• Sarah Nestler

Interview with Lana Wood Johnson

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

Brief bio: Lana Wood Johnson is the author of the upcoming YA novel Technically, You Started It. It is scheduled to be released June 25th, 2019.

Hi Lana! Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions! Okay, so, to start it off: For someone who somehow doesn't know your book at all, how is your book diverse?

The main character Haley is questioning aspec at the start of the story and chooses to identify as demisexual by the end. She also deals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and takes medication to manage its effects.

The love interest Martin is bi-sexual.

As someone who deals with anxiety on a daily basis and grapples with my own sexuality, I'm so glad that there is more representation for people like me in literature. Which character do you connect to most, Haley of Martin?

I put a lot of myself into Haley. Not everything, but enough that she feels very true. Her experiences with her sexuality and mental health reflect my own, and the deep connections she’s able to make on the internet are very familiar to me.

So, how did you get your inspiration to write your book?

When I started writing I was also working as a consultant. Because both are rather lonely I decided to get out of the house I’d start volunteering on a crisis line for a local youth shelter. That’s where I discovered I’m particularly good at connecting with people via text messages. I realized that like the youth I was talking to, I used the internet to connect with people and I decided to channel that into a story.

Once I figured out how to format a book in text messages I thought I’d see how far I’d get writing a whole book in text messages, and it turns out I was able to pull it off.

What kind of reaction are you hoping to get from readers?

My greatest hope is that someone picks up the book and feels like a friend has handed them their phone seeking their opinion on what all went down. I want them to feel like Haley and Martin are people they know or would be friends with. My dream is for people to find a connection or a truth they hadn’t had before.

Also, I really hope they laugh at least once.

I'm so excited to meet Martin and Haley! One last question: Do you believe in Writer’s Block™?

I am intimately familiar with the feeling of Writer’s Block, but pretty early on I realized that I wasn’t actually “blocked” I was ruminating. It was my second time through the whole drafting process that I realized that the several weeks I’d just “wasted” not working on my draft was actually me working through a particularly bad snag I’d made in the story. Like most authors I’m a blend of planning and pantsing, and like all of them I write myself into corners now and again.

Now when I hit that block, even if I don’t exactly know why, I give myself space and patience and in the end I’m rewarded with an even stronger story.

And there you have it! Thank you to Lana Wood Johnson for being so willing and helpful in answering the questions I had.

If you want to check out Lana Wood Johnson's website, click HERE

Look forward to more interviews from authors, editors, and the like soon!

Tags: #interview #lanawoodjohnson #author #book #technicallyyoustartedit

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