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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pick Your Poison...I Choose Jordyn Redwood

Dare I admit I'm not an avid blog reader? I do, however, have my favorites, and one of them is Redwood's Medical Edge. Jordyn Redwood captured my attention with her posts, so much that I had to check out her novels, which led me to contact the author. So today, allow me to introduce you to this rising star...

Tell our readers a bit about your journey. How long did it take you to get published?

I’d dabbled in writing for years reading craft books, attending smaller writing conferences and doing every paid critique I could afford.  In 2009 when the ACFW conference was scheduled to be in Denver—I decided to finish my current novel and see if I could land an agent. I was blessed that Greg Johnson took me on as a client. That novel, Proof, was published in June, 2012.

Tell us about your current release.

Poison takes place five years after the Chapter 2 hostage incident in Proof. Keelyn Blake is one of a few survivors of a hostage incident where her step-father, under the directives of an hallucination he called Lucent, murdered half her family. Now Lucent has materialized and is threatening what remains of her family and those involved in the hostage crisis are dead or dying. The question becomes, can Keelyn figure out how Lucent became real before she gets killed herself?
As with all medical thrillers—there is a medical mystery at Poison’s center. Can someone be brainwashed? Does hypnosis facilitate brainwashing? All that with a mysterious toxin mixed in. 

Was there a specific ‘what if” moment to spark this story?

The toxin portion of Poison was inspired by an actual patient experience. I had never seen anything like the way this patient presented and the great part is his illness could mimic several other disease processes which is always good for suspense—to go down roads that aren’t the right answer first.

Why medical thrillers?

I love the medical thriller genre. One, it lends to what I know and do. I’m still nursing in the ER so writing is a good outlet for those emotions that come from my work. Two, medical thrillers are a good avenue for examining ethical dilemmas. If you look at some of the well-known medical thriller authors like Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Michael Crichton and Harry Kraus to name a few—at the heart of the book is an ethical dilemma. In Crichton’s Jurassic Park—is genetic engineering wise? Cook’s Acceptable Risk—was a toxin responsible for the behavior of those accused of being witches during the Salem Witch Trials? Kraus’s Stainless Steal Hearts—is experimenting on aborted fetuses ethical?

Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?

I would love to have a cozy attic nook—that’s for sure. I have a home office. It’s in the middle of construction and I can’t wait until it’s done because it will have lots and lots of bookshelves and aren’t all authors book fanatics at heart?

Are you a plotter, SOTP writer or somewhere in between?

I am in between. I do find it helpful to know the climactic points of the story but everything else in between I want the story to take me where it will. Though I am loath to admit it, I do see the value in writing a good plot synopsis because it covers the major points of the story but leaves room for the little surprises along the way.

What’s your process for writing a book?

For me, the plot is paramount so I begin with tons of research. It could probably be said that I’m a research hound and use my books as an outlet for all the fun stuff I learn. After that (honestly, the research probably never stops for me until the book is published) I develop a plot synopsis and get to work on the first draft.

Do you ever bang your head against the wall with writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

Writer’s block for me usually signals that I don’t have a good direction for the story. That either means more research, more plotting or just time away from the manuscript. Hopefully I haven’t eaten a bagful of chocolate in the process.

Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What’s the most difficult part of writing for you?

The first draft is the hardest part of the writing process for me. Everything depends on getting that finished. You can’t edit an empty page. I do also want to say that I think there is a dark moment during the writing of every manuscript where the writer feels like what they’ve written is just trash. Many authors I’ve talked to have expressed this. I’ve learned to recognize this for what it is—part of the writing journey. Often times when you come back to a manuscript, it isn’t as awful as you might have first imagined it to be.

How do you balance your writing time with family and any other work you do.

It is hard and I have to admit I haven’t found a great balance yet. I operate on a schedule and set goals for the things I need to accomplish. This helps me to stay on task. I’m not good at taking breaks. Here it is a Sunday and I’m writing this post. I’m hoping to get to a place where I do truly “rest” one day of the week.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?

In order to make a living at writing, you have to treat it like you would any other job. You’re going to have to write when uninspired, when you’re not feeling, and even when life is falling apart. The BIC technique works (Buttocks in Chair!)

Thanks for stopping by today, Jordyn! 


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