Thursday, July 15, 2010

Golden Heart Finalist, Autumn Jordon

Today's spotlight is on multi-published author, Autumn Jordon, a 2009 golden-Heart Finalist with EVIL’S WITNESS, a Romantic Suspense set in the beautiful mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. It’s on sale now at the White Rose Press.

Let’s welcome Autumn and learn more about her and about her new book.

Thank you for spending the day with us, Autumn. Please start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I still live in the same northeast PA valley which I grew up in. The Appalachian Trail runs along the gorgeous Blue Mountains to our south and mountains heavy with coal border our north. My great-great-grandfather and his brothers, who moved here from Germany, owned and worked most of valley and about seventy-five percent of the inhabitants of the valley today are still blood relatives. It takes quite a few moments during church service on Sunday morning to pass the peace.
Surrounded by cousins, there was always something to do after school and after the chores were done like riding our horses, swimming at the deep hole or camping out under the stars. We were a busy bunch, but I was the one who enjoyed reading book after book and spinning tales. So I guess to answer your question, I always wanted to craft stories which would entertain others.
I haven’t traveled the world like you, Mona, but I’ve always dreamt of visiting exotic places and read about them.

Do you have a favorite book or series?
My favorite book of all time is the Valley Of The Horses by Jean Auel. It’s part of the earth series. I love the detail, the characters, the emotion and the romance in that story.
I enjoy many newer voices too, but I don’t want to run this blog too long.

Speaking of, can you tell us more about your book? What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Evil’s Witness is a romantic suspense set in my own back yard. The idea came about because of two real incidents that occurred at my family’s business-trucking. We hauled funds for the U.S. Treasury. No, we didn’t lose funds for the treasury, but we did have a trailer of fruit juice stolen. Anyway, I wondered what if tractor-trailers carrying U.S. funds were suddenly targeted by the Russian Mafia, and what if a woman and her children witnessed a heist and became Mafia targets. Who would they turn too and how would they be protected. And what if she fell for the agent who protected them. Hmmm.
Imagine not falling for Sealy Booth. Come one, ladies. I’m I right?

How long did it take for you to get published and what was the journey like?
I had a long journey compared to some authors and a short journey compared to others. I started studying the craft seriously in 2000. So it was nine years until I signed my first contract. I had my share of triumphs (contest places or wins) and my share of downs (rejections) with four other manuscripts. I just kept studying, listening to advice, writing and submitting.

Any current projects you're excited about and can share with our readers?
I’m in the process of writing another suspense involving the Russian Mafia. In this story, a woman becomes a pawn in a money laundering scheme between two mafia princes who want to rule the family.

Do you write to music or the TV?
Music. I have certain CDs that are about worn out. Yanna, Enya, Enigma.

Do you plot your story before you write it or do you sit and let it flow?
I usually write about the fifty pages to get a feel for the characters and then I’ll write a loose synopsis. I know where I want to go, but often my characters come up with some pretty good story points down the road.

Most people see writers as hermits, closed off in a room, clacking away at the keyboard until the final page is typed. Do you consider yourself this disciplined as a writer?
Heck no. That’s not me. I have a life, friends, and family and they’re my priority. However, I do spend every moment I can writing, every single day. My motto has always been, Word By Word, Line By Line, Page By Page.

They say you can learn a lot about a person by their surroundings. What does your work area look like?
I have several work spots since I work on a laptop. My office definitely needs a little straightening. So I guess that tells you I feel there are more important things in life than a home that looks like the Merry Maids just exited stage right.
I also spend time outside on my back porch. I love it out there, especially in the early morning, and, as you can see by my hobbies, I love the outdoors.
And then in my living room while my dear husband watches his games, I’m usually tweaking dialogue, interviewing characters and thinking.

What do you consider your guilty pleasure?
Oh, good question. Lying in a hammock, reading on a sunny afternoon when there are about a trillion other things that should be done.

Stephanie Boyd’s world crashes when she and her children witness a blood bath. To escape the wrath of the Russian Mafia, she has no choice but to help the FBI uncover the mafia’s mole inside the U.S. Treasury. While on the run with the handsome agent who is willing to die for them, Stephanie learns the meaning of love.

Agent John Dolton’s break in solving the case that cost him everything is a couple of kids and a beautiful widow. But keeping them safe seems impossible when their every move is foreseen by their enemy. Stephanie and her children soften the loner’s heart and John vows not to fail to protect the family he loves.

Thank you so much, Mona , for asking me to be a guest today.


Anonymous said...

Hi Autumn! Great interview! I love your motto. It's definitely one I need to follow. NE PA sounds lovely and a place I've always wanted to visit. Your book sounds intriguing. Congrats on your success!

Autumn Jordon said...

Thanks, June. Mona asked some really great questions. What do you write?

Elise Hayes said...

A truck of fruit juice, huh? Do you think that's what the thieves were actually targeting (maybe they were thirsty?)? Or did they think there might be funds from the U.S. Treasury?

That's the thing about us writers--we always wonder about motive!!

Congrats on all your successes in the past year, Autumn! You've had an incredible 15 months since the GH announcement! (or had you sold even before the finalists were announced in 2009?)


Nice interview, ladies.

Rita said...

I have too many guilty pleasures and it's way to easy to get lost in them. The beach, the dock, the pool, a picture of Margaritas, a Mojoto, listening to a really good book.

Autumn Jordon said...

You be surprised what is targeted, Elise. Black market grocery items are big money as per the FBI.

And yes, I sold a few weeks before becoming a Golden Heart. It has been a great experience so far.

Thanks for stopping over.

Autumn Jordon said...

Thanks, Kelly. See you at CTR later.

And Rita, me too. Infact, I'm going poolside now and tonight to a booksigning for a chaptermate. It's a great day in PA.

Shoshana said...

> Lying in a hammock, reading on a sunny afternoon when there are about a trillion other things that should be done.

Sounds great. We just got a hammock on our balcony and, since it's about 80 degrees today, I'm thinking I need to try it out.

Great interview, Autumn.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Autumn, Glad to see you over here at our site. It was nice to get better acquainted with you. Being able to move around to where you use is stimulated is great, isn't it? My hubby build a table for me that slides over my lap in the cooler room on our bottom floor. It works great sitting under a fan.

My guilty pleasure is hearing a Scottish accent in the background since my hero is always Scottish. ;)

Autumn Jordon said...

There are always a trillion and one thing to do. Relax. Enjoy the day, Shoshana.

Autumn Jordon said...

It sounds like you have a great DH, Paisley. I love writing in different spots, shake the MUSE up.

I could listen to a Scot all day too.

Thanks for having me here today.

Jill James said...

Autumn, lovely interview. I can't wait to read your book.

Mona Risk said...

Autumn, I enjoyed learning more about you. Thank you for being with us today.

Autumn Jordon said...

Jill, Thank you, I hope you enjoy Evil' Witness.

Mona, Thank you so much for inviting me. You asked great questions and I had a great time answering them.

Josie said...

Your Russian Mafia story sounds fascinating. Mona--thanks for the interview.