JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
ShoShana Johnson, author of I’m Still Standing: From Captive Soldier to Free Citizen – My Journey Home
(Touchstone Books / Simon & Schuster)
In the earliest days of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, the world was shaken by reports of a deadly ambush on a U.S. Army convoy on its way to Baghdad. The 507th Maintenance Company, a combat service support unit, was brutally attacked by a well-armed mob of civilians. Eleven people were killed; Shoshana Johnson, an army cook, and four others were captured and held prisoner for 22 days.
I’m Still Standing: From Captive Soldier to Free Citizen – My Journey Home is Johnsonâ€™s extraordinary chronicle of her captivity, while providing a revealing eyewitness account of her experiences as a POW. It is a rare view of one of the key incidents of the war in Iraq. Told with candor and insight, Iâ€™m Still Standing is Johnsonâ€™s deeply personal account of how she survived.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write I’m Still Standing?
ShoShana Johnson: My family were big cheerleaders/advocates for me to write a book, and I was really tired of people telling me what happened to me or telling others what happened.
JP: What sets I’m Still Standing apart from other books in its genre?
SJ: I feel that I really put myself out there in the book and also there haven’t been many female POW’s in the modern era of warfare, so it makes my experience unique.
JP: What has been the response from the readers of I’m Still Standing? What is the most memorable thing that a reader has expressed to you in regards to I’m Still Standing?
SJ: Most people have been very supportive, but not all. The most memorable thing came from a female that was in the same battalion as myself. She said that after reading the book, she got a good understanding of what happened.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish I’m Still Standing?
SJ: There is a ghost writer, so the main process for me was just digging deep and putting myself on the line. The process took almost four years with different publishers and ghost writers. I felt I had to stay true to myself, whether other people liked it or not.
JP: What’s next for Shoshana Johnson?
SJ: Finishing culinary school, being the best Pastry Chef out there, maybe getting a bachelors degree in food science. Sharing my love of cooking is a big thing for me.