Friday, August 22, 2014

S.R. Johannes - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Award-Winning Author S.R. Johannes. She writes Young Adult, Mystery & Thrillers and Children's Books. Shelli is the author of the acclaimed thriller series NATURE OF GRACE.

Author Genre: Young Adult, Mystery & Thrillers, Children's Books

Website: S.R. Johannes
Twitter: @srjohannes
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling thriller series, the Nature of Grace (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable.

After earning an MBA and working in corporate America doing marketing for over 15 years (Spanx and Goody hair Products were my fav because of the perks :), S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing.

Since then, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, The Atlanta Zoo, many animal rescue organizations, and weaving conservation themes into her books.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Unstoppable. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

I just released Unstoppable ebook in June and the paperback last week. Also the audio book for Untraceable released last week as well. Currently, I am working on a project for my agent. Nature of Grace Book 4 (untitled) is currently scheduled for 2015.)

You have a great following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche?

I have met amazing people. I believe social media helps your exposure. I consider it building relationships as opposed to a following. That is always my goal.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

I have an email list and street team that readers subscribe too. I collect these at book fairs/festivals/school visits as well.

You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I am currently visiting libraries in the state of Georgia. I also do high school visits and skype visits with book clubs.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Thank you :) I love them too. My covers are shot by Vania at She does an amazing job. The model is Jade. I am very active in the shoot and creative aspect of the cover. I believe the NOG covers are perfect for this series.

Several of you novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience?

I just released Untraceable so it is too early to tell :)

You have written several novelettes (Suffocate – Choke). Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work? Do you feel short reads are a product of our email and smart phone age? (See blurb and links below.)

I wanted to give readers a choice. These novelettes are fun to write in between books. I plan to release another one, Breathe, before Christmas.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I have always tried to have free sales to attract new readers to my series. I feel that helps. Untraceable is perma-free now. The others are only free for a few days as a treat.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

I try to keep up with my blog but it has been hard. When I can write, I want to write books. My goal is to connect with writers on my blog. Not young readers. I hope to connect to them more directly.

Tell us about your non-fiction book: Marketing Your Words. What was your goal in writing it? What other sources did you use besides your own experience as a top author?

I did this for mainly my blog readers. This is a combination of all my blog posts that centered around writing with other marketing tips.

Author's Book List
Unstoppable - Nature of Grace Book 3
The NATURE OF GRACE series (UNTRACEABLE and UNCONTROLLABLE) has made many of the top young adult/teen best seller lists including: Best Debut, Movers and Shakers, Top 100 in Thrillers, and the Top 100 in Teen Action Adventure books.

Now comes the next thrilling book in the Nature of Grace series…UNCONTROLLABLE.

After everything that has happened, Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee, and hang out with old man Rex, Birdee's "friend with benefits". Grace quickly befriends Dylan, Rex's nephew, and Dylan's girlfriend, Sadie, who is a die-hard teen activist. Sadie spends her time leading protests against the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for animals or the flimsy law.

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused--and endangered--Florida panther. She and Birdee spend time rehabilitating the animal. But when the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a large roadside zoo they all have been protesting. One that is illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge.

Only this time, Grace is the prey.

During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace and her friends are offered one chance at survival, but only if they reach civilization before being caught. With a small head start and very little supplies, only time and skill stand between the hunter and the hunted. But out in the Everglades, there may be more dangers that Grace realizes.

Against all odds, Grace must make it out alive and win, or everything she holds dear could be lost.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Choke - #2, "Breathless" Science Fiction Novelettes
"...mix Hugh Howey's Wool with Under the Never Sky and Across the Universe" for a great teen thriller."

When Eria escapes her home in the Biome, she leaves everything she knew and loved behind. Following her father's instructions, Eria embarks on a journey into a dangerous and unpredictable world where she uncovers more about the special features and specifications she has as a HumaNot.

Along the way, she encounters a young rebel, Dirk, who explains he's from the Anarchy, an underground human resistance rising up against the BOTs--advanced man-made robots gone wild.

Together, Dirk and Eria battle underground serpents, desert dingos, sand storms, and advanced Bots that are always hot on their trail. As they become closer, Dirk reveals his hatred of anything artificial especially robots and machines. This forces Eria to hide the secret of what and who she really is.

But when the truth of her identity comes out, Eria is forced to become the very thing she hates the most.

Part teen romance, part science fiction, and part dystopian, the Breathless novelette series will have you holding your breath to find out what happens next.

Order the Book From: Amazon - KOBO
Uncontrollable - The Nature of Grace Book 2
Nature girl, Grace, recovers from her tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with conservation and research on the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program".

While she's excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter on record, in a place she no longer feels safe. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and Skyler (his annoying girlfriend), a indoor girl whose idea of getting close to nature is killing two silk plants and watering a cactus.

After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. Facing wild animals, threatening temperatures, and ghosts of the past, she quietly begins to hunt for clues.

Little does she know, she is being hunted too.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Untraceable - Nature of Grace teen thriller series
Nature girl, Grace, has lived in the Smoky Mountains all her life, patrolling the wilderness with her father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and survival.

When her forest ranger father goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he's dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. She must use her survival instincts to survive and find her way home.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever her teen romance, her family relationships and the lives of many. Soon, she's enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it's going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

This teen series for girls has it all: teen romance, action adventure, and mystery all backdropped by the Smoky Mountains. The twists and turns will create mystery and suspense that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Suffocate - #1, "Breathless" Science Fiction Novelettes
"...mix Hugh Howey's Wool with Under the Never Sky and Across the Universe" for a great teen thriller.

Suffocate is the first in a series of novelettes. This 15,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopian fiction and science fiction genres.

For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Eria lives inside a structure where people have lived since D-day. Several generations have passed since then, and now, Eria's father has finally completed a Bio-suit that will allow them to return to the world outside. A world that its poison and heat.

Everyone is celebrating because he will be "the first man to step out of the artificial ecosystem in almost a century." But something goes wrong. Eria is not the least bit worried about her scientist father's public quest because he has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. It's a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong.

When Ash, her father's geeky-chic science intern, becomes the main suspect, Eria is sure he's innocent. Eria and Ash dive into to clear his name, ignoring the sparks between them. In the midst of tragedy, Ash and Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy that affects the very air they breathe.

If those responsible find out what Ash and Eria know, those responsible won't stop hunting her until she takes her very last breath.

Part teen romance, part science fiction, and part dystopian, the Breathless novelette series will have you holding your breath to find out what happens next.

- Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Marketing Your Words
Learn how to sell books and become a bestseller. Every writer can learn how to best sell their books. They just have to know the right marketing strategies.

It's no longer enough for writers to write good books. They must know how to market their words.

This easy to follow marketing book is for every writer who doesn't know where to start with marketing. It is easy to read and gives you step by step tips and instructions on how to do branding, social networking, online marketing, blog tours, and more.

It is a compilation of tips, strategies, and key steps from my popular marketing blog for authors, Market My Words.

This book also includes over twenty marketing interviews from the industry's top publishing editors, literary agents, and bestselling authors such as Jay Asher, Aprilynne Pike, Sarah Davies, Michael Sterns, Aimee Friedman, Cheryl Klein, and many more.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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