Friday, November 2, 2012

Author Interview with ELANA JOHNSON

Welcome, Elana Johnson, author of the popular dystopian trilogy Possession, Surrender, and Abandon! I recently read Possession and fell in love with Elana's characters, voice and vivid imagination. And I'm delighted to have her on my blog today!

Click on the following to find Elana's website, blog, Goodreads page and Facebook page.

Okay, Elana. Embarrassing moment. Go.

OH MY HECK – this just happened last week. I’d gone to California with my sisters, and we were walking along the pier. One of them ran into the railing, and we all laughed, and I told her that I tell my students that walking is an active activity. Blah blah blah, I’m telling them about it, and guess what?

I TRIP over my own feet.

The whole rest of the trip—and I’m sure my life—they were like, “Walking is an active activity.”

lol! That's hilarious. Sounds like something I would do!

Describe Possession in just three words.
Mind-control vs. free-choice (those are hyphenated, and only count as one!)

Awesome. I love the hyphenation! How did you come up with the premise for Possession?
I had just read UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld (back in 2007!) and I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I just needed the basis for my society. And I figured brainwashing would be a pretty good “Big Brother” to fight against.

So Elana, I, like many, fell in love with Jag, a bad boy with surprising depth (oh, he's swoon-worthy). How did you come up with Jag's character? Is he modeled after someone you know?
Jag’s not really modeled after someone I know, but he’s bits and pieces of a lot of people. I sort of like guys with dark hair and eyes, so I have a hard time envisioning my heroes any other way.

What I really wanted to do was created a “bad boy” who’s actually good. One without that dark past that the girl has to look beyond to find the jewels beneath. One that has many layers, sure, but not necessarily sordid.

He’s super-cocky in some situations, but I think that just adds to who he is. I hope!

What hidden talent do you possess besides writing? Come now, don’t be shy!
Paper crafting! I am killer with cards, scrapbook pages, cute boxes, etc. Fold it, stamp it, love it.

Psh, okay, it’s settled. You are coming to my house and helping me make something out of all that craft paper upstairs! Send some of your paper-crafting skills my way for the holidays (I need it). Character, setting or plot: which one is most important to you and why?
Character, for sure. I don’t care where something takes place, or even what happens. I want to connect with and care about a character. If an author can do that, I’ll go anywhere and do anything with them.

Ooo, I want to add that last line to my “quote of the day” widget! Well said. What are you reading now?
TEN by Gretchen McNeil. LOVE IT.

What project are you currently working on?
I am dabbling in YA contemporary. I haven’t been writing for a while because my story is still percolating. But I’m hoping to have it bubbling enough to write for NaNo. It’ll be about a boy who has to hide the fact that he’s homeless from the new girl at school who he’s fallen for—the same girl who lives in his old house.

The new girl at school who lives in his old house…and now he’s homeless and falling for her. I love it!

Last of all, do you have any advice to give aspiring authors?
Write a lot. Write what you love. Take critique. Write some more. Write what you love. Never give up.

Thank you so much, Elana! I look forward to reading more of your work in the future, starting with Surrender (click here) and then Abandon (coming out in 2013)!

What do you think? Would there be benefits to a society that had total control over our thoughts and actions? Consequences (I think yes!)? Read Possession to find out!


  1. I enjoyed this interview. I am interested in learning more about these books. I went to to Elana's website and the more I read the more interested I became. I may be one of the romance fans that could get interested in Science Fiction by reading Possession.

  2. Great interview! Surrender is on my 'want to read' list and I totally love Elana's comment about character. I, too, would go anywhere with an author, if I care about and love their characters.