I am delighted to welcome author Autumn Jordon, a fellow Golden Heart® finalist and Wild Rose Press author anticipating her first release, Evil's Witness. I've lobbed some questions at her which she's fielded very well. I enjoyed getting to know more about this exciting new author. Thank you, Autumn, for being with us today.


What do you think makes (your upcoming book) different? What will draw readers to it?


Hmmm. My voice is what will make Evil’s Witness different than other suspense novels, and the twists. We all wonder what we’d do if thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Evil’s Witness is a story about an ordinary woman who’s life is becomes a nightmare after she witnesses a murder. Readers will fear for and cheer for my heroine, Stephanie, as she fights for her life and the lives of her children.


How long have you been writing?


Seriously, about eight years. But, I wrote a short story I believe in the fourth grade which sold two copies—one to my mother and the other to my best friend. I was also a reporter and then editor for my high school paper. After college, life took over and I put writing aside and raised a family until I decided now was my time.

Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I’m a hybrid. I usually begin a story by writing the first three chapters. Then I jot down a short synopsis where I highlight my characters’ GMC and ARC. Afterwards, I just write. One or two of characters always take the lead and the story changes and in the end, sigh, my synopsis has to be rewritten.

How would you describe your voice?

I’ve been told I have a very strong voice. While suspenseful, it’s laced with humor.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love editing. The basic story is puked out and I’m relaxed. I can pick apart every sentence making it clearer, stronger and as interesting as it can be.


Where do you find your inspiration? Come up with your ideas/plots?


Are you kidding, inspiration is everywhere. I see something or hear a bit of a conversation and think what if? Ideas pile up from there. For example, I work for a trucking company. We hauled a few loads for the US Treasury. I wondered what if the tractor-trailer was hi-jacked. The question led to the story line for Evil’s Witness which was a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist and will be released by The Wild Rose later this year.
'

Do you write in long periods or short stretches?


Definitely shorter. I’m up early every morning. During the week, I write for about forty-five minutes before heading out the door to work. On the weekends, I get to write for a couple of hours while the family sleeps in. My motto is: Word by Word. Line by Line. Page by page. I’ve finished five novels, several short several and about a hundred articles this way.

Do you write in silence or listen to music?

It depends. During my usual forty-five minutes, I listen to Yanna, Eyna or classical. But there are times that silence feeds the muse.


Do you research your story before you write it? Or as you go?


Both. There is always the preliminary research that needs to be done, but since I write by the seat of my pants new elements are always popping up. Like is there cell service on top of Mt. McKinley? Or how would the villain take out a whole motorcade in one swoop? You get the picture.

What have you learned through research that you will remember for the rest of your life?

Check several sources. You’d be amazed how many professed experts there are who really aren’t experts at all.

Does all your writing take place on a computer or do you ever write using pen and paper? Do you ever act your scenes?

I write on the computer, edit on hard copy. No, I’m not an actor. I do play out scenes in my mind though, like watching a movie.


How long do you wait once your story is finished to revise it?


I usually let it sit for two weeks, while starting a new project and then I go back and start the first round edits. Then it sits another couple of weeks before I start again. I do this over and over, until I feel the WIP is the best I can do. Then I send it to my critique partner and she tears it apart. Then I advise again.

Do you allow family and friends to read your writing?

No. Family and friends tend to tell you how good it is when it’s really not publishable. I learned this lesson writing my first book.
I want to make my stories the best they can be. My critique partner and I have an understanding. We don’t say it’s good unless we can’t change one word to make the work stronger.

Do you have a favorite character?

My villain in Evil’s Witness, Victor.
I found myself falling in love with him. I have this thing for bad boys. LOL. I wanted to keep him on for the series. And no, I’m not saying another word about that.

What is one thing your readers would find interesting about you?

I’ve been in involved in two cases of armed robberies. Not as the perp. As the victim. I won’t talk further about the experiences.


