Friday, June 8, 2012

Surrender

Elana Johnson is a blogger goddess, fabulous person, and amazing writer. Today she's dropped in to share about SURRENDER. If you haven't read POSSESSION I suggest you grab your copy now because you'll be dying for SURRENDER moments after!

So let's not wait... here's the info everyone is dying to hear!



Bio

Elana's work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

About SURRENDER

Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.
Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….


Romance in YA

A guest post by Elana Johnson

Okay, so I’m just going to put out there up front that I think books are better if there’s the possibility of romance. It doesn’t have to be overstated, and it doesn’t have to be the entire plot. I am such an emotional reader, though, that I want something in there that appeals to the heart.

I actually think the best kinds of romance in YA novels start slow and build with the plot. In SURRENDER, my two main characters have sort of been eyeing each other for months, though for different reasons.

Gunner likes Raine. He wants to get to know her better, but she’s not his match, and he doesn’t break protocol. But when he gets summoned to train with the Director, all bets are off—and that includes his look-but-don’t-touch attitude toward Raine.

Raine likes Gunn, because he won the Flight Trials, and she admires his flying ability. She hasn’t really thought much about him beyond that, and so when she notices herself crushing on him a little bit, she has to stop and figure out when that happened—and what she wants to do about it.

I like this kind of romance. I like writing it, and I like reading it in other YA novels. I want the catalyst to feel authentic, and I want it the relationship to make me feel something. I also want the relationship to begin to dictate some key points in the plot. As humans, we do things for irrational reasons sometimes—and sometimes one of those reasons is love.

Some have argued that teens can’t fall in love. I’ve spent a lot of time with teenagers, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: They live with an it’s-now-or-never attitude. Everything that happens in their life is the biggest deal ever. Every emotion is FELT. And that includes love.

Maybe it’s not “true” love.

But maybe it is. And that’s where the magic can happen in a YA novel. And that’s why my YA novels (almost) always have romance in them. It’s magical.

Do you enjoy a good romance? What do you think makes a good romance?

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If you haven't met Elana, you want to, trust me. She's the icing to everyone's favorite cake! Go say hello...

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23 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great guest post. I really like the slowly developing romances that don't take over the plot. Elana did an amazing job in Surrender with this. So excited for her!

SA Larsenッ said...

Tension, teasing, and tears - the three T's. I am a romance sap, no doubt. But for me, the romance has to be exciting. That doesn't mean in an X way, if you know what I mean. Using romance in YA lit is a great way to explore and showcase the teen psyche and how they interact within their diverse worlds.

Angela Felsted said...

Congrats to Elana! Some great advice here.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That does sum up teens! Romance isn't easy to write. At least adding that element wasn't easy for ME.
Good luck, Elana!

Amy Saia said...

That's a great explanation of YA romance, loved it. Sounds like a great book!

Meredith said...

I need a bit of romance in my books, too--I'm such a sap! But I love the slow building type of love. Can't wait to read this book!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Jen, Elena is everywhere today! @Elena, as a dude I gotta disagree with you on the romance. As a human being I totally agree. :)
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

Liesel K Hill said...

Definitely agree with this approach to romance! In TV, they call it shipping: when the audience roots for a romance between two characters, but you have to keep them rooting. If there's no tension building, or if you throw the 'X' factor into it as SA Larsen said (totally agree, btw) then it's not as exciting and the payoff is never as satisfying. Can't wait to get to Elana's second book! :D

musingsonfantasia.blogspot.com
lkhill.blogspot.com

Matthew MacNish said...

I haven't had time to read Surrender, but Possession had the best triangle ever!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I'm a sucker for the slow developing romance. It's the story of my life. I'm still working on the nuances of it in my own writing, so this was a great interview!

Angela Brown said...

I enjoy a good romance. Insta-love within reason is acceptable...like there is something unforgettable that can be relinquished...reincarnated lovers. OOOhhhhh...

A building love is wonderful as well because the growth is experienced by the reader as well and is so wonderful when it finally explodes.

Tal said...

Can't wait to read Surrender!

Daniela said...

Sounds awesome! I can't wait to read Surrender! :)

kathleen said...

Surrender sounds like such an awesome read. I love the series so far and I really excited to read this one.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love those romances that build slowly and (mostly) steadily (a bump or two is always fun!). Raine and Gunn are such fabulous characters - and the chemistry is great!!!

Stephsco said...

I enjoy a good romance; something my husband is actually responsible for helping me admit! When we watch TV shows like Castle or Bones he is always kind of a sucker for the romantic tension and the storyline. It kind of surprised me, and I realized, you know, I like that aspect too, why be ashamed? I want Castle and Beckett to get together!

In my own writing I thought I would write urban fantasy but I've since migrated toward YA historical and YA contemporary with romantic undertones. I like that simmering friendship turned relationship a lot. When it's done well it's so inspiring!

thanks for a great post.

Vivien said...

I do enjoy a good romance. My favorites are the slow builders. Especially the ones that comes from friendships. Cannot wait to read Surrender!!

Robert Guthrie said...

"possibility of romance"... the phrase, the very possibility, says it all.

Amanda said...

Totally agree with you.
Romanceshould be something that grows with time. Something that is akward at first, but grows into something beautiful.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I like a good romance, but to me it often isn't enough to carry me through a book. As far as the romance goes, I like the slow-growing kind, frought with sexual tension.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Great post! I( don't read romance as such but I think even the thrillers I read, benefit from a well crafted romance.

Lea said...

Oh, yes, teen love IS real love! Thanks for the great post!

Leslie S. Rose said...

I love romances that have near misses, but keep working at the big "get together." I've never felt more crazy in love than when I was a teen. There's a passion in those years that life hasn't squashed yet.