For the first time ever here at the Daily Racewood, we’re conducting an interview with hilarious blogger and writer, Jordanna East.
Daily Racewood : Thank you for being here, Jordanna…
Jordanna East: I’m just glad the Cult of Racewood invited me!
DR: Before we talk about what you’re writing and what you’ve been up too, Jordanna is a pen name is that correct? How did you come up with that?
JE: Yes, that’s correct. My full name is Ava Jordanna Easterby. “Easterby” is my married name. I love my husband to death, but I just couldn’t picture writing under the name “Easterby.” But I didn’t want to go back to my maiden name either; I still wanted to “rep” him in some way, I guess. So I decided to go with a shortened version, “East.” Combine that with my moment of delusion at thinking that if I used something too close to my actual name, I’d be mobbed by fans whenever I used my debit card. (Feel free to laugh at me, I’m laughing as I type this.) So “Jordanna East” was born: close enough to my real name, but not close enough to be mobbed like Justin Bieber trying to buy skinny jeans at the mall.
DR: Haha, that’s kind of adorable actually. So you talk a lot on your blog about the book you’re currently writing, a psychological thriller. Tell us a little bit about that.
JE: Well, I wanted to write something that I hadn’t seen done before. A female serial killer where the killer’s point of view is included. Everything is almost always written from the perspective of law enforcement and I was over it. So I started with my main character, Lyla Kyle. Then the story started writing itself so now I have this awesome trichotomy (is that a word?) of the unraveling female serial killer, the over-anxious cop that’s on to her, and they both see the same psychologist. Oh, and just for fun, the psychologist has deadly ties to both of their pasts. Maybe “fun” isn’t the right word. Anyway, the novel is entitled Blood in the Paint, and will be preceded by a prequel novella, Blood in the Past. I’m actually working on both concurrently and hoping to have them out in the Spring and Summer of 2013, respectively.
DR: That sounds exciting. Is this the first book you’ve written?
JE: *Looks down at feet sheepishly* Yes.
DR: Nothing to be ashamed of there. What is your favorite genre to write in? Have you ever written outside of this genre?
JE: I used to love reading true crime books. Then I branched out into crime thrillers/suspense, which is when I decided to write my novel. But since I received a Kindle Fire last Christmas, I’ve read all kinds of genres, which has inspired me to think about writing in other genres. When this series is finished I have a fledgling dystopian project floating around in my head that I’d like to attend to.
DR: What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
JE: I went to school for Biology, with minors in Psychology and Criminology. (Hence the whole Psychological Crime Thriller thing, right?). But if I wasn’t an author I would definitely try to work in the field of forensics. Lab or field, wouldn’t matter to me, I love that stuff.
DR: That sounds kind of exciting actually, and certainly couldn’t hurt with your novel. You said in another interview that you planned to self-publish, what made you decide to take this course of action?
JE: Like you have said on your blog many times, I’m a control freak. I want to tell my story they way I want to. I want to hire my own editor that I feel confident in. I want to hire my own designer, who will work with me to achieve the cover art I want. I just want to have a say in stuff dammit! Plus I don’t have the patience for the traditional route. And even if I did, to endure all of that rigmarole just to make less money doesn’t appeal to me. (No offense to trad-pubbers, to each their own.)
DR: I completely agree. On that subject though, is there any self-publishing company you’re looking at harder than the others?
JE: Thanks to your hard-nosed research, I’m very much considering CreateSpace. But your hardcover argument is still nagging at me, so we’ll see, haha.
DR: Well thank you…Who is your favorite author and why?
JE: I just recently started reading fiction more vigorously, so I would have to say Jonathan Maberry. His descriptions are beyond compare, he creates characters you care about, and he scares the pants off you and makes you finish his books during daylight.
DR: Your blog is pretty popular, you get a lot of comments on it, why do you think people seem to flock to your blog?
JE: Honestly, I have no idea. When I started really working on Blood in the Paint, I did some research on author platforms and obviously having a blog was highly recommended by all. I started Journey Of Jordanna East thinking no one would read it until I “made it big.” (Back to my delusions of being mobbed…) To have as many followers, commenters, blog award nominations, and guest spots as I’ve had, I’m truly humbled. Maybe that’s why people flock to it; as my hubby always says, “Real recognizes real.”
DR: Very well said. What is your favorite type of book to read?
JE: I love anything thrilling. Fantasy, zombie, dystopian, crime, etc. Bring it on. I think it’s awesome when I physically can’t read fast enough. I also enjoy Russell Blake. To me, his books read like a Quentin Tarantino movie with plenty of action (and violence).
DR: What is your favorite quote on writing (or just quote in general).
JE: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Just kidding. I actually love adverbs and hate that it’s taboo to use them. My actual favorite writing quote is “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
DR: Me too! I like adverbs. My editor not so much… Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
JE: My husband. If it weren’t for his encouragment, and his existence in general, I would have given up and gone to live in a treehouse or something by now.
DR: That’s absolutely beautiful… After you’ve finished publishing your first book will you go right into the next book or will you take a little break?
JE: I plan on going right on into the next one. I already have the opening to the sequel mapped out on a napkin. Yes, a napkin. When the muse strikes, one doesn’t always have a notebook handy.
DR: Don’t I know it. What advice could you give to aspiring authors?
JE: Write prolifically and for the love of all the colorful fish in the sea HIRE an editor. I read a lot of Indie books and when I read a good one I feel a sense of “community” pride. Likewise, when I read a bad one I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the heart. (I just realized I could very well be talking about my experiences as a Knicks fan, but I digress…) As a community of Indie authors we have to rise above the stereotype and prove that our content is worthy of people’s money. Even if your book is only priced at $2.99, you don’t want a reader wishing they had stopped at Dunkin Donuts instead of buying your error-ridden book.
DR: Very well said. Anything else you’d like to add?
JE: Just a gigantic thank you for having me, darling.
A BIG BIG thank you to Jordanna East for bringing me my very first interview with an author. Anyone wanna offer to be next?
Authors Note: You can learn more about Jordanna and her book by visiting her blog at www.journeyofjordannaeast.wordpress.com
Sorry I didn’t put that in earlier for folks.