I am excited to have information from the new book "On the Bright Side" by S. R. Johannes here today.
She stopped by to tell us how she began her book. Let's here from her.
Beginning On The Bright Side
I started writing this book in 2008.
After having a husband recovering from a debilitating back surgery, a dog die, a miscarriage, one kid with a heart defect that (for a while) required constant care and worry, and another who we at one time thought had a fatal disease called septis.
I became obsessed really. The thought of me dying or my kids dying was not just unbearable but left me in panic mode.
During that time, I started thinking about death. So after I got pregnant again, my hubby recovered, my daughter’s heart was deemed healthy and my son’s “septic” was a false diagnosis – those feelings started to process.
This book spawned from that underlying feeling of daily panic and fear. The feeling of wondering what would happen to people I loved when they died (or if they died). If there was anything beyond this life. What could it be? What would I want it to be?
Heavy right? Uh yeah.
So, after starting this book originally as a YA, the book got too heavy to write. At that time, things were looking up so I tried to figure out how to reinvent it. Partly because I just can’t write heavy books that aren’t humorous or issue driven or action oriented. Partly because I was healing and wanted to write something lighter. Let’s just say I knew I couldn’t write another Lovely Bones.
So how would I possible pull off a book about the subject of death while making it lighter and funny? I changed my book and premise to tween. At the time I did this, a lot of books were exploring teen death (vampires, angels, zombies etc)– and I was tired of looking at the dark side of death.
I wanted to look at The Bright Side – which is why I originally chose this title. It was never meant to be permanent really, but it eventually stuck around and became the core message for this book.
That no matter what your darkest hour is – and everyone’s is different and relative – there is always a bright side. Sometimes we don’t know what it is. And sometimes we can’t see it.
Gabby became an outlet for all those feelings of anger and sorrow I had during those times. The fear from hearing my husband had a disability that was deemed unfixable. The anger that my daughter was 1 in 1000 for a heart defect that might cause her problems, and scared that I could be given a wonderful son – only to have him taken away. Some of those feeling were totally irrational and came from a place of depression and fear. But some were justified and I wanted to process through them.
In a light way.
This book was my way of dealing with the unknown and the anxiety of wondering what was next. And Gabby is my way of showing humor in death – if that is even possible – while showing that we all have lessons to learn.
Even the most angelic of us.
Here is a book Description:
Gabby is a disgruntled tween angel who has just been assigned to protect her school nemesis and ex-beffie. Problem is her ex-beffie is dating Gabby’s longtime crush. Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (since when is sticking toilet paper to her shoe or spinach in her teeth a sin?) Soon, Gabby gets out of control and is put on probation by her SKYAgent, who has anger management issues of his own. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.
About the Author:
S.R. Johannes is the author of Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and On The Bright Side ( a tween paranormal).
She started out writing for her local school paper, winning a state Nutrition essay contest for “Be a Smart Cookie”, and singing in a local Jazz band. Somewhere along the way, she earned an MBA in Marketing and embarked on an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America working as a marketing and communications consultant.
In 2000, S.R. traded in her expensive suits, way-too high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, and continues creating materials for a variety of large profit and nonprofit clients, including Spanx, Goody Hair Products, Chick Filet, Delta, CARE, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
S.R.’s dream is to publish children’s books and magically imprint the imaginations of kids. In addition to juggling nap schedules while attending client meetings, Shelli focuses on her writing. She is a frequent marketing speaker at SCBWI conferences across the U.S and runs a popular marketing blog, Market My Words (www.faeriality.blogspot.com) where she provides marketing advice for authors in the hopes of helping them better market their words.
In her spare time (yeah right!) and if the kids allow (yeah right!), Shelli obsesses over movies, reads children’s books (over and over), wishes she could squeeze in Bikram Yoga sessions, and dreams of sleeping in on the weekends.
She currently lives in Atlanta with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess that someday will change the world.
You can find her at:
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SRJohannes/249888602550
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5235537.S_R_Johannes
Check out the Book Trailer:
The publication date for "On the Bright Side" is January 31st. It will be available at Amazon $8.99 for paperback and $2.99 for eBook.
Praises for On The Bright Side
"S.R. Johannes delivers a cute paranormal thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series and soon to be TV show
Clever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy she’s assigned to protect. A great read! -Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)
“ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming – a tale that’ll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby who’ve got our backs.” - Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)
"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!" - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)
She has another book available right now. :0)