Friday, April 2, 2010

Pay It Forward Author Week: Elana Johnson

As you know, this week we've teamed up with some amazing writers at various stages in their journey to publication to spread good vibes and inspiration across the blogosphere. Some of these authors have book deals. Some of them have agents. All of them have "made it."

We hope you enjoyed our first four interviews with the fabulous
Kirsten Hubbard, Carrie Harris, Leah Clifford and Victoria Schwab. We've had so much fun getting to know these incredible writers a little bit better!

But today we have the mother of all interviews. That's right, the genius behind Pay It Forward Author Week, the AMAZING Elana Johnson is here today to share her incredible success story with us.
1. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:
Fifteen-year-old Vi has a nasty habit of breaking Rules. When she learns she can make them, she must choose: control or be controlled.

2. Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up? Why didn’t you?
Oh, man, you guys. Please. Every freaking day from April to November. So what’s that? Like 200 days or something? Querying was the hardest thing on the planet. And I did it twice, for two different novels. So yeah. I felt like giving up daily for 8 months. You do the math.

Why didn’t I? Simple: I’m too stubborn. When I want something, I will work to get it. Or I’ll die trying. And I’m not dead yet.

3. What has been the hardest part of your road toward publication so far?
Getting an agent (two books, about 14 months of querying total). Everything since then has been like coasting on a greased track. I mean, yeah, the waiting is killer, but when you’ve got that believer in your corner, cheering you on, you can endure the wait.

4. Bonus: Twizzlers or M&M’s?
I know you’re not going to like this, and I may be banned from the LiLa blog, but M&M’s. The peanut butter kind. With pretzels. Mmmm.

If you don't read Elana's blog on a daily basis then you are missing out. Her posts are incredibly well thought out and always leave me with just a tiny bit more wisdom about the crazy world of publishing than when I arrived. And if your finger is itching to hit send on a shiny new query to agents, STOP and go buy her eBook, QUERY TO THE CALL, first.

You'll thank me later.

Anyways, thank you to all of the authors who participated this week and an extra special thanks to Elana for being genius enough to come up with this plan. We love you E!!!

And whatever you do, don't forget to head over to the blogs below to get inspired! Psst...we're actually featured on Elana's blog today. See, she's not only smart, she has great taste in writer friends too.

Elana Johnson
Beth Revis
Leah Clifford
Victoria Schwab
Kirsten Hubbard
Carrie Harris
Kim Harrington
Suzette Saxton/Bethany Wiggins
Amy Holder
Kathy McCullough
Tiffany Schmidt
Susan Adrian
Dawn Metcalf
Gretchen McNeil

51 comments:

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Love Elana's blog! Great interview, sounds like a cool book!

Amy said...

I agree, peanut butter M&Ms are definitely the bomb. :)

Your book sounds great!

Candyland said...

YYEEEAAAHHH ELANA!!!! (One-stop shop for three of my favorites peeps right here!)

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Hello all!
Thanks for the great interviews this week!

Christine Danek said...

Great interview! Thanks for the great advice Elana.

Christina Lee said...

Well holy moly-- I love PB M&M's as it is--but with pretzels?? well I think I luv you even more now ;-)
Elena, you're so great and you deserve all of your success!

Talli Roland said...

Finally Elana! Yay! It was so nice to read her story. She's worked hard, obviously, and deserves it. I can't wait to read her book!

Thanks for sharing.

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks Lisa and Laura (and everyone else)! You guys area made of fabulousness and all things amazing and awesome.

:) E

Jemi Fraser said...

Can't wait until the book is published! Elana is awesome!! :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Yay, Elana! I'm glad you didn't give up. ;)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for organizing the interviews Elana. I really recommend Elana's book too. It's really helping me write my query and you get a free critique of the query from Elana. It's so helpful.

PJ Hoover said...

Elana's awesome! And now I want M&Ms.
This week has really been a blast to read!

Carolyn V. said...

Elana J rocks! I'm so excited for her book. And I'm glad as amazing as you all are, you feel the same way I do when it comes to getting those books out there and published! Thanks for the great interview LiLa. =)

Kathy McCullough said...

Elana is amazing! An amazing blogger and amazing blog commenter! Plus she writes! How does she do it all? (And stay such a nice person.) One word: AMAZING.

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Just hopped over from Elanas Ladies...aren't we supposed to be having a bit less fun today?... I mean with it being Good Friday and remembering why we celebrate it and everything....oh oh...my guilty Catholic roots are struggling...

Really enjoyed what you 3 Ladies have done - CONGRATS! A new fan.

OfficeGirl said...

Go Elana! Rock it Girl! Where can I buy your book??

Erica Chapman said...

Great interview and fabulous subject. You all ROCK! It doesn't get any cooler than LiLa and Elana ;o) You have a great hook Elana - Love it and your blog is one I go to every day ;o)

Alissa said...

Great interview, but now I am craving peanut butter M&Ms.

Sara B. Larson said...

Yay Elana! What a great interview. It's so fun and inspiring to read about everyone's journeys. But I am going to have to disagree, I like the new premium mint M&Ms the best. Yum yum....

