Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Guest Post: J.R. Johansson (The Nights Walkers series)

Hi everyone! I'm thrilled to welcome author J.R. Johansson to City of Books today. MANIA, the final book in her Night Walkers trilogy, will be released tomorrow, so don't forget to grab a copy! Check out the awesome guest post Jenn wrote about writing YA thrillers below :)

Writing Free

Writing a scary book is something every writer should try at least once. I say that to aspiring authors all the time and I hear the same responses, “I don’t think I could” or “I’m not sure I have that in me.” Let me tell you why that shouldn’t matter.

I’ve been in your shoes. I never thought I would enjoy writing anything in the horror arena. I’m a happy, normal, well-adjusted person. Don’t you have to be dark and disturbed to want to write that stuff? Why would someone like me have it in them to write something with the direct intent to scare my readers? My instinct was that I wouldn’t, it wasn’t even on my radar.

The very first book I ever wrote wasn’t scary. It was more of a sci-fi action-adventure than anything else. Still, I kept getting the same feedback from my critique partners: the high-tension/high-action scenes were where I really excelled. The other parts, I could manage and even make good with some work…but the scary scenes, the dangerous parts, they came naturally to me.

So, when I decided to finally shelve my sci-fi, I thought I’d try something really different. Why not follow my strengths and see if I could work with a darker genre—maybe one that would allow for more action and more tension throughout? I honestly had little faith that I could write something like that at all…let alone that I would enjoy it so much. Now, I can’t imagine writing something that doesn’t have at least a healthy dose of scary as a part of it.

For me, writing is very much like reading. I need to be entertained to keep the story going. If it’s slower, I tend to get bored and start writing something more exciting. With thrillers, I discovered that as long as I’m on the right track, I never get bored. I work hard at improving my craft all the time, but it always helps to have some part of it that feels natural.

My point with all of this is to say that it’s honestly very difficult for me to imagine working without these elements in my stories. And I never thought I would end up loving to write what I do. Learn from this common mistake, all you wonderful aspiring authors out there, don’t bind your own hands. Write big and be up to give anything a go. Take other genres out for a spin. You can’t know what you may love until you try it.

Don’t let your idea of yourself confine your creativity.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, Jenn! I hope all you aspiring authors reading this can take something away from this post.

If you haven't already started the Night Walkers trilogy, do yourself a favour and grab the first book!

Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1)

Her eyes saved his life.
Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins to terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

About the author:

I have two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than my cat, Cleo, I'm nearly drowning in testosterone. My family is a handful, but they always keep me busy and happy.  

My B.S. degree is in public relations and I have a background in marketing. My abnormal psychology minor inspired many of my characters.

When I'm not writing, I love reading, playing board games, and sitting in my hot tub. My dream is that someday I'll find a way to do all three at the same time.

Find J.R. Johansson on:

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