Interview with S. R. Johannes, author of On The Bright Side

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Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!

Today we are welcoming S. R. Johannes to the blog.  She’s here to promote her latest book, On The Bright Side.  She’s here to share some information.  I’ve included a blurb at the bottom of this post.  Sit back, enjoy and pick up a copy of her book if is sounds interesting to you.


Barb –  Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing.

S.R. –  I have an MBA specializing in marketing and worked in corporate America as an executive for over 10 years. I started my own marketing business in 2000 ( and started writing when my daughter was born in 2006. I was visiting with my husband in the UK, got an idea, and wrote it while I was on 5 months maternity leave. I’ve never looked back.

Barb – Tell us about your latest release.

S. R. – I wrote On The Bright Side when my first book, Untraceable was on agent submission. After getting my original agent, On The Bright Side was the first book subbed back in 2009. It made it to several editorial and acquisition meetings before I pulled it off submission. It was so frustrating to realize you could get so close to a dream, yet still be so far away.

I put out Untraceable and On the Bright Side myself because they really had no life left in traditional publishing. I needed to take a step forward for me and publishing these books myself helped me do that. It helped me to focus on something positive.

On the Bright Side is about a tween girl (Gabby) who dies and is forced to protect her school nemesis (Angela) who also likes Gabby’s undead crush (Michael). Instead of protecting her, Gabby sabotages Angela and unknowlingly unleashes a dark side.

Barb – What were the challenges, if any, bringing this story to print?

S. R. – It is hard to write a book about death that is funny and light, yet still poignant enough to grab readers. The tween line is hard enough as it is. I would say creating a new Afterlife was also very hard but fun. I wanted to my Heaven to be different from any specific religious mindset so I did not alienate any readers. My Heaven is called Cirrus. It is technological and environmental with cool fashion and hip gadgets.

Barb – What is your favorite part about writing?

S. R. – I love escaping and creating my own people/worlds, and I love the feeling I get when I finish a book. But mostly, I love to see people get passionate about my characters and stories because that means they think they are real. J

Barb – What is your least favorite part about writing?

S. R. – Writing the middle. I’m usually great at beginnings and endings but when I get in the middle, I find it hard to get out of. So that is the worse time for me. When you don’t think you will make it and you are convinced your stuff sucks. Finding the motivation to keep going is the most difficult part of writing.

Barb – What type of scenes do you find to be the hardest to write?

S. R. – I have a harder time with writing characters that people like than I do with any scene. I think like a movie so the plotting part isn’t hard. It’s getting my characters to connect with readers. I’m pretty snarky so translating that to paper and making sure they are likable is my biggest challenge.

Barb – Do you start your story with an outline or do you just set the characters free to tell their story?

S. R. – I start with a beat sheet (Save the Cat book) and I go from there. I do outline as I go. Just like driving on a road, I can usually see a little in front of me (about 3 chapters) but can’t see around the corner til I get closer.

Barb – Do you have a favorite character in one of your books? If so who is it and why?

S. R. – I love all my characters for one reason or another. I love Grace in Untraceable because she is self-sufficient and doesn’t need a boy. I love Gabby in On The Bright Side (OTBS) because she is not afraid to be herself in the midst of perfection. But, I especially love Lawrence in OTBS. He is a grumpy old angel with anger management issues. And I love how contradictory he is to what you think an angel mentor might be.

Barb – Who encourages you to continue writing?

S. R. – The voices in my head demand to come out. J My writing friends and hubby encourage me on those days when I want to give up. But no one can get me to write but me. And on those hard days, I try to focus on doing it because I love it not because it will or won’t sell. I have to write. It’s like therapy to me. If I go a few days without out – I can tell. (and so can my hubby J)

Barb – How can your fans follow you to keep up to date with your writing?

S. R. – and srjohannes on Twitter is where I hang out most. J My next book, Uncontrollable (the sequel to Untraceable), is due out late Aug./Sept.

Barb – Where are your books available?

S. R. – They are available at most major booksellers. They can be ordered at indie bookstores, B&N and Amazon.

 I’d like to thank S. R. for dropping by and sharing some information about her latest release.  Just below I’ve posted a blurb and the cover of the book.  Enjoy!

sugarbeat's books romance novel romance book reviews historical contemporary erotica interviews promotionBlurb: On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless.

As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby’s should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!)

Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future.

Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.

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