Has your writing journey been a smooth or bumpy ride?


I would describe my writing journey as a steady ride up an incline. Sometimes the slope seemed to be very steep, but I kept (and still do) putting one word in front of the other.

What advice would you give to a new/ aspiring writer?

NEVER stop believing in yourself. Study the craft and write everyday!

What is your favorite writing memory?


Getting my scores back from the very first contest I entered. I didn’t final. I didn’t expect to, but the feedback and encouragement was priceless. I will add, go with gut when accepting feedback. Don’t change your story because someone said so. It’s your story. It has to feel right to you.

For more on Autumn's work, please visit her website at:
http://www.autumnjordon.com

53 comments

  1. Judy // August 25, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

    Thank you, Beth, for introducing Autumn to us and thank you, Autumn, for joining the fuzzies today. Your book sounds wonderful-suspenseful with a bit of humor! Good luck with it!

  2. Melissa // August 25, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

    Hey there! Wonderful post! I can't wait to read your book Autumn. :) Best of Luck!!

  3. Mona Risk // August 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

    Great interview Beth.

    Welcome to the PFS Autumn. I checked your website and love it. Also your book cover is a winner. I can't wait to read the book. I have the feeling your hooks are going to make me bite my nails.

  4. Jana Richards // August 25, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

    Hi Autumn,
    It was great meeting you in this post. I can hardly wait for your book. I love romantic suspense!

    Jana

  5. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 10:48 AM  

    Hi, Judy. Thank you to the ladies of TPFS for asking me to be here today. I love this blog.

    And thank you for the compliament. I think you'll love Stephanie and John. He is so down-to-business, get-the-bad-guy rouge FBI, but she brings out the warm humorous side of him.

  6. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

    Thanks, Meliisa. Please let me know what you think of Evil's Witness when you do. You can contact me at autumnjordon@yahoo.com

    I hope to post my trailer soon. I hope it catches some readers attention.

  7. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

    Hi, Mona. Rae Monet did a great job on that cover, didn't she? She also did my website. Love working with her.

    I loved writing this story. I've been told it makes your heart race for more than one reason. ((AJ blushing.)) I truly hope you enjoy.

  8. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

    Jana, hi. Thanks. It's great meeting you too. I love reading romantic suspense, and writing it. GRIN I read everything actually.

    I love romantic comedies. Infact, my second book coming out from TWRP is a lighter western with an RS element. It's titled Obsessed By Wildfire. I hope you check it out also.

  9. Kathye Quick // August 25, 2009 at 11:34 AM  

    Hi Autumn -

    Editing YUCK!!! I admire your fortitude.

    I do like your deiscpline in writing - wod by work, page by page. I think that's soemthing I need to aspire to do.

  10. Gwynlyn MacKenzie // August 25, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

    Hey AJ,

    Word by word, line by line, page by page. Sounds simple. Isn't. *G* But it's well worth remembering.

    Great blog!

  11. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

    Kathy, Most people think I'm going to write a book. They get all hepped up about doing so and start writing feverishly until they burn out. Looking head, they still need forty thousand words and say, forget this the pool party looks good and they never look back.

    But if they'd say I'm going to write a book over a year's time, writing everyday, and everyday say I'm going to write a paragraph today, I'll bet you they'll write a page or two.

    The idea is to break the goal into little managable tidbits.

    So no sweat. Glad to see you here.

  12. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

    Hi, lady. Gwen is one of my GH sisters. I'm so happy you like the blog. Beth asked great questions. ;>)

    Page by page... Why make things hard. Simple works.

    Thanks for checkin' on me.

  13. Elisa Beatty // August 25, 2009 at 12:19 PM  

    Great interview, Autumn! I love the idea of being a hybrid of plotter and pantser... And your villain Victor sounds yummy. Can't wait to read Evil's Witness!

