Elana Johnson is the author of the YA novel “Possession.” The companion book to “Possession,” “Surrender,” hits bookstores June 5. Below is a complete transcript of her interview with Cracking the Cover.
Congratulations on your success! Do you still like writing as much as before this adventure started?
Oooh, a loaded question right to start. I like that. I love to write. I love crafting characters and stories. That hasn’t changed. The thought of writing has a little bit. Now I see it as something I need to get done, instead of something I want to get done. Does that make sense? It’s still enjoyable, but the perception has changed a bit.
There are now 4 works in the world of Possession — two novels and two short stories — and after reading “Surrender,” it’s clear another novel is in the works. Did you have any idea at the beginning things would turn out this way?
Definitely not! I wrote POSSESSION as a stand-alone novel. I never intended it to be more than it was. But things sort of have a way of taking on a life of their own, and that’s what happened with the POSSESSION world.
“Possession” and “Surrender” share some of the same characters, but are told from different viewpoints. Will the next book follow that pattern? Will it be another companion?
My series is a mess! Ha. The answer here is “sort of.” I think SURRENDER is a true companion to POSSESSION. It takes place months later, it’s told from different viewpoints, and the story isn’t a true continuation.
The third book is much more of a sequel—to SURRENDER. It begins immediately following the end of SURRENDER and it’s a continuation of events that are begun in SURRENDER.
It is a bit of a companion—I suppose—in that it is narrated by two different characters. Not new characters—can you guess who might narrate it?
I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at pacing a novel. I’ve always struggled with that, and now I have a method to help me make sure all the plot elements are present and executed in a timely manner. It’s still something I struggle with, but I’m working on it.
Was “Surrender” harder or easier to write than Possession?
SURRENDER was much easier to write than POSSESSION. I don’t know if that’s because I had an outline, or if it’s because I already had the world in my head. I knew it needed to line up with POSSESSION, but it was basically writing another story, because it’s not a true continuation of Vi’s story, if that makes sense.
Vi is your favorite character from “Possession,” now that “Surrender” is out, is she still your favorite?
I still love Vi. Readers get to see her again in SURRENDER, and she’s a big part of Book 3 as well. But I have to say that Gunner has grown on me a lot. And so has Jag…
How has your life changed since the publication of “Possession”?
Very little. You can find me teaching elementary school from August – May. I still drive my children to their various activities, and I’m making sloppy joes and spaghetti for dinner just like everyone else.
The biggest change in me is the amount of jewelry I wear. No lie.
Dude, this is a hard question. I think POSSESSION and SURRENDER are genre-blending novels. I know those are becoming more popular, so maybe they’re not stand-out in that regard anymore. But POSSESSION is a science fiction novel with tech and gadgets. It’s also dystopian in the fact that there’s an oppressive government and a rebellion. It’s also paranormal, in that the government stems from paranormal abilities. This sort of genre blending is still relatively new, and hopefully, that’s part of the series’ appeal.
What are you working on now?
I am finishing up Book 3 and researching a massive amount of scientific principles for a near-future sci fi.
Why do you think your books resonate with readers?
I’m not sure. I hope readers can find a connection to a character, a situation, a feeling in the books. That’s why I write them. To bleed those things out of me and hopefully impact someone else.