Hi, everyone! Welcome to one of the official stops on the Uncontrollable Blog Tour. Uncontrollable is the second book in the State of Grace series by S.R. Johannes and will be released on Sept. 24. We're really excited to have Shelli on the blog again. Please check out the interview with Shelli below and then enter our Rafflecopter giveaway for an e-book of Uncontrollable. Please note that this is a quick giveaway and will only run for 1 day.
Hi, Shelli, and welcome back to the blog! Congratulations on the upcoming release of Book 2 in the Nature of Grace series. Today we're going to talk about your journey as an author.
Thank you ☺
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I was actually a late bloomer, which goes to show you never know where you will end up. I’ve always done copywriting and marketing doing catchy copy. But I had never done much creative writing.
I had 5 months of maternity leave when my daughter was born in 2004 and I started writing when she was sleeping. I knew immediately I would never stop and I’d finally found what I want to do.
What were some of your early literary influences?
I have always been an avid reader. Pippi Longstocking is my fav character and children’s book. She was so snarky and spunky. I loved that she went against rules and didn’t care what anyone thought. She made anything uncool, totally chic. I also love John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.
As far as my style, I used to sneak my mom’s thrillers when I was in HS. So James Patterson and James Hall had a big influence on my writing style.
You had a career in marketing before becoming an author. What made you decide to focus on writing full time? Why was that the right time for you?
I left Corp America back in 2006 and started my own marketing business. I still own that business and I still freelance for my clients. So I am still not solely a FT writer (in the fiction sense). I love the marketing side so it is a way to use both of my talents.
How long did it take you to write your first book, Untraceable?
I started in 2007 after my son was born – so I would say 4 years. I learned to write with that book so it has been through many different versions
You are a successful self-published author. Did you try to get a traditional publisher? If you did, how did you end up self-publishing and if you didn't, what made you decide to go straight for self-publishing?
I had a NY agent for 2 years and had several manuscripts go to acquisitions. I ended up parting with my agent and decide to do my own thing because I was so frustrated with the publishing world.
What are some of the benefits of self-publishing? What are some of the challenges?
Benefits – I get to create it all on my own, in my own way, on my own time. With my vision. From cover to jacket copy. I can put it out the way I want it to be.
Hardest Part – The hardest part is that I am a one-man show. I wear so many hats it gets overwhelmed. The stigma is tough to get past. But if you do it right, you can slip by unnoticed. ☺
Do you have any bad writing habits?
You’re vs. your. Form vs. From. I say just and evidently a lot. I have to edit those all out.
I eat when I write so it’s not good if I’m on deadline.
What's your favorite snack to have while writing?
Sweet tea and Dove chocolates
Do you listen to music while writing? If Grace were a song, what song would she be?
Yes and her song is "Grace" by U2. Love that song.
Please write a haiku about Uncontrollable (3 lines with 5-7-5 syllables, respectively).
Okay this is hard.
Grace on a mission
Bears, nature, and love threatened
A thriller at best
What advice would you give your younger writer self?
Do what you love. Not what pays.
Last thing: What are you working on now and where can our readers find you?
You can find me online at srjohannes.com.
I am working on the next 2 novelettes in the Suffocate series (for Oct and Dec release) and the 3rd Nature of Grace book coming in early spring.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Shelli, and congratulations again.
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