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Lisa and Laura, thanks for sharing your Interview with Elana. She is most certainly a Master (Mistress) of the Writing and Blogging Universe.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great interview! Congrats to Elana on her success. She is awesome.

Kayeleen said...

Great interview. Everyone's stories are so inspiring. I've loved this week.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Elana Johnson is #1 on my coolness scale!!! And yes, I do have a copy of her ebook, and yes it is FABULOUS! Thanks, LiLa for the great interview. :-)

JEM said...

Great post! Hearing about how hard successful authors had to work to get their agents also makes it easier to not give up when the going gets hard :). Thanks Elana and Lila!

Stephanie Thornton said...

You ladies' interview on Elana's blog was awesome and her interview is fabulous too!

Thanks for posting all the interviews this week- I enjoyed them!

Jen said...

Elana rocks!!! What a great interview! Now I plan on hopping over to her blog to check out your interview because I'm awesome like that!

Oh and she has a thing going with the M&M's and pretzels!!!

Jill Kemerer said...

So great to read more about you, Elana! And Lisa and Laura--thank you for such a fun week!

~Jamie said...

Elana is my hero, and I love reading about her. It's like my secret obsession.

Hm, wait--that's kind of weird, isn't it?

Brigitte said...

i love elana! she was one of my first followers. :')

xoxox
looking-glass-fables.blogspot.com

Katie said...

aww man, this is so much fun! Thank for the GREAT interview guys!!!!

Michelle McLean said...

oh yeah, M&Ms all the way :D Great interview ladies!

Tahereh said...

awesome interview, elana, as usual.

you are amazing. thanks for doing this.

also: L&L ARE WONDERFUL.

i LOVE them.

thanks for sharing :D

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Yay Elana! Awesome interview. And while I am a huge fan of Twizzlers, I must agree that Peanut butter M&M's are pretty darn amazing. I can't stop eating them. Which is why I never buy them. :)

Cynthia Watson said...

Glad to see you interviewed Elana. She's not only talented, but she's a "giver", helping others with their writing journey (me, for instance -not to put too fine a point on it!).

I know she's going to be wildly successful - she's an awesome writer and she truly cares about others - an unbeatable combination!

I'm a dedicated member of Team Elana!

T-shirts anyone?

Mariah Irvin said...

*waves* Hi Elana! Nice interview!

Little Ms J said...

All Hail, Elana J and the marketing/blogging wonder that she is! Great interview, ladies!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Excellent interview! I've enjoyed this week's series SO much. Thanks for bringing us so many inspiring authors and their take on the craft and publishing.

Happy Easter!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

All you guys rock and really provide the encouragement to keep moving forward, keep writing and persevere. Thanks!

Karen Akins said...

Oh my goodness...totally M&Ms. Thanks for the encouraging words! It's been a week that I needed them, but it's ended very well. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Sara, mint M&M's? Wow, I'm speechless. I do enjoy myself some mint..

And t-shirts? You guys, could you see that? Then LiLa could do the D-bag-o-meter and we'd all be on there wearing these kick-A T's... ROTFL!! That would be freaking hilarious, right?

Only in Cleavland. Only in Cleavland...

beth said...

I have to agree: peanut butter M&Ms for the win!!! :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh gosh, that's a tough road for Elana. But such perseverance!! Love it! Definitely inspirational.

And um, as much as I love Twizzlers, I totally forgot about peanut butter M&M's. We couldn't get them in the UK, so my sister used to send us packages of Jiff peanut butter, peanut butter M&M's, Reese's peanut butter cups, and Ranch dressing. Sorry to ruin the pattern with the dressing.

Excellent interview, ladies. I'm not quite sure I could write a logline in 140 characters, though.

Kristin said...

Thanks so much, ladies for the fabo interviews! That Elana rocks!! And her persistence paid off.

arlee bird said...

Did someone say amazing? I think Elena is exactly that. This lady is a commenting comment-answering machine on top of all the other things she's doing. I looked up "incredible" in my latest dictionary and Elena was listed. She's great!

There are also some other really wonderful bloggers participating in the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. If you haven't checked this out yet, give it a look. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Lee

Mary Aalgaard said...

Fun interview. We have an Elana connection.
Mary

Lori W. said...

No wonder Elana runs a query blog. Her 140 words or less description of her book was perfect! Fun interview. Thanks ladies.

Melissa Sarno said...

I am enjoying these inspiring posts! And Elana's blog is very entertaining and helpful, for sure. 14 months query-ing. Sheesh. I'm about to start after my next edit. Sounds like I'm going to need to acquire a little thing called 'patience'. Can you buy that at Anthropologie?

Jackee said...

To use an Elanaism: "DUDE."

That was an inspirational interview. I'll not quit till I'm dead either. Thanks, you three!

Julia Smith said...

What a wonderful blog event you've hosted, Elana. *applause*

Enjoyed the interview and I can't wait to drop by all of the blogs you've featured here.

Dawn Simon said...

Great post! And Elana's blog is great. I never knew the premise of her book. It sounds really good!!

Margo Berendsen said...

Thanks for introducing me to a bunch of new great writers sites and Book Sniper. Looking forward to reading some more posts and finding out at Elana's site how Pay it Forward works.