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Author Interview: Elana Johnson

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Guess what day it is today? It's Possession's release date!

Elana Johnson's debut novel, Possession, comes out today from Simon & Schuster. She blogs for the League of Extraordinary Writers and helps organise WriteOnCon. She also teaches, watches reality TV, and drives too fast.

I was lucky enough to snag an interview with Elana in between her super-busy schedule! (I'm still fangirling about that!) I cannot wait until I get my hands on a copy of Possession, and when I do, I'll definitely be reviewing it! Unfortunately, due to geographical difficulties, it'll probably be two weeks or so before HK bookstores stock Possession.

A little bit about Possession
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.                                   But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Onto the interview! Hey Elana, I'm thrilled to have you here today!

Well, I've been reading quite a lot of dystopian novels recently (The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent...) and right now, when I walk into a bookstore's YA section, it's full of dystopias! What sets Possession apart from other dystopias currently out there
I think every dystopia is unique. No one has built the exact same world as someone else. It’s one of the things the drew me to writing a dystopian novel in the first place. That said, I do think POSSESSION has some unique elements. It’s part science fiction (more than other dystopians), part dystopian (with it’s brainwashing society) and part paranormal (as to how the brainwashing is done).

So, speaking of brainwashing, how did you come up with the idea of the Thinkers? (I'd love to be a Thinker, by the way. I could brainwash people to feed me then move on to world domination... mwahaha?)
Oh, I can’t seem to write anything that doesn’t include something paranormal. And I’ve always wanted to be able to read thoughts. So yeah.

Seeing as most of us (myself included) haven't read Possession what would you like us readers to get from reading your book?
I hope readers are glad they spent the time to read it. That the hours were worth it. If that’s the case, then I’ll be happy.

I'm pretty sure the hours will be worth it! I just hope I won't be pulling an all-nighter because I am< still in school! Okay, there's something else I've been meaning to ask you... boys. I've heard that there are two swoonworthy boys in your book--Jag and Zenn. Where did you find these guys?
Dude, they found me. Especially Jag. The boy won’t shut up! Plus, Vi needed him. She needs the way that he won’t let her get away with being a brat.

Zenn is much harder to figure out, and when you read POSSESSION, you’ll see and feel that, I think. Vi needs him just as much. She needs that quiet strength, that constant, in her life. So it really is a dilemma…

I wonder what Vi would do in her dilemma (can't wait to read and find out!). If Vi has her dilemma, surely you must've had some too. What was the hardest thing about writing Possession?
There were so many! How can I pick just one?! Well, it’s a brainwashing book, right? And there are a lot of key players that you’re not quite sure about. So leaving clues as to who’s good and who’s bad, and the placement of those clues, and the linking of them together, and trying to make sure that the reader is just as confused as the MC… Yeah, that was really hard.

Wow, that sounds... complicated. Maybe we should move onto something a bit simpler: what are five things about you readers probably don't know?
Holy cow. I think everyone knows everything about me. Seriously. How about…

1. I hate mushrooms. Like, LOATHE them.
2. I wish I could live in a hotel.
3. I drive a car lovingly nicknamed “the golf cart.”
4. I secretly dye my hair black so my family will think I’m a vampire.
5. I once named a “pet” turkey Meat. Hey, I was seven.

That turkey sounds so cute! My cat's called Piggie, but he acts like a dog. Is there anything else we should know?
I seriously don’t think so!

Just to round things off, some random quick-fire questions:
Coffee or tea?
Neither. I dislike most hot drinks. Sometimes I’ll sip hot chocolate, but usually only while camping.

Anybody you'd like to potentially play Jag, Zenn, and Vi on the big screen
Well, since I imagine my characters as cartoons, that would probably be awkward.

Jag or Zenn?
Mmm, both. They have different strengths, and I think if they meshed into one, they’d be perfect. So Jaenn?

Hey! I'm pretty sure I didn't include "Jaenn" in the question!

Hope you liked the interview and don't forget to visit:

Go buy Possession! (If I can't get it NOW, at least you should!)

5 comments on "Author Interview: Elana Johnson"
  1. Great interview. I'm so excited for Elana. And I learned new things about her, like that she doesn't drink coffee. Shocking.

    I'm so excited for her debut. I interviewed Elana yesterday and am doing a 2-3 book giveaway at Literary Rambles if you want to check it out and enter.

  2. @Natalie I saw the interview on Lit Rambles yesterday! Great interview, by the way. Already commented for the giveaway--I want to read POSSESSION so badly!

    I can't believe she doesn't like coffee either. I practically live on it. Well, if I don't, I probably wouldn't survive school...

  3. Loved the chatty tone of this interview! I found you through the Small Blogs Big Giveaway blog hop and am now a new follower.
    Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

  4. Great Interview! I really need to get into Dystopian novels!

    I don't get to do enough interviews on my blog but I LOVE to do them!

    blazesandbubbles AT gmail DOt com

  5. I love dystopian fiction, it's one of my favourite genres. That combined with the pretty cover, means I'm definitely going to have to give this one a go.

    Great interview! :)


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