Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Authorsday - Autumn Jordon



Today I put Autumn Jordon in the hotseat.


She talks about her weaknesses. Please join me in welcoming her.




Author Bio: Autumn Jordon: This 2009 Golden Heart Finalist, is a quiet nut with a reputation for finding trouble. AJ lives with her husband along the Appalachian Trail in northeast Pennsylvania. Crafting stories has always been part of her life, as her four children will confirm. When not working at the family business and not writing, she enjoys her friends, not housework or pulling weeds. She loves meeting new people and making new friends.

Book Blurb:
Isobel Trinidad is her own woman. No man was going to rope her to a humdrum life of housewife and take away her dreams of becoming the National Barrel Champion like her father had done to her mother. Her mind is set, until a handsome Yankee comes to town and upsets everything she has believed.

Arson brings State Fire Marshal Warner Keyson to Wayback, but a wildfire of a woman stops him in his tracks. Intrigued by Issy’s fire, he contrives ways to keep her close while conducting his investigation. What they create, which neither of them bargained for, is the blaze of a lifetime.



1. What is your brainstorming process for a new book?

First, Chris, thank you for inviting me to your place. I think you’re going to love Warner, my hero in Obsessed BY Wildfire. He’s a yummy fire marshal. (Chris says: Ya know my weakness for firefighters!)

Now, my process is whacky! It’s totally different than anyone else’s, as far as I know. I tend to come up with first lines. I get all excited over that first line. I’m like a kid standing in front of the candy wall at Wegman’s. My mind reels with possibilities for the hook and I get this picture of who has had the thought or made the statement. Then I play what if, developing the basic GMC of that character. Soon I have a first scene.

Next, I’ll free write maybe two or three chapters where I’ll flesh out a few other characters. Then, I’ll stop and write a synopsis. I know I need a HEA since I write romantic suspense, so I’ll plot out points which will lead the story through twists and turns finally ending with a heroine and hero triumphing over evil and in love.


2. Can you explain your typical work week day?

I do work fifty plus hours a week at a fulltime position but since we’re talking writing, I write every day. Monday through Friday, my day begins at six. After, sending husband out the door, I write for an hour and then I’m off to work. Saturday and Sundays, I’ll write at different times depending on my family’s schedule. During the evenings, I’ll work on editing and the business side of my writing career. Since my actual writing time is limited to about fifteen hours a week, I try to stay focus on putting crap on paper. Remember I edit at night so I fix the crap then.

3. You recently had a book release. Could tell us a little about it?

Yes, I did. Obsessed By Wildfire released from The Wild Rose Press on January 27. The story is a light, fun, sexy contemporary western, with suspense elements of course. I had a ball writing it. Below is the blurb for Obsessed By Wildfire.

Here’s an exerpt:

The sight of the Yankee looming over her, his muscular forearms crossed across his broad chest, his jaw working, set Isabelle back a step. She couldn’t see his eyes through his sunglasses, but she knew they were probably the same stormy blue she remembered from last night, challenging her.

“What do you want?”

“I have a few words to say to you.”

“Then say em’.”

“You’re really full of yourself, lady. If you’ll recall, I told you two things last night. First, I’m here on important business. And second, if you want more of what went on between us then you’re going to have to find me.”

“Then why did you call me?”

“I didn’t.”

Her eyes darted toward the restaurant behind him. A blue gingham curtain dropped back into place. Heat crawled up her neck. Damn. Just as she feared. The biggest gossips in the whole damn town were watching and talking about what happened between her and Warner last night at the Blue Bug and what was going on between them now. Mentally she scratched out Chicky’s name from her hit list and substituted Ray-Ray’s.

“When I called for the cab a man answered. I guess he was the dispatcher or owner. I didn’t know you worked for the cab company. I thought you worked for—” Warner’s lips sealed and he shifted his stance.

“You thought I worked for who?”

“I thought you had something to do with horses and the rodeo.”

“I do. I’m a barrel racer, and I am the cab company.”

“Oh. I see. Well, if you don’t feel comfortable servicing me, I guess I can go back inside and ask one of the locals for a ride. Maybe that Ray-Ray guy.”

She knew he used the word servicing to needle her. She’d be damn if he was going to get her riled in front of the whole damn town. “No. Mr. Warner. I have no problem servicing you. Let’s go.”

4. Did you have to do special research if the novel?

Actually, I did. Isobel is a barrel racer. I have some experience barrel racing myself, but not at Issy’s level. I contacted several female champion barrel racers and they were wonderful in answering my questions and revealing their experiences while racing. I was fun talking to them and afterwards I wanted to climb back into the saddle and beat the clock myself.

If you liked to see the trailer I made for OBSESSED BY WILDFIRE, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkq_Um-WyzI

Buy Obssesed By Wildfire:
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/obsessed-by-wildfire-p-3839.html

5. What was the hardest scene to write?

The sex scene. When my editor said she thought I could erotica, I said, “Ah, No.” I love sexual tension but writing the dancing between the sheets scene is really hard for me.

6. What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Warner thinks Issy is being trampled by her horse. I was laughing so hard. I could just see my dear husband acting the same way. Big fearless hero afraid of a horse.

7. What do you consider strengths in terms of writing?

Hooks. I love hooks. As first lines, at the end of paragraphs and of course, at the end of chapters. I’ll tweak and tweak until I get that perfect line.

