JOHNNY WORTHEN grew up in the high desert snows and warm summer winds of the Wasatch Mountains. He graduated with a B.A. in English, minor in Classics and a Master's in American Studies from the University of Utah. After a series of businesses and adventures, including years abroad and running his own bakery, Johnny found himself drawn to the only thing he ever wanted to do -- write. And write he does. Well versed in modern literary criticism and cultural studies, Johnny writes upmarket multi-genre fiction - thriller, horror, young adult, comedy and mystery so far. "I write what I like to read," he says. "That guarantees me at least one fan and a hectic job for my publicist."
When not pounding on his keyboard, attending conferences and conventions, Johnny Worthen can be found with his wife and two boys in Sandy, Utah.
Title: Eleanor, The Unseen Book 1
Author: Johnny Worthen
Page count: 360
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
Tell us about your book:
It was a gamble for Eleanor to rejoin humanity, but she was driven to it. She’d been too successful forgetting. The last vestiges of her family hung by a thread in her transformed brain and drove her to be reckless. Ten years later, Eleanor hides in plain sight. She is an average girl getting average grades in a small Wyoming town: poor but happy, lonely but loved. Her mother, Tabitha, is there for her and that’s all she’s ever needed. But now her mother is sick and David has returned. The only friend she’d ever had, the only other person who knows her secret, is back. And Eleanor again becomes reckless.
Eleanor is a modest girl, unremarkable but extraordinary, young but old, malleable but fixed. She is scared and confused. She is a liar and a thief. Eleanor is not what she appears to be.
How long did it take to write the book?
Not including pre-writing, life or editing, it took me 39 days to write Eleanor. It exploded onto the page.
What inspired you to write the book?
There’s an old Navajo legend about Skinwalkers – shape-shifters, that got my brain cells firing. I saw it as a metaphor of change in a radical form. That was the starting point, but over time it evolved into questions of trust and being, predator and prey, love and loss. Watching my own boys grow up, facing the pains and challenges of adolescence colored my perceptions.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I only work on one book at a time. Once I decide on a subject I pre-write for between 30 and 60 days, usually closer to 30. Then I write. I write every day. I write at least 1,666 words per day straight through until it’s done. Then I edit it. Only then do I even consider another project.
I tend to write best at coffee shops or late at night at home.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I’d like them to have enjoyed the book. I’d like them to have fallen in love with Eleanor the way I did, have an emotional connection to her struggles and losses, challenges and loves. I’d like them to see the humanity in a monster, and the monsters in humanity. It’s a pretty complex book, a Trojan horse of adult concepts and challenges hidden in a young adult narrative.
Excerpt from book:
It came on Eleanor instinctively; a muscle memory, a sudden recollection. Her throat tensed. Her vocal chords contorted . Her jaw jutted out. From her mouth came a sudden sharp bark before her teeth snapped in Barbara’s face.
The girls staggered back. Barbara tripped over her backpack and fell on her boney butt. The others stared slack-jawed and wide-eyed. The canine yap had silenced the chatter in the hall. Everyone searched for an animal loose in the school. Unbelieving eyes fell on Eleanor and then looked elsewhere.
She ducked her head and walked away. She took a deep breath and got a hold of herself. She relaxed, but her throat was too taut with adrenalin, and she dared not speak.
She walked to the office and scribbled a note claiming laryngitis and wanting to go home. After a call to Tabitha, Eleanor was checked out. She walked home crying.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Barnes & Noble
Any other links or info you'd like to share?
My Website: www.johnnyworthen.com
My Blog: www.johnnyworthen.blogspot.com
My Twitter @JohnnyWorthen: https://twitter.com/JohnnyWorthen
Eleanor’s home page: www.EleanorUnseen.com
Me on Facebook: fb.com/Johnnyworthenbooks
Me on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Worthen/e/B00GMZ6ACY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1388082021&sr=8-1
Me on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7230878.Johnny_Worthen
Johnny Worthen will be one of the Featured Guest Authors speaking at the 2014 St. George Book Festival. To learn more and see a full list of events, visit http://stgeorgebookfestival.org