Introducing author of Untraceable, S.R. Johannes...
Shelli Johannes-Wells started out writing for her local school paper, winning a state Nutrition essay contest for “Be a Smart Cookie”, and singing in a local Jazz band. Somewhere along the way, she earned an MBA in Marketing and embarked on an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America working as a marketing and communications consultant.
In 2000, Shelli traded in her expensive suits, way-too high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, and continues creating materials for a variety of large profit and nonprofit clients, including Spanx, Goody Hair Products, Chick Filet, Delta, CARE, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Shelli’s dream is to publish children’s books and magically imprint the imaginations of kids. In addition to juggling nap schedules while attending client meetings, Shelli focuses on her writing. She is a frequent marketing speaker at SCBWI conferences across the U.S and runs a popular marketing blog, Market My Words (www.faeriality.blogspot.com) where she provides marketing advice for authors in the hopes of helping them better market their words.
In her spare time (yeah right!) and if the kids allow (yeah right!), Shelli obsesses over movies, reads children’s books (over and over), wishes she could squeeze in Bikram Yoga sessions, and dreams of sleeping in on the weekends.
She currently lives in Atlanta with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess that someday will change the world.
Onto the Cover Post...
Ever since I started writing Untraceable, I had a very specific concept in mind. A girl hiding in the woods. It was important to me to use a real life model. I wanted the reader to feel like they were in the woods with Grace. I wanted it to contrast the dark books out there with bright greenery yet still needed a feeling of suspense to come across.
I hired Vania at VLCphoto.net to shoot the cover because I love her trailers and her photography.
I wanted an original concept to grab people. Stock photo just would not do it for me and I knew Vania would breathe life into my book.
The minute I saw the model’s photo in the casting call, I knew she was the one. She is Grace in a nutshell. She exactly like I pictured Grace.
For hours we tromped around in the woods. Jae was willing to do anything and we got some great shots. She was a trooper.
The cover ended up amazing. I love the cover! It is everything I wanted it to be. Grace is a nature girl and the book is a thriller. I think this cover captures that. Perfectly.
16 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.
When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.
One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.
Thanks to Shelli and Teen Book Scene!