A Guide to Reading J.R. Johansson

Illustrated Guide to Reading Jenn Johansson's Very Awesomely Scary Book

1.  Before starting Jenn Johansson's psychological thriller, INSOMNIA, give your concerned-look facial muscles a good work out.  They're going to need it.

2. Grow your nails out really long so you're not forced to gnaw off your finger tips when things get really scary. 

3. Figure out how to read while covering your eyes.  And when you do, share the secret with me because I'm the type who always covers my eyes during the scary scenes of a movie or I'm a mess by the end.

4.  Hide if necessary.  

5. Learn German!!!!!!! Because she's going to be a German superstar.  Here's the proof:

Publisher's Weekly Announcement

"Germany rights to INSOMNIA by J.R. Johansson, a debut YA supernatural/psychological thriller, about a teen boy who thought spending every night trapped in other people's dreams was bad, but discovers that losing control of his own body and mind is so much worse, sold to Heyne Flieght in a TWO-BOOK deal at auction by Agence Hoffman, on behalf of Taryn Fagerness Agency and Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency."

Also, some really cool German's stopped by to congratulate her.

"Brialliance = Jenn x A2 Book Deal"

"Insomnia is a Symphony of psychological thrills."

"I may not be German, but they love me there.  No, really, I'm a German mega-super-popstar.  And I can tell you they love Jenn in the Deutschland."   

Guess what David, I love her too!! And I couldn't be happier for my dear friend.   Ich liäbä Dich, Jenn!!

Life as a House

You would think after overseeing four remodels and the construction of a new home I would be a pro at that kind of stuff.  The reality is I am much better than I used to be at handeling projects.  I don't get flustered when something unexpected pops up as often as I used to, but every new project brings new challenges and problems.  The metaphors are pretty clear, don't you think?   But for those of you who want my take on them, here's what I've learned from writing and remodeling.

1. Prepaparation is EVERYTHING.   The right tools, a clean surface, a level floor, a solid foundation... the basics of good storytelling, plotting, grammar, and practice.

2. Don't rush.   Make you paint lines straight and clean.  Measure your flooring before deciding where to cut the planks.  Let a new story idea ruminate, write down a major outline.  Flesh out your characters on paper or in your head.

3.  Get help from friends and professionals!! You need it! Don't attempt to redo major plumbing or electrical repairs on your own.  Make sure you have two people for two-man (woman) jobs.. Find great Beta readers, make friends you can help and who can help you.  Establish genuine and mutually beneficial friendships.  Accept critique and feedback (especially from agents and editors).

4.  Enjoy finished projects.  Ignore the flaws for a while.  Wait a few weeks before attempting to redo anything.   If you're not sure about a paint color, look at it in all lights and at all times of the day.  If you LOVE a paint color, look at it in all lights and at all times of day.  Insert the word "scene" or "chapter" or "book" instead of paint color and the rule is pretty much the same.

These are my basic rules for remodeling and editing.  Yours might be different than mine, but either way I believe it's important to have them and reevaluate them from time to time until you find what works.