Jordyn Redwood joins us today. She is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at www.jordynredwood.net.
Jordyn has offered to giveaway a print copy of her book so make sure to leave a comment with your email address below.
Jordyn, introduce yourself to our readers.
First of all, Sherri, thank you so much for having me. It’s so great being here!
I’m a wife (married almost 15 years) and mother of two daughters age 7 and 9. I work as a pediatric ER nurse and love having my dream come true—seeing my novel in print. In my spare time I enjoy reading, cross-stitch, and quilting.
Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I struggle with grammar. Only recently have I learned what gerunds and oxford commas are and hopefully I’ve mentioned them correctly. Thank heavens for editors.
2. I’ve been whitewater rafting over five times and have been thrown into the rapids on at least three occasions. My husband pulled me from the water one time—though he did land on top of me so I was thankful he decided to keep me around a bit longer and not cash in on my life insurance policy.
3. I am not a morning person. I don’t function well until 11:00 AM.
That’s scary about you falling into the water!!! Glad you’re still alive. I do love my fellow night owls. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
I wasn’t an avid reader until high school when the V.C. Andrews novel, Flowers in the Attic, released and devoured the whole series.
Wasn’t that the creepiest book ever? What is your favorite genre to read now?
I’m a suspense girl at heart. Dean Koontz is my favorite author.
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
In high school, I wrote two “novels” and did want to see them published. I was even talking with a “publisher” who was interested in printing them but I have no idea if this person was authentic or not or if it would have panned out. My parents were wary of the whole thing and encouraged me to go to college. Nursing seemed like a clearer, more defined path as far as how to reach my other goal (flight nursing), so I headed down that road instead.
When did you first begin writing, and why do you write still?
I started writing stories in elementary school. I write to keep the characters calm in my head. There’s something about getting their lives down on paper that seems to keep them happily quiet! Ultimately, I write for the journey. To see if I can pen a story scary enough to keep readers flipping page after page and never wanting to put the book aside. I want my next novel to be better than the last.
Isn’t that so true about the characters? How long did you write before you sold your first book?
My agent, the wonderful Greg Johnson, signed me in December of 2009 (Merry Christmas to me!) and Kregel offered me a contract in April of 2011.
Proof deals with the real life possibility of DNA testing setting a guilty man free. Lilly Reeves is the fifth victim of a serial rapist and though she correctly identifies her assailant to the police, DNA testing sets him free. Lilly undertakes her own journey to unravel the mystery of his DNA and in the process learns a lot about the nature of sacrificial love.
Currently, I’m editing the second novel in the Bloodline trilogy, Poison and writing the third novel, currently titled, Peril.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
A Discovery Health Channel Special.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
I am a research fanatic! I read a lot of non-fiction books to help lend those fun details to my manuscripts. For my second novel in the Bloodline Trilogy, Poison, I read two books on body language, a book on hypnosis and did lots of internet research on hypnosis and brain-washing.
How do you choose names for your characters?
I generally look at lists of baby names and pick ones I like that are varied by the beginning letter.
Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
My characters are composites of several people I know. Lilly is a woman I’d like to be physically. She’s one tough cookie.
Are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between, and can you elaborate on your answer?
I am somewhere in between. Though I loathe admitting it, I have found that writing a good plot synopsis gives me enough of an outline to keep me on track yet enough room to allow the novel to take you in directions you originally weren’t going.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
I write at home. I don’t have a set writing schedule but I do make monthly word count goals to help keep me on track. I also build in a lot of cushion so when life’s surprises pop up, I can still keep on track with my deadlines. The writing life is all about balance and I don’t know if I’ve perfected it but I am trying to make sure those I love don’t get squeezed out. The problematic aspects of the writing life are that the computer is always calling and readily accessible which makes it hard to walk away.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Being a Christian is so integral to my life that I can’t help but write from that worldview so certain aspects of Christianity do get on the page—like the nature of sacrificial love and forgiveness. Even if I’m not quoting scripture and verse—those themes run deep in my novels.
What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
I’m going to say pursuing publication in the sense that I’m putting out, for public consumption and critique, a very intimate part of myself. These characters I created and the story world they live in. For a long time, I didn’t even let my husband read my writing. I thought, if he hates it, what does that say about how he loves me? I’m sure at some point, I’ll get the dreaded one star review and I know I’ll be wounded over it.
It does take a lot of bravery to be so vulerable. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My best advice would be to keep the first draft all to yourself. What happened in my own writing life is that I constantly had other people read the first 30,000 words for suggestions. The issue became that I couldn’t discern what would make the manuscript better and I was re-writing the first 1/3 of the book over and over.
There is plenty of time for critique and improvement but finishing the novel is important. If you’re a debut author—a publisher is likely going to want to see that you can finish a book before they offer you a contract. I was stuck on those words for…literally years. Now, the first draft is mine—all mine. It’s so freeing because you can make lots of mistakes and no one will know.
Awesome advice! Now for fun…What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
The coolest thing I’ve ever been able to do is help save a child’s life.
Amazing! If you could have dinner with someone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?
Dean Koontz—call me. Let’s have dinner.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. The Vatican archives are calling—how hard can it be, really, to get to those secret documents!
I want to go to Italy too!! Wonder if we could schedule it as a business trip…
Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?
Thanks for joining us today!