Guest Author: Jordanna East

My guest today is Jordanna East, author of the psychological thriller series Blood for Blood. The prelude novella, Blood in the Past, will be released on June 19th! Her editing tips are spot-on, and she also has a great, and unique, tip about how to make the most of your research.

Please join me in welcoming Jordanna to the Guest Author Program!

If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.

Jordanna Logo Final

Jordanna East

  1. Tell us your name, and a link to where we can find you (blog, Facebook, etc).Hello! I’m Jordanna East today is all about me. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads as JordannaEast (easy enough, right?) and my blog is http://jordannaeast.com/ (also pretty easy).
  2. How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).I’m in the beginning stages of my Blood for Blood Series, a trilogy of Psychological Blood in the Past 2Thrillers. The prelude novella, Blood in the Past, will be released (in ebook form only) on June 19th. It follows the lives of three people, entertwined by three deaths, and the consequences that follow. The first full-length novel in the series, Blood in the Paint, is already written and I’m anticipating a Winter 2013 release. The same three characters’ lives are chronicled, but now they combine to make one story: the serial killer, the cop who’s after her, and their psychologist. I enjoy writing these characters because the protagonist/antagonist is different for each reader. They’re each sympathetic in their own way.
  3. Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.In between working on the Blood for Blood Series, I’m also drafting a serialized novel revolving around a fanatical spiritual cult plagued by power-hungry, abusive, and murderous members–and the young couple trying to escape. Its tentative title is The Word and the Way, and the first episode should be released toward the end of the year. It’s new for me because I’m kind of creating my own world with the cult and its beliefs and way of life, as opposed to focusing on real locations and lifestyles.
  4. What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?For Blood in the Past/Paint, I wrote by the seat of my pants. I started with one detailed character profile (in my head) and a general plot that developed as I wrote it. But that led to multiple dry spells in terms of writer’s block. So, with the serialized cult novel, I’ve typed out specific character profiles and I have 15 post-its-worth of an outline taped to the wall above my desk (and flapping from the ceiling fan).
  5. Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.Hmm, this is a tough one. I read a lot. So I just know what a story should sound like when it’s read. I make sure my sentences flow. I check each one separately then together within the paragraph. None, of my pronouns are vague, right? All of my verbs are strong, right? And of course I do a “search & destroy” for adverbs.
  6. Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?Most of my research has involved law enforcement, medico-legal procedures, and forensics. My best advice is to try to speak with someone within the field you’re researching. I use the Crime Scene Writers group on Yahoo. It’s easy to post a question and recieve responses right to your inbox. A few times I’ve even asked members to read through the scene I’m working on and point out anything that doesn’t make sense. If I would have relied completely on Google and Wikipedia, my scenes wouldn’t have rang true.
  7. If you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?At the time of my completing this interview, I’m unpublished. However, I have been working on my platform since January 2012 and I have been amassing emails of bloggers and websites (like this one) to contact for reviews and author spotlights. For example, my cover reveal was in mid-May and I appeared on almost a dozen sites to publicize that event.
  8. What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?I write Psychological Thrillers. I have to do a lot of research, which I mentioned earlier. But probably the most difficult thing is putting sympathetic characters in traumatizing situations, killing their loved ones, making them want to off themselves, too. But a lot of it is relatable, so I think it’s necessary and worth it.
  9. What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?Three things. 1. Start talking about your writing plans as soon as possible to everyone who will listen. People like becoming a fan of something or someone early on, getting in on the ground floor, so to speak. It makes them feel special. Take advantage of that by blogging, tweeting, posting to Facebook, etc. 2. Keep writing. Don’t write one book and pin all of your hopes and dreams to it. The more you have out, the more opportunities for people to learn about your work. 3. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR. Even if you have to save $5 a week the during the entire writing process until your WIP is ready for an editor. It’s necessary. No matter how good of a writer you think you are. The only exception to this is if you yourself are an editor. And even then…
  10. What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?I would like to have the first draft of the second full-length novel in the Blood for Blood Series completed and ready to be polished for a Summer 2014 release. I’d also like to have 2-3 episodes of my serialized project completed, with at least one episode released before the end of the year. I also hope to appear on at least 50 blogs and websites throughout the year to promote my work. In order to get all this done, I’ll have to do a lot more research in criminalistics and also…the Amish (my cult serial lives off the land).
  11. Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me in 1-2 paragraphs.

Ten Years Ago. Jillian Atford falls for an older man, a handsome Philadelphia cop, whose mystery is that he’s married, a reality Jillian refuses to accept. Lyla Kyle finds her mother dead on the floor from an apparent suicide. She blames her philandering father and wastes no time taking her revenge. Detective Jason Brighthouse Sr is in the wrong place at the right time to attempt to save a colleague from his burning home. When neither of them make it out alive, his teenage son can only harp on their last argument. He shoots himself in the head…with his father’s gun. Three lives. Three deaths. One story. To understand the future, you must visit the past. The Blood in the Past.

 

  1. Finally, is there anything else you would like your readers to know?Writing is HARD. Whether you self-publish or go the traditional route, each path comes with its own trials and tribulations. Make sure you’re up for it. There’s no crying in publishing. (Tom Hanks said baseball, but what does he know?)

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