Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Friends with Autumn Jordon

Thanks, Autumn, for being here on Friday Friends.

Autumn: I’m excited to be here. The place looks new and real nice. For one lucky commenter, now through Monday, August 16, 2010, I’d like to give away a copy of my January release, Obsessed By Wildfire in e-format. The winner can be anywhere on the net, but must be 18 years of age since it’s rated HOT! So comment and if you don’t know what to say, answer the question I posted at the end of the interview.

Okay, I have my tea. Let’s talk.

Tell us a little about Evil’s Witness.

Autumn: Evils’ Witness is a romantic suspense set in the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. The idea for the story came about because of an incident that occurred at my family’s trucking company. A tractor-trailer and an entire load of juice disappeared. Trucks are high-jacked more often than you might imagine. Around the same time, we also hauled currency for the U.S. Treasury. I simply put the two events together and then thought what would happen if the robbery was witnessed by a small town woman, like myself. And what If the heists were conducted by the mafia, how would my heroine escaped the mafia and save her children? Where would she hide?

I’m thrilled that Evil’ Witness has received two great reviews so far and I’ve had a few readers email me saying they loved the story. Melissa said she can’t get my characters out of her head. I love Melissa.

Here’s a blurp:

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.

What comes first for you, the characters or the plot?

Autumn: Actually, for me, it’s a first line or a germ of an idea. I don’t really plot. I get this logline in my head and begin to write. Usually by the end of the first chapter, I’m searching for pictures of my hero and heroine. I like to have them posted near my desk. I’ll write maybe fifty pages and then I’ll jot down a sketchy synopsis. Basically, I’m writing down goals, motivations and turning points. The synopsis changes when I’m finish a bit because my characters have a way of lead the way sometimes.

How long does it take you to write a novel?

Autumn: I write a pretty clean first draft. I can’t seem to move on until a scene is nearly perfect, (cough), in my head at that time of course. The first draft of a 75,000 wc novel takes me about six to seven months, depending on life. Then the layering happens. That usually takes a month or so before I feel comfortable sending it out to my readers. I love to tweak and layer. Once I get their comments, I start editing again. All together, I guess it takes me about 9 months to complete a novel.

What have you learned being published that you wish you knew before you were published?

Autumn: The real work begins after you sign your contract. In addition to writing your next book, there are edits, galleys and promo which takes a huge amount of time and also industry stuff you ignored reading before.

If you think you know how to juggle time now, think of ways to do even more in less time. If you’re not an organized person, learn to be. If you think, I don’t need to network, ha ha. Peel your backside off the wall, wall flower, and start talking to people. Start reading the news bulletins on the industry.

What's the best writing advice you've ever received/read?

Autumn: Easy question. Not everyone is going to like your story, so shrug off the negative comments, quit the whining and get back to writing. That came from NY Bestselling author, Kasey Michaels, one of my dearest mentors, who didn’t say it quite that way. GRIN.

Where can our readers find you?

Autumn: Through my website or I’m on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. I also have my own blog and post Wednesdays,

Can I ask your readers a question? What tempts you to read a book? The cover, blurp, word of mouth, bookmarkers, etc. etc.

And to tempt your reader, an excerpt of Evil’s Witness:

“Are you going to tell me what Ben Stover had to say?” She dreaded hearing the news he’d learned. It couldn’t be good. He would’ve told her good news immediately.
“They lifted the prints from the guy at the mall and ran them through the system. Ben had a hit. A small time thief named Doug Antonelli, a.k.a. Dog. So you were right about his name. But, we haven’t had any luck searching the data banks for a Victor, yet.”
She held on to a glimmer of hope. “You think you will though?”
He nodded. “This guy didn’t just fall to earth with a plan to rob the U.S. Treasury of millions. He has to have come from somewhere—have some kind of record. We’ll find him. It’s just going to take some time.”
“I won’t be stupid and ask how much?”
“I appreciate that.” He smiled. As if realizing for the first time that she was washing dishes, he said, “I told you I’d do those, Steph.”
She’d noted before he’d shortened her name. She kind of liked the nickname.
“That’s okay. This is therapy.” Stephanie shrugged and smiled at him as she rinsed another plate. “After the last twenty-four hours, I really needed to do something normal.”
“I understand. I do the same thing when I’m done with a case.”
Her hands stilled under the warm water. “You do?”
“You look surprised.” He set his mug down, snatched the tea towel from the counter and started to dry the dishes from the rack.
Gene had never helped her with the dishes.
She washed and John dried. It was kind of nice standing side by side, talking, even though some of their conversation dealt with their lives being at stake. But there was something about a man wearing a gun, drying dishes that struck her as funny. Especially a barefooted one.
She chuckled and he looked confused. “What?
“I’m sorry. It’s just you’re FBI.” Her cheeks warmed, again, the moment the idiotic words spilled from her mouth.
“We have lives too. We don’t wait in sterile closets for the next case.” He laughed with her.
She liked his laugh and the way his eyes sparkled.
“Well, actually, I sort of had this picture of you in a smoke filled room, playing cards, waiting for the call. Then going to the sterile room to be briefed on the high-tech gadgets you’ll use on your mission.”
“You’ve got it all wrong. I haven’t played cards in years.”
“Oh, I see. That’s the only part wrong?”
“Well, yeah.”
“Hmm.” Stephanie’s heart pounded so hard in her chest she thought for sure John would hear it over the steady stream of tap water.
He wore no ring. She wanted to ask him if there was a Mrs. Dolton, but she didn’t have the nerve.

