historical fiction books | historical romance books

Words with a Wordsmith: Johanna Craven

By Edie Cay
January 29, 2021

What was the inspiration for your most recent book?

I am always on the lookout for little-known parts of history to write my books around. When I found out about colonial Australia’s “female register”, I knew immediately I had to write a novel about it. The register catalogued all the women in the colony as either “wife” or “concubine”, listing girls as young as twelve, along with those married outside of Church of England services, as concubines. The register was sent back to England, and led to the view of Australian women as being sexually immoral, a perception which lasted long into the 20th century. This, along with several other facets of the experience of early Australian women, is something we are never taught about in school, and I very much wanted to bring it to readers’ attention. 

What’s the best compliment a reader has ever given you? 

One of my readers said they enjoyed my characters so much they wrote their own short stories about them. I would have loved to read them!

Favorite non-reading activity?

 During lockdown, I took up mid-winter ocean swimming – partly because the pools were closed and I desperately wanted to swim, and partly because I announced one night (with a glass of wine in my hand) that I was going to do it, and knew my partner would never let me live it down if I backed out! It very quickly became my new favourite activity – the cold is very addictive! 

Have you ever experienced Imposter Syndrome? How do you work through that?

ALL THE TIME. I spent pretty much the entire four years of my music degree waiting to be told there’d been a mistake and I’d been admitted to the school in error. And when I got my first publishing deal, I was so afraid my publisher was going to back out I didn’t tell anyone until the contract had been signed and I said to myself, “Well, they couldn’t change their mind now.”

 Imposter Syndrome is something I’ve talked about a lot with fellow artists, and have come to realise that it’s something almost everyone experiences, no matter how far along they are in their career. I’ve decided the best way through it is to acknowledge you are experiencing it, accept it will probably always be there, and then just get on with things. Talking about it with others also really helps. 

If you could write any other genre, what would it be?

Definitely horror. I love reading good atmospheric ghost stories and have definitely not ruled out trying to write one myself one day!

Johanna Craven is an historical fiction writer, pianist and composer. After living in Melbourne and Los Angeles, she now divides her time between London and Australia.


When not writing historical fiction, Johanna works as a freelance editor and piano teacher, and taught classes via Zoom before it was fashionable… She loves ghost-hunting, cooking (and eating) and plays the folk fiddle very badly.


Johanna released her first novel Music From Standing Waves in 2015 before signing with London’s Lume Books for her second book The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. One of Us Buried is her seventh novel.  





To buy One of Us Buried:



Edie Cay
Written by Edie Cay

Edie Cay writes award-winning feminist Regency Romance about women’s boxing and relatable misfits. She is a member of the Regency Fiction Writers, the Historical Novel Society, ALLi, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can drop her a line on Facebook and Instagram @authorediecay or find her on her website,

View Edie’s PLW Profile

Share This Post


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *