Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Interview with ELANA JOHNSON! All Queriers MUST READ!

Congrats again to Mary for winning a copy of Elana Johnson's, POSSESSION, last week with her novel, HEADS UP! (Click here to check it out)

So, I really wanted to post this before I went out of town last Thursday, but I just couldn't find time. But here it is now, and it is a GREAT read. So, read on readers and readettes...

I loooved Elana's book, POSSESSION, and I don't know about you, but everywhere I go in the writer internet world I see her posting on different blogs and so forth. She is one busy bee! That is why I was ecstatic to interview her here. Yes, here!

I only asked three questions, but as an aspiring author, they were ones I was just dying to get some feedback on.

I hope you enjoy hearing from her as much as I did. Answer three is very inspiring and funny for all of us enduring the writing/query/publishing trenches.

What is your favorite part of having a book published?

Seeing it in the bookstore. There is nothing that creates that rush. It’s amazing.

What is your least favorite part of having a book published?
(I don't necessarily mean process wise. It could be, but lifestyle wise and so on)

The balancing act. It’s so hard to make sure everyone in my house gets the attention they need, when they need it, and try to write books at the same time.

And then, if you don't mind sharing some info about your process of getting your book published. Anything or everything! We writers love these stories. :)

Sure! Dude, I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. And hopefully, you’ll read something to help you take the next step, whatever it may be.

Step 1: Write a book. Or if you’re me, you write 12. That’s right. I’ve written 12 novels. Only 2 of them don’t suck. And even that’s debatable.

Step 2: Query a book. Realize it’s a lot of waiting and frantically checking email. Who knew?

Step 2A: Repeat step 2 for 6 months. Too many queries to name. Want to die.

Step 2B: Shelve book. Ouch. Yes, it hurts. No, it won’t kill you.

Step 3: Pick another novel to de-suckify.

Step 4: Revise/Edit/Rewrite the thing.

Step 5: Enter the ABNA contest.

Step 6: Move into the quarterfinals.

Step 7: Gain much needed confidence.

Step 8: Query the book. Get ready to wait it out.

Step 8A: Repeat step 8 for 8 months. 189 queries.

Step 8B: Beg, plead, pray, hope that this book is “the one.”

Step 8C: Make up mantra: “Work hard. Don’t give up.”

Step 8D: Revise twice BEFORE an offer is extended.

Step 8E: Field 5 agent phone calls BEFORE an offer is extended.

Step 8F: Get “the call.”

Step 8G: Cry, laugh, scream, cry some more, grovel in gratitude.

Step 9: Sign with dream agent. After 188 rejections, this feels goooood. Up next: take over the world.

Step 10: Or, uh, revising. Yup, again.

Step 11: And…then again.

Step 12: Wait. Taking over the world put on the back burner while gnawing fingernails to nubs.

Step 2385: Get an offer from a dream publishing house.

Step 2386: Scream, eat a lot of bacon, laugh, smile until face hurts.

Step 2386B: Wait.
Step 8939: Announce the deal!

Step 8940: Wait.

Step 12,094: Edit novel—again.

Step 12,095: Wait.

Step 18,306: Release cover. Freak out.

Step 18,307: Wait.
June 7, 2011 finally arrives. Book comes out! Indulge on pedicures, bacon, and bookstores.

Step 20,000: Start over with book 2.

I’ve also blogged about this journey here
And here

Thank you Elana! (Seriously, I love her! And hope you do too!)

I hope you can take relief from Elana's amazing story. The query process is very exciting, but also exhausting, deflating, frustrating, addicting--Okay, I will stop. You know what I mean. :)

So, where are you in this torturous process? Still working on the first draft? The revision torture chambers? Query #1? Query #111? And what keeps you going?

I'd love to hear from you!

And if you haven't read, POSSESSION... GO. DO. IT. NOW!


  1. What keeps me going? Elana Johnson keeps me going! EJ! EJ! EJ!

  2. I know! A lot of waiting and frantically checking email- who knew indeed!

  3. I just love you, Elana. You deserve every minute of it.


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