Jun 1, 2011

Elana Johnson answers our questions about Possession and more

Elana is my hero, and we are Elana's hero
I've watched Elana's career as a writer for a year and a half now. It's been inspiring, educational, and encouraging. It is obvious that blogging writers owe a lot to Elana. She has been transparent and tactful in a field that can be very emotional. Her advice posts cover everything from how to become a successful blogger to how to get a hold of oneself the day of a major conference or presentation. She may be all writer, but she is first and foremost all good.

Indeed, anyone reading this blog is indebted to Elana. She has helped me through some of my unique issues and this blog thrives in part from her belief in me as a writer and a friend.

In March, Theresa Milstein and I partnered in the Three Questions. Two Blogs. One Elana Contest. We had lots of fun, no doubt. Theresa and I both received amazing questions and I gave away my ARC (which was really really really hard to do, but I HAD to share Possession).

And share I did - I sent my ARC over Lake Michigan to my neighbors, Christy and Erica. I am not done sharing. One commenter from this post will be picked to win a signed copy of Possession! Contest details below.

She's a maniac, maniac!

In the month of May, Elana stopped by nine blogs! (See the complete list on my sidebar or at Elana's blog). That is some crazy blog touring! Good work, Elana!

And now, I am reconciling the other half of the March contest - three questions answered by Elana in a vlog! The first question was submitted by Kelly Polark and was too cute to ignore. The second question comes from Kristine Asselin and pertains marketing. The last question is a cheap one, from myself, but I know a lot of you are wondering. Especially those who have read the last page of Possession. (And trust me, I am not the only one chanting, "sequel! sequel! sequel!")

Elana answers our questions!

Thanks to Elana for including me in her Possession debut tour! It has been such a pleasure to be on the ride.

One signed hard cover copy of Possession giveaway details:
Leave a comment before the clock ticks midnight on Saturday, June 4
One entry per blogger and you must be a follower of my blog AND Elana's blog

Lastly, Elana will stop by to answer brief questions in the comments. I am following the twitter revolution and capping the questions at 140 characters. Use your best judgement. And yeah, I'll be tweeting your questions!


  1. Great answers to some great questions! Thanks John and Elana.

    And I know some people will hate me for this, but I'm actually glad there won't be a Possession sequel. Not that I wouldn't gladly read more about Vi or Jag, but picking up where Possession left off just wouldn't seem right.

  2. I'm just twiddling my thumbs waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail. :) short and sweet vlogs - great marketing right there. :)

  3. I NEED to read this book! Eagerly awaiting the release date! Elana is seriously one special blogger. She is everyone's cheerleader, teacher, friend. Thank you, Elana!
    And I am going to splash water on myself and sing Maniac today because I'm so happy you answered my nonsensical question! (and it's hot outside)

  4. omg Elana is such a sweetheart :) The blogosphere is all filled with buzz for Possession, and I can't wait for my own copy!

    Also, anyone who would choose Bon Jovi is someone after my own heart. Just sayin'.

  5. Thanks John for hosting this great interview with Elana. I just love how natural she is in front of the camera.

    Elana..... As always you are an inspiration to all of us! I wish you only the best in your launch. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of your book!

    Congratulations again...


  6. Matt - I agree...I agree. I just need more Seaside and whatnot, ya know?

    Laura - She's an expert, no doubt!

    Kelly - I picked your ques. for a reason! It tickled me.

    Sara - Elana rocks, not literally apparently, but she doesn't have to be able to sing TOO.

    Michael - Elana says she gets nervous and freaked out when she has videos to do...lies, all lies. She was made for vlogs.

  7. this book is definitely on my tbr list. really great interview Elana and Jonathan :) And if Elana happens to stop by I'd like to know how this story came into being. Was it a what if? Did Elana see something hear something? And of course, I'd LOVE to win a copy of the book!

  8. Thanks Marcy! Elana will stop by, we just happen to be separated by a few time zones AND she's like the busiest person alive. I wonder when she'll start looking for a personal assistant. I can do Utah...

  9. Thanks John and Elana for the great interview! I'm so jealous of everyone who's already read Possession and gets to tease the rest of us with how wonderful it is!

  10. Thanks for hosting Jon! You are awesome. I need time to collect myself before I answer questions. I'll be back...

  11. I'm so glad Elana isn't performing surgery on Jonathan. When I read her title "Deep Inside Jonathan Arnston" I was a little worried.

    Thanks for mentioning me. I was thrilled to be a part of this blog tour. In fact, I still have a slew of great questions asked by commenters. When her tour is officially over I'm going to post a part II interview.

    Good luck with the book Elana! Like Jonathan, I've been aware of you in the blogosphere since I began just over 1 1/2 years ago. Your sincerity has always signed through.

  12. Great vlog! It is a thrill to hear Elana in person. I agree she is a natural. I can't wait to read Possession. Hmmm, I don't have a question right now. I'll be back.

  13. I am very sad that I could not get volume to work on the vlog. But are you surprised J? We can never seem to get our blogs to click, can we? Something always goes wrong for us *sigh*. But I still heart you both and watched Elana's mouth move so eloquently-ha!!! xoxoxo

  14. Watching that video made me realize I've been saying Elana's name wrong (in my head) forever. I always though it was pronounced "El-lah-nuh." Good to know.

    And I must mention that Elana's a rock star for also writing the guide to query letters. It's brilliant.

