Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elana Johnson Author Interview & Book Lover's Holiday Hop

Co-Hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy

It is not the gift, but the thought that counts.
-Henry Van Dyke

Toronto, Ontario
From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another
The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.
-Emily Matthews

Ottawa, Ontario
I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority. ~W.J. Cameron

Regina, Saskatchewan
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Calgary, Alberta
Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. 
 ~Carol Nelson

Vancouver, British Columbia
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid

Quebec, Canada
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

What's on your list?
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

Hope you have enjoyed your tour around Canada
Happy Holidays!

Book Nerd Author Interview

Elana's debut novel, Possession, is available now from Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster).

Elana 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.

Using her boring human powers, she graduated from Southern Utah University with Summa Cum Laude honors in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics. She started her teaching career as an upper grade music and art specialist. After a four-year stint in 3rd grade, she is currently the technology specialist.

In her world, Oreos and bacon would be the only food groups. Everyone would drive 10 over the speed limit. Winter would be eliminated as a season, and Jeff Probst would be President. As it is, she lives with her husband and two kids in central Utah, gets cited when she drives too fast and eats Oreos only on special occasions.

She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query.

She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog, a regular contributor to The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a co-organizer of WriteOnCon. She is a member of SCBWI, ANWA, and LDStorymakers.

Elana is represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary.

Social Media

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Oh, going for the big guns early. Well, I am a mother of two children, a wife to one, and a teacher to hundreds. In all my spare time, I clean and attempt to cook and run errands and write novels.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grow up?

A teacher.

How long have you been writing?

Just shy of 4 years now

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first book the month I turned 30.

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

Hmm, I’m not sure. I’m just very angsty, but I don’t think that’s a unique characteristic because of my upbringing. At least I hope not. I had a happy childhood. I didn’t start writing until later in life when I realized not everything was coming up roses. You know?

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

There are hardly feelings for such things. Your heart pounds really hard, and you’ve got this indescribable amount of hope. Because most authors dream of these days. They have them all planned out, and you’re hoping that it’ll be as good as what you’ve imagined.

And it is. In fact, it’s better.

Did you learn anything from writing Possession and what was it?

I learned that it’s okay to write in a way that’s authentic to the story.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

POSSESSION is the first in a series. It was originally written as a standalone—it was sold alone. But we later developed it into a series. The second book, SURRENDER, is a companion novel and will be out in June 2012.

Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

Dude, Vi, of course. She says and does things I only dream of saying and doing. In many ways, we’re complete opposites, so I love getting to read about her doing things I would literally kill to do. She’s got spunk, you know? I need to get my spunk on.

Can you tell us a little about Jag and Vi?

Vi is the good girl who doesn’t want to be bossed around anymore. She’s been breaking rules for years, and she finally breaks one too many. Chaos ensues as she tries to figure out what’s good and what’s bad and who to believe.

Jag is the bad boy whose fighting for all the things Vi believes in. Sort of. She’s not really sure, and he’s completely black and white. He’s headstrong and moody, and he doesn’t really like getting attached to people or places, because they always end up leaving—or he does.

Where did you get your idea for Possession?

I had just read my first dystopian novel, and thought, “I want to write a book like that.” Then I had to figure out what “that” was. It was dystopian. Once I knew that, I just needed a society. So I played around with a few things and finally landed on “What if you couldn’t make your own choices?” That led to brainwashing, that led to a character who hated being brainwashed, and that led to writing POSSESSION.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

SURRENDER is a companion novel to POSSESSION, which means it takes place in the same storyworld, but follows new characters. (If you’ve read POSSESSION you know why…) Gunner and Raine live in Freedom, and they both have terrifying—and sought-after—talents they’ve been trying to keep secret.

They also like each other a little too much for two people who aren’t matched. Chaos ensues as Raine tries to figure out how much and how often she should use her talent to keep getting Insider information, and more chaos erupts as Gunn tries to figure out who he can trust and who he can’t.

If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

I have no idea. This is way too deep for me! 
Jean - This just cracked me up E!

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?

Oh, heavens yes. I haven’t read the finished copy yet, because I know it’ll give me fits. As a writer, you grow and change and get better with each book. POSSESSION is my third novel, and I’m writing my 15th now. I’m a better writer. So yeah, I’d look at POSSESSION and want to rewrite entire paragraphs and pages and chapters.

So I just don’t look. 

What book are you reading now?

I just finished VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez. It was absolutely perfection; you should read it.

What new author has grasped your interest?

Rae Carson. I loved THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. I’m so going to write a fantasy like that one day.

Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

My facebook fanpage is full of pictures from my recent tour to California and parts of Utah (where I live). I have the Provo Teen Book Festival coming up on November 12, and then I’m relaxing until 2012.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

My phone, my purse, my smile, and a plan. 

List 3 of your all time favorite books?

UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld, THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson, and SKIN HUNGER by Kathleen Duey.

List 3 of your all time favorite movies?

Two Weeks Notice, The Village, and X-Men.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Dude, everywhere!

My blog:




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 brainwashed 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.

Possession by Elana Johnson is a fast-paced, extremely appealing dystopian novel that really held my interest. The quick pace matched the swift mind of the heroine, Violet, who had a sarcastic comment for everything. She is amusing and also charming.

I thought the world that Johnson created for Possession was very captivating. It was very fascinating reading about people using mind control and how it plays a big role of how society functions. Even with all the technology available, the mind is the ultimate technology. Johnson relentlessly keeps the reader second-guessing and there’s no way to foretell what will happen next.

Johnson does a superb job of making the reader feel what Violet is thinking. At times, I felt like I was Violet and was living in the story. Although Violet may not understand her own thoughts, her feelings were easily understood.

It’s revitalizing and unpredictable. It’s a well made roller-coaster ride that leaves the reader wanting for more. You’ll be amazed with the world Johnson has created and the effort she puts in building the characters. It promises more installments to come. Romance readers will yearn for more of the love triangle between Violet, Jag, and Zenn. The technological density will get the admiration of science fiction fans. And readers of dystopian novels will appreciate Johnson’s world where mind control is the ultimate weapon.

You can purchase Possession at these following retailers.
Click LINKS below:

Love the simplicity of Surrender. 

And now, The Giveaways. 

1 Winner will recieve a Signed copy of Possession by Elana Johnson.

***If you're an Author and would like to do an Interview and Giveaway, you can e-mail me at****

Click >>>HERE<<< for the rest of the Hop


  1. Thanks for the great giveaway, it sounds like a great read - i'll have to hunt it down if i'm not lucky enough to win a copy :)
    Going on what i read - Jag sounds like the guy that would get my attention :)
    Thank you, Kel xx

  2. Awsome interview Jean and Elana thanks for making the time to be here :) Awsome giveaway.
    The wolfs library

  3. Great interview & review! Thanks for hosting!

  4. The simplicity of the cover is just stunning.

  5. Fantastic giveaway, thanks for remembering your inernational readers!

  6. Thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity! Love the interview!

    Gena Robertson

  7. Sounds like an awesome read! Thanks again for doing a giveaway and I think its so neat you get to interview all these wonderful authors! It gives me so many books to add to my "to read" list!

  8. Thank you for the interview, review and giveaway! Possession sounds really good! ><

  9. Great interview and thank you for the giveaway. And those are awesome pics of Canada.

    Terri m

  10. I really enjoyed the pictures. That Book tree reminds me of the stacks that were at BEA. Within 10 minutes those types of stacks were destroyed.

  11. Very beautiful interview! Thank you for the giveaway!