  14. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 12:38 PM  

    Thanks, Elisa. I love Victor. Oh I said that, right. He has a dream and nothing is going to stop him.

    He actually started taking over the story. I had to stop him, much like John tries to do.

    Does a character ever over your writing?

  15. Magnolia // August 25, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

    Hey Autumn, good interview. I believe you're the first author I've ever heard say she liked editing. Not me!

    Sonya

  16. Angel // August 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

    Great interview, Autumn. So many things I can relate to. I, too, am a hybrid, but not quite in the same way. And I also love the revision process. My favorite part. I call first drafts "word vomit". :)

    Can you tell us what happened between the time your work was accepted and the release? How did you prepare?

    Danniele

  17. rita // August 25, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

    Autumn
    I also like the edit phase. My problem is I am more easily distracted when editing. And I tend to get frustrated finding the right word I want to use. I mean ten gallizion words and I can't find one? Bleeck!
    Rita

  18. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

    Hi,Sonya, Editing is where you can flesh out your characters, give them the quirks that will make the readers identify and fall in love with them. While we're in the process of telling the story, we forget the little details. And it's those little details that make a story truly wonderful.

    I have a scene between my hero, John and Stephanie's little girl that tears me up everytime I read it. That scene stemmed from a obsession I gave John.

    I hope you'll read Evil's Witness and let me know if you had the same reaction.

    Think of editing as putting the final touches on the a painting ro adding spices to your cooking to make it really wonderful.

    Hope this makes sense.

  19. Mary Ricksen // August 25, 2009 at 1:13 PM  

    Hi Autumn, welcome to the PFS blogspot. I love a book with humor.
    I am not an editing fan. I read it so many times that by the time my first book was published, I swore I'd never read it again.
    Maybe someday when I have Alzheimer's, I won't remember I wrote it and then I can read it again. :0)

    Great interview Beth!

  20. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

    Hi Danniele,

    My book just went to production, so isn't available yet. Soon, I hope. I'll announce the release date all over creation when my publisher gives it to me. Or you could go to my website and sign up for my newsletter, which is making it's debut on September 1, 2009. I'll be sending out a broadcast to all who've signed up.

    I'm assuming you want to know how I've prepared for the release of Evil's Witness. First, I had a new professional website created. Second, the National RWA conference and being a 2009 Golden Heart gave me a great opportunity to promoted ahead of time. I gave away tons of promo items in DC. I'm hoping those who picked them up, will look me up.

    I also created a trailer for the story which I'll be revealing very soon. I created a blog and I'm doing well, I think. www.autumnjordonsnots.blogspot.com

    I'm on facebook, myspace, twitter and... gosh it seems everywhere. I'm a social butterfly so it's all good.

    Finally, I finished one book (Obsessed BY Wildfire)and started another.

    I hope this is what you were looking for. Great question BTW.

  21. Mary Marvella // August 25, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

    Autumn, welcome! You and Beth make a good interview team!

    You reminded me why I need to get busy and write more and submit more. Guess I'd better go out and get your book!

    Gotta get back on track!

  22. Mary Marvella // August 25, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

    Oh, and I love editing for others. For myself, I like polishing, adding sensory details.

    Mama Mary

  23. Darynda // August 25, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

    Great interview, di!!!!

    I love that you are a hybrid - I love that word, :) - and wish I could say the same, but I am so much of a plotter it's ridiculous. I've tried to write a manuscript without plotting. Total lockdown.

    Now short stories, I can do by the seat of my pants, but I tried to start my current WIP without finishing my outline. I got to page two. I'm still on page two. Dang it. :)

    Hugs you!
    ~D~

  24. Beth Trissel // August 25, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

    I have to jump in here and say I also love the editing part of the process, embellishing, smoothing, polishing, but remind myself that I can't edit a blank page, got to get something down first.
    I like your work hybrid too.

