3 4 5 S.R. Johannes

Sunday, March 06, 2016

My very own Deal News....Finally! :)

Those of you who know me may or may not know that I've been writing for 12 years.

I started in 2004 when my daughter was born and I had 5 months of paid maternity leave. I was immediately hooked and haven't looked back since.

I've had a tough road in publishing. I've written about 9 books over 12 years rejected by agents and editors. I had an amazing agent and then mutually parted ways. 

I ended up indie pubbing my Nature of Grace series (before it was cool) and worked hard to sell over 100,000 copies. I also worked hard to rise above the stigma of self-pubbing and turn off all the naysayers and criticism I received from many. TO be honest, I worked through many tears to get where I am. I stopped writing for 6 months and almost gave up at times, but I found my way back to loving writing again.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE indie pubbing and still do. It was the best decision I ever made (besides my husband :) But I always wanted a traditional deal. Whether I felt I needed to be legitimized or that I needed to prove it to myself or whether it was because I wanted to be a hybrid author and do both indie and traditional, I don't know.

But one day I got super lucky and found a new agent (my agent soulmate) and we have worked hard together to make that dream a reality.

So today, after 9 books, 2 agents,  12 years of writing, and months of holding in a secret and avoiding talking to anyone because I can't keep secrets very well...I can finally announce my first traditional deal. :) And I get to see my name in Publisher's Weekly - a dream come true.

And what's even better, it's with my best friend, Kimberly Derting (author of the Body Finder series).


Greenwillow Preempts Pic Book Series

Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow Books preempted world rights, in a two-book deal, to a picture book series called Luna and the Scientific Method! by Kimberly Derting and Shelli Johannes-Wells. The first book is set for fall 2017. Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary represented Derting, and Lara Perkins, also at Andrea Brown, represented Johannes-Wells. Rennert said the series is about a “science-loving, question-asking girl” who discovers that “scientific inquiry... can lead to a lot of fun and adventure.” Derting (the Body Finder series) and Johannes-Wells (who uses the pseudonym S.R. Johannes and is the author of the Nature of Grace series) will be writing the series together; an illustrator for the books has yet to be chosen.


We have no idea who will be illustrating our picture book babies, but what I can say is that Kim and I are crazy-excited to be working with Virginia Duncan, the publisher at Greenwillow, and her amazing team to bring our feisty, science-loving girl, LUNA, and her love science to girls around the world.

To me, this book is more than a traditional deal. More than a book. LUNA is a chance for us to make a difference in the lives of many future scientists to be. :)

Special shout out to our partner's in crime - Laura Rennert, Lara Perkins, and Virgina Duncan/Greenwillow for believing in me and Kim... and LUNA.

Science + Girls = AWESOME-SAUCE


Don't give up on your dreams - ever - they can happen. 

It just might take some time. :)


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Comment for a chance to win a six-month Grammarly Premium account.

What is the one grammar/spelling thing you struggle with most??

What’s a GrammoWriMo?

Every November, thousands of writers hammer out words in an epic event called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Writers “win” by completing a 50,000 word novel draft in just 30 days. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? No. To date, over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published including Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

But not everyone can manage 50,000 words in a month. That’s one reason why Grammarly, the company behind the popular automated proofreader, created GrammoWriMo in 2013. People around the world use Grammarly software to refine their writing, so the company leveraged their status as a global resource to unite hundreds of writers from dozens of countries and cultures to craft a novel together.

In the first ever GrammoWriMo, about 300 writers collaborated on a group novel they submitted as a part of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Not only did they have to weave the voices of hundreds of different writers into one story, but they had just one month to complete the draft. The GrammoWriMo contributors embraced the challenge. The results? A well-written, cohesive novel, The Lonely Wish-Giver, follows the journey of a girl with the unique job of fulfilling wishes. In 2014, 500 new GrammoWriMo participants submitted their contributions. The resulting novel, Frozen by Fire, weaves the perspectives of multiple characters living in the Italian town of Pompeii in 79 C.E. during the time of the disastrous Mount Vesuvius eruption. Both are available as ebooks on Amazon.com, with proceeds benefitting charities.

Putting Grammarly’s Automated Proofreader to the Test

Each year, Grammarly puts their software to the test proofreading the GrammoWriMo draft. In 2014, they analyzed the results, uncovered the most common errors writers made, and summarized them in this infographic.

Grammowrimo five writing mistakes

Grammarly found that writers of all levels tended to misuse commas, which was the number one error. Incorrect capitalization came in a close second, followed by wordiness, and missing determiners such as “a,” “an,” and “the.” 

Why do talented wordsmiths make these pesky gaffes? Fiction writers often set grammar rules aside when they’re trying to stay in the creative flow. Add deadlines and you’ve got a writer who may not have time for the meticulous editing a manuscript requires. Grammarly provides writers with a “second set of eyes” to guide them through the proofreading process after all that fast-and-furious drafting is complete.

You’re the Writer

No program can replace a human editor making artistic and stylistic choices. Grammarly shines when helping the writer sort out the finer details—where to place that comma or how to tighten up a wordy sentence, for example. Whenever it detects an error, it provides an explanation card to guide the writer toward a conscious decision about what to edit and what to leave alone. Removing some of the obstacles to good writing frees the writer to move beyond nit-picking errors to focusing on the bigger picture of style and content. Give it a whirl on your next draft and see for yourself!