Please welcome S.R. Johannes to Fantasy Book Chick.
S.R. Johnannes Guest post
Why I write what I write
I never set out to write a novel. I usually start my stories with a core fundamental believe or inspiration of something that is critically important to me.
When I was on maternity leave, I set out to write a picture book for my new daughter – a book I wanted to read. One just for her not to be published. The book was about fairies. Why? There was a small store in England where my hubby is from called “The Broken Winged Fairy”. I loved that store and it became the start of my book. But I also chose fairies because I love fairies and I wanted her to love them as well. I was never a princess person so fairies seemed to have the girliness of princesses yet mixed with a magical and mischievous element. Which I find captures my daughter to a tee.
That fairy picture book turned into a fairy adventure (that will probably never see the light of day even though it got pretty far in the publishing process).
My next book was Untraceable. That book came to be because my hubby is always camping out in the wilderness and he loves it. That fascinated me. That people would actually want to sleep outside in the woods even when they had a nice bed. The way he talked about the woods made me want to be in there. But instead of camping with him, I created Grace who took those journeys for me, investigated horrors to animals, and allowed me to experience the beauty of the woods from my comfy chair.
On The Bright Side came about because after my kids were born, they had some health issues that were so scary. I thought they might die and for a long time - I was petrified of losing them so in a way – I became obsessed with death (even though my kids ended up okay). Starting OTBS was my way of finding the light in death – all to alleviate my anxiety about it. Creating a happy place where dead people could go and have fun and be happy forever. Never be sad and always have peace. A place where they can visit family and protect us. That book made me feel better about death.
To be honest, I didn’t know if I could pull off a light book about death. I mean books about death are usually poignant like Lovely Bones or Elsewhere. Not funny. But I wanted something fun and hip and fresh. In order to step away from the darkness of death as a topic as well as the religious aspect of death, I created my own After Life. One where I would want my loved ones to go. In my world, Angels became Brights and Heaven became Cirrus. And ruler was a woman. Fun right?
So I guess that was a long-winded way to say, I write about what inspires me. What haunts me. What touches me in the deepest way. As you can see, my books are basically pieces of me where I can address my dreams, fears, and questions in the world. Yes in a way that relates to kids.
On The Bright Side
Coleman & Stott
On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless.
As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby's should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!)
Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future.
Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.
ebook: (available jan 31st)
ISBN 10 – 0984799117
13 - 978-0-9847991-1-4
paperback (available in Feb)
How to Buy:
Paperback will be available in Feb.
To buy the Kindle ebook - The ebook is .99 for the first month and can be purchased at amazon or B&N for now.
Praises for Untraceable
"Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn't need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!" -Kimberly Derting, author of the The Body Finder series (Harper Teen) and The Pledge series (S&S)
"This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page." - Kirkus Reviews
2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarterfinalist (under the original title of Grace Under Fire) - Judges Reviews:
"This story starts out with a bang...it reads like the young woman were narrating it to a friend, and had the ring of a young person's style and intensity. Grace sees authority people, or at least those she knows, as a bit bumbling, which is true to age. Authentic representation of youth in action also. Original in premise and style, and good use of background...Good story!" - Sue Grafton, author of bestselling Kinsey Milhone series
"This murder mystery features a teenaged heroine, but she has the self assurance of a woman twice her age. The prose is very descriptive...and the dialogue is genuine. The setting of small town North Carolina and the surrounding woods is appealing. The story moves along at a brisk clip, and it feels as if we already have some important clues. We look forward to seeing what's in the case file and what Grace and her motorbike, Luci, will be up to next." - Sue Monk Kidd, author of Secret Life of Bees
Praises for On The Bright Side
"S.R. Johannes delivers a cute paranormal thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series and soon to be TV show
Clever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy she’s assigned to protect. A great read! -Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)
“ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming – a tale that’ll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby who’ve got our backs.” - Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)
"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!" - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)
Author Information (Bio and Contact)
S.R. Johannes is the author of Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and On The Bright Side ( a tween paranormal).
She started out writing for her local school paper, winning a state Nutrition essay contest for “Be a Smart Cookie”, and singing in a local Jazz band. Somewhere along the way, she earned an MBA in Marketing and embarked on an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America working as a marketing and communications consultant.
In 2000, S.R. traded in her expensive suits, way-too high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, and continues creating materials for a variety of large profit and nonprofit clients, including Spanx, Goody Hair Products, Chick Filet, Delta, CARE, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
S.R.’s dream is to publish children’s books and magically imprint the imaginations of kids. In addition to juggling nap schedules while attending client meetings, Shelli focuses on her writing. She is a frequent marketing speaker at SCBWI conferences across the U.S and runs a popular marketing blog, Market My Words (www.faeriality.blogspot.com) where she provides marketing advice for authors in the hopes of helping them better market their words.
In her spare time (yeah right!) and if the kids allow (yeah right!), Shelli obsesses over movies, reads children’s books (over and over), wishes she could squeeze in Bikram Yoga sessions, and dreams of sleeping in on the weekends.
She currently lives in Atlanta with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess that someday will change the world.
TO RECEIVE AUTHOR NEWS
If you would like to get periodic author news on my upcoming special edition in Jan or on the release of my future books, please register your email address here. I do not expect to send more than one email a month.
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SRJohannes/249888602550
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5235537.S_R_Johannes
Untracable Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12731861-untraceable
On The Bright Side Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13251805-on-the-bright-side
In His Eyes Anthology Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13331838-in-his-eyes-anthology
Thank you S.R. Johannes for taking the time out of your busy schedule to provide my readers with this awesome guest post. It was a pleasure to have you be a guest and I hope you will be a guest on my blog in the future.