  25. Kelsey Card // August 25, 2009 at 3:38 PM  

    Hi Autumn. I completely agree with your comment, “Word by Word. Line by Line. Page by page.” I try to live by that, too. You can get a lot done just by doing a little bit every day. It’s also nice to meet another editing fan. Best of luck with your book. It sounds exciting.

    Kelsey
    Tales of magic, adventure, and romance

  26. Marianne Evans // August 25, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

    Great interview, Beth and Autumn. Autumn, the word, line, page mantra is fantastic, as is the term "Hybrid." I can relate to both as I fall into that same mentality myself. All the best with Evil's Witness, and Beth, great job with the interview!

  27. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

    Sorry for the delay. I had to take mom to doctor and now, I'm back at work. I'll pop in as I can again.

    Rita, Thank you for stopping by. We have the same problem. I get tongued tied too. But isn't it get great when the words just blend together in that very special way.

    In my opinion, I think taking that extra time, is what makes a great book.


    Question is this Golden Heart sister, Rita?

  28. Pamela Varnado // August 25, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

    I enjoyed reading your post and I love a good romantic suspense story. All the plot twists keep me on the edge of my seat.

    I'm curious, do you get cell service on top of Mt. McKinley?

  29. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

    Hi, Mary. Good to see you. I hope you're using the prizes you won on my blog.

    My problem is everytime I review my story, I see something more I could do to make it stronger. At some point, we've just got to let it go. Recently, going through the final edits of Evil's Witness, I said to myself, "STOP. Use it for the next book." Actually I yelled. And it worked. Sometimes talking to yourself is a good thing. GRIN

  30. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 4:11 PM  

    Mary, Beth is a sweetie, isn't she? We meet on Myspace and chatted about Rhurbarb. Yup, We're Rhurbarb lovers.

    Hey, I'm good at crackin' the whip over heads, so let me know if you need inspiration. LOL.

    Seriously, Thanks for inviting me. I'm having a great time.

  31. rita // August 25, 2009 at 4:39 PM  

    Yes it's your Sista Rita
    Is mom ill or regular visit?

  32. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

    Hey, Girl Friend. For those who don't Darynda, look at Publisher's Weekly Deals this week. WOW! Congrats again.

    I was a total panister at one time, then I realized I wasted time writing myself into a corner. So I tried plotting everything. ( said that with complete dread) I made charts, use index cards, story boards, even Jen Cruise's shadow boxes. I was so confused and dead tired from doing all of it, I didn't want to write the book.

    So, I tried again. I let the panister in me begin and then I took a step back and wrote the synopsis. I had point's A, B and C. Bingo! Being a hybrid worked for me. Sometimes my characters take the wheel and we veer off on a sideroad the story road is filled with twists (which is a good thing since I write RS)but I always know where we're going and guide them back.

    The thing is what works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. Everyone has to try different methods and find out works for them.

    Thanks for opening that door, sweetie.

  33. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

    Geesh, Beth. We are so much alike. LOL.

    Sometimes I write just dialogue. Close my eyes and type what my herione and hero are squabling about. After the door slams and one of them has left, I'll continue to type out the narrative of the POV character. It's first draft, so there are no sensory details. It's just from the gut.

    I'll go back and layer later. I might layer the chapter a couple of times before moving on to the next scene.

    You're right. You can't fix a blank page.

  34. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

    Thanks, Kelsey. That attitude works great for housework too. I hate doing it all in one day. One day, one room. Or if I don't have time to do all, I'll dust and then vaccum the next. My house hasn't been quarantined yet.

    LOL. Where the heck did that come from?

    Thanks for stopping by.

  35. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

    Marianne, hi. I'm so glad we clinked. Thank you for the best wishes.

  36. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

    Pamela. LOL. That is great question. LOL. I haven't found anyone who said they did. If you know of someone who has experience cell service there, please let me know.

    I recently read a story where the villian called on his cell phone from a cave. Hello, have you been in a cave. It's surrouned by tons of rock and earth. That slip pulled me right out of the story.

