Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Possession Blog Tour with Elana J.



Today, I am HONORED to be a stop along Elana's pre-release blog tour for Possession.

More than that, she has authored a guest post for us all about the TECH WORLD of Possession. Which is TOTALLY AWESOME, btw!


Elana Johnson’s debut novel, Possession, will be published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster) on June 7, 2011. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for free download. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog and WriteOnCon, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers. Elana is represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary.



GUEST POST:
Okay, so today, we’re going to tech-geek out. Sort of. See, I’m not really a tech geek. Don’t get me wrong, my MyTouch changed my life (email anywhere! Twitter at the stoplight! Angry birds!), but I’m not someone who keeps up with all the latest technology and gets it the day it comes out.

I’m going to admit something…

The technology is POSSESSION came as an after-thought. I knew I was writing a dystopian, but I didn’t know I was going to include cool tech until, well, until it showed up on the page.

The first thing I wrote that needed tech takes place in chapter two. And since you can read the first two chapters for free here (link to: http://www.possessionthebook.com), I’m going to expand a little.

I’d written several scenes in POSSESSION before I wrote this one. In fact, Vi and Jag had gotten to know each other very well before I even wrote this scene where they meet. But in chapter two, they meet just before going into a hearing together. Vi’s not sure why Jag’s there with her at all, and she’s a bit nervous in front of this huge Thinker council, but she doesn’t let that deter her attitude.

So she curses.

And just like that, I wrote “Mech-749 slapped a patch on my neck. A silencer. Cursing is always silenced.”

And I sat back, and thought, “Cool.”

That lasted about 4.3 seconds before the panic set in. I was now going to have to add “Tech gadgets and/or gizmos” to my list of things to add to my ever-growing list of world-building fixes.

So I did.

I wrote a few more scenes with the specific goal to incorporate more tech. In fact, I went back to the first scene I’d ever written, and changed the source of the flashing red light to a tech gadget instead of a police car. (It’s on page 135 or something, so I won’t spoil it here.) True fact.

Then I started writing chapter one. I knew I needed some mention of tech, but I couldn’t quite figure out the gadget. Plus, I wanted the first gadget to be the silencer in chapter two. (See? I do think about my novels!)

So at the end of the chapter, I included this weird little thing where Vi can sense technology. I ended the chapter, sat back, and thought, “Cool.”

Then the true hysteria set in. It was many months before I was able to tie that technological nightmare into a neat little bow.

Another of my tech inventions came out of sheer desperation. Vi simply needed something to eat, stat. I had to give her a tech gadget to get that accomplished.

So yeah. While the tech in POSSESSION is super-cool, and I wish we had a lot of it in our world right now, it evolved out of after-thoughts, panic, and desperation.

Tell me some of your coolest stuff comes out of nowhere, too, okay? Or if not, how do you come up with your gadgets?

And there's more!

Yesterday, Elana shared that we can now download a Book Club Sampler from Simon & Schuster. here is the link:
* Sampler website: http://pages.simonandschuster.com/somethingtoreadabout

If you haven't already pre-ordered a copy, here is the link to Amazon:

Elana: I love you and I LOVE your book. Thank you for including me in your tour and for all you do around the blogosphere. You are a rock star!

46 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Pretty awesome! Yeah, can't think of on the spot stuff like that but I love it when it happens. And I think we can learn from that to never back down from a challenge that means more work for us!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great post. I love how the technology came as you drafted your story. I'm thinking of a new project and am stuck on the magic. Maybe I should try your technique.

And I so love your book. I'm so excited for your debut.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Now I know why I don't write dystopian or any other genre that requires me to create my own technology. On the other hand. That would be cool. :D

Great interview ladies.

Old Kitty said...

Thank you for the link to the freebie chapters!!! I look forward to chapter 2! Yay! Good luck Elana and thanks Shannon for a fab guest post! Take care
x

Jessica Nelson said...

Technological nightmare is right! My hat's off to you, girl, because trying to think up stuff like that makes my head spin. LOL

Matthew MacNish said...

That's so fascinating to know that the tech and Vi's techtricity sense both got involved after the fact!

Liza said...

I have no tech in what I'm writing right now...well, unless you include a telephone. Good for you for letting your imagination take you where your book needed to go.

Jen Daiker said...

I'm so ready to own this book! It's going to rock my socks off!!!!

I loved Query to the Call. Anyone who wants to be able to perfect their query should read her book. She knows what she's talking about!

storyqueen said...

You know, it's possible that most technological advances really do come from panic and desperation!

So cool to see the writer's thought processes...do you have a gadget for that?

Even more excited to read this book!

Shelley

Christine Fonseca said...

She is a rock star!!! And the tech in the book really is cool!

Jonathon Arntson said...

So cool! I wondered about many of these things. I love having thee questions answered.

Shannon, how'd you make the guest post background blue??? It's fancy smancy.

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone! It's a wild ride inside my head. Ha!

Elana Johnson said...

And subscribing to comments...

E. Arroyo said...

Awesome. I read the first 2 chapters and can't wait to read the rest!!! Congrats!

kathleen duey said...

