AuthorScoop first met with SR Johannes this past December and we are delighted to have her back so soon, and with great news what’s more! She’s got a new book for the tween set, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, just newly released and it looks terrific.
We’d like to thank her for coming back once again to take part in our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: Tell us a little about your new release, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.
S.R. Johannes (Shelli): Gabby is a disgruntled tween angel who has just been assigned to protect her school nemesis and ex-beffie. Problem is her ex-beffie is dating Gabby’s longtime crush. Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (since when is sticking toilet paper to her shoe or spinach in her teeth a sin?) Soon, Gabby gets out of control and is put on probation by her SKYAgent, who has anger management issues of his own. 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.
AuthorScoop: Was it hard to kill off your main character right from the start and get her playing in the hereafter?
Shelli: Nope. An angel book doesn’t really work unless I kill at least one person off.
The hardest part was 1) making death funny and 2) creating a brand new world from scratch. I wanted to explore the light side of death and to do that I needed to get away from the religious aspects of Heaven. I could only do that by creating a fresh place called Cirrus.
AuthorScoop: Have the rigors of writing back-to-back books changed the way you read?
Shelli: Uh – yeah. I don’t have time to. I don’t get enough time to write as it is so if I read I want to be writing and vice versa. But I will say, these two books have both been written for several years so it’s not like I just wrote them in the last 2 months. It was just a matter of putting them out right. Which was exhausting and gave me very little time to read the last few months.
Shelli: Go with your gut. I’ve realized if I stick to my gut – I never go wrong for me. I find this comes with confidence though. If you are not confident – you are more easily persuaded by feedback. Don’t get me wrong, I get feedback and criticism, but if I am confident, I can tell what I need to change and what needs to stay – no matter what people say.
AuthorScoop: What’s next for S.R. Johannes?
Shelli: I am in an Anthology called IN HIS EYES coming Feb. 14th with me and about 15 other indie authors. The stories included come form our male protags and are written from his perspective about love and loss. I also plan to get the sequel to UNTRACEABLE (called UNCONTROLLABLE) out in the summer. I can’t really see beyond that right now
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is available now and S.R. Johannes runs a lovely website that will get you where you need to go for ordering and information. Just make a wish and click. She offers plenty of access via her social media page, and for more up-to-the-minute updates on Shelli and her work, be sure to check out her blog.