Since my time first dipping my toes into the YA waters, and paddling in the stream of social networking, I’ve made a few online writer friends. I’m proud to be part of the Oasis here, not just for the posts on the blog but the writers behind them. Equally amazing are our readers, and author friends. Elana Johnson is one of those Oasis friends, and we all adore her.
Surrender, her second book released last month, and Elana has been all over the blogosphere with guest posts and giveaways, etc. Since this blog was founded on the principal of providing an Oasis of calm and support for our readers, I wanted to make sure to give that to Elana, too, when I signed us up to help out with her promo.
So, instead of more questions about her books, I decided to try to get to know the author behind those stories better. So, thank you readers for your time and attention, and thank you Elana for gracing the Oasis for YA with your presence!
Oasis: I’m not sure, but I think it might have been an online discussion about bacon, or my #Hated posts on Twitter that brought us together, but I remember having that fangirl moment. “OMGee! Elana Johnson is talking to me?!” Are there authors out there who make your heart pitter-patter, that you feel blessed to know?
Elana: Um, all of them. I especially like it when I’m reading my friends’ books, and I’m like, “I know this person! This is so cool.”
I will say that if Scott Westerfeld would just once—just ONCE—tweet me, my life would be complete. I would even take a re-tweet. Just ONCE, Westerfeld!
Oasis: I see from you League of Extraordinary writer’s bio that you like dystopians because of the limitless possibilities. What in you do you think draws you to the no-boundaries type of story?
Elana: My rebellious streak? Ha. But no, really. I’m a black-and-white person. There are things that are right, and things that are wrong. There is good and evil. There is bacon and there are vegetables. (HA.) So I like things that line up and are neat and organized. I follow almost all the rules, and I always have.
But in writing, I don’t want to follow the rules. I don’t want someone telling me I can’t do something. I want to be free to create whatever I want. So my rebellious nature comes out loud and clear in my writing, which is why I love a good dystopian novel.
Oasis: You’re involved in Write-On Con, are a tireless supporter of writers, an activist I’m proud to know on some level beyond the typed word, and am deeply honored to have blurbed my book. Your blog is a wealth of information on the publishing world, and you’re a founding author of the Query Tracker blog. Your free downloadable ebook From the Query to the Call is available on your website. What prompts you to be so involved in helping and encouraging writers to become authors? What led you to write, and make From the Query to the Call for writers?
Elana: I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was like, five years old. I think some people are born teachers, and I think I’m one of them. I don’t mean that like, “I’m so much better than you,” but you know what I mean. Some people are born to dance. Some are born to draw. Some are born to teach.
So it’s an innate quality. I can’t imagine not helping and encouraging other writers. I have an “You can do whatever you want with your life,” mentality that extends out of my classroom and into my life. Into writing. You want to be a writer? Great! Do it. You can do it. Anyone can do it.
I wrote and released From the Query to the Call because the querying stage for authors is one of the most debilitating. It’s hard to write a query letter. It’s hard to be rejected. It’s hard to know exactly what to do. And I was living it. (Over and over.) So I thought someone could benefit from my experience.
Oasis: I know I’m still in awe of all you do to help lift up and promote wordsmiths on their path navigating the publishing world. Someday when I gather my legs under me, I hope to take a few lessons from you. If there were one thing you would want left as your legacy to the publishing world, what would you choose?
Elana: Oooh, tough one. I’d hope people would remember me for my overall enthusiasm and kindness. I try hard to put both of those out there front and center in all I do online.
Oasis: If there were only one thing you would want readers to take away from your stories, what would it be?
Elana: This is also a hard one! My stories are all about free choice, and who’s influencing your choices, so I guess I’m hoping people will examine their lives and determine why they choose to do what they do.
Oasis: Is there anything you would like to share with the Oasis readers about your latest release SURRENDER, or the world it’s set in?
Elana: SURRENDER really widens the lens on the Possession world. We’re in the capital city, in the underground movement of the Insiders, and hopefully readers will get a fuller understanding of what Vi, Jag, and Zenn are up against.
About Elana: Elana's work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is 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 can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.
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….
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Elana has generously offered up a signed hardcover of both POSSESSION and SURRENDER!! Fill out the Rafflecopter thingy below for a chance to win both books, and a denim book tote sewn by me!
a Rafflecopter giveaway