Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Graffiti Wall Spotlight ~ Author S.R. Johannes & 2 Giveaways!

The Graffiti Wall has been vacant for a bit, in need of some real lively splatters. So today, in conjunction with my YATT meme, I have just that. An author with more drive, perseverance, dedication to the craft and her following, and a sweet personality to match! She doesn't really need a major introduction, but I'm giving her one anyway.

*Balloons. Confetti. Bells & whistles...

S.R. Johannes is the author of Amazon bestselling Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and new tween paranormal, On The Bright Side. She is also part of a teen romance anthology with 16 other authors titled, In His Eyes. S.R. Johannes was recently nominated in the YA category as Georgia Author of the Year.

Hi, Shelli!! How long have you been writing and blogging, and what got you started with each?

I started writing when my daughter was born b/c I had 5 months of maternity leave and was bored. Before that - never wrote a day in my life. I know scary right? I started blogging a little in 2006 just because everyone was but I got serious about it in 2008/2009 when I decided to focus more on helping people with book marketing. Then my blog just took off. By accident really :)

So thankful it did. It's a wonderful resource for writers and readers alike.

From your vast knowledge of marketing, what would you say are the three most important aspects of self-promotion for an author and why? 

Hm that is tough. 1) Have a web site and online presence 2) Get into some kind of social networking and be active. 3) Know your target audiences/segments of your books.

Most of all, authors need to accept the idea of marketing and that they have to do it. At least, if they want to sell a book :)

How does an author go about accomplishing each? 

1) Start on a free web site and just play around. Think about what represents you - colors etc - what kind of site you need and want. Your site will tell everyone who you are.
2) Only join the social networking sites where you know you will be active. Don't just join to join. Know the various mediums and pick what fits you and your audience.
3) Break your book down into the subjects it covers to identify your target audiences and the segments within each.

Untraceable is your first self-published novel. Could you give a brief overview of how you came to the decision to self-publish this story?  

I dont want to bore anyone. Basically I had an agent for 2 years and almost sold a couple of books. When my agent and I parted, I decided to put my books out on my own. With my marketing background and the fact that my books were good enough for acquisitions - I didn't think I could lose and I knew there wasn't much life left in them in traditional pubbing. It started as an experiment and for fun. I didn't expect it  to take off. For the longer journey - you can read my blog posts :) POST A & POST B.

Seriously, folks, if you haven't read those two post you must. I learned so much from Shelli's experience. 

16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. 

When her dad 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. 

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. 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.

Eek!! You have another book out, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE! Please share some deets!

On The Bright Side was the second book (besides Untraceable) my agent tried to sell. It was only fair to give it a shot too.  It is a tween book - a paranormal adventure - about a girl who dies and is forced to protect her school nemesis. The different part is that it's a humorous take on guardian angeldom and goes into all the things you wish you could do to those who treated you wrong in school. Unfortunately, the pranks unleash a dark side.

Lastly, how do you juggle all life brings on a daily basis and your writing? Any secrets for the readers?

Hm thanks for the confidence but I feel like I don't juggle very well. My life is kinda like a Pez dispenser - I take what comes up - as it comes up. Secret? I wish. My plan is to fake it til I make it ;)

Thank you so much, Shelli!! It's been a pleasure.

And to top it off, Shelli's offering up an ebook of each book ~ a copy of On The Bright Side & a copy of Untraceable! Just fill out the form below!! WINNERS to be announced on May 28th! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more YA, visit these YATT Meme Supporters:
Margo Berendsen
The Write Game
Julie Musil (not every wk)
Rosewood Pencil Box
Misha Gericke (not every wk)
Fairbetty's World 
Concrete Pieces of Soul 
The B.L.O.G (The Bizzare Life of One Girl)  
A Day into the Writer
Want to take part in spotlighting young adult literature? Join our team. For more information, go HERE.


  1. I love that cover for Untraceable. It's eye-catching. Good luck with the new release!

  2. Shelli is such an inspiration. And she's been so generous in sharing advice on marketing and going the self-publishing route. I'd love to win On The Brighter Side. I already have Untraceable.

  3. I've read both and enjoyed both of them. Definitely enter or go out buy a copy!

  4. Both books sound great. Lots of wonderful advice. Thanks and good luck!!

  5. Shelli is wonderful -- good luck to all who enter. The winners are getting some great books!

  6. A great interview. Nice to meet you, Shelli. Enjoyed reading your story. Your books sound awesome.

  7. I have Untraceable on my Kindle. :) On the Brighter Side sounds great. I love the story line.

  8. Shelli is great. I would love to win either book. :)

  9. Shelli is so sweet!! I've been looking forward to reading both of these for a few months. The covers are just great!!

  10. Good luck to everyone! :) Thanks for having me SA

  11. My daughter and I have read Untraceable and Bright Side is on her ebook shelf. I'm excited to see more from S.R. :-D

  12. A great interview. Love the covers, they are eye-catching and the stories sound wonderful!

    All the best!

  13. I've heard SUCH great things about Untraceable! And I love the colors on the cover.

    (And SA, congrats on your RAOK shoutout yesterday, too.)

    1. Yay! for Shelli! She's a fantastic writer, but also an amazing person.

      Aw...Thank you about the RAOK. I was shocked and really humbled. The writing community is the best. I am so blessed to be a part of it. Excited to keep growing with it!

      Thank you for stopping by!

  14. Wow! I love your rationale for deciding to self-publish! That makes so much sense. And the books look terrific, too. I'll have to check them out.

    1. I know. And if you go check out what she wrote on her site about it, you will be that more impressed. ;D

  15. Shelli is awesome! I loved Untraceable and can't wait to get the next one in the series! Good luck to everyone who enters and if you don't win, you for sure should buy at least one of Shelli's books!

  16. Shelli is pretty much legend in these here parts. :) So great to hear her info and how she makes it work. I'm still scared to take the plunge. lol But good to know who to learn from when I do.
    Thanks, ladies!

  17. Wow, two giveaways! The interview was great, Sheri. Best wishes to Shelli in all her future publications and endeavors! :-)


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