Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Britta Johnson from Natural Thorn Killer

NATURAL THORN KILLER TOUR BANNER 640natural thorn killer coverVisiting us today, is Britta Johnson. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

After working a dead-end job and suffering through years and years of life with a deadbeat husband, one fateful bouquet of stale, store bought roses led me to shake up my entire world and move home to Portland, Oregon to help my Aunt Elin run her artisan flower shop, Blooma. It’s the best decision I have ever made, except for one minor detail: murder. Someone began leaving dead, black roses on Blooma’s doorstep. At first, we didn’t give it much thought. But then things took a turn for the worse. I arrived at the flower shop early one morning to find Frank Jaffe, a local real estate developer who had set his sights on Blooma’s highly desirable riverfront property, stabbed to death.

What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

I didn’t have a choice. Things looked bad for Aunt Elin from the moment I found the body. First, there was the sticky issue of the fact that her signature pruning shears had been stabbed into Frank’s chest. Then there was the fact that his body was found at Blooma, and that she was one of the last people to see him alive. To compound matters, she and Frank had had a nasty fight the night before. She made it clear (in front of an audience of her fellow business owners) that she would do whatever it took to ensure that Frank didn’t get his greedy hands on anyone’s property in our tight-knit village. I knew from the moment that the police arrived on the scene that Aunt Elin was there top suspect. I also knew that there was no chance that my beloved aunt had anything to do with the crime.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

It means that I’m responsible for planting the seeds to my own garden. I’m responsible for tilling the dirt, for working the soil, for watering and watching as my life takes bloom.

What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Listen to your intuition. It will never steer you wrong. My inner voice had been nudging me gently for years, but I pushed it aside. I trudge on in an unhappy marriage and job. I wish I had listened to my intuition early on. It might have saved me heartache. It definitely would have led me to follow my passion much, much sooner.

What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?

To fully embrace the moment. I had quieted my desires. I set them aside in favor of a “safe” life. Only safe for me, meant being miserable. Even despite the challenges of helping Elin manage the shop, rediscovering my floral roots, and being chased down by a crazed killer, I wouldn’t trade any experience I’ve had since returning to Portland. Living a fully realized and creative life means taking risks. I’ve learned that the risk is always worth it.

If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?

Some Say Love/The Rose

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

I love my new life in the Rose City. Things are just beginning to bud when it comes to taking over Blooma and creating gorgeous, hand-crafted bouquets and bountiful blooms for our customers. I wasn’t planning to dabble in sleuthing again, but when Elin and I were asked to design the showcase float for Portland’s annual Rose Festival, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The Rose Festival is Portland’s grandest celebration with dragon boat races, a carnival, starlight parade, the Run for the Roses, and the biggest flower event of the year—The Grand Floral Parade. We were thrilled to be chosen as the premiere float designer. This was the chance of a lifetime. But, threats from an anarchist group, Dark Fusion, might derail our plans and cancel the entire parade. While Elin and I tried to concentrate on gluing delicate seeds onto our float, protests erupted on Portland’s streets and one of the members of Dark Fusion.