Theresa Milstein: Possession vs. Surrender

From: Theresa’s Tales of Teaching Tribulations and Typing Teen Texts
http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com/2012/07/possession-vs-surrender.html
July 18, 2012 at 07:52AM

Elana Johnson is here!  


You’re now the author of two
published books. I’d love you to compare/contrast your writing and promoting
experiences between Possession and Surrender.  



           What do you wish you knew when you were a debut author that you
know now?  




This is such a hard question. I
learned a lot of things about publishing Possession. I learned that it helps to
have other people talk about your book. I learned that there are some things
out of your control. I learned that some of the marketing things I did weren’t
as effective as the time/money I put into them. 

I wish I could go back to
that pre-release stage. We spend so much time waiting for our books to come
out, but it’s the most precious time. Once your book comes out… It’s all about
how it performs after that. And that kills some of the excitement. So I wish I
knew to keep things in perspective, do what I could, and then move on.



What was better about writing
Possession?  
There’s much more joy in writing
your first book. Less pressure. More time to get it right. I didn’t experience
as much joy in writing SURRENDER, and there was way more pressure and way less
time to get it perfect. So that’s hard. Looking back, writing POSSESSION was
definitely more fun.
What was better about writing
Surrender?
I no longer had to worry as much as
world-building. The society was already set in POSSESSION, and while SURRENDER
takes place in another city, and I needed to establish setting, the whole world
didn’t have to be conceived. It already had been. So that made writing
SURRENDER much easier.
How is promotion different between
the two books?
The pressure! With POSSESSION, I didn’t
really know what would work and what wouldn’t. I did things because I wanted to
do them. With SURRENDER, I went through a period of time where I seriously
contemplated doing nothing. Maybe mentioning the book on release day. Then
things changed, and I decided I did need to do some promotion for the book. And
the pressure that brought! So much pressure.
Because, remember, now everything is
about sales. How many copies are selling? How
close is that bringing me to earning out? What else can I do to
reach readers? Will they buy it if they only see the book once?
And on and on. There is intense
pressure to promote SURRENDER, to ensure that it sells well enough to warrant a
continued writing career.

General questions:
Surrender is a companion novel.
 Which characters reappear in this 
book?
Okay, so readers will see Vi and Zenn
and Jag again. Thane Myers also plays a heavy role in SURRENDER, just as he did
in POSSESSION. Let’s see, who else is there? I think that’s it.
Do you prefer butterflies or
hummingbirds?  Explain. 
It depends! I have some beautiful
jewelry for each, and butterflies are definitely more common in almost
everything craft-wise. I definitely prefer the butterfly cover over the
hummingbird one, so maybe butterflies? Yeah, let’s go with that.
What are you writing now?
I just started working on a YA
contemporary novel. It’s going well, but it’s much harder than I expected it to
be.
What else do you have in the works
that you want to tell us about?
So many things! I’m hoping I’ll get
to unleash my YA sci fi on the world one day. As well as my YA fantasy… Oh! And
I wrote a whole novel in verse. I’d love for that to get published too. So
we’ll see. Hopefully, there are many upcoming things for me!

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…. 

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