Thanks so much for being with us, Autumn. Please come back when your next book comes out.

Be sure to leave your email address so Autumn and I can get in touch with you if you are the winner. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, so leave a comment/message until then.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by.


  1. Great interview, Autumn. I can relate a lot to what you said about starting with a germ of an idea, and I love tweaking and layering too. Having recently signed a contract, I still have to learn about all the rest.
    In answer to your question, I read the blurb and that can decide me whether or not I'll like the book. I don't take much notice of the cover because I know from the covers of myearly novels that they don't really tell you much about the story.
    And I loved your excerpt and laughed at the image of the FBI man drying the dishes.

  2. Really, you don't look at covers? Wow. Covers always get me and then the blurb.

    Even the tough guys have to do housework in my books. LOL. I'm glad you liked it.

    Congrats on the signed contact. That's huge.

  3. Hi Autumn,

    Thanks for visiting here today! Your book sounds intense.

    You are so right about a lot of the hard work coming after a contract is signed. I couldn't believe how much I had to learn about the publishing world!

    What tempts me most often is word of mouth. My friends and I are constantly swapping books and saying "You HAVE to read this one!" I've also found a lot of great reads by reading blog posts. I'd say after that, it's the blurb that gets me.

  4. Covers do nothing for me, Autumn. A cover for one of my 1970's novels had the H/h on horseback. What? They'd never been on horseback in the whole story. Hence my lack of interest in book covers.
    But maybe I am influenced by covers, becauese if a cover showa a bare-chested muscular male, I ignore it. If it shows a guy in a tux, I'll look at the blurb. My personal preference, I know LOL.
    A title can also be a turn-on or turn-off and the setting (if revealed in the blurb) can also influence me.

  5. Hi, Debra. I'm learning to write between obligations. It's tough at times, but I do love making new friends and talking books.

    Word of mouth doesn't always work for me. I've had books recommended that I just couldn't get into. Reading the blurb, an excerpt or even the first chapter is what tempts me the most.

    Thanks for having here this weekend.

  6. LOL on the cover. I've heard this way too often. My CP was upset because they gave her heroine red hair and she was blonde. You wonder if the art department read the fact sheets.

    You are so right, titles need to be catchy to the reader you're targeting. Good point!

  7. Great interview! This book sounds fantastic.
    I don't pay much attention to covers either. My colour vision is very poor, and often the colours run into each other and all look the same. I see black on white and white on black best.
    I'm influenced by word of mouth, blurbs and excerpts. And I'm more likely to get a book if it just happens to be there in large print or at that easy reading format where the book is slightly larger and there is more space between the lines of print.

    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  8. I don't judge any book by its cover. I read the blurb, then the first page. If I am hooked, I buy. If I have to read on to find the story line, I reconsider.

  9. Hey, Chey and Ana. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    It's an interesting point you've made Chey about font size. I've actually put books back on the shelves enven though they looked interesting because the print was so small I thought there was no way I'd be able to read it without getting a major headache. I wonder why the publisher made the decision to do this. hmmm.

  10. Sorry, I'm late. I forgot I had several doctor appointments today. Anyway, I put names in a basket and Chey is the winner.

    Yeah, Chey! I'll be emailing you shortly.

    Toni, Thanks again for hosting me. It was fun, you have a great group here.