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:
Posted by Beth Trissel | 8:58 PM | 2009 Golden Heart, Autumn Jordon, contemporary romance, Evil's Witness, romantic suspense, The Wild Rose Press | 53 comments »