Friday, January 6, 2012


Dude, I'm excited to host Shelli Johannes-Wells today! I've known Shelli online for a few years now, and she's a fabulous person. Her novel, UNTRACEABLE, is available now. Let's dive in a learn a little more about the book and about Shelli!

The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:

Untraceable is a YA wilderness thriller about a missing forest ranger dad, a kickbutt heroine, and of course, two deliciously hot boys.

Why indie-publishing? Why now?
I’ve been so close so many times, I had nothing to lose. I was tired of waiting for others to make something happen. I was exhausted from stressing about what would sell and what wouldn’t sell. I was ready to do something for myself after 8 years of close calls, disappointment, and frustration.

I did not want to give up on this book.

What’s the one thing you learned about publishing this way that you didn’t anticipate?
How much fun it is. I thought it would be stressful and was ready for an uphill battle. But it has been the most wonderful experience of my writing career. People have been supportive when I thought they would turn their backs on me. The process has been so creative. And my book is exactly what I want it to be. I have no regrets. And though it’s been hard, it’s been awesome!

What else are you working on? Secrets? Inside scoops? Give us the juicy stuff!
Well, I am putting out a special edition [of UNTRACEABLE] at the beginning of the year that will have the original ending. Also I am working on Uncontrollable – Grace 2. It will be set in the winter, so very different survival stuff goes on – It does have wolves in it (though they are not werewolves).

Scoop? Let’s see – what can I say without giving anything away. Grace and Skyler are on a project together and have to hang in the woods. (Makes me laugh just thinking about it.) Which is hilarious because they are very different, especially outside.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have always written – like poems, short stories, and am a copywriter. But no – not until I had my daughter in 2004. When I finally took time off work – it gave me the space to realize it was my passion. I actually wanted to be a singer and a marine biologist.

What made you decide to go that “extra step” and seek publication?
I am better in the underdog role. I was determined to find my own way and take control of my own dreams and destiny. Good or bad.

Quick! You’ve been chosen to be a contestant on Survivor. What luxury item do you take?
Grace would hate this question. ☺ (Good thing I asked Shelli and not Grace!)

I don’t want to say book or computer or pen and pencil because that seems boring. (And Grace is kicking me under the table.)

So I’ll say, solar powered Christmas lights (did you know they have those?!). I love little lights in my garden all year round. They make me happy and they make bad places seem more magical. So maybe they will add some sparkle to the dreary island.

Tell us something about yourself we don’t know.
I’ll tell it all baby! I am petrified of alligators (no really they freak me out so I stay out of rivers and lakes), terrified of great white sharks (my toe won't even go in the surf – did you know they can attack in like 3 feet of water?!), and bumpy planes (I even hold my cell phone when I fly so I can try and text my hubby that I love him if the plane goes down. Hopefully I can get a signal). Yes, I am a freak.

I am also afriad of failing and disappointing people. Mostly, I am very sensitive and completely awkward in social situations.

And the most important of all: bacon or chocolate?
I am so going to say chocolate (specifically dark chocolate with pomegranate). I did see bacon chocolate for sale in Charleston and it looked totally disgusting. I don’t understand it. (I've eaten it and still don't understand it. Don't worry. But brown sugar bacon? Now that's magical!)

Thanks for stopping by, Shelli! You can get UNTRACEABLE for only $0.99 here.

Are you afraid of alligators, like Shelli? Don't hold back now. You know I'm afraid of all animals with more legs than me, and all geese, ducks, and fish. You can admit to a itty bitty fear of gators...


salarsenッ said...

Shelli is just fabulous and her book is so cool!! Thanks for spreading the word for her, E!!!
(Psst...been meaning to email you. I'll do that this weekend. No biggy. Just a response to a comment you left me that really made me think.)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. I'm so excited for Shelli. And I loved Untraceable. Glad you're spreading the word.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Shelli's book does look amazing!

And I'm more afraid of spiders than aligators...probably because I meet them more often.

Heather Sunseri said...

What a great interview! I have Untraceable on my Kindle now, and I'm super excited about it.

Something funny? I am terrified of standing in two-three feet of South Carolina murky ocean water because of jelly fish and sharks, but I am a passionate scuba diver and love being submerged in the wide-open water.

Misha Gericke said...

Nah I'm not afraid of them. They can't get me out here in Africa.

Crocodiles, on the other hand...

Slamdunk said...

Fun stuff Elana and Shelli.

I think fear of disappointing people is a great strength--what a powerful motivator.

Kelly Hashway said...

Untraceable is waiting for me on my Kindle. I'm looking forward to it. I'm afraid of sharks like Shelli.

Angela Brown said...

