Monday, October 27, 2008

An Interview With Jordan Summers

"War is brewing in a near-future world where murder is all but unheard of and the existence of creatures known as the Others has yet to be proven. In the end, one woman will face her fears to stand and fight.
Gina Santiago is a member of an elite tactical team in charge of protecting the world. She’s devoted her life to apprehending the most heinous criminals that prey on society—and now she’s after the worst one yet.
On her own, with no backup, the trail takes her to a dusty, tight-knit town on the fringes of society, where everyone’s a suspect. Even the sexy sheriff, Morgan Hunter, isn’t telling her everything.
The closer Gina comes to finding out the secret of this sleepy little town and its big, bad sheriff, the more scared she gets—because she’s beginning to realize that she has a secret, too. A secret that will change her life…and make her the killer’s next prey.

Romance author and Urban Fantasy Noveliest Jordan Summers has a new release coming out next month for Tor. Her newest book, Red, Book 1 in her new Dead World Series hits the shelves next week. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this tale a futuristic Earth where murder still occurs. The twist with the murders in this book is not the violent and gory way the victims died, but who or what killed them.

Katie: Red is the first book in your Dead World series. When you wrote Red, did you decide this was going to be the start of a series, rather than a stand alone book?

Jordan: Actually, I thought Red was going to be a stand-alone. It wasn’t until I discussed the book with my editor at the time, Anna Genoese that it turned into a series.

Katie: How is writing for mass paperback different for a category like you did for your Harlequin Blaze title, Off Limits?

Jordan: The word count is much higher. *g* No, just kidding. Well, not really. Snort! The biggest difference between writing category and single title is plot size. You can have multiple sub-plots in a single title. You don’t have that luxury in a category-length book. Also, there’s more room for a large cast of characters in a single title.

Katie: You write for both on-line and print publishing houses. How is your experience in writing for an on-line publisher different for a print publisher?

Jordan: I haven’t written for the online publisher since 2005/2006. I know it’s changed a lot since I left. The lines between online and print publishing are beginning to blur. With online publishing, you have a lot more freedom when it comes to book length and subject matter, since it’s a niche market. Those things are narrowed in print publishing because you’re trying to appeal to a much bigger audience. There’s more pressure when it comes to writing for a print publisher. Sales numbers are extremely important in today’s marketplace. As a writer, you want to reach as many readers as possible. Right now that means going the print route. This may (and probably will) change in the future.

Katie: Red has many genres mixed in together from sci-fi to futuristic to even suspense mystery and romance. In your opinion, what genre would you say Red is? Do you mind having a book with a so many labels?

Jordan: I think Red is a dark fantasy romantic thriller. Does it have sci-fi elements? Absolutely, but at its heart it is a dark fantasy. It contains vampires, werewolves, chimeras, telekinetic psychics--among other things. It just happens to take place in a near-future, post-apocalyptic world. I actually don’t mind having all those labels applied to Red because I think the book ultimately becomes whatever the reader wants it to be. With the exception of my three published contemporaries, I haven’t written a single book that could be categorized under one genre tag.

Katie: Which authors are your inspiration?

Jordan: The names have changed over the years. Virginia Henley, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Johanna Lindsey were behind my desire to write romance. I still have several of their books on my keeper shelf. In fact, the very first book I wrote in high school was a historical pirate adventure. I look up to several writers for various reasons. My current favorites are: Patricia Briggs, Simon Green, Lynn Viehl, John Scalzi, Lora Leigh, Stephanie Laurens, Christine Warren, and Angela Knight. When I grow up, I want to write like them all. :)

Katie: Do you have a set schedule when you write? Is there any advice you can give to aspiring authors who are having problems trying to hit their own word count or have writer's block?

Jordan: The only time I keep a set schedule is when I’m under deadline. I plan to change this because I’ve discovered I don’t work well using the ‘stop/start’ method. In 2009, I’m going to a five to six day writing schedule. The goal is to hit 1500/2000 words a day.
Reaching word count is tricky. Some people are just naturally more verbose than others. I tend to write very sparse, which means it’s harder for me to hit the 90/100K word counts. I’m not fond of reading or writing a lot of description. I am working on changing my habits, since I think ‘some’ description is necessary. My advice would be to practice. I wish there was a magic phrase or element, but the truth is you develop these habits by doing.
Normally writer’s block is a sign you’ve taken a wrong turn in a book. It helps to go back over what you’ve written to see where you went wrong. Sometimes, writer’s blog comes from fear. Walking away or giving yourself permission to write crap normally dispels it.
If you were stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere, what three books would you need to have with you?
My initial thought was a power source and a Kindle. I immediately moved from there to the SAS Survival Guide, which would be a must if I was stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere. If I wasn’t fearing for my life, I’d say Devil’s Bride or Captain Jack’s Woman by Stephanie Laurens, Mine to Take by Dara Joy, and either Secrets: Volume 6 by Angela Knight et al or Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh. It would be a very tough decision to make.

Katie: Are there any new shows on television you enjoy watching this season?

Jordan: Ever since they cancelled Moonlight, I’ve refused to invest in new shows. I think True Blood is interesting. I also think Fringe shows promise, but that’s about it.

Katie: Can you give us a hint of what is to come with Gina in the sequel, Scarlet that comes out in June 2009?

Jordan: Scarlet picks up a month after Red ends. Gina’s life has changed dramatically. She’s trying to navigate relationship waters, while searching for a place to fit in. Scarlet really deals with emotional connections and betrayals. There are murders to solve and threats to extinguish. The past comes back with a vengeance threatening to destroy her future. A new romance blooms. The pressure is building and no one escapes unscathed.

Don't forget to get your copy of Red on November 4th!

Do you have any questions for Jordan? If so, leave a comment here and Jordan may stop by an answer them.

Katiebabs (KB)


Heather Massey said...

Great interview! I'm looking forward to this one. I for one love a mix of genres in my books and I hope, Jordan, that you have many happy sales for RED.

Jordan Summers said...

Thanks Heather. :)

~ames~ said...

Great interview. :P What initially caught my eye when browsing online was the cover. It's very striking.

Fringe and True Blood are very interesting, although I've missed a few episodes of Fringe, my dvr broke. LOL

Jordan Summers said...

Ames, Thank you! I did get lucky with that cover. Chris McGrath does amazing work. I love the artwork he did for the cover of the new Dresden graphic novel.

I would miss the shows, too if my recorder broke. *ggg*

Marisa O'Neill said...

Terrific interview - thanks so much.
Jordan - I picked up your book the other day and thought I'd just skim to see if if it was the next book I wanted to read. Well... it was one of those moments when I found myself so engrossed from the first page that I had to sit down and before I knew it two hours had gone by. Just wanted to tell you I'm enjoying it immensely and I'm looking forward to some 'book time' when I can have 6 solid uninterrupted hours to finish it.

Jordan Summers said...

Thank you, Marisa! I hope you like the rest of the book. :)

Heather Massey said...

[...]Ramblings on Romance gives us a taste of RED via an interview with author Jordan Summer[...]

Heather Massey said...

[...]Hot off the press and just for you, Ramblings on Romance provides a recent interview with the author.[...]