Wednesday, 16 June 2021

A Slice of Cake With... Maria Johnson

This week I am delighted to have a slice of cake with author Maria Johnson.

Maria loves everything to do with books, words and writing! She's been scribbling down stories for as long as she can remember. Maria has two historical fiction novels and one fantasy/mystery novel for older children published.

What kind of books do you write?

My main focus is my series about a Celtic warrior, Daniel, living in the castle town of Gaeson, in the ancient kingdom of Rheged in 590s AD. 

In my first novel, The Boy from the Snow, Daniel fights the enemy King Cedric and his kingdom of Klumeck that lies to the east. However, after discovering a truth that makes him question all he knows. While he searches for the answers, an even greater threat is waiting to arise.

Then, in the sequel, The Veiled Wolf, after plans to recapture a former Celtic kingdom go awry, Daniel believes there may be a spy in Gaeson. The more Daniel tries to unravel the mystery of the spy known as the Wolf, the more Daniel wonders who he can really trust. Daniel must uncover the identity of the Veiled Wolf soon, however, before everything he holds dear is destroyed.

My most recent novel, Lottie’s Locket came out last November and is completely different to my Celtic series. Lottie is quite grumpy at the thought of staying in her Aunt Susan’s boring house in rural Yorkshire, especially since it means her parents missing her eleventh birthday. However, after receiving a beautiful old locket from her mother for her birthday, Lottie is whisked away to the realm of Orovand.

Lottie enjoys this wonderful new world and making new friends, but then Lottie’s Locket gets stolen and Lottie ends up entangled in a mystery at the palace. Can Lottie solve the case and get her locket back in time to get home?

Can you describe your writing why?

I’ve been scribbling down stories for as long as I can remember. In fact the main character, Daniel, from my historical fiction series, has been in my head since I was seven. I’ve always loved writing and admired the power of words. I started writing Daniel’s story when I realised it hadn’t left me – and I haven’t put down my pen since!

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

This one of my favourite parts of Lottie’s Locket, when Lottie sees Orovand stretched out in front of her:

“Welcome to Orovand,” Zara said, grinning as she stretched her arms out towards the sprawling turquoise fields below. Lottie gazed at the wondrous landscape before her, riveted by the raw beauty of this magical new world. At last, her mouth curved into a smile, her throat too tight for words. Lottie was having her new adventure after all. 

The new human girl to this realm took in all she could, keeping her eyes peeled open until they went watery. As soon as she had to blink, they were open wide once more, desperate not to miss this wonderful world a moment longer than she had to.

Lottie could see now why they called Orovand the ‘Gold Dimension’. Every single building of the city was flecked with gold, as were the roads and pavements. The whole capital was sparkling like the way the surface of the ocean glistens and dapples with burning orange at sunset.

Higher than all the city’s buildings, was the towering palace that she’d only just been able to glimpse outside the cave. From this vantage point, Lottie could also see the boundary of one edge of the city. Beyond it were sloping hills, all with the same vivid turquoise as the grass outside the cavern. 

Further afield, she could just make out the glimmering of a body of water, shimmering in the distance. Lottie thought to comment, but instead she only swallowed. Suddenly, she realised she was close to tears at the sight of it all.

Tell us about your latest project

At the moment I’m proofreading my 3rd historical fiction novel, set four years after the events of my 2nd novel The Veiled Wolf

The war with Bernicia looms closer than ever on the horizon while Daniel is pulled into intrigue and scandal at Rheged’s capital kingdom, Caer Ligualid. Then, after returning to his home in Gaeson, someone Daniel loves is kidnapped. Daniel embarks on a dangerous quest to get them back. Daniel is forced to rely on a former ally he isn’t at all sure he can trust. Is the person he loves still alive? Can he find them and bring them back while peace still reigns?

What is your favourite cake?

That’s got to be Cherry Bakewell cake, followed closely by carrot cake.

You can connect with Maria at the following places:

Website –
Newsletter –
Facebook Page –
Instagram –

Join me next week when I will be having a slice of cake with Ed Swing. 

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me.