Thursday, March 20, 2008

Confessions of a Debut Crime Fiction Author

Working Stiffs welcomes guest blogger Jordan Dane, who has not ONE, but THREE books being released this year. The first, No One Heard Her Scream, is scheduled for release on March 25. The second, No One Left To Tell will be released in May, and the third, No One Lives Forever in June.


Confessions of a Debut Crime Author


by Jordan Dane

“Hi. My name is Jordan. And I’m a … ” I bite my lower lip and grimace, but push through the first step of my recovery program. “I’m a crime fiction author.”

Oh sure, some might think this isn’t a big thing to admit. Some may even envy my position, but I’m here to confess that as a crime fiction author, I’m not a well person. Bad men speak to me in my head—and I like it. I visualize a bloody crime scene and all I can think about is, “Does viscera have a ‘C’ in it?” When I say, “I’m cracking open a case” I’m not talking Heineken, people. And making a good impression in my world involves shoe prints or tire tracks. In short, what makes some people squeamish puts me on the fiction happy train.

That’s because crime fiction authors don’t think like normal people. We have a warped sense of reality and of what’s funny. If a man is killed from poisoned chickpeas, this is tragic certainly, but I’m thinking it’s a solid case of hummuscide. And I play deviant games of “what if” scenarios in my head, like what if tupperware could kill? What if coffee shops dispensed mind-altering lattes or espresso was discovered as the sole source of global warming?

Nothing is sacred, literally. I called my mother one day saying, “Yo Mom, I’m putting my Catholic upbringing to good use. I dumped the body in the church.” I waited for her reaction and only heard a deep sigh, a familiar sound by now.

On the less flippant side of the coin, I also try to capture what courage it takes to run toward a gun shot instead of racing away like a sane person. I have respect for those in law enforcement and hope that’s reflected in my writing. And real crime stories influence me. Author Lee Child said that it’s not about writing what you know but rather writing what you fear. So whenever I imagine the pain of losing a loved one to violence, it’s always a soul-searching experience.

I know by now you’re thinking I really love what I do. I’m conflicted, I suppose. Weighing the consequences of becoming a crime fiction author hasn’t been easy, but I’m optimistic I’ll eventually find the right balance in my life—or be forced to find a new set of friends.

So tell me, if you’re a writer, how has writing mysteries and crime fiction affected how you look at the world or how the world looks at you? And if you’re a reader of crime fiction, what draws you to this genre?



Avon/Harpercollins bought Jordan Dane’s debut suspense series in auction and is launching this trilogy in a back to back publishing event April through June 2008. “We are pursuing an aggressive release schedule,” says Avon publisher Liate Stehlik, “because we believe strongly in this author. Jordan Dane is poised to be the ‘next big thing’ in the romantic suspense genre.” Publishers Weekly called Dane’s NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM (Apr 2008) a “dynamite debut” and compared Dane’s intense pacing to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag—romantic suspense that “crosses over into plain thriller country”. NYT bestseller Allison Brennan recommends, “Read it in the daytime and have a tall glass of ice water handy.” For more, visit www.jordandane.com.

79 comments:

Lee Lofland said...

Believe it or not, I've found that it's much safer to write about this stuff than it is to actually live it.

JennieB said...

Hey, JD! Nice having you on the Stiffs!

I'm sort of a crime fiction writer, I guess, although my books fall more into the camp of series romance novels in which the romance gets interrupted by crime a lot, over the course of several books. Wasn't it Dorothy L. Sayers who plotted 'Busman's Honeymoon' along those lines? And my protagonist, by virtue of starring in a cozy mystery, has to be an amateur. So, for lack of a better word, does the murderer.

Anyway, I don't think writing crime/mysteries has changed me in any way. I think I started writing them because I'm wired that way. You know, the person who sees someone standing on the edge of the subway platform and thinks, "just one little push...!" The one who's always seeing potential for murder and mayhem in pretty much anything, including the trunk of a new car ("would the body fit?") or the security system at the jewelry store ("All I'd have to do is...")

I suppose I read mysteries to test my intelligence. Can I beat the house, pretty much? Can I figure out the answer/the murderer before the end of the book? Probably the same way I can't resist taking every IQ test that comes my way, just to prove to myself that I'm not stupid. It stems from crippling insecurity, probably. That and a definite larcenous bent... ;-)

kristine said...

Welcome, Jordan!

I'm amazed that you have three books coming out. How do you manage your time?

For me, it's not so much the writing of crime fiction but the research that has changed my outlook on life. It's a scary world out there! I much prefer to live within my fictional world than the real world sometimes.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Lee--Glad you could join us. And yes, writing about it is definitely safer than actually living it.

With your real life experiences, have you ever contemplated writing fiction? It seems like writing is in your blood, so to speak.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Jennie Girl--I saw you were on here. This is great to see a fellow ITW Debut Author here. And I can't wait to read your debut book.

Within crime fiction, there are all sorts of subgenres. Since I write a very cross genre story with elements I like in a novel--forensics, crime scenes, police procedurals, mystery, suspense, romance and some humor--I like to think there is room for all of us to develop a readership.

Writing has changed me in that I've become more of a listener and an observer. When I go to conferences and work on panels, this is hard to discern since my mouth takes over, but my preference is to listen and watch.

I don't think I could actually do the kind of work Lee has done, because crime scenes are much easier to write about than witness firsthand, but the puzzle of it would intrigue me. And I also think that since real crime tends to influence me, I like to shed light on some fairly graphic stuff, but do it from the perspective of giving a voice to the victim and to show the toll it takes on law enforcement.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Kristine--I've got a pretty hectic schedule. I had 2 of the 3 books written that sold in auction and that last book was partially done with a detailed synopsis that I used to sell it. But I knew that since it would take time to open a hole in their release schedule for 3 lead titles and their back to back releases, I'd have time on my hands. (It took almost 2 years to get a spot in Avon's line up.)

