Friday, June 7, 2013

Insomnia Blog Tour: Author Interview & Critique Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Insomnia Blog Tour! Here you will find my interview of the amazing author, Ms. Johansson, which includes her Insomnia Love List! And be sure not to miss the First-10-Pages critique giveaway at the end!


Insomnia (The Night Walkers, #1)

Title: Insomnia (The Night Walkers #1)
Author: J.R. Johansson
Release Date: June 8, 2013


Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can't take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he's made eye contact with. If he doesn't sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that's utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker's furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he'd go. And when someone begins terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker's memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

"Cleverly written and dangerously dark, Insomnia will take you to the brink of insanity. A must-read for thriller and romance fans alike." Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION

(You can find my review of Insomnia here.)


J.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author published with Flux & FSG/MacMillan. Her debut, INSOMNIA, is coming June 2013. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. When she's not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she's nearly drowning in testosterone.

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1. What was the initial spark that created Insomnia

It was a dream...but not in the normal sense. I woke up from a bizarre dream and thought about how weird it was, then I started thinking about whether other people had dreams as strange as mine and what it would be like to see other people's dreams...then it just spiraled out from there. 

2. What are some of the subjects you researched for Insomnia

I did a ton of research on sleep deprivation and its effects on the human body, more specifically, the brain. Everything that happens to Parker would happen to someone who was sleep deprived, the only difference is that because his body is technically sleeping, I had a bit of freedom to play with how that fact would change the outcome. I decided being what he is wouldn't make him immune to the effects of sleep deprivation, but they would happen slower, over a much greater amount of time. It was really fun to do the research and then get to play with it a little bit. I also researched addiction and its effects on a person. Parker becomes addicted to sleep in Mia's dreams in a very real way. In fact, this addiction and the withdrawal from it sends Parker spiraling faster into the worse problems of sleep deprivation so it becomes an endless cycle of craziness.

3. Insomnia has a wide variety of dreams - did you use any elements from your own dreams in the book?

One dream in the middle is my way of fighting back against a recurring nightmare I had as a child. Other than that, my dreams are more like Finn's than anyone else's.  

4. Insomnia is told from a male point of view (Parker Chipp). As a female writer, what were some of the tricks you used to make Parker's voice more authentic?

Mostly, I just wrote like a person and stuck true to my form and style, then I had some male readers give me feedback. At that point there were a few tweaks I had to make (mostly on the friendship between Finn and Parker) to help stay authentic. Example? Boys use insults as compliments with their friends. If they give each other a hard time, they're probably close. If they are polite, they probably either don't know or don't like each other.

5. What is the best piece of writing advice you've taken?

Never give up, just keep writing and always strive to improve. It seems simple. It seems easy. But when you're facing rejection after rejection or someone hates something you just spent a year pulling bit by bit out of your's the hardest thing in the world. 

6. J.R. Johansson's Insomnia Love List 
  • The cars Mia and Parker drive. They were cars I either owned as a teen or almost owned as a teen. 
  • Mia's dreams - I wish she got to paint them (maybe in Book 2?). 
  • Parker's determination and strength. 
  • Finn's constantly surprising sense of humor. 
  • Addie's loyalty and how tough and vulnerable she can be at the same time. 
  • Some characters that come into the book later and I can't tell you about. ;-) 
  • Parker's mom for being a great mom even through her flaws.

Thanks so much for having me! This was a lot of fun! :)

My thanks to Ms. Johansson for the wonderful interview!


And now, the giveaway! Ms. Johansson is giving away TEN First-10-Pages critiques! Enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win, and be sure to check out the other stops along the tour for more Insomnia fun and a chance to win an ARC of the book itself! Good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview! I always love reading about the research behind the book. Looking forward to reading this!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting this stop, Skye! This interview was a lot of fun! :)