Sunday, September 22, 2013

Johnné Erial Elizabeth Webster: Passion for Writing Guides Her Future

By Nicole Lloyd, ENGL 336.001

Johnné Erial Elizabeth Webster is a senior at Frostburg State University, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Johnné chose her major to match her passion for writing. With her writing more so than any other topic, when she speaks of her work she lights up with excitement. Johnné likes the small size of the Frostburg campus and the beautiful mountains of Western Maryland. She currently stays in Simpson Hall, an all-girls dormitory. This is the only one of its kind, and Johnné likes this.

Her parents both having been in the military, Johnné was born in Alameda, California. She has lived in a long list of places, including Oak Harbor, Washington; Pensacola, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; Lexington Park, Maryland; and now resides here in Frostburg. Before Johnné arrived at Frostburg State, she attended the College of Southern Maryland, in St. Mary's County. When she went to this community college, her parents assisted her in paying for school. However, at Frostburg State, she pays for everything on her own.

Johnné loves anime, her favorite being the romantic Inuyasha. She watches a lot of this, which will become a major source of inspiration for her fan fiction. Johnné then excitedly mentions a video game that “changed my life”, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. She reminisces about how she “sat in the basement playing it nonstop”. Johnné noted that she isn’t a big gamer, but she likes a certain few a lot.

Perhaps the most prominent characteristic about Johnné is her love for writing. She says she’s been writing for as long as she can remember, her earliest stories being from the second grade. Johnné says she would write about Tiki Dolls, which would come to life and attack characters. She says her earlier writing attempts “were not very good, nope”, and, “my handwriting was atrocious”. In the seventh grade Johnné moved on to reading and writing fan fiction. She says she tried to write short stories, which, she jokingly adds, didn’t turn out so well. Johnné started publishing her work on, but her ideas were stolen and put into another’s story. This person later contacted Johnné, having changed the work, and asking if she could keep it. Johnné, understandably, declined. From this experience Johnné has become hesitant to publish her own ideas online, but says she still enjoys visiting the site to view what others post. Being a writer, especially one who publishes her work online, Johnné leaves herself open to negative reviews. However, she says people are usually pretty positive about her work, and she can only remember one negative review. Johnné says she left this particularly hateful review online, finding it a bit humorous. Johnné says when dealing with criticism she embraces it. Johnné is currently working on what she hopes will become a published novel by the time she is thirty-five, an “erotic horror”. “But right now it’s just funny, which is not where I was going,” she laughs. “I initially just wrote for myself. But when people tell me they love my work it warms me. It makes me very, very happy.”

One thing is for certain, Johnné will continue to write and share her passion with others for some time to come.

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