    Has that ever happened to you?

  37. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

    I thought so, Rita. Hey gang, Rita is a fellow Golden Heart sister and she'll actually be a guest tomorrow on my personal blog. I hope you all can pop in and see what she has to say.

  38. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

    I thought so, Rita. Hey gang, Rita is a fellow Golden Heart sister and she'll actually be a guest tomorrow on my personal blog. I hope you all can pop in and see what she has to say.

  39. Ann Whitaker // August 25, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

    I'm amazed you can get so much done with so little time. Must be your discipline of writing every day that counts in the long run. You've inspired me to start puking again! :-)

  40. Margaret Tanner // August 25, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

    Hi Autumn,
    Great interview.
    sounds like you write real nail-biters.
    cheers
    Margaret

  41. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

    Hi, Anne. I'm so glad I could help. Writing a little at time is sort of like excerising. Once you begin and start seeing results you're inspired to step it up a notch. Your focus time increases and the writing flows freeier.

  42. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 6:53 PM  

    Well, Margaret. My readers are going to have to give feedback on that one. I know my editor had no problems with pacing, so I'm going to take that as a great sign.

    I'm glad you took the time to stop by.

  43. P.L. Parker // August 25, 2009 at 9:57 PM  

    Good insight. Enjoyed the blog.

  44. Autumn Jordon // August 25, 2009 at 10:40 PM  

    Thank you. P.L. I enjoyed being here today. Sleep well.

  45. Beth Trissel // August 25, 2009 at 11:15 PM  

    Well, Autumn, my dear, you had a great interview. I enjoyed reading all the comments and look forward to your book. Sounds fabulous and Romantic suspense appeals to me.

  46. Rebecca J. Clark // August 26, 2009 at 12:18 AM  

    Is this the same Autumn as in GWRWA? If so, *waving* at you from the NW. If not, nice to *meet* you. Thanks for a fun interview, Autumn and Beth.

    Your TWRP book sounds great. What stage are you at in the editing process?

    :)Becky

  47. Autumn Jordon // August 26, 2009 at 6:15 AM  

    Hi, Becky. No, not NW. I really want to visit NW. But I'll wave back anyway.

    I'm waiting for gally review and then it's a go for Evil's Witness. My trailer should be up on my website, early September. Please check it out. In the meantime, I just recieved my 2nd round of edits for Obsessed By Wildfire.

    I hope you enjoy Evil's Witness and drop me note afterwards.

    Thanks for stopping over to the PFS.

  48. Autumn Jordon // August 26, 2009 at 6:19 AM  

    Thanks, Beth for giving me the opportunity to meet the PFS fans. I had a great time. I'll check back later Wednesday night, just in case anyone else has a question.

    And, please stop by my website www.autumnjordon.com and sign up for my newsletter. My Irish Setter is picking three lucky winners for prizes on September first.

  49. Joanne // August 26, 2009 at 5:07 PM  

    Welcome, Autumn, to the Pink Fuzzies. And thank you, Beth, for introducing her to us.

    Witty and interesting, blog, Autumn. Loved your idea of a hybrid--somewhere between a pantser and a plotter. That's me!

  50. Nightingale // August 26, 2009 at 5:54 PM  

    Enjoyed your post Autumn though I'm a day late getting by to read it.

  51. Mary Marvella // August 26, 2009 at 9:23 PM  

    Welcome, girlfriend!

  52. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 26, 2009 at 9:39 PM  

    Autumn, welcome to the PinkFuzzies! We are pleased to have you join us! I love to read suspense and I'm always on the look out for my newest favorite author!

  53. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 26, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

    I hereby declare myself a hybrid! I'm taking Diana Love and Mary Buckham's advice and making myself write a synopsis. Yep, it's part of my 10 step plan to over come my affliction. Check the blog on Thursday to find out what my affliction is!