Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sensational Scribe

           COVER REVEAL!

Today marks the first time I have revealed a book cover on Writ of Whimsy; it couldn't have come at a more appropriate time, since Awakened is the debut YA novel for my writing partner and good friend - Kriston Johnson!

Here is a summary of the fast-paced and fascinating story that was a pleasure for me to see come to life over the past few years:

Can fighting for the right side be the wrong thing to do?

Draven, the tyrant ruler of Elyndia for the last one thousand years, searches for the one who can fulfill his prophecy.

The Paladins, an elite band of warriors sworn to protect their way of life at all costs, search for the one with the ability to bring their world crumbling down.

An innocent girl, tormented by demons only she can see, lives on the brink of insanity and longs for a life of peace.

When seventeen-year-old Jade Rosenberg reads from an antique book, she has no idea that she has read an incantation awaking her inherited power; she learns she has descended from an enchanted realm and is a member of a powerful race thought to have been hunted to extinction.

Ripped from her world, Jade is forced to seek refuge from those who want her dead. She is given one of two options and the time has come for her to make a choice:
assassinate their sworn enemy...

Or sacrifice her soul.

                                           *   *   *   *   *   *   *

And now, it is my pleasure to welcome Kriston Johnson to
Writ of Whimsy! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed, Kriston.

"Thank you for having me on Writ of Whimsy, Victoria."

Kriston, where did the idea for "Awakened - The Legends of Elyndia" originate?

"A few years back my husband was given a family heirloom passed down to him from his father. It was an antique knife with a curved blade and tattered copper sheath. When the knife was handed to my husband he held it with great respect, as it was obvious that it was very old. Not long after he held it, my husband carefully pulled the sheath from the blade and held the knife out in front of him for everyone to in the room to see. As he was holding the knife I pictured a wave of powerful magic wash across the room as if the beholder just awakened an ability they never knew they had. Thus, my story was born."

I've heard that story before, but I still find it so amazing. Could you tell me a little bit about your journey in creating your debut novel?

"I literally started at ground zero. It had been twenty years since I had been in school and I had not written anything longer than a grocery list since. The first thing I did was enroll in a few classes at the community college. When I started taking my writing more seriously I started blogging, attended a conference, joined the Willamette Writers and SCBWI. I wanted to be fully immersed in the writing community."

Do you have any tips about self-publishing that you'd like to share?

"Yes, hiring a professional editor is a must. Awakened had two rounds with an editor and one with a proofreader. Beta readers are extremely helpful, but an editor will always catch more, and force you to dig deeper. Self-published authors should also hire a professional cover designer. I know we are told not to judge a book by its cover, but let's face it, a lot of people do. If a cover looks like it was thrown together at the last minute, a reader may think the book was too."

What does your life outside of your literary pursuits look like?

Gets husband
Me - "Honey, what does she mean by this question?"
Husband - "She wants to know what you like to do when you're not writing."
Me - "Are you telling me...there is a life beyond my book?" tilts head and blinks
Husband - cautiously walks backward out of the room
Me - total Kermit flail

Now there's the Kriston I know, folks! Last question, Kriston:
What advice would you share with aspiring authors?

"Be in the moment. Balancing my precious free time is always a delicate task. Working full time and spending quality time with the family leaves a very limited time to squeeze in a decent writing session. I spent the first three years of my writing life in constant turmoil. When I was with my family I was irritated that I was not writing, when I was writing I was ridden with guilt that I was not with my family, so time with either was full of distractions and never as rich and fulfilling as it could have been.

Take the time - make a schedule so neither is neglected. That way you are sure to get the most out of each moment."

Thanks again, Kriston. Good luck with "Awakened!"

Kriston Johnson
Kriston Johnson lives in Southwest Washington with her husband, teenage son, and miniature Australian Shepherd. Her home rests at the fringe of an old growth forest that she insists is the home of Jason Voorhees. Her husband thinks that that's a ridiculous assumption, because everyone knows it's really Bigfoot. Every summer Kriston participates in the annual pilgrimage to Faerieworlds, a real life faerie realm here on Earth; she has an unhealthy obsession with Star Wars, The Vampire Diaries, and Iron Man. Awakened is her first novel.
You can visit her online http://kristonjohnson.blogspot.com/

Hope you all enjoyed meeting the author of "Awakened."
I'll be a host for Kriston's book blast in April that will feature giveaways!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Victoria. It is an honor being featured on Writ of Whimsy. You know more than anyone, this book is a product of my blood, sweat and tears. Well, minus the blood...and the sweat too actually. My office remains at a steady 70 degrees. But you know what I mean.

    I should mention my cover was designed by the talented Regina Wamba at Mae I Design.

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    1. No problem, bestie writer friend - it was an honor. I know you're already writing Book II for the Elyndia series, but enjoy your accomplishment...you deserve it!

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