It’s my pleasure today to introduce you to a brand new author whose first book Proof is releasing this month. It’s such fun to discover fresh, new voices in suspense fiction and I’m sure you’ll agree Jordyn Redwood is a fresh new voice.
Q: Let me start with asking you to tell us a little bit about yourself. A. First, thank you so much for hosting me. It’s so great to be here! I’m a wife and a mother of two beautiful daughters. I work as a pediatric ER nurse which is the best patient population to work with in my opinion. I dream of writing like Dean Koontz who I’ve always admired. Love his style of suspense.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A. As soon as I learned to write, I loved to pen stories. Being a storyteller has always been part of me. I loved to write short stories in elementary and middle school. In high school I wrote two “novels” that I still like to pull out and read—though they will never be seen by anyone else. Deciding to pursue publication is a whole different animal. I’d had a novel in my mind for years and in 2009 decided to finish it and try to pitch it at the ACFW conference when it came to Denver. Greg Johnson took me on as a client and that started me on the publishing path.
Q: Could you give us the highlights of your professional writing career including how you got your first writing break?
A. My first writing break was actually a gift out of the blue that I feel to this day was God nudging me to solidly consider pursuing publication. When I was a pediatric ICU nurse, I’d been part of a multi-disciplinary team that reviewed child abuse cases. After I left the ICU for an urgent care setting, I got a call from a doctor that had also worked on that team. She was publishing a textbook on child abuse and needed a chapter on nursing care of the abusive head trauma patient. It was the only nursing chapter in that textbook and it was a guaranteed publishing credit. How could I pass that up? It was such a gift because I learned a lot about the writing and editing process but I didn’t have as much of an emotional connection to the work as I do with my fiction stories. Even though the subject matter was heavy, it was more like writing a research paper.
Q: Would you tell us about your current book release?
A: Proof is a suspense novel that considers the ramifications of DNA testing actually setting a guilty man free. Lilly Reeves, an ER physician, is the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Though she correctly identifies her assailant to the police, DNA testing says he’s innocent. The novel centers on her journey to prove his guilt and reclaim her life.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for Proof? A: A Discovery Health Channel special. I love medical intricacies and the Bloodline Trilogy evolved from the interplay of these mysteries and how individuals deal with them.
Q: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from this story?
A: Sometimes, it’s hard for scientific, logical types of people to make a spiritual leap of faith. This is the ground Lilly begins on. What I hope readers remember is Lilly’s faith journey and the elements that led her to an understanding of the sacrificial element of Christ’s love for us. Beyond the suspense, the novel is really Lilly’s faith journey and how Christ became real for her.
Q: What is your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
A: When Lilly identifies her assailant. I had that scene in my mind for years and of course, thought it was ultimate genius how the event transpires. It is a point where Lilly is so vulnerable yet at the same time, begins to stand on her own two feet. It’s the beginning point of her reclaiming power over her circumstances.
Q: What inspires you to write?
A. I’m very goal oriented. I want each novel to be better than the previous one. Show more depth of emotion, more character development, and more edge of your seat suspense. I challenge myself to keep learning the craft of writing to improve on these aspects. If someone ever compared me to Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, or Harlan Coben—I would consider that the ultimate icing on the cake.
Q: How has being a published novelist differed from your expectations of the profession?
A: Of course I imagined hitting the bestseller lists with my first novel and earning enough money to be able to “quit my day job.” The reality is that writing a novel is hard work. Editing is hard work. Marketing your novel is hard work. In the beginning, while you’re building up name recognition and a following, the money you earn may go right back into your business to grow it. As a nurse, I’ve worked with a lot of residents who will lament often about their pay. Last quote I heard they earned $0.18/hr. I would love to be earning that type of money right now writing. Hopefully soon.
Q: What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?
A: Study the writing craft. Attend local writers groups. Have a few trusted critique partners. If you are serious about publication, it is never too early to start building your brand by blogging and having a presence on Facebook and Twitter. All these will help you shine when you begin to submit book proposals.
Q: Would you share with us what you are working on now?
A. I’m working on book three of the Bloodline Trilogy. This one considers the possibility of whether or not memories can be transferred.
Q: What is something your readers might be surprised to learn about you?
A. I’m an avid quilter and cross stitcher. Those crafts help me unwind and I love making handmade things as gifts. My mother is also a quilter and my daughters will be blessed to have the heritage of these heirlooms to pass down to their children.
Q: When you’re not writing what do you like to do?
A. Spend time with family. Read. I’m a big-time book fanatic. My husband does not like to let me loose in a bookstore for very long.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell or share with us?
A. Other than writing fiction, my next writing love is my blog, Redwood’s Medical Edge. This is where I offer writers advice on how to write medically accurate fiction. It’s been great fun and I’ve been blessed to really see it grow. I also blog at my website: www.jordynredwood.com. Redwood’s Ramblings is more about my life as an author and reader. Of course, I love hearing from readers and you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Susan thanks so much for hosting me. I’m a big admirer of yours and it’s been a true blessing being here.
SUSAN SLEEMAN grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com and writing romantic suspense and mystery novels.
Much to her husband’s chagrin, Susan loves to look at everyday situations and turn them into murder and mayhem scenarios for future novels. If you’ve met Susan, she has probably figured out a plausible way to kill you and get away with it. Don’t worry, she’d never follow through on it.
Her GARDEN GATE MYSTERY series featuring landscape designer Paige Turner, debuted in October 2010 with NIPPED IN THE BUD in Barbour Books Hometown Mysteries line. The second book, READ BETWEEN THE TINES released in e-book format in the Spyglass Lane Mystery series in February of 2012.
Her first romantic suspense novel, featuring the Morgan Brothers, released with Ryan’s story in HIGH-STAKES INHERITANCE , Russ’s story in BEHIND THE BADGE and the Reid’s story in THE CHRISTMAS WITNESS.
This year Susan’s latest mini-series about five adopted siblings who leave law enforcement to form a private investigations firm called the Justice Agency debuted in June with DOUBLE EXPOSURE and in November, DEAD WRONG will release. Watch for the last three books in the series in 2013.
Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson. In her spare time, you can find her traveling to Oregon to visit her children and grandson, reading, gardening or working on TheSuspenseZone.com.
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