Interview with S.R. Johannes

My PhotoS.R. Johannes is author of the Amazon Bestseller Untraceable and a current nominee of the Georgia Author of the Year in the Young Adult category. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta Georgia with her goldendoodle Charley (notice he is listed first :), her British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.  You can find her hanging out online and visit her at srjohannes.comI had the lovely opportunity to interview her about her latest, On the Bright Side, focusing on a fourteen-year-old girl and her experience after death. Still lamenting the fact that she never got her first kiss, things get tangled when she then gets assigned to be the guardian angel of her worst rival! Funny, sad, and moving, On the Bright Side is a cute read for any age.

Here's the interview!
What are three words that describe ON THE BRIGHT SIDE?
Disgruntled tween angel
How did you come up with heaven's "culture" (Skyfones and Inner Nets, etc,.)?
I'm corny that way :) I just tried to replace I with Skies. Though it sounds dumb when I type it.
Do you outline? 
I do a beat sheet from a great book called, Save the Cat, that includes the key turning points over 3 acts. I do keep an outline as I go. But I do not have the story all planned from the beginning.
Which do you think is harder - getting everything down in the first draft, editing, or revising?
First draft is the worst. Once I get through the story once. It is much easier because I know where I am going.
What's your usual routine when you sit down to write? Do you have anything that you do before writing?
I don't have a routine. I have 2 small kids and only a few hours a day to do writing or my business. I just write when I can.
What changes do you make writing for tweens as an audience instead of for teens or adults or even children?
Yikes, that's a loaded question. Tweens are the kids who wants to grow up yet are still under a parent's wing. Tween are usually more self involved than older teens. Gabby grows in this way. The books starts out with her concerned only about herself and ends on a note where she is concerned for others and finally sees a bigger picture.
What did your first release date feel like?
I had a blast that day. The online support was overwhelming and greatly appreciated.
What's in your reading pile?
Open Minds by Susan Quinn. A Million Suns by beth Revis.
What's your reward for writing (a TV show, a certain food, etc,.)?
The reward is internal. I eat chocolate when I want :) I feel great when I write. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. So writing iteself is the reward.
What are the books that made you want to be a writer?
Pippy Longstocking because she is spunky and James Patterson's Alex Cross series. I read all adult thrillers when I was younger and I've always wanted to write thrillers myself.
What advice would you give other inspiring writers?
Don't give up!
Don't compare yourself to others - you will always lose.
Be open because your dream doesn't always look the way you expect it to.
Thank you so much S.R.! You can buy On the Bright Side on the Kindle store, and her other novels as well. I loved her answer for the tween/teen question. What did y'all like? Look out for my review of On the Bright Side, which will be posted this week along with Wrecked and A Temptation of Angels! I hope y'all enjoy!