Author name: Linda Jordan
~What first prompted you to publish your work? Alfred Lets Loose is one of those magical stories that came to me just as I was waking up one morning. I could hear the voice of the main character and had the story unravel itself before I even made it to a standing position. I can’t remember how long it took me to write, but it’s rare that a story comes to me all spooling out like that. It’s a wonderful experience.
~Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I started out as a plotter, but have turned into a pantser. I read Dean Wesley Smith’s book Writing Into the Dark and I was convinced that was the way to go for me. We have very similar problems with being easily bored. After I outlined a book, I no longer wanted to write it.
Making the change was frightening at first. I was afraid that no story would come. But it always has. Every single time. And I’m enjoyed being surprised by the story that does come. I figure if I’m surprised, the reader will be as well.
~What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? I wish I’d known to look at everything I was writing as practice. It would have taken some of the pressure off. Everything I write is always practice for something else. Also, I wish I’d known to trust myself.
~What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? I offer free books on a regular basis (usually the first in a series) as a means of giving people a taste of my work and as a gift for signing up for my mailing list. I don’t think free books are demeaning.
Libraries? They’re this awesome place that lend free books. All right, paid for by our taxes, free books.
I think free books are good marketing, if done right.
~What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. What people think of your work is their own business, not yours.
As a writer, you shouldn’t be reading reviews of your past work. You’re done with that. Over. Finished. You should have moved on and be writing the next book. You did the best you could at the time. Every book will get better. If you spend all your time neurosing about the skill level in your previous books, there will be no new work. You won’t improve.
~How influential is storytelling to our culture? Storytelling is so embedded in our culture we don’t even realize we’ll listen to any sales spiel if there’s a story involved. It’s the heartbeat of our culture. We crave stories and we’re drawn into stories on a daily basis. We want the story of our kid’s day at school. We want to listen to the stories of the world when we turn on the news. Songs are stories with a rhythm. We sit around the screen at night, watching stories.
~What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Write the next book, publish it. Then write the next one. And repeat.
~What is your writing space like? My writing space is in the kitchen (the center of the universe). I have a desk that closes with a drawer where my laptop lives. The closing desk is essential—because cats. My desk is covered with rocks, lists, post-its, fairy lights, pens and other cool stuff. And a couple of light boxes because I live in the Pacific Northwest where it’s dark and rainy for five months of the year. Next to this desk is a standing desk, which is home to too many piles of things. But I still use it, moving the laptop back and forth between the two. That’s my fall, winter and spring office. They summer office is outside at a table under an umbrella to keep the glare down. I’ve got three different tables out in various parts of the garden, each with an extension cord to plug in. Where I sit depends on the warmth of the day and whether I need more shade or sun at that time of the day. I love writing outside, but alas, it’s only for a short few months of the year.
~What’s your next writing adventure? I’m currently writing the second novel of a five book series. It’s a post-apocalyptic story with magic. I’m having so much fun with these characters and this world. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
~What is the last book you’ve read? Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans by Sonya Rhen. A fun YA science fiction book about a rock band touring the universe and all their mishaps. Finished it last night. Guess I’ll need to pick up the other two books in the series. Science fiction humor is a hard thing to balance and she does a great job.
~Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline? I think we’re in the middle of a transition. I think the story is the important part and that the form it takes will continue to morph and expand, along with technology. I think ebooks are a huge thing, but not the end. I also think there will always be paper books. People still love them, including kids and teens. Bookshops are in decline at this point. They may rally and shift form, but I think the age of the super bookstore is over. They take up too much expensive real estate and don’t earn enough money to sustain the business. I also think new ways of storytelling will come into being with new technologies.
~With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? I can’t see that trad pub will be able to continue business the way they have in the past. They’re owned by such large corporations who are pinching every penny paid out to writers and not supporting books that aren’t bestsellers. I think being an Indie is a much more vibrant path and the potential for growth is awesome. Provided the vendors continue to send money our way. It seems to be working for musicians and for movies. I hope it continues to work for writers. I can’t say it’s the future, because the future is always changing.
~How important is writing to you?
Vastly important. I spent decades procrastinating and the days I didn’t write I felt terribly guilty. Now when I don’t write because life has gotten too busy, I feel uneasy. The whole day feels wrong. As a result, I write most every day. And most days it’s the most rewarding thing I’m doing. Telling this story, one chapter at a time. Writing is my life.
Linda Jordan writes fascinating characters, visionary worlds, and imaginative fiction. She creates both long and short fiction, serious and silly. She believes in the power of healing and transformation, and many of her stories follow those themes.
In a previous lifetime, Linda coordinated the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop as well as the Reading Series. She spent four years as Chair of the Board of Directors during Clarion West’s formative period. She’s also worked as a travel agent, a baker, and a pond plant/fish salesperson, you know, the sort of things one does as a writer.
Currently, she’s the Programming Director for the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest.
Linda now lives in the rainy wilds of Washington state with her husband, daughter, four cats, a cluster of Koi and an infinite number of slugs and snails.