Monday, June 11, 2012

Elana Johnson: Interview, Awesomely Fun Photo Shoot, and Giveaway

Hi, Elana! Welcome! I'd offer you a seat in the cushy chair, but it's a beautiful day! The sun is shining... birds are singing... Let's head outside!

And check it out: To honor you being here with your fabulous blue streak, I’ve added a bit of color to my hair, too.
Okay, now that we've got our color on, we can get on with the interview! (Since your hair has blue, you can be in blue, and since mine has red, I'll be in red, m'kay?)

So in the POSSESSION series, there are people who have um... "special" talents. And there are rather high stakes that come along with using their talent or not using their talent! What talent would be your favorite to have?

In SURRENDER, the characters can manipulate technology, influence others with their
voice, control the elements, and read minds.

I don’t want to do any of those. They all seem like scary, ultra-controlling talents (uh,
Elana? That’s because they are. Your books are sort of scary and ultra-controlling…).

So I choose to fly. So what if I’m afraid of heights? To the skies!


Oh, my gosh, Elana! I mean I knew you were crazy talented, but I had no idea you could fly! I should have guessed it. That's really how you arrive early to everything, isn't it? 

Speaking of talented, if you follow Elana’s blog (which you totally should! http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/), you probably already know that Elana is talented to an extent that falls solidly into super power territory.

Elana, sensing that something nefarious is afoot.

Switches into her superhero cape and searches for said nefariousness, ready to TAKE IT DOWN.

Aren't you all glad you've seen her in costume now? :o)

Seriously, though, Elana. You are one of the most talented, focused, efficient people I’ve ever met! You can get more done in a day than most people get done in a week. I’ve heard your process before on how you get so much done, and it’s fascinating! Will you share with us your secrets?

I don’t know if it’s a secret or not, but I’ve learned to think through my day and find spots where I can work. I don’t have the luxury of long stretches of time to get things done. So I take the 15 minutes in the morning after my daughter leaves for school, but before I have to go to work, and I write/edit/revise.

I work during my lunch in 20-minute snatches. 15 minutes before my son gets home from school. An hour while my daughter is at dance lessons. Dancing has been great for my writing. My daughter dances about 5 hours a week. I started going to the library—only 5 minutes from the dance studio—and working those 5 hours.

I’ve been known to email myself sentences or ideas while I’m waiting in line at the post office, while my car is being inspected (hey, I once wrote a whole talk on my phone at the JiffyLube…), or anywhere I have 5 minutes.

Other than learning to work in small spurts, I’ve learned to abuse, er, email my friends with my progress. This helps keep me motivated, and we can cheer each other on.

Wow. That takes some amazingly strong self control to not let yourself get distracted! [Eyes Elana] Seriously strong. I bet you're even strong enough to lift me. Shall we test that theory?

Not only can she do it, but she does it with such ease! (And can I just say, it's not so easy to balance on someone's hand!)


Oh my gosh, Elana! That was awesome! My stomach is still in my throat from when you tossed me off into a double flip! Okay, while I recover, tell me. What do you do when you get to an item on the list that you haven’t figured out how you’re going to do it yet? How do you keep that from stopping your momentum?

Well, there are so many things on the list, that if I don’t know how to do one, or it requires me to be on another computer, I just skip to the next one. There’s always SOMETHING to do, and usually I just work according to my mood.

If I just don’t want to do anything, I don’t. Shocker, I know! I watch TV first or water my plants, and then I come back to the dreaded task.

Isn’t she incredible? Incredible people write incredible books. Elana’s latest, SURRENDER just came out less than a week ago from Simon and Schuster, so you can pick it up right now! And if knowing that the author is an incredible person isn’t enough, check out this incredible description for 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....

Purchase your copy here: http://books.simonandschuster.com/buy/Surrender/9781442445680/from-other-retailers#book_retailers

Thanks for coming over, Elana!

Thanks for having me! I'd like to offer you these Sour Patch Kids as a thank you.

Do you know what says "Thank you" better than Sour Patch Kids? Flying me to see the Statue of Liberty!


