Please give a big welcome to JORDYN REDWOOD.
rem: Thank you, Jordyn for being on my blog this week.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
JORDYN: I’m a pediatric ER nurse by day—suspense author by night. I’m married with two beautiful daughters. I was born in Wyoming but raised in Colorado. I lived in Kansas for about thirteen years after graduating from nursing school but have been back living in Colorado since 2006.
rem: Colorado is beautiful country – I lived there for sixteen years and I miss it sometimes. How does your medical side balance with your writing life?
JORDYN: One is a gift to the other. Writing helps me process all the emotions that stem from nursing and my medical background has given me the knowledge to write medical thrillers. I put aside writing to do nursing and sometimes kick myself for doing that but as the saying goes . . . God wastes nothing and I think my two passions have blended nicely.
rem: What a blessing to recognize that balance, and what an excellent outlet for your emotions. Tell us three things about yourself.
JORDYN: I’m a tea addict. I have enough tea to survive the apocalypse—or so my husband says. I’m an avid cross stitcher and sometimes quilter. I’m mildly addicted to the game Friendly Fiends.
rem: I, too, am a tea addict, have said for years my blood type is A-tea-positive… What was / were your favorite book(s) as a child?
JORDYN: The earliest books I can remember reading and coveting were Shel Silversteins’s poetry books. In my high school years, my love for suspense started with Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. Honestly, I don’t think my mother realized what those books were about but it’s the first time I ever said, “I’m pigging out on this book. I don’t want it to end!”. That’s when I also fell in love with Dean Koontz.
rem: Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
JORDYN: I tend to not reread books. But the one book I have gifted over and over and will reread is Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado. I think it’s his best one.
rem: Max Lucado is great. What is your most treasured possession?
JORDYN: My most treasured possessions are the handmade things from the women in my family. Quilts. Afghans. When I got married, my grandmother typed all of her German recipes on an old fashioned typewriter and gave it to us as a wedding gift.
rem: What a wonderful gift! What is your greatest fear?
JORDYN: My children dying before me.
rem: I can understand that, a few people in my life and in my family have experienced that and I honestly can’t imagine anything more heart wrenching. What is your greatest regret?
JORDYN: I abandoned writing when I went to nursing school and didn’t pick it up again until my early thirties. I should have continued to write and develop my craft through my twenties.
rem: What is it they say about hindsight? I didn’t even start writing seriously until after I turned fifty… What is your favourite quotation and why?
JORDYN: I actually heard commentator Bill O’Reilly say once—“Things are never as bad or as good as they seem.” I find this true in a lot of ways and it helps me stay centered when I start to worry about things I can’t control.
rem: Wise words, perspective sometimes is everything. What do you most value in a friend?
JORDYN: I think I value loyalty the most. Those people that stand next to you when things are tough—when you can’t see through the current crisis to the other side.
rem: Not much of a friendship without loyalty. What do you do as a hobby?
JORDYN: I quilt and cross stitch.
rem: Love both of those, never tried either… Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?
JORDYN: Dogs. Maybe it’s because they’re such loyal creatures as well!
rem: Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
JORDYN: Peril is my favorite book that I’ve written. It deals with the issue of whether or not the phenomenon of cellular transfer of memory exists which is where people who get an organ transplant develop tastes or have memories from the person they got the organ from. If you want to see the Planned Parenthood issue dealt with in a Christian way—then I would have people read this book.
rem: I’ve read Poison and Proof, (loved them both!) and will be reading Peril to include in my November Blog Blitz for the launch of my second novel. Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?
JORDYN: Suspense is my favorite genre to read but I also read a lot of nonfiction for research. My favorite authors are Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, and Linwood Barclay.
rem: What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
JORDYN: I wish I could say I had a writing routine. The way I approach my writing commitments is basically a form of triage. What is due first usually gets my focus. I actually think this isn’t a good way to manage my writing career. I’m trying to fix that—to not be so reactionary to my schedule. I have an awesome writing cave that my husband built for me.
rem: Never thought of applying “triage” to writing, but I do basically the same thing! And awesome sauce to your hubby for building your cave! Tell us a little about your writing journey.
JORDYN: I’ve always loved to write stories since I was a little girl. As soon as I could write sentences—I was writing stories. As I said, I gave up writing for a “real job” for over fifteen years. After my first daughter was born, I convinced my husband to get me a laptop so I could begin to write down all these crazy stories in my head. I became involved with a local writer’s group and began to go to local conferences to see if “people in the know” thought I had any talent. That was around 2003. About six years later published authors were telling me my writing was good enough to get an agent. That happened in 2009. My first publishing contract came in 2011. First novel published in 2012. It’s true when they say it takes six to ten years to learn the craft of writing.
rem: As I mentioned earlier, I started writing late in life, but have come to recognize God-appointed seasons; methinks what you’ve just described sounds like such seasons.
What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?
JORDYN: Writing the first draft is a struggle for me. It’s such a mind game. One day—your words are brilliant. The next day—you want to toss your computer into a big metal grinder and destroy it. I’ve learned that all first drafts need work so just get the words on the page.
rem: Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
JORDYN: My favorite part of writing is actually research. I could research forever and never get tired of it. I love it because I love learning and taking what I’ve learned and turning it into stories.
rem: Meeee toooo!! I love the research, and have reams of trivia that never makes it to the story! (filed away for future use, of course!) What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
JORDYN: Getting reader e-mails is the best thing ever. Connecting with readers. Knowing that the words you’ve written have helped someone through their day or challenged their thinking on some level is addicting.
rem: Hearing from readers who love what you’ve (I’ve) written – nothing like it! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer?
JORDYN: 1. Write what you want to write. Someone told me once that I should write magazine articles to develop a writing resume to increase my chances of getting a book published. I just didn’t see the value of that. If I want to write books—then that’s what I should practice doing. If I want to write magazine articles then I should do that. rem: I agree!
- Write a complete first draft and then let people critique it. For years, I was stuck on the first thirty-thousand words of my novel because I would write some, let people read it, and then I felt like I had to change what they didn’t like about it. This kept me from developing my own voice.
- Be open to writing opportunities that you consider outside your genre. My first published work was a chapter in a medical textbook that dealt with nursing care of an abusive head trauma patient. I was asked to write it by a physician I had worked with in the Pediatric ICU—after I left. I’d never mentioned to her that I wanted to be a writer. It was a total gift. A great learning opportunity because I wasn’t as emotionally connected with the writing as I am with my fiction stories. It was more like writing a research paper. The experience was invaluable.
rem: Good recommendations. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?
JORDYN: My latest book is currently titled The Hangman’s Noose and is set to release July, 2016. It was my entry for Love Inspired’s Blurb to Book contest. Next, I’ll be going through edits of my first indie book and writing two or three book proposals. Becoming part of the Love Inspired family has been a true gift and I hope to do many more books with them.
rem: Congratulations on being part of Love Inspired! And congratulations on your new book! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
JORDYN: I think the central theme of my books is God’s sacrificial love for us and what that means. I hope, even though it is a scary tale you’re reading, that’s what you see at the end of the story.
rem: Some of what we read in the Bible are pretty scary – getting thrown in a lion’s den? And doesn’t God’s love make a way always! I like that about your books, by the way. Thanks for joining us today, Jordyn. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!
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