This lady is AWESOME. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query. And her debut novel, Possession rocked my socks off.
She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the Query Tracker blog, a regular contributor to The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a co-organizer of WriteOnCon.
I had the priviledge to read an ARC of Possession before its release. I fell in love with the book, with her characters, and with her. :)
About POSSESSION: 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.
Praise for POSSESSION:
“Who Should Read This: Anyone who wants a challenge: This plot is so twisty, I had to read the last chapter twice before I could believe what happened. There's also a very nice balance between bad ass action and romantic tension for readers who like a good mix of the two.” –MTV.com
“Most [readers] will be drawn in by the love triangle, revelations about Vi and her family, and a dark twist ending that maintains the faintest glimmer of hope.” –PW
"[T]he super-cool, surprise ending...stays entirely true to the plot....[T]he romantic tribulations...may serve to draw romance fans into the sci-fi side....[T]he setting is developed with care and detail, making for a vividly drawn alternative world. Fans of Matched (BCCB11/10) and other recent romantically focused additions to the dystopian sub-genre may wish to add this to their reading list." –The Bulletin
“This debut novel fits neatly into the latest dystopian fantasy craze. Readers will enjoy tough-as-nails Violet ‘Vi’ Schoenfeld and her two love interests, Zenn and Jag.” –Library Media Connection
I also had the joy of interviewing Elana to learn all her fabulously dirty secrets.
1. Q- How long ago did you get bitten by the "writing bug"?
Elana-- I started writing in December 2007, so just about 4 years ago.
Q--What is the biggest challenge you have run into being a mommy and a writer?
Elana-- Time management. They say that as your children get older, you’ll have more time. It’s not true. They don’t nap, and they have more activities you have to take them to. And the nagging! Teenagers have to be nagged to do everything, and that can take a lot of out of a person.
So definitely time management. I have to sneak in writing where I can, around someone else’s schedule.
Q-- How many clones of yourself are you hiding from the world, because we cannot figure out how you get so much done with the same amount of time as the rest of us?
Elana-- Ha! I have four clones that I know of. I think the Promotion Elana cloned herself at one point, but I’m not sure. I have a Clone Management clone to take care of that kind of stuff.
Q-- How long did the idea for Possession take to form and fester before you started writing it out?
Elana--Not long, which is saying something, because usually my ideas swirl around for a while before I write them out. But I had read my first dystopian novel in March of 2008, and I knew I wanted to write a novel like “that.” Whatever that was. So after I learned the term dystopian, I started writing POSSESSION in April 2008.
Q-- I heard that Surrender is not a direct sequel to Possession, what does that mean for those of us who are still rooting for Jag and Vi to be together?
Elana-- It’s true. SURRENDER Is not a direct sequel to POSSESSION. But I can say that you will see Vi, Zenn, and Jag again in the book. There are some sequential elements, so never fear!
Q-- I can tell there is a lot of work put into your success. Even when you talk about writing your query letters you talk about your research. What is the best advice you can give to those writers who are ready to query their first novel?
Elana-- I think the best thing you can do is revise your query one last time. Take one more day to go over your agent list. Just give yourself two more days to make sure that you have the right list with a great query.
Then my advice switches to BE BRAVE. Send that query with confidence. Smile through the rejection. And hang on until the end.
Q--What are some of the writer's conference you have attended? Is there any one you would choose to attend over another?
Elana-- I’ve been to several conferences and meetings. LDStorymakers is the biggest here in Utah, and has the best presenters. It’s also one of the most affordable conferences around ($170 for two days!), and you don’t have to be LDS to attend.
I’ve also been to meetings and conferences for The League of Utah Writers, and they are a great organization.
I’m a member of ANWA (American Night Writers Association) and I’ve been to their annual conference in Arizona. Also very much worth it.
LTUE can’t be beat for the money. It’s only $30 for a three-day symposium. It’s great for the fantasy and science fiction writer, the illustrator, and anyone really.
UVU has a Book Academy that is great. And there are a couple of groups that do teen conferences (those are for teens, of course).
So yeah. I think there is a wealth of conferences and opportunities for writers to improve their craft, get their market savvy on, and network with other authors. Conferences are invaluable for all of that. Plus, you get to hang out with other authors! That’s so much fun all by itself.
Today we are not giving away a copy of Possession (although you should definitely go out and get your own copy, we have links on where to find it below), instead she is offering TWO lucky writers an opportunity to make their query letters sparkle brighter than a vampire at high noon.
There are many ways to enter to win today's prize make sure you take advantage of ALL of them. One winner will be chosen through random drawing and the other will be chosen by Elana following the rules below.
ALL ENTRIES MUST BE MADE BY 11:59 PM MST tonight, January 17, 2012. Be sure to leave a way to be notified of your win or at least check back in the winner's Circle to Claim your prize or a new winner will be chosen.
TO ENTER TO WIN ELANA'S CHOICE YOU MUST:
1. Post a 2-3 sentence pitch/hook for the book you are querying in the comments below and Elana (or one of her clones) will get to choose her favorite and offer them an entire query critique.
TO ENTER THE RANDOM DRAWING:
2. Leave a comment on this post.
3. Become a follower of this blog (you must clearly state in your comment on this post that you are a follower to receive credit for this).
4. Follow MMW on Facebook (again, you must clearly state in your comment on this post that you have done this to receive credit).
5. Advertise this spectacular month of giveaways on your blog or Facebook page. (Comments...)
6. Follow Elana Johnson at any of the following links and let us know in the comments:
League Blog: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.
Dedicated Possession Website: http://possessionthebook.com
com/Possession-Elana-Johnson/ dp/1442421258/ref=sr_1_1?ie= UTF8&qid=1325265853&sr=8-1
Possession-ebook/dp/ B004A90BZ6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8& qid=1325265853&sr=8-2
barnesandnoble.com/w/ possession-elana-johnson/ 1100572666?ean=9781442421257& itm=1&usri=possession+elana+ johnson
Also, you can get a free short story that accompanies POSSESSION. It's available in all digital formats on Smashwords:http://www.
People can download a free book club sampler which includes questions, recipes, and more for POSSESSION: http://pages.