Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ELEVATED by Elana Johnson--interview

Why did you venture into as you mentioned on your website the indie realm of publishing?I ventured into Indie publishing with this book, because I think it's worthy to be published. My agent thought so too, as did some editors. But ultimately, there were no offers for the book from a traditional publisher. That doesn't mean the book isn't good -- for this particular title, it meant the traditional market couldn't support it. But that doesn't mean books have to die anymore. So I published it myself -- and it has been an amazing experience!

Can you tell us a bit about the book?
ELEVATED is about a girl who gets stuck in an elevator with her ex-boyfriend. She hasn't spoken to him in a few months, and she's been keeping some pretty big secrets from him. So there's a lot of drama and angst.

How did you come up with the idea for Elevated (gorgeous cover by the way)
I got the idea for ELEVATED about 5 years ago, when I was visiting a planetarium with my kids. We got in this huge elevator to go up to the dome for a laser light show, and I thought, "What would happen if we got stuck in this elevator?"

So the idea was to write about people stuck in an elevator -- one of my greatest fears! It only took a little bit of thinking to make the people exes.
And thanks on the cover. My amazing friend, Erin Summerill, did an original photo shoot for the cover. I love it too!

What were the best writing moments when you were writing Elevated?
When I decided to turn it into a verse novel! I had been toiling on it for a few months, having written only 100 pages. Nothing was working. Then I had the idea to stretch myself and try writing in a new way: verse. ELEVATED instantly had new life.

How has the journey been from traditional publishing to publishing your indie novel?
It's been great! I've had great support from friends and family, and the only differences I've noticed have been mostly positive. I have really enjoyed turning into a "hybrid" author, where I can still write and publish in the traditional market, but also self-publish books that that market doesn't support.

What’s your favorite scene to write?
I loved writing the scene where Elly sees herself clearly for the first time in months. The first line of the poem is, "I've been living a wax paper life." I absolutely love that line, and her realizations. That was a fun part to write.

What was the hardest scene to write?
The entire end! I always have trouble with endings, and writing ELEVATED was no different.

What do writers need to know prior to self-publishing their novel?
It is just as much -- or more -- work as traditional publishing. You should plan to hire a professional cover artists, interior designer, editor, copy editor, and proofreader. There's nothing to be skimped on if you want to put out a quality product for readers.

Are you planning a series for Elevated?
No. It is a standalone novel. I will be self-publishing another verse novel in September, titled SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE, but it is unrelated in every way to ELEVATED.





ELEVATED (YA contemporary romance) is available now!

Possession, Surrender and Abandon -- all available from Simon & Schuster!
Digital short stories Regret (only 99 cents) and Resist (free!) round out the trilogy.




For more info please check out Elana's blog




Keisha Martin

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