8. What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?

Expressing the deep emotions of the characters. I’m an introvert. I tend to keep things to myself, so it’s really heard to ask my characters to open up and reveal their souls, but we’re working towards doing just that. I’ve taken Margie Lawson’s class on Empowering Characters Emotions and that has that fault on the run.

9. How many rejections have you received?

Quite a few. You can’t get published unless you submit. Hey, rejections are part of the business. You have to keep in mind when receiving a rejection it’s not personal. Even though it feels that way. Your work might not be accepted for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of work.

My advice, read for feedback. If there is none, trash it and move on. If there is feedback, take a good hard look at it. Editors and agents don’t have time to comment on every query. If there is feedback on yours, enjoy, that editor or agent saw something in your writing or story. Follow the feedback and resubmit.

10. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?
“You’re a good writer, believe in yourself.” Debra Mullins
“Write what you’re passionate about.” Caridad Pineiro
“Quit your whining and write.” Kasey Michaels

All great advice which made me a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist. My GH entry, now titled EVIL’S WITNESS will released on June 18, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press.

Author Bio: Autumn Jordon: This 2009 Golden Heart Finalist, is a quiet nut with a reputation for finding trouble. AJ lives with her husband along the Appalachian Trail in northeast Pennsylvania. Crafting stories has always been part of her life, as her four children will confirm. When not working at the family business and not writing, she enjoys her friends, not housework or pulling weeds. She loves meeting new people and making new friends.

Book Blurb:
Isobel Trinidad is her own woman. No man was going to rope her to a humdrum life of housewife and take away her dreams of becoming the National Barrel Champion like her father had done to her mother. Her mind is set, until a handsome Yankee comes to town and upsets everything she has believed.

Arson brings State Fire Marshal Warner Keyson to Wayback, but a wildfire of a woman stops him in his tracks. Intrigued by Issy’s fire, he contrives ways to keep her close while conducting his investigation. What they create, which neither of them bargained for, is the blaze of a lifetime.


Contact Info:
http://www.autumnjordon.com/
Facebook as Autumn Jordon
Twitter @AJordon
MySpace as Autumn Jordon
http://www.autumnjordonsnotes.blogspot.com

Now, my turn. Since I bared my soul. What are your weakness and what are you doing to overcome them?

12 comments:

Diane Craver said...

Autumn,

Great interview! I'm so impressed that you manage to write 15 hrs a week with your busy work schedule. You're doing awesome.

Congratulations on your new release and on your upcoming one in June!

Autumn Jordon said...

Thanks, Diane. I try very hard to write at least an hour every morning and every night during the week and then more on the weekend. You can't sell words unless you have them written.

Congrats on your new release! It's on the top of my cyber pile to read.

Eileen said...

So impressive, Autumn! I loved hearing about your writing schedule. I think the behind the scenes of novel writing is fascinating and so unique from author to author. I find we can sometimes "borrow" a method used by another writer to conquer a trouble spot in our own process. Your characters and setting are wonderfully enticing! Keep 'em coming!!

Autumn Jordon said...

So true, Eileen. I love reading other writer's process. I tried doing character charts and lists and it just didn't work for me. Then I read somewhere, and not sure by who, where the author came from a reporter background and actually interviewed her characters.

Hmmm, I thought. I wanted to be a reporter when in high school, worked on the school paper, enjoyed it. Why not try this trick.


So, I sat down and had a conversation with my characters, and it worked for me. I learned deep seeded secrets about them and their moviation for acting the way they did and what they had plans to do. AH, plot!

I might sound nutso, but hey, the process works for me.

Let me know if you try it.

Thanks for stopping by.

AJ

Diana Layne said...

Oh, I love interviewing characters! I suppose to mainstream folks it might sound pretty nutso for sure, but every writer I've talked into trying it ends up loving the process.

Autumn Jordon said...

LOL Wonderful to know I'm not crazy, Diane. Thanks for confirming. Or is it we're alike? CHESHIRE GRIN

(((HUGS))

Eileen Schwab said...

AJ -

I prefer "proactive alternative creativity" to "nutso"! ;) But my motto is, "When wacky works, EMBRACE IT!!!" :)

Eileen

Autumn Jordon said...

LOL, Eileen I love that phase. Can I borrow it.

I'm me. And okay with it.

GRIN

Magnolia said...

I already bought the book : - ) and am waiting patiently for the other one. Good interview!

Sonya

Katie Hines said...

Wow, I don't know that I could be so disciplined to write with all that going on in my life.

By the way, what does GMC, HEA and GH entry mean?

Autumn Jordon said...

You're such a sweetie, Sonya. I can't wait for June to get here too! Evil's Witness will be in paperback. I can't wait to smell it.

AJ

Autumn Jordon said...

Katie, Hi. GMC stands for goal, moviation and conflict. Great book on the subject is Deb Dixon's book entitled GMC. You might be able to pick it on Amazon. HEA means Happily Ever after. The must have ending when writing romance. And GH means Golden Heart. The Golden Heart is the annunal contest held by the National RWA for unpublished writers. It's like grabbing the golden ring. The ceremony is like the emmy's.

Anytime you have a question, please ask. I don't mind at all.

You can reach me through my website. www.autumnjordon.com

(((HUGS))