they can stick it out, they’re all grown-ups, right? Only life has bigger plans for them all. Buried dreams, hidden marital secrets, feisty climate change debates… it all comes out Downstream.

Downstream by Annika Johansson

What happens when your great Australian dream gets washed away? And then tries to drag your marriage down with it?

Lismore resident Rob – a happily married empty-nester, enjoying his late middle age – has always defined himself by the quality of the roof over his head and the state of his family life. Solid. Safe. Stable. But when the 2022 flood hits, he and his wife Sal find themselves homeless, their lives now the very opposite of secure and predictable.

While government and insurance investigations drag on, Rob and Sal are left with no choice but to rent while they wait to find out the fate of their badly damaged home. After a mix-up with contracts, they reluctantly agree to share a home unit in Ballina with strangers – a slightly older hippy couple, also impacted by the floods, who couldn’t be more different from their new flatmates.

A two-bedroom, one-bathroom flat with very thin walls … Surely they can stick it out for six months – they’re all grown-ups, right? As each awkward, yet entertaining week rolls into the next, they graciously try to deal with one another’s personal quirks while waiting for life to get back to normal.

Only life has bigger plans for all four of them.


At your local favourite bookshops and online.

Author bio:

Annika Johansson is a freelance writer living in the rainforests on Bundjalung land (the Northern Rivers of New South Wales). Born in Brisbane, she studied a Bachelor of Business Communications and has worked in Sydney, Asia and the Middle East as a copywriter and Creative Director. She also has a side degree in people-watching. Her short story, The Speed Dater, won first prize in the Romance Writers of Australia Sweet Treats 2023 anthology competition. She has also tied for first in this year’s Spicy Bites RWA Anthology competition and tied for second in the Sweet Treats Anthology competition. Downstream is Annika’s debut novel.

Connect on the web:

Insta: @annikajohanssonwriter

Facebook: Annika Johansson Author

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