Elana is available for trips to the Statue of Liberty through the end of the day. But if you don't get a chance to go, try for a chance to win in this fabulous giveaway! This week, as part of the SURRENDER blog tour, you can win one of three $15 Barnes and Noble gift cards and become a winner winner, chicken dinner! All you have to do is fill out this rafflecopter widget with what you’ve done. NOTE: One of the options is to blog about a time you didn’t surrender. Go here for full details on this, including how to sign up for your free swag package!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elana's work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon and 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 is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers.

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.




Special thanks to the always fabulous Erin Summerill and her mad photog skillz.

64 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

Well, Elana certainly seems even more amazing now! Think the last picture is my fave.

And using 15 minutes to get some writing done? It takes me that long to make a cup of tea and open up my document. Good luck with the rest of the tour!

Christa Desir said...

Oh, I love Elana. And this is the best photo shoot ever. I have already read SURRENDER and it's awesome.

Natalie Aguirre said...

What a fun interview. And thanks Elana for giving me ideas on how to get more writing done, something I definitely need to do.

Paul Tobin said...

The interview made me laugh out loud. I loved the photos.

Coleen Patrick said...

Awesome interview! I love, love the photos--so creative :)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Elana is so smart to make use of all those scraps of time. This is a great interview with hilarious photos. And a give-away, too! Wonderful.

Cassie Mae said...

I'm dying! This is great! Think Elana can lift me? I may be a bit more of a challenge ;)

Patti said...

Great interview and I especially loved the last picture.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Peggy, this is a great interview ... loved your pictures! Now I will fly on over to Elana's blog and see what is up. I appreciate the advice on using little bits of time when you can.

Thanks so much for stopping by to see me,

Kathy M.

Precy Larkins said...

Man, you guys are having WAY TOO MUCH FUN!!! :D

Great interview! I think you're both SUPER. ;)

Vivien said...

What a riot of a post!!! This was just bloody hilarious :)

Laura Marcella said...

You both are too funny!!! These pictures are awesome. And Elana is superduper amazing!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh, my heck! Those photos are sheer awesomeness!

Sara B. Larson said...

Ha ha ha, this was awesome. Love the pics. And elana really does have super powers. <3

Leigh Covington said...

This has got to be one of the BEST blog posts EVER! Yes, you were right about it being EPIC! I knew Elana was awesome, but I didn't know about all of her super powers! Ask her if she'll fly me by the statue of liberty next time. I'm so jealous!

This was awesome ladies. Love you both!

Jeigh said...

This interview was pretty much as good as it gets. Perfect for a Monday!

Nicole Mc said...

This is fantastic!!!

tammy said...

That was pretty shiny, Peggy! Just when I think you can't possibly get any cooler, you go and throw more cool into the mix. In the form of ultra-cool author friends and mega cool photo skills. Cool.

Lydia Kang said...

LOL, and what a super-human photoshoot that was! Great post, guys and hooray for Elana's book!

J. A. Bennett said...

This is hilarious and super fun. Surrender is on it's way to my house right now. Squee! (it wouln't let me enter that one BTW, but the order # is 102-2670767-9947405) Thanks!

J. A. Bennett said...

Nevermind, it let me do it now :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Love the photo shoot! I'll be thinking of this all day.

JeffO said...

Great interview and photos. Always interesting to see how others work.

Emma Pass said...

Awesome post and photos! Thanks for such a great interview, Elana and Peggy!

Aidyl Ewoh said...

I took part in the blogfest. =)
~Aidyl

Taffy said...

You two are hilarious! LOVE the pics! I can't believe Elana flew you all the way to New York!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I know she says she juggles her time, but now that we all know she can fly, it is clear she has an unfair advantage :)

Jessie Humphries said...

Holy hilarious nefariousness! You two are very sexy doing all those poses, I have to say. I am just jealous I am not a PG-er so that I could participate in it all! GO ELANA!

Jessie Humphries said...

Holy hilarious nefariousness! You two are very sexy doing all those poses, I have to say. I am just jealous I am not a PG-er so that I could participate in it all! GO ELANA!

Barbara Watson said...

What a fun and entertaining interview! I especially love hearing how Elana works in minute increments because that's how my writing life organizes itself too, so it's great knowing SUCCESS comes from those minutes!

