Today Im thrilled to have Shelli Johannes-Wells, YA author on the blog today for a chat.
Hi Shelli, thanks for stopping by today, so to start, tell us a little about yourself.
I am the author of Untraceable (ya thriller) and On The Bright Side (tween light paranormal). I have an MBA specializing in Marketing and I own my own marketing business where I work with clients. I have 2 kids and 1 dog. Oh yeah, and a hubby. J
Wow- sounds like your a busy woman! How do find the time to write....and even a better question: What inspired you to write On the Bright Side?
It was Dec 08 at Christmas time. I had just finished reading Cynthia Leich Smith's Eternal and Lisa Schroeder’s “I Heart You, You Haunt Me”. I was subbing Untraceable to agents and needed to pass the time. I started to think about an angel book and wonder, what if the reader got to see the perspective of the angel who was longing for life again. So I played with flipping the roles. The book started out as a deep YA.
In the spring when other dark angel books started to sell I started to figure out how I could make it different. I saw a show about people who claimed they died saw the other side, and came back. They described it as peaceful and happy, I wondered if I could do a book about death in a humorous way and make it younger. The question became “what if an angel is forced to protect someone she doesn’t like?" Brought back all the times I wished I could be a fly on the way, listening to my crush and eavesdropping on my frenemies. Then I thought about the opposite of death. What if a girl didn't want to be a cool angel? What if she just wanted to be human again? That became much more interesting. I knew if I was going to do a middle grade, I needed it to be less heavy and more fun and light and hip. Something more like Meg Cabot or Ally Carter.
On the Bright Side is funny and light even though death, loss, forgiveness, and the fear of moving on are at its core.
That's cool how you gave the story your own flair and made it different in an array of angel books.....have you always been interested in the paranormal world?
No I actually write contemporary thrillers. But I got this idea and needed a light change after Untraceable.
What song would you choose to encapsulate On the Bright Side?
~Misguided Ghost by Paramore~
That is a great song! Paramore is one of my favorite bands.
What’s the last great book you read?
Fracture by Megan Miranda
Before you leave can you share what’s on the horizon?
I have a couple of thriller short stories coming out between now and July. And Uncontrollable, sequel to Untraceable comes out late summer. Beyond that – who knows?
Well sounds like you'll be staying busy for awhile! Thanks Shelli for stopping by today and chatting with me, readers you can learn more about Shelli at her website.
As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, SkyFones and InnerNets are all the rage. At her first Bright ceremony, G.O.D., the automated assignment system, spits out Angela Black, Gabby’s arch nemesis and longtime fencing rival. As a Bright, Gabby has to protect Angela, her assigned mortal, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven.
Back on earth, Angela starts hitting on Michael, Gabby’s crush and should-have-been boyfriend. Gabby’s pranks to quell the love are harmless at first until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, Celestial Sky Agent, Lawrence, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, steps into reveal that Angela has big problems, and what she really needs is Gabby’s help.
Determined to right her wrong and ease her mother’s grief, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to earth for just one day. But if Gabby’s not careful, her well-meaning mission just might shift the very foundation of Heaven, Earth, and every place in between, causing the danger of the dark side to roam free.