Hey there! Today, I am lending my blog to a good friend of mine, author Joshua J Johnson. British, adorable, and talented, Joshua is full of contagious energy and spunk. Not to mention, he’s a writing machine. Every time you turn around, he’s working on another book. He truly loves storytelling and connecting with his readers.
His new book, SOULLESS, is his latest release. So, without further delay, allow me to introduce you to Joshua.
Take it away sweetie!
Hello everybody! I’m here today to talk about my second book, and my first young adult novel, SOULLESS. First of all, a big thank you to BJ Sheldon for hosting me on her blog for part of the SOULLESS Blog Tour. I appreciate it very much. 🙂
I thought today I would talk a little bit more about the actual writing of SOULLESS, as I’ve said in the past it’s a book that is very different to my other books, but now it’s time to find out just why— because it was out of my comfort zone, and yet it’s probably one of my favorites out of the books that I’ve written.
SOULLESS is set in California, in a little place known as Amador City.The two main characters are Mia and Roxanne— both are teenagers, both are very close friends, they shared their childhoods, but now they’re drifting apart. Roxanne has the sweet life— she owns a bakery, her family are supportive, and she dates a guy. This is the complete opposite of Mia, and this is where they clash.
At the same time as Mia and Roxanne fall out over Ryan— the boyfriend— creatures started taking the souls of the population. It’s here that we start to learn secrets about Ryan, Mr Pearson— another character in the novel— as well as the creatures themselves.
The book is told mostly from the points of view of Mia and Roxanne, although Ryan has some chapters, and Mr Pearson has a couple. The thing that I found challenging about writing this book is that it’s paranormal, a whole new species of creatures and their back-story needed to be created and convincing, and setting the book in a real town that is halfway across the world for me, was all very challenging. Not only that, but making the characters people that the reader would care about— they each have their own back-story, and their story-lines needed to cross over and entwine with one another to make the story work. In addition to all of this, they needed to use weapons, and this is something that I didn’t have very much knowledge about.
All of this seemed very over-whelming, and as I was plotting and outlining the book, I found myself worrying that I wouldn’t be able to do it. At first, I stopped working on this book and instead wrote another book. As soon as I had finished work on that one, I came back to SOULLESS. Once again, I pulled out my outline, sat down, ready to work, and I put it away again. I just didn’t think I could tell the story well enough to bring it to life and give it the justice it deserves. And so I went away and I wrote and finished another book— my third book for publication.
By now, I felt determined to write SOULLESS. I committed myself to it, and decided that this was third time lucky. I began researching Amador City, mapping out the species of the Soulless, creating the characters and bringing them to life, creating the histories of their childhoods, figuring out the ways in which the Soulless can kill, interviewing people about weapons, and so on and so on.
As each day passed, I found myself getting further and further into the research and the outlining and the plotting for this book. I was falling in love with my characters and loving my setting. This book— the challenge of it— was turning into something that was exciting and made this book even better to work on.
I began writing, and— with the mass of material I had gathered— the pages were created, the chapters were born, and the book was coming to life. I was involved in the book, so happy with the way it was turning out, I was glad I had let it stew in my mind, and that I had been scared of writing it— it made it an even better book.
When I finished the last chapter, I was sad to reach the end. I worked on edits and re-writes and revisions, and then the cover and the blurb, and I was discovering that— so far— had been the best writing experience that I had had.
It taught me that it’s okay to write out of your comfort zone, that you don’t always have to write what you know.
This is the book that I never thought would get written, and now I love it more.
This is the book that I never thought would have a cover, and now I can hold it in my hands.
This is the book that I never thought would have an ending, and now it’s available to others to read.
This was my book for so long, but now it’s our book. My moments of being scared and being happy are now yours to experience.
I had so much fun on the journey of this story, and I hope that you do, too.
I gave SOULLESS a chance, and I hope you make the same choice.
Mia and Roxanne have always been the best of friends, supported each other through everything, and always been happy for one another… but that’s when things were simple.
Fast forward to their teenage years, and life is now full of complications.. but only for Mia. Everything seems to happen to Mia, whereas Roxanne seems to have quite the sweet life– literally. She has the family, her bakery, and the love of her life– everything that Roxanne wants.
But one day something terrible happens, and Ryan– her boyfriend– is nowhere to be seen, and people go missing and bodies are found. Creatures appear in your bathroom, down your streets, and inside your bakery, and along with them they bring blood, action, and hunger– a hunger for souls.
Written from different points of view, SOULLESS will raise questions about each character and humanity as a whole, whilst being packed with action, guns, cakes, blood, kisses, and romance.
Because the question is:
Who is the villain after all? Maybe it just isn’t who you think it is…
From the author of BONES ON THE SURFACE, and the much-anticipated THE SWEET LIFE and THEIR TIME TO GO, comes a story like no other…
Joshua J. Johnson is an author who lives on the East Coast of England. He began writing books after he learned that they don’t just randomly appear on the shelf, but rather people actually sit down and write them. When he isn’t writing his next novel, he enjoys reading, watching How To Train Your Dragon, and drinking milkshakes. He is also the author of BONES ON THE SURFACE and SOULLESS, as well as the upcoming YA novels THE SWEET LIFE, and THEIR TIME TO GO. You can find out more about him at joshuajstories.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter @JoshuaJAuthor.