    Okay, here's a question for Elana: What are you working on to publish next?

  15. Thanks to Elana for answering my question about marketing! I sincerely hope I'll be doing some of my own very soon. And thanks to Jon for hosting her.

    And, no, I'm not annoyed at either of you for spelling my last name wrong. But I so could have been famous. At least by association. :)

    UPS just came and I totally thought it was going to be POSSESSION. It wasn't. #stillwaiting

  16. Mshatch asked: "And if Elana happens to stop by I'd like to know how this story came into being. Was it a what if? Did Elana see something hear something?"

    To which I answer: I had just read a dystopian novel--my first. I closed the book and thought, "I want to write a novel like that." So I figured out what genre it was, and set about thinking about the society.

    I did play the "What if?" game with myself and came up with "What if there was no free will?" The society and rules and Thinkers and characters came almost immediately after that.

  17. I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times before, but the cover of Possession looks awesome. I've been thinking about covers a lot lately and... yeah. An awesome cover is a Very Good Thing.

  18. Tracy asked: "What are you working on to publish next?"

    Oooh, a little trickster, I see. I am working on another book to publish next. Ha! (Actually, I'm not working on anything but breathing right now. Launching a book is VERY HARD WORK, and completely different from creative writing.) But if I were to write something to publish next, it would be a dystopian novel... With Vi as a character, but maybe not the main character... Do you see where I'm going with this? (And watch my blog on Friday for more answers...)

  19. Kristine, I spelled your last name wrong?? I'm so sorry!

    John, thank you re: the cover. It's one of my favorite things EVER.

  20. I spelled Elana's name wrong when commenting on her own blog one time. I'm so glad she didn't hold it against me (I'm assuming she didn't hold it against me...) It happens!!

    Elana--if you are still around,(the following is my official, under 140 character question):

    I would love to know what else you are working on. More in the dystopic genre? Or something else entirely?

    (I even gave you 35 extra characters, to do what you will, J... twitter me smart.)

  21. Don't stress about it, Elana! I'm just teasing--it's a tricky last name and people are often afraid of offending by saying it wrong (it's pronounced exactly as it is spelled!) Thanks again for talking about marketing. It's something that doesn't seem to come up on blogs as often as it should!

    (and thanks again, Jon!)

  22. And, Elana, I see (from an earlier question) that you are planning on more dystopia next, but I always wonder if writers are branching out in their wips. So maybe my question should have been: What other genres interest you? What other genres do you toy with in your writing life?

  23. Heather asked: "What other genres interest you? What other genres do you toy with in your writing life?"

    Oh, I love anything under the speculative umbrella. I love fantasy, especially urban fantasy, and magic, and all things paranormal like controlling the elements and such. I've written a book with that kind of fantasy in it. I hope it will get sold and published one day!

    I also love contemporary novels, and I've actually started one I think could be good--if I had the time to work on it.

    I am afraid of hard-core science fiction and high fantasy. I'm just not smart enough to pull that off. And it doesn't seem like there could ever be an opportunity for kissing. And I like kissing. :)

  24. Thanks for the great answers, E!

    I am off to work, but will be back later to check out the rest of the conversation.

  25. Ok, I had to jump over and see what was going on here! I am pre-ordering my copy of Possession today!!!!

    Elana is the Queen of Awesome.

  26. Congrats on the success!!

    Did you always know that Possession would be a stand alone?

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  27. *love*!!

    Don't enter me, Jon, but good luck to everyone! POSSESSION is definitely a book you will NOT. WANT. TO. MISS!!!!

  28. Great interview and questions. I'm so glad there may be a companion book, but I still really want a sequel.

    Don't enter me in the contest. I have a book coming and plan to give away some copies when I interview Elana on Monday.

  29. A companion book would be awesome!! I love companion books - although I really hope to see Vi & the boys wandering around in the pages once in a while!

    Jon - totally agree with you - Elana has helped me more than she'll ever know. I've learned an incredible amount from reading her blog and her query book!

    I have my own copy already, so don't enter me. Good luck to everyone else. You really have to read this book!!

  30. Vivien asked: "Did you always know that Possession would be a stand alone?"

    Yes. 1000% yes. Possession was written to be what it is. Nothing more. Ever. So when you get to the end, try to assign it a label that isn't "cliffhanger."

    :) :) :)

  31. What a wonderful post about Elana. I love the vlog. Her personality comes across. Very likeable. The maniac side of Elana is well controlled in this interview, but I love knowing she has that side to her! I would be thrilled to pieces to win Possession. This is a fun post. Lucky Jon to have her as your guest!

  32. Wow, you guys have had some excellent questions! Thank you.

    While we can't all be the next Elana Johnson, I think it's important to note how diligently she has been living her marketing plan. If you're an aspiring author and have not heard of POSSESSION, then you must not have the internet. And I see the interest spreading to non-writers.

    This effort has impeded Elana's writing, as she said above. What a huge sacrifice to make to a book she finished writing over a year ago.

    This comment thread has given me food for thought about what it really means to be a writer. The geek at a keyboard stereotype doesn't even exist in Elana's life (though she is a geek).

    Are you guys as inspired as I am?!

  33. My POSSESSION fever just went up a few more degrees. I will be staring at my Kindle at 12:01am on the release date.

  34. I like the idea of a companion book rather than a sequel. I like stories best that don't NEED sequels. Fantastic answers to great questions. :)