Friday, June 1, 2012

Forever Waiting Writers Series: Interview with Elana Johnson

Today we will be spending time with Elana Johnson. Not only is she the author of POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER (all available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold), she is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers. Elana is also a teacher (I heart teachers) and loves bacon and claims to drive too fast.

Here is my own Gossip Time Review of POSSESSION and below is a short description from Amazon:

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous—everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Elana, what’s interesting about SURRENDER (which I had thought was a sequel but I stand corrected in your answer below) (and don’t worry no spoilers) is that you chose to write it from the point of views of Raine and Gunner and not Vi. What made you decide to do this (other than the obvious…which is what happens to Vi at the end of POSSESSION)?

Yes, no spoilers! So I needed a new narrator. I’d tried and thought of many different things—all of them closely related to POSSESSION. After all, I wanted readers to know they were in the same world.

But everything I tried failed. It was all wrong, wrong, wrong. It was only when I stepped completely away from POSSESSION that I found SURRENDER. Yes, it’s a companion novel. Yes, it’s the same world. Yes, you’ll see many of the same characters.

But SURRENDER is it’s own book. There’s a new part of the Association, new characters, new problems, new relationships, new everything. It still maintains the feel of POSSESSION, but it really is a new novel. Not a continuation of a story that’s already done.
So that’s why I chose to write from Gunn and Raine’s POV. SURRENDER is their story.

Other than an awesome story fraught with tension, SURRENDER has some way cool tech! In particular I love the concept of e-comms and cache. Can you explain what these are and what inspired you to invent such cool tech?

A cache is a mental device that’s implanted at birth that allows people to communicate mentally. So Gunner can compose an e-comm—basically an email—and send it all with the cache, all inside his head. No computer required!

I need cool tech in the novels, because the society is futuristic and somewhat based on technology. Plus, I like inventing fun gadgets and using them—for good or bad! Because, hey, a cache feed can be monitored… and once you have something in writing, it’s hard to take back. So the cache isn’t always a good thing…

What I admire about you is not only how you have built a presence for yourself and your books on the internet, but how you have put so much information out there to help other writers in the trenches. Your book from Query to the Call is available for free download, you have links on your blog to help writers with their query letters and building a better blog, you’ve recommended the book SAVE THE CAT (which was a HUGE help to me with my own writing)—how do you do it, between work, family, and writing? What would you say to writers out there that are being beaten down by rejection or are just pulling their hair out from all the waiting?

First, thank you! I can do what I do because my family is forgiving, my summers are free, and I’ve learned to operate on little to no sleep. I’m only sort of kidding about that last one. I have also been doing this for years, so I’ve learned what works for me and how to maximize the time I have.

My best piece of advice for those dealing with rejection—which published authors still get rejected too, so I still feel this pain from time to time—is a simple one: Write more.
You started writing because you love writing, right? SO WRITE.You didn’t start writing because you love PUBLISHING. 

And there’s a difference between writing and publishing. One is something you do because it brings peace to your soul or helps you sort through the mess of your life or whatever. The other one is something that happens after you’ve gone completely insane and decided you want other people to read your work. I’m only sort of kidding about that last one. Ha!

But seriously. You didn’t start writing because you love publishing. You started writing because you love to write. So do that. You’ll get there.

If you could have a super human ability, what would it be?

I would like to fly. 

Thank you so much for spending time with us Elana!

SURRENDER is going to release on June 5, 2012. That's in less than FIVE DAYS! 

About SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque…. 


  1. Yay Elana!! I'm so happy for you. And thank you for all that you do for the writing community!

  2. So excited for Elana and Surrender! I love that she took the second book in a different direction with a companion novel instead of a sequel.

  3. Hi

    I like this post:

    You create good material for community.

    Please keep posting.

    Let me introduce other material that may be good for net community.

    Source: Johnson & Johnson interview questions

    Best rgs

  4. If you want to get more materials that related to this topic, you can visit: Johnson & Johnson interview questions

    Best regards.