Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SURRENDER Blog Tour: Elana Guest Posts about Raine


Welcome to one of Wednesday's blog tour stops for the wonderful Elana Johnson and her fabulous new book, SURRENDER -- companion to POSSESSION. I L-O-V-E-D it!!

Bio:  
Elana's work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.
You can find Elana here:


The Making of a Character: 
Raine Hightower
A guest post by Elana Johnson

Dude, hello! It’s SURRENDER’s release week, and since it’s not a traditional sequel—but more of a companion—I wanted to get some character information out there right at the beginning of the tour.

I think characters are the heart and soul of any novel, and I’m always fascinated by how people come up with their narrators. See, I struggled with this book.

Who’s story was it? Gunner’s? Or Raine’s? I pitched the idea of a dual-narrated novel to my agent, and even she was leery. So I wrote consecutive chapters from Raine’s POV, and then Gunn’s, and then alternated them.

This helped me get to know both Gunner and Raine better. (You can find out more about Gunner on Nichole’s blog today—go check it out.)

Today we’re talking about Raine Hightower. I stole Raine’s last name from a family in my neighborhood. Ever heard of Chelsie Hightower—the dancer on Dancing With the Stars? Yeah, her family lives in my neighborhood.

And Hightower is a super-cool name, and it sounded dystopian. So into the book it went. I can’t remember how/when I came up with Raine, but I added an E to the end for hipness. It is pronounced “rain” like the water that falls from the sky. The E just makes it feel futuristic to me…

Raine belongs to a group known as the Insiders. She’s been in for just over a year, and that was an interesting angle to come at the story from. I think so many times our characters are thrown into a world that’s completely foreign to them, and we take them through the plot that way.

But Raine’s already in. She’s the Director’s daughter, so she’s expected to be perfect and play by the protocol—and she does during the day. But at night, she does everything she can to unravel her father’s society. They have an interesting dynamic that twists and explodes throughout the novel, and that’s something I love. Taking an existing relationship and forcing it to become something different.

The more I wrote Raine, the more I realized how much of a history she truly has. She has a best friend you’ll see in SURRENDER. They have rituals and routines. She has a failed friendship from her childhood. You’ll see that come to life and impact the plot in SURRENDER. She has a sort of love/hate relationship with someone on her Insider team. You get to see that banter in the book, and all of that helps to form Raine into someone who’s real on the page.

At least that’s my hope. You can read the first two chapters of SURRENDER for free on my Facebook page. You’ll get to see both Gunn and Raine… because the novel’s dual-narrated. Hey, it’s what it needed to be.

So are you up for a dual-narrated novel? Ready to dive into Raine Hightower’s life? I hope so!

You can win one of five SPECTACULAR SECOND books this week! It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. All you have to do is fill out this rafflecopter widget with what you’ve done.

Also today for one day only, you can enter to win a swag package of exclusive character art—including Raine Hightower—and stickers and bookmarks. No rafflecopter widget necessary – just leave a comment!


17 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing how Raine came to be Elana. She's a fantastic character and so is Gunner. I'm so glad you decided to alternate their POVs.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I didn't realize Surrender is dual narration. I love dual narration stories. I'm waiting for my copy in the mail.

Veray said...

I can't wait to read it!

Meredith said...

It sounds like I'm going to love Raine. :) Can't wait to read it!

Julie Dao said...

I am so pumped for this book. The heroine and the story both sound great!

Heather said...

I had this on pre-order and I was ecstatic when it arrived yesterday!!! Seriously, I think my reaction may have freaked out the postman a little. ;)

Amanda said...

Raine seems like a very strong and unique character. I can't wait to read about her!

Daniela said...

Can't wait to read Surrender. It sounds like an awesome read.

Lea said...

Aaah, I just read the first pages on fb and want to continue NOW! I guess I'll be camping out in front of the mailbox now :)

Kelly Polark said...

Very cool! I love finding out how names came to be.

Vivien said...

I absolutely cannot wait to read Surrender!!! Learning about the characters is really fantastic. It gives a whole new insight!

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

So excited for my copy to get here! I've seen only positive reviews and that makes me super happy for Elana. Raine sounds amazing.

Jemi Fraser said...

Raine is such a great character! I love how the relationships she has with others (dad, best bud, roommate, Gunner) impact the whole story! :)

kathleen said...

Love the cover of Surrender, and I can't wait to read it.

PurpleMist. said...

I love the cover too!
Still saving up to buy this book, can't wait :D

Tal said...

I can't wait to read it! (BTW -I love the cover!)

DL Hammons said...

I loved this blogstop! I'm a sucker for how characters come into being and the subtle techniques different authors use to breath life into them. Great stuff Elana! Thank you for hosting Shannon!! :)

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