This kind of thing happens to me a lot. I follow the characters around, explore their world--I do a lot of discovery writing. The tech you have included sounds very cool--and creepy!! "Cursing is always silenced..."

wow!

Chris Phillips said...

I like those ideas and how to tied them together.

Paul Greci said...

Very cool, Elana! I love how the tech just popped in and then grew from there.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I so want that tech gadget that produces food! Mmm... cake! I loved the tech in the novel, so well done! You would never know from reading it that they arrived as after-thoughts or out of desperation. :)

Nichole Giles said...

I love the tech in Possession. And Elana sounds like me. "Oh crap, what did I just do to this story?" But that's the funnest part, right?

Tracy Loewer said...

It's so fun to see what inspires certain elements in a story. I can't wait to read the whole book!

Valerie Ipson said...

Very cool. Desperation is the mother of invention...right?

Patti said...

I read the first two chapters and can't wait to read the rest.

Tere Kirkland said...

My gadgets definitely are born out of necessity. If I need something, I figure out how else it can be done, but I sometimes like to add a downside to it, like that it doesn't last long, or it's super loud, therefore not good for stealthy missions.

It usually takes me until the first draft is done to get everything right, though.

Fun post!

Shari said...

That is so cool! I'm not a techno geek, I'm more like a techno freak.

I'm a little jealous of you Shannon.

Regina said...

Great Post. She is just amazing and I loved the book. Can't wait for more, more, more! This is so great!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great post, ladies! Thanks!

Elana, I'm relieved to learn that I'm not the only one who write something into my WiP and then thinks, "Crap! Now I have to figure out how that actually works..." :-D

Candyland said...

Elana keeps blowing my mind. Seriously. I don't know how authors come up with such brilliance but I wish I could have some!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

thanks for the glimpse into your process, Elana! So interesting how the tech evolved in the story. I seriously can't wait to read it!

Sara B. Larson said...

I wondered how you came up with all of that awesome tech stuff, Elana. So fun to find out!

ali said...

LOL Of course I knew this, but it was still fun to read your story of how it came to be. You have such an awesome way of sharing your writing experiences that makes us love you all the more!

ROCK ON ELANA!!!

And Shannon, GREAT topic for Elana!

Leslie Rose said...

I'm a big fan of future technology. It's a blast to invent something before the nuts and bolts are there. I'm still waiting for my feed after reading FEED by M.T. Anderson. I blame my tech obsession all on The Jetsons.

Carla said...

Congratulations to Elana, you are amazing! I love hearing about the writing process and where it fit on your road to publication...thanks for sharing!

Carla

Donea Lee said...

High-tech/gizmos are always too cool. :) Thanks to Shannon for hosting and supporting Elana with her tour! Thanks to Elana for sharing part of your writing process with us.

Read my two free chapters (thanks!), can't wait to read the rest!

JLC said...

I'm willing to bet that much of our own technology that we use today was developed through after-thoughts, panic, and desperation. :-)

Krispy said...

This is actually a bit of a relief to hear. I'm always impressed by the world-building bits - whether they be gadgetry or magical spells. So it always freaks me out when I have to come up with stuff like that myself. I worry, will it be believable enough? Does this sound stupid?

Thanks for sharing this!

Jemi Fraser said...

As a sci fi fan, I'd a bit of a tech geek (not maybe in real life, but in books and shows). I totally assumed you'd planned some of the tech goodies first and built around it! It's THAT well done! :)

My stuff tends to pop up out of nowhere most of the time - I figure my subconscious does some pretty good work! :)

WritingNut said...

Wow, very cool, I am so excited for Elana's book! :)

Lola Sharp said...

I'm reading Possession right now, E. (I know I've had the ARC forever but haven't had time...but I cracked it today and loving it so far)

Here's hoping it hit the NYT best seller list! :)

Hugs,
Lola

Meredith said...

I love when writing takes you to places you never expected. That tech stuff sounds so cool!

margorowder.com said...

Elana, I love hearing about how folks come up with their tech. I suppose I'm a little different, since I LOVE tech. I'm a Sr Copywriter at a digital marketing agency by day, so we're always talking about interfaces, apps, and user flows. I guess fiction has given me an outlet for that. At the same time, I didn't want tech to overshadow Thirty Decibels, you know? But I believe it makes its own quiet little statement (haha, I'm a treasure trove of bad puns this week).

Another quick thing – Isn't it amazing how sci-fi writers of the 50s, 60s, and 70s predicted so many of the techs we use today? You never know, Elana, we might be silencing ourselves pretty soon. I know I could use one of those patches every now and then... ;)

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting to hear the tech came later because it's such a big part of the book. Personally, I found the silencer part to be particularly interesting. What's more oppressive than taking away someone's freedom of speech?

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone! It's been so fun to be here, and I love hearing what you have to say about tech and how it fits into our life.

Taffy said...

Your tech worked very well. I didn't sense any panic on the author's part :)
I'm a pantser so often I am surprised by what shows up on paper. I understand the panic that ensues shortly after too!!

Heather said...

I love how the tech just fell into Elana's novel, that is awesome! My copy is pre-ordered and after reading the exerpt I can hardly wait!

Kelly said...

Elana is a rock star!

Susanne Drazic said...

Interesting post!

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