L.L. Muir said...

I'm betting someone laughed themselves silly.

Jenny Morris said...

I love this post. You guys are so cute and funny. And I love the pics. ;0) looks like you had fun.

Katie Dodge said...

Ha ha ha ha! Awesome. Just awesome. Thanks for the laugh. And good luck and congrats to Elana!

Cristina said...

this is the BEST interview EVER! the pictures were fantastic :)

Susan Kane said...

You two were having a great time! Good photo-shooting.

Veray said...

You both are too cute :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Fun pictures! :)

I'm impressed that you can accomplish so much in such small stretches of time. Quite a feat!

Charlie Holmberg said...

I LOVE your Photoshop posts! XD

Tara Tyler said...

that was super duper!
the amazing ya author! what will she do next?!

and i love the siunds of the book!

great job with everything & wishing your continued success!

Emily R. King said...

You two are hilarious. Best interview and giveaway EVER!

MTeacress said...

This is a tremendously memorable post. The two of you have enough "fun" to power the entire bloggerhood today.

Good luck to Elana. :)

Alleged Author said...

Great interview! She really is amazing, isn't she?

tfwalsh said...

Awesome post, and love the photos of you and Elana... they made me laugh. She is so cool, and I love her 15 min approach... need to try it out.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Those pictures are AMAZING! You guys are so cool but mostly Elana (sorry Peggy)
Great interview girls!

Leslie Pugh said...

I loved learning more about Elana and how she is able to get so much done even while being a teacher and everything else going on in her life. That inspires me to really use my time better.

And can I just say your photos made me laugh so much! I absolutely loved them and I think I recognized a certain front yard, lol.

Next time I see Elana, I'm gonna see if she'll give me a lift somewhere fun!

Leslie Pugh said...

I loved learning more about Elana and how she is able to get so much done even while being a teacher and everything else going on in her life. That inspires me to really use my time better.

And can I just say your photos made me laugh so much! I absolutely loved them and I think I recognized a certain front yard, lol.

Next time I see Elana, I'm gonna see if she'll give me a lift somewhere fun!

Sharon Bayliss said...

Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for the fun pics and giveaway.

i'm erin. said...

ha ha ha, that was seriously the best post ever. I love it! now I'm off to research matching author and tennis outfits...

Evie said...

Love those pictures! And she seems to be such a fun person!
I can't wait to read her books :)

Deana said...

I always knew Elana was a superhero, but I had no idea. I'm booking my flight with her today:)
Great interview...and pics!

Nicole said...

Those pics are priceless! You two sure had fun with the interview. Thanks for all the great insights!

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks, Peggy, for such a great post! You are a genius, my friend. A GENIUS.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

The interview and pictures were funny.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Okay, this has to be one of the BEST author interviews I've ever read! And not just because the wonderful, hilarious photos! Your questions were so fun and so comfortable, and I loved Elana's answers. Her suggestions for fitting it all in are very inspiring. I do that to some degree, but not the way she does. I must, must, must be better about snatching small minutes here and there. Starting today!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Fantastic interview! So much fun! :) And I will of course be purchasing my copy of Surrender ASAP, although I read Possession so long ago I might have to reread to remember what's what :)

Connie B. Dowell said...

Exciting! Hilarious! And congrats to Elana on her newest book!

An T said...

I have to say--these photos are so fun! Can someone photoshop me some superpowers please?

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Nice interview, Peggy. And that photo shoot - wow!! She must be sooooo strong to hold you up like that. I am so totally impressed!

Valentina Hepburn said...

Brilliant interview, Peggy. A really unique post. Thanks so much.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I'm loving the pictures - they're awesome!

Steph said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I can't wait to read this series!! Those pics are awesome too, by the way :)

jamieayres said...

Ohmigosh! Super fun photos:) Love the cape--you two are AWESOME!!!

Hart Johnson said...

Ohmygawd--what a hysterical interview! I adore those pictures! And I'd like to sign up for a statue of liberty tour. You two are too funny. And I want a bouncing super power... like so every step is like I'm on a giant trampoline.

Carrie Butler said...

Oh my goodness...

The things I miss while on vacation! I have tears, ladies. TEARS! Hilarious. :D