May Featured Debut Author~Elana Johnson

This month it is my pleasure to feature my friend Elana Johnson as May's debut author. Her young adult novel, Possession from Simon & Schuster, is releasing next month! I won the first chapter in a contest and I've got to tell you it was all kinds of awesome. I'm dying to read the rest! Before we meet Elana a bit 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.

Welcome to Heather's Odyssey Elana! It is a pleasure to have you here and to be celebrating the release of your debut novel with you. Tell me, what inspired you to write a young adult dystopian novel?
Elana: Dystopian was not something on my radar when I started writing. But with writing came a lot of reading (something I’ve always enjoyed), and I read a dystopian novel. When I finished it, I thought “I want to write a novel like this.”  

So I did. (After much research *shudder* about what dystopian even meant.)

Inspired by another author, I love that! While writing what is the one thing you cannot do without?
Elana: Depends on which part of writing I’m doing. During drafting, I need time and someone to be accountable to. (My CP’s sort of hate me. *wink*) During revising/editing, I need very loud music and an endless supply of sour patch kids. During polishing, I need Twitter. (Ha!) 

I love that your needs change with the stage of the process! What was your favorite part of writing Possession?
Elana: My favorite part of writing Possession was crafting the relationships between the characters. Whether is sibling, romantic, a parent to a child, relationships fascinate me.

Me too! It is often the best part of the novel for me. Is there anything you can tell us about Possession that we may not know from your website or blog?
Elana: Well, I haven’t posted much about Possession, except for the official back cover copy. I have revealed a little bit about the world and technology, and that’s it. 

So juicy stuff? How about that I wrote the entire draft in 17 days? #lame

Maybe: It took me 13 months to revise before I queried agents. #doublelame

Maybe: The first scene I wrote is now on page 130. #PossessionIsn’tOutYet

Okay, how about that Vi is similar to me in some ways, and my complete opposite in others. #closer?

Did you know there’s kissing in Possession? #ILikeKissing

I don’t really have anything else. Mostly I just can’t wait to hear what readers think about it!
Awesome dishing! Wow, 17 days to write and 13 months to revise! I have to admit I'm excited about all the kissing. ;) What do you have in store for us after Possession? A sequel or a new novel perhaps?
Elana: I have written a companion novel to Possession. New characters, new story, same world. I can say that you will see some Possession characters in the companion. I can’t say who. ;) 

That sounds excellent! With that in mind, which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Elana: I love writing from Vi’s POV. She was very therapeutic for me. My favorite character in the book is Jag—I love the relationships he has with his brothers. The character I wish I could spend an afternoon getting to know better: Zenn. 

Not picking favorites I see. That must mean they're all equally awesome! Any closing thoughts to leave us with?
Elana: I’m going to go all sappy. Are you ready? I’ve been so grateful for everyone in the virtual world who’s supported me. Whether that was with a tweet, a blog comment, an email, or offering to host me/my book on your blog, it’s been nothing short of amazing. So I just want to say thank you.

Aw, now you've got me all sappy! I was so not ready for that. You're welcome! It has been a pleasure supporting someone as giving and generous as yourself. Here's wishing you and Possession monumental success! Okay peeps, join me in clicking on the title to pre-order this amazing lady's book. You won't regret it, I guarantee it.


  1. Great interview Heather!

    One thing I really like about Elana is that she is so real about her journey and very supportive of other writers.

    I'm looking forward to reading POSSESSION.

  2. Wonderful interview, Heather. I love that the first scene Elana wrote ended up on page 130 in the final version. We don't have to lose our great first scenes, just find the right place for them!

  3. Karen, that's part of what I love so much about her! We can email back and forth as we read it next month!

    Linda, thank you. I love that Elana did that too! No scene is ever truly lost if we wrote it well.

  4. Heather, Thank you for another wonderful interview. And you know it, I'm buying Possession! Every person you have interviewed, I've read their books and love them! I know I won't be disappointed. Elana's gratitude is heartfelt. An amazing woman. Thank you for sharing this beautiful author.

  5. I'm putting this book on my wish list right now!

  6. Yay! I CAN NOT wait until Elana's book is released. I echo Karen's comments about Elana, she's such a wonderful supporter of other writers. I wish her much success with her debut. Wonderful interview, Heather! :D

  7. Karlene, thank you so much! I'm glad I've kept you in good books lately. :)

    Lin, fantastic! If the first chatper is any indication of how great the book is (and I bet it is!) you will not be disappointed!

    Brenda, I know me too! I'm really dying to read it after the first chapter teaser! She is pretty amazing isn't she?!

  8. Thanks, Heather! You are awesome to give me your blog space today.

    :) E

  9. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to drop by Elana! It was a pleasure having you over.

  10. Loved this interview! And CAN'T EVEN WAIT to read Possession! christy

  11. Sounds like a great story... I'm a sucker for love drama (is that toally lame?!) Can't wait to read more!

  12. Christy, thanks! You and me both, I'm itching to read the whole thing!

    Julie, not lame at all, I am too!

  13. Great interview Heather and Elana. I'm so amazed that Elana wrote this in 17 days. Wow!

  14. Love this interview. Wow, 17 days without an outline. Impressive. Not happening in my neck of the woods.

    Can't wait to get my copy of Possession. :D

  15. Natalie, Elana is pretty amazing!

    Stina, I know me neither! I'd go crazy without an outline and I envy those who can write without one!

  16. Great interview. It's so good to hear that people don't just magically write novels, all perfectly ready to go, in a month!

  17. Heather you are such a fantastic host! Elana... I love your upbeat attitude and kind heart. I wish you all the success in the world!

  18. Lydia, wouldn't it be nice if we could?! Practical no, but definitely nice!

    Michael, thank you. She does have a fantastic attitude, you should see her blog!

  19. Elana is so AWESOME!!! And I can't WAIT to read Possession, I just know it's going to rock!!

  20. Shannon, you've read it already?! I'm sooo jealous!

    Lisa, she really is! I can't wait to read it too and see it in the bookstores!

  21. YAY!! Great interview! Thanks!
    So I downloaded it (Galley Grab) but when I was at page 4 my computer died! :( I'm so sad!! I really wanted to keep reading.

  22. Great interview. I really appreciate her positivity.

  23. So excited for her and wishing her the best with this! :O)

  24. Monica, oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that! I printed mine out so I could read it while on the treadmill. ;)

    D.U., thank you, and thanks for following! Yep Elana is pretty awesome.

    Diane, me too!


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