Author Spotlight: Lisa Johnston

author spotlight lisa johnston

Join us for a chat with Lisa Johnston, author of the Castra Project series, a trio of thrilling dystopian books!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, but currently live on beautiful Vancouver Island. I have been working as a freelance writer in the business world for the last 20 years, including in the position of editor of a funeral magazine. I’d like to say my fascination with dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels comes from my current work, but I became addicted to that genre long before then.

What led or inspired you to start writing fiction? And how did you end up choosing your specific genre(s)?

I can remember crafting stories at a young age, but I chose the dystopian genre after reading The Handmaid’s Tale in high school. I wrote my first novel, Wakeless, during university, but it languished on my computer for decades as life became busy with a young family. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 lockdown that I found the time to revisit Wakeless and decided Emma’s story deserved to be heard. I think my proudest moment was when I opened the mail to see a physical copy of Wakeless, but it was also beyond scary, as I felt I was allowing others into the deepest recesses of my mind.

What’s your most recent published book? What’s it about?

Book three of The Castra Project, Bloodroot, was released in February and ends the journey of a motley group of friends trying to survive a dystopian North America where new nations have formed and trade is essential, even if it’s trading in humans. All my books are dark dystopian tales of terrifying new worlds. Some people, including my dad, have questioned why I write such disturbing books, but I love the world building that comes with creating new existences beyond the imaginable. I enjoy getting into the mind of a character and writing about a world so drastically different from our own. I’m a panster, which means I don’t know the ending of the story when I first begin the journey. The characters guide me through the pages and although I do not always agree with their actions, I trust them to not lead me astray.

What has been the most challenging part of being an indie (self-pubbed) author? How have you tackled that challenge?

The most challenging part of being an indie author is handling every single task throughout the day. I’m not just the author, I’m the accountant, IT support, marketing guru, and the office cleaner. I love to write, but there are a million little tasks fighting for my attention that must be addressed. With these challenges, however, comes fulfillment, mainly in the people I have met along the way. The support of my editors, fellow authors, and the book blogger community has meant the world to me.

How did you end up choosing to work with us? What is the most helpful tip you can offer to authors who, like you, want to find the right editor for their books?

I started working with Two Birds as a result of a referral from a fellow author within the self-publishing network. Andrea, Michele, and the team have been most helpful in bringing The Castra Project series to bookshelves around the world. I would encourage other indies to make connections with writers, editors, and book bloggers, but most of all to write every day. It is important, no matter how busy the day, to get a few words on paper. Although it is hard to let our babies out into the world for mass consumption, it is imperative to have the guidance of a strong editing and advanced reader team.

Where can authors and readers connect with you, and find your books?

Writers and readers can connect with me via my website at or on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and X. My books are available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

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