What is the name of your book and if you had to sum up a description in 40 words or less, what would you say? eloves, me, eloves me not is a contemporary romantic comedy about turning to online dating to find Mr. Right. It’s a coming of age tale where Kayte Wexford discovers what she will and won’t do in the name of love.
Where did you get your idea for your book? During my single days, I experimented with online dating. I was surprised at just how many others were too. During the time I spent online, I was continually intrigued by the diversity of people, their unique preferences and the stories that lived amongst them. It was the best ‘reality show’ going. There was plenty of inspiration for at least one story about it, so I set out to tell it.
When did you publish this book? I self-published, eloves me, eloves me not, mid November 2012.
Is your book part of a series? It’s my debut novel, so not yet. However, I think that the online dating topic and the ensemble of characters I’ve created can easily lend themselves to a series so I am working on that assumption.
What is the most important thing about your book you would like to share with potential readers? While my book is accurately classified as chick lit/contemporary romance, it’s not all dreamy first dates and romantic candlelit dinners. It also addresses some serious life issues like work/life balance, readiness for love, fidelity and friendship. Readers say that while it’s definitely light-hearted, fun and quirky, as you would expect from chick lit, the bonus is that it also delivers more twists, turns and emotional depth than they have come to expect from this genre.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? I could say writing the steamy scenes, but really the toughest part wasn’t the writing of them, it was having people I know read them. When friends ask where the, ahem, “inspiration” for the scene came from or they not so subtly look at me differently, this is when I need to remind them that the book is fiction!
What is your next writing project? I have started writing book two, the next in the series and I am also entertaining a few ideas for other stories that will fit within my ‘romantic fiction with a geeky twist’ fiction positioning.
What formats are your book available in: eBooks, Paperbacks? eloves me, eloves me not is available in both eBook and paperback versions.
Where can readers find you?
What is your name and where are you located? Linda Johannesson, I live in Sydney, Australia but am originally born and raised in Toronto, Canada
Do you write under a pen name? LA Johannesson
What books have influenced your writing? While I have great respect and admiration for many literary writers, poets and non-fiction authors. However, creative minds that have influenced this novel are the contemporary chick lit and women’s fiction authors like Sophie Kinsella, Jane Greene, Helen Fielding, Marian Keyes, Jane Costello, Jennifer Weiner, and even Janet Evanovich. I appreciate the humour, the situational comedy, the quirky characters and the familiarity that these women convey through their writing. I feel like I’m with friends when I read their stories and connect with their characters and that’s how I hope readers feel when reading eloves me, eloves me not.
What inspired you to first write? I have always enjoyed writing and sharing thoughts and ideas and have used this skill throughout my career. I feel it’s important to share stories whether through, theatre, television, art, conversation or through the pages of a great novel. The ability to relate to each other through shared experiences, through our stories is an important part of the human experience. Everyone has a story, or a number of them. I decided to write this book because I felt it was time to share one of mine. In doing so, it’s amazing how many stories I’m hearing from others who have experiences with online dating. It seems stories beget stories!
What have you learned the most about being a writer/author? I’ve learned that inspiration is everywhere and to be a good storyteller you first have to be a great observer and listener. I’ve learned that the experience of seeing people read and react to your words whether with a quizzical look, wide-eyed wonder or a hearty laugh is an intoxicating experience that serves as ample validation for your work.
Do you see writing as a career? Writing has always been a part of my career. Working in Marketing and Communications, I wrote everyday and only some of that was fiction. I would love nothing more than to earn my living writing novels, creating characters, telling stories and sharing these stories with the world. I wish it was easier for writers to make a decent living doing what we love. Here’s hoping that is changing.
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet? Yes, there are lots of them – too many to list.
Do you have any advice for other writers? After reading this post http://vincentmars.com/2013/03/29/15-writing-tips-from-famous-writers/ of great advice from famous authors, I came up with my own: “Being the author, shouldn’t preclude you from relishing in unexpected plot twists and enjoying the unplanned actions of your characters. You are the very first reader of your story. Enjoy the journey, even if you’re not quite sure where it will lead.”
What is the one most important thing others should know about you? I care. I care about people, about their stories, about the planet, about animals, about ideas, about fairness, about doing good. I care about dreams about living our passions. I care enough to try and I care about the outcome. I care about fairness and I care about opportunity. I care enough to try to make a difference. I care enough to both think and do.