I loved the interview ladies. It's great to get to know a little more about the author behind the book waiting on my kindle app for me to devour it.

Afraid? Me? Are you kidding?

Pish posh...though if you count creepy, crawly insects that can survive the apocalypse, snakes and my Inner Critic...well, then I'm afraid of those.

Can't wait for the next book to come out Shelli :-)

LTM said...

How cool! I'll have the pleasure of working with Shelli on her next book, and I absolutely cannot wait!

One question: Did everybody want to be a marine biologist??? :D

This is great. Now I won't mention my "I (heart) alligators" shirt... I got it at Alligator Alley! (back in my old hometown--

Fun stuff. BEST of luck to Shelli. I just snagged my copy~ <3

Sierra Gardner said...

What a fun interview! Untraceable has been on my list to read for a while - hoping to find time this weekend to read it =)

Julie Daines said...

Beautiful cover and interesting premise. I've heard good buzz about this book on Twitter lately. I'll have to check it out.

Cherie Reich said...

I'm not really worried about most animals, but bugs and spiders are completely different!

I'm looking forward to reading Untraceable. It's waiting for me on my Kindle too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview ladies! I loved Untraceable and can't wait to read more about Grace!! :)

As for fears ... anything without legs creeps me out! :)


WOOT! WOOT! I loved UNTRACEABLE and I love Shelli!! :-)

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

um aren't alligators and crocs the same dang thing?? - to me they are all categorized as prehistoric eating machines that have no sense fo what is good to eat or bad to eat.

so yeah add crocks too :) not the shoes crocs - b/c of course - what could they do - I can take them in a southern minute. I mean the big toothy ones. ;)

Thanks everyone!

Thanks Elana :)

Kelly Bryson said...

I read Untraceable on my PC a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, but we had all this Christmas travelling to do and wrapping presents and blah blah blah, so I haven't reviewed it yet.

Long story short, I loved UNTRACEABLE and Shelli is awesome:)

Leslie Rose said...

Fun interview. Untraceable sounds like a good ride. Okay, on the alligator thing. I just saw a show that says they can live 100 years. That's just wrong. They TOTALLY creep me out, especially when they do that weird walk on land.

Rita Webb said...

I have a fear of heights, but not usually of animals. Though creepy crawlies have been known to make me stand on a chair and scream...

Heather Kelly said...

downloading Untraceable onto my Nook right now! YAYAYAYAY

Great interview. I just put away the Christmas lights--I'm going to go get some solar powered ones--those must be awesome!! Thanks for the tip!

Becca Puglisi said...

This one's on my TBR list!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Mindy McGinnis said...

Thanks for bringing this title and author to my attention!

Christine Fonseca said...

Great interview ladies!

Leigh Covington said...

Awesome interview! I am in LOVE with the cover for this book and dying to read it. Now I am even more intrigued. I wish I had an ereader! Agh - I will get the book tho :)

Thanks again - and YES, I am totally afraid of gators!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome interview! I love the cover.

Taffy said...

I just bought her book the other day! Looking forward to reading it.
I'm afraid of things with snappy claws like scorpions and crabs!

Jessica Nelson said...

Oooh, I just had dark chocolate with pomegranate awhile back and it was delish!
And I live in FL, home to lots of alligators. We tube down the river. No fear here. lol Just a healthy respect.
Thanks for the interview and best wishes with Untraceable!

ali cross said...

Shelli is awesome, and so is UNTRACEABLE! Yeah!

Janet Johnson said...

Yeesh, I have been meaning to get untraceable for a while now. So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy a book.

P.S. Shelli, I love you!

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

I love the twitter pitch! Great idea. Good on you for self pubbing!


Talli Roland said...

Yay Shelli - congrats! Sometimes the best thing to do is to take control of your own publishing destiny.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

What an inspiring interview! Snagged a 99 cent download of Untraceable, but I love the cover so I may have to order a hard copy in the future. I feel so guilty when new releases are 99cents. Can't wait to read it!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

That looks like a fantastic book, thanks for the interview! :)

Heather said...

I'm SO glad Shelli didn't give up! This one is on my stack of books to read and I can hardly wait to get to it!

RaShelle Workman said...

Shelli is fabulous. Her book is amazing and I happen to be in the Indelibles with her (yes, I feel like one of the cool kids - LOL). Great interview, Elana. Take care.

erica m. chapman said...

I really enjoyed UNTRACEABLE! I'm eagerly awaiting the second!! Excellent interview, Elana. Love the random questions ;o) Hmmm. Alligators... well, we don't really have a lot of them in Michigan, but I'd say they would probably freak me out... LOL

I love bacon *drools*

:o) Hope you are doing well, Elana!!

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