Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dystopian Day! - #2 - Possession by Elana Johnson

Dystopian Day is the second thursday of every month to honor the best YA Dystopian books out there!

Best Trait: Twists and Turns!

Possession by Elana Johnson is a super super super twisty-turny book. There doesn't seem to be any moment where there isn't some mystery that you stay up late into the night trying to find out. It's all a big sha-bang, every twist is cleverly presented, and sometimes the big shocker is not even the last sentence of a chapter! Maybe it's in the middle of a really long chapter, maybe it's the first sentence of a short chapter! You never really know!

 And that's what makes POSSESSION the recipient of the 2nd Dystopian Day Award. Without being all spoilery, Possession is a book that was set up to deliver an ending you will never see coming. Elana Johnson creates a story that, by the blurb on the inside flap, sounds like another dystopian love story, with a girl trying to figure out who to lvoe and trust. But no, POSSESSION is a book that had me screaming at the shock and gasping! My mom literally asked me what was wrong when i read this book! And i just said: This book, Mom! This book!

 I know i've said it a lot, but i feel that authors are abusing the twists and turns of a book. And i had heard that the ending of this book was all shock, and i was a little skeptical: Did the author write a horrible book but made an ending so twisty you forgot about all the bad stuff? Nope, Elana Johnson did nothing of it! I wish i could've given POSSESSION more than one award, because the characters are so kick-butt, and the plot moves swiftly! Read this!


Book Trailer (Kinda creepy):


And boy do i have a special treat for all my readers out there! I got an interview with Elana, author of POSSESSION, on writing and revising and fans!

Question One - Did you read a lot of Young Adult Dystopian books while writing and before writing POSSESSION?

 Elana's Answer - I’d only read one dystopian novel before writing POSSESSION, and that was UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld. When I finished that book, I decided I wanted to write a book like that. But I didn’t know what “that” was, so I got on Google, and worked my Google-Fu. I figured out there was a whole genre for this post-apocalyptic type of story. I did a very little bit of research (because I hate research) and then dove right in to writing.

Since then, I’ve read a whole stack of dystopian novels. I love them!

 Question Two - What was the hardest part about writing POSSESSION?

 Elana's Answer - Okay, so it’s a brainwashing book, right? One of the hardest things about writing POSSESSION was making sure the reader knows reality from non-reality. From the brainwashing parts. This was especially hard to do with a main character who doesn’t really know anything about herself or anything beyond the fence.

And the simulators. Oh. My. Heck. The freaking simulators. I re-wrote that part at least 40 times.

 Question Three - What is most interesting about the genre of Dystopian?

 Elana's Answer - For me, it’s the endless possibilities. I love reading about a society where literally anything can be, because the author gets to create a world where anything can be. You know? I like that. I also like a “softer” science fiction read, and dystopian fits right into that.

 Question Four - How long did it take you to write the first draft of POSSESSION?

 Elana's Answer - I wrote the first draft in 17 days. That is not a typo. I spent almost that many months revising it. I am a pantser, and I need a lot of time to revise.

 Question Five - How long did the editing process take?

 Elana's Answer - Depends on what you mean by “editing.” For me, I worked on the book extensively for about 6 months before I queried agents. Then I revised for a few more months based on feedback. After I got my agent, I revised for a few more months (two more rounds). And then with my editor, I revised again.


That’s the thing with editing. Even now, I read POSSESSION, and see things I would rewrite or change. The work really can go on forever.

 Question Six - What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you at a signing or by email?

 Elana's Answer - Oh man. I get a lot of fan email (which I love!), and I’m not sure I can say the weirdest one. It gives away a lot of the book, and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone…
But I did have someone flat–out tell me that I couldn’t write a book the way I did. But, uh, I did. So yeah.


  1. New follower here from Melina's Young Bloggers Unite, you have a great site and I can't wait to participate with you and all the other great young book bloggers out there! I'm also thrilled to find out that we have a lot of boy book bloggers participating, I thought we were I species going extinct!


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