Where Readers & Writers Connect
First, thank you so much for hosting me here at Readers’ Realm. It is an absolute pleasure and honor to be here.
Absolutely. Love. Reading. This has been one of the biggest surprises to me on the publishing path is hearing about authors who don’t like to read. I think a good author is only born from someone who loves reading. Who wonders if they can write a story compelling enough to garner the interest of an agent, an editor, and eventually readers. This only comes from reading scores and scores of books and learning about what works and what doesn’t. No writing teacher ever has said “Really, you don’t need to read to write.” In fact, most often, they’ll encourage a new writer to analyze the books they love to help them learn the craft.
What genres do you read most?
Suspense is my first love and definitely influences what I write. I love that edge-of-your-seat feeling of a thrilling page turner. Surprisingly, I do read a lot of non-fiction as well as research and inspiration for my novels. Right now, I’m reading a lot on near death experiences and hoping to develop a trilogy around some of that research.
Who are your favorite authors, and what makes them special to you?
Dean Koontz is an all time favorite. He wrote a scene in one novel that was so terrifying I almost couldn’t hold the book in my hands, but it was not gratuitously violent. So, it can be done and done well. That’s what I long to do. Write with such tension the reader has that love/hate relationship with the action. It’s just to the point where they can bare it but their eyes are bugging out with expectation.
I really appreciate Koontz’s use of prose as I don’t consider this one of my strengths. Also, I do personally believe he writes from a Christian worldview so I take notes on his approach to get these aspects across subtly.
When did you decide you wanted to write?
I’ve always written stories from the time I could pencil sentences. The decision for me was whether or not to pursue publication. That was a total God thing and I feel blessed that He’s directed me, somewhat firmly, to the publishing path. There’s no other way to explain the twists and turns that got me here. The work is so much harder than I ever imagined but it is amazing to see His Work through my fingers. I went to school for nursing, not writing—so all the amazing things that are happening are truly through my surrender. That’s not an easy thing for an ER nurse to do.
How do you prepare to write a book? Did you do any special research?
I am a research fanatic. I can get easily sidelined by looking up fun and interesting facts to the point I developed a medical blog for authors that you can find at www.redwoodsmedicaledge.com. In fact, most of my novels are born from non-fiction topics that I’ve spent a lot of time reading about.
Though I do loathe saying this, I’ve begun to believe in outlining a novel in the form of a plot synopsis. One, you’ll need a PS for your book proposal and it should be styled in the feel of your novel. Second, a PS is essentially like architectural plans for a house. When an agent/editor reads it, they’re really trying to see if the story has good bones—if the plot structure is good enough to hold the novel up. All secrets, character arcs, etc—are spelled out.
The plot synopsis gives me enough structure to stay on tract but enough freedom to allow for the characters to speak their mind and unsuspecting events to take place.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Proof deals with the real life possibility of DNA testing setting a guilty criminal free. Dr. Lilly Reeves is the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Though she correctly identifies her assailant to the police, DNA testing sets him free. Thoroughly convinced of his guilt, she sets out on her own journey to unravel the mystery of his DNA and in the process learns about the nature of sacrificial love in a very real way.
What is your writing schedule like? Do you write only when inspired?
I do weekly word count goals and however I can get them done, I get them done. I almost never write only when inspired. The work of published author is treating your writing like a job and if you have a “real” job, sometimes you go to work when you don’t feel like it because you’ve made a commitment to do the work. Writing for publication is the same thing.
Why do you write?
To quiet the characters in my mind so I can sleep at night. I think a writer is someone who pens stories regardless of the amount of money they are paid because they are driven to put these words onto paper. I could try to put a logical explanation to it but why destroy the mystery?
Did your parents encourage your love for reading and/or writing? If not, where did encouragement come from?
First, let me clearly state that I love my parents and I had an amazing childhood. However, I think they viewed my writing as a hobby and not the love of my heart so I didn’t get a lot of support in pursuing writing as a career.
You can find support elsewhere. This is why my first novel is dedicated to the three teachers who nourished this dream of mine. They are the ones who took my musings and read them on their own time. I guess you could say they were my very first editors. For them, I will always be grateful.
What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a wife and mother so spending quality time with my family is important. After family time, nursing, writing and reading—what little time is left I do enjoy cross-stitch and quilting.
Thank you for taking your time to spend with us here at Readers’ Realm. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote you’d like to share?
“Things are never as good or bad as they seem.”- Bill O’Reilly.
Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. Her blog, Redwood’s Medical Edge, is devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Proof: A Novel (Bloodline Trilogy), her debut medical thriller, examines the real life possibility of DNA testing setting a guilty man free. It releases June 1, 2012. You can learn more about Jordyn by visiting her website at www.jordynredwood.com.