Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Blog Tour: Surrender by Elana Johnson

Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is with great pleasure that I feature:
Elana Johnson and her book, Surrender.
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure I ever realized it. I began writing as an emotional escape from a personal tragedy. I found that I loved it, that I felt better after bleeding out the angst onto the page instead of living it in my real life. Since I have sort of a pit bull personality, I pursued publication. But there was never a moment of “I want to be a writer.”

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I seriously wish I had a long list of super cool jobs like “mall Santa” or “cliffdiver.” Sadly, I don’t. I worked part-time jobs in college, and then I became a teacher. I’ve been doing that for 12 years, and I’m still teaching now, as a published author.

? How long does it take you to write a book?
The actual drafting only takes a few weeks. Once I’m immersed, I’m in the story and there’s no going back. It takes a bit longer to revise and edit.

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I like to listen to loud music – and sing along – while I write. I think this completely baffles some people, because they need silence in order to write. But not me! The more noise, the better.

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
From a combination of real life and TV. I love TV, especially reality TV, and I think some of the people on Survivor and The Amazing Race and others are fascinating. So that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration.

? How do you decide what you want to write about?
I write about what matters to me, and I write what I like to read. So anything that can cause a strong emotional response, and that’s something I care about, that’s what gets penned.

? What books have most influenced your life?
Oh, boy. I hate to say lest people think me shallow! But I didn’t really read much growing up. I loved to read, but I think it fell away as I got more involved in high school and things like that. I’m not sure I have a book that “changed my life” or influenced me to do or be something…

? What are you reading right now?
I have TEN MILES FROM NORMAL cracked open, and I’m really enjoying it!

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to watch movies, watch reality TV, and go out to eat. So if I’m not writing and I have free time, that’s what I’m doing.

? What is your favorite comfort food?
Macaroni and cheese. Even the boxed kind is enough to make me smile.

? What do you think makes a good story?
A good, sympathetic character. If there’s someone I care about, I’ll read with you until forever.

? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
I love Kathleen Duey. Her SKIN HUNGER book is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read. The way she works with words… beautiful. That’s why I love her.

Fun random questions: 
  • dogs or cats? Dude, neither. I am so not an animal person.
  • Coffee or tea? Again, neither! Haha! I do love me some hot chocolate, though.
  • Dark or milk chocolate? Can I choose semi-sweet? I like that in cookies.
  • Rocks or flowers? Flowers, for sure. Rocks smell bad.
  • Night or day? Depends on what I’m doing. I like sleeping at night, and I like writing at night, and I like watching movies late into the night.
  • Favorite color? Yellow.
  • Crayons or markers? Crayons. You can’t mix marker colors, but you can do almost anything with crayons.
Pens or pencils? Pens. I like the permanency of them. 

About SURRENDER: Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

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....

Releasing June 5, 2012, from Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster) Order here.
Read the first two chapters for free HERE.

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