Chasing the Book Interview: J. R. Johansson

Congrats to Jenn Johansson on the release of her debut YA novel, Insomnia.  Jenn took a break from her busy horror-writing schedule to talk to us a little about bounty hunting, and, of course, her book.

Most important things first.  Tell us about the book.

Sixteen-year-old Parker spends every night trapped in the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with, and it’s killing him. He misses soccer practice, falls asleep at the wheel, and his mom thinks he has a drug problem. His exhaustion from never reaching the deeper levels of sleep is getting worse every day, and he knows his time is running out. Until he meets Mia.

Mia’s dreams are the first Parker’s encountered where he can finally get real sleep. A good night of rest after so long is
addictive. He has to have it. But getting it means he must follow Mia and find a way to make eye contact every day. Mia is increasingly
freaked out, even turning Parker’s best friends against him. To make matters worse, Mia starts to receive threatening e-mails, and her
wonderful dreams become scenes of a horror movie—and Parker is cast as the villain. He must discover who is truly tormenting her, and clear his name, before she turns him in for a crime he hasn’t committed–or worse, the true stalker makes good on his threats to end her dreams forever.

This is awesome.  I’m hooked.  

Now for the bounty hunting.  Pretend, for a moment, that you’ve skipped bail.  (Perhaps for stalking innocent girls in search of a good night’s sleep.)  The bounty hunter doesn’t care what your reasons were, so he’s looking for you.  What three things do you bring with you?

Hmm, interesting…
1 – laptop
2 – cash/jewelry
3 – sunscreen (If I’m going to be running, I’d rather not be a lobster while I’m doing it.)

Where does the bounty hunter find you?
Probably a bookstore. Addictions are tough to break.

Also, there are a lot of shelves to hide behind.  Now you’re the bounty hunter.  When three things do you bring with you while tracking your skip?

1 – a laptop (everyone should be carrying these around in my world)
2 – sunscreen (see above for my reasoning)
3 – Gary from the show Alphas (if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t…I can wait.)

*Adds that to required viewing.*  Now you’ve found your skip, right where you thought they would be.  Describe your location and approach.

She is on a park bench in Philadelphia. I don’t use any weapons, I lure her in using the closest Hot Guy I can find. Hot Guy gets her to come quietly.

Hot Guy sounds good to have around in a pinch.  Once you’ve just caught a skip, and you’re surprised to find them attractive.  What three things make them irresistible to you?

Oh dear…since my skip was a girl, I think I may need to re-evaluate some things in my life. Take some kind of philosophical journey of self-discovery and all that.

IF, my skip had been a guy, the answer would be:
1 – sense of humor/personality
2 – eyes
3 – dimples (I believe these are a vastly underestimated advantage in

Now we know what Hot Guy looked like.  Anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m a total gamer geek. Video, card, board, D&D–you name it and I probably love it. Between my sons, my hubby and my boy cat, I’m drowning in testosterone. When I was a teenager, I considered shaving my head to see if people thought my eyes were pretty…admittedly, not the most well thought out plan.

We should have talked about D&D.  Next time.

Want to hear more about Jenn and Insomnia?  Find her on twitter, at her blog, on goodreads, or at the illustrious Friday the Thirteeners website.  

Thanks, Jenn!