I sold another 3 books that I'm writing now. I've already submitted my 4th book and we've got a tentative release of Feb 2009 for that. And I'm working on #5 which is due at the end of Aug. This new series is called Sweet Justice and they are romantic thrillers.

Prior to selling, I was working my day job in the energy industry as a commodities trader with insane hours and travel. Something had to give. I had the finances in order so I quit my day job in May 2007 to write full time. Writing full time is not a decision to be made lightly and I have to stress I had been planning to retire early since the mid 90s. I felt like it was a leap of faith off a cliff, but I was prepared for it.

Jordan Dane said...

Joyce--Working with police every day, I'd love to know how their stories and their lives have influenced you.

The Lt. for my CPA class became a secondary character in NO ONE LIVES TO TELL and after his wife read the excerpt, she said I nailed him. He was full of colorful phrases and I used a few. But some of the more poignant experiences I had with that class were part of my arsenal too.

When I used to work on the trade floor and worked in the oil/gas fields doing well hook-ups in my early years, I ran across some characters. My red-neck bubba sociopath Matt Brogan in my debut book SCREAM will probably raise a few eyebrows from some of my former co-workers, but I swear none of them are in this book.

Seriously...

Annette said...

I don't think writing crime fiction has changed the way I look at life. Life has changed the way I write crime fiction, though. Last year my cousins were in a horrible car crash just days after I'd written a scene in which my protagonist's best friend had been in one. While it wasn't my FIRST thought, I do remember it occured to me early on that I had to re-write that scene because I didn't have nearly enough emotion in it.

Tory said...

Welcome, Jordan!

I think hanging out with crime writers allows me to express my "dark side" with others who also have one. The dark side was always there, but it's nice to be able to talk about it! Makes me feel less alone, you know.

Martha Reed said...

Jordan, hi. Congratulations on the triple play book release. I'm curious - do you books share the same sense of humor I read in your blog?

Joyce said...

Jordan, we are so glad to have you here!

Working for a PD, even though I'm not on the "front lines" has definitely changed the way I write and the way I look at things. I used to be more apt to give people the benefit of the doubt. There is so much that goes on that the general population of the township never hears about. And if my kids weren't already grown, there's no way I'd send them to any public school--they'd be home schooled.

Working there also enables me to add the little insider-type things to what the police do. One of the best compliments I ever got was from one of the patrolmen I work with. He read my first book (the one no one wants to buy--boo hoo) and told me I "nailed the attitudes." He also wanted to know why the detective always gets the girl and not a patrolman.

My husband only read the first chapter of that book. He quit as soon as he got to the description of the decomposed body. He thinks I'm sick, lol.

Jordan Dane said...

Good morning everyone!

And Annette--I think it's interesting that you say life has changed the way you write crime fiction. And rewriting that scene, giving it another layer of emotion took guts to lay it all out there.

I'm finding that writing the emotion to a particular scene can be very cathartic for me. And that by looking at the underlying themes that I tend to write about, I learn more about myself in a way I hadn't expected.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Tory-Yes, we authors do tend to find the dark side of life intriguing and can examine it in detail for our craft.

And no one, besides another author of crime fiction, understands our fascination. I find myself reading through the newspaper for plot ideas and I look at every little facet of the story for a detail that might spawn an idea. Kind of creepy, but when I find something that moves me enough to build a story on, I get really jazzed about it. LOL

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Congratulations on the triple release!

I know that since I've switched to the mystery genre, I'm certainly spending my days considering things I hadn't considered before - how bodies decompose, torque, whatever...

But it's all pretty fascinating stuff. Found this post through the crimescenewriters list.

Joyce said...

Jordan, I couldn't tell you how many news clippings I have stashed away! I have more ideas than I'll ever have time to write.

Jordan Dane said...

Good morning Martha--I've been told by my agent (who has a really funny dry wit herself) that my humor is usually there, but probably not as much as in the book I completed in Jan 08 that is due for release in Feb 09. My bounty hunter really got under my skin and surprised me with her humor--she pulled it out of me, especially when she is around this one kid, a computer genius.

Humor comes easy for me in real life. I have to hold back most times, because people aren't quite as sarcastic or may not GET me. But I'm finding a very subtle thread emerging in my writing and it usually comes through a character that I can identify with.

As in life, many people are funny and we all have a type of humor, but I'm getting to see that for me, less is more. So I love the one liners between two characters that have chemistry. And I also love giving humor to a bad guy at unexpected times. After all, he/she is the hero in their own story. Dark humor can be fun too.

I think that by writing dark suspense, I need the humor to balance my work and help make the characters more identifiable. And I need to cut loose myself, so I do this mainly on MySpace, my blog. When I get a wild hair, it's usually there that I cut loose and Myspacers get me.

Jordan Dane said...

Oh, Joyce. There is nothing like a good description to decomp. You can never have too many maggots.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Jen--Glad you could join us. And I love the crimescenewriters loop.

Research is the best. I had always heard writers do a lot of research, but I think if you have an inquisitive mind, you are drawn to it. I'm enthralled with the idea that with the written word, we can bring out such emotion and tap into the imagination of the reader. But in order to do that, we have to be willing to dig deep in our own emotions to lay it all out there AND get the descriptions right so the reader is not pulled out of the scene. Very cool.

And mystery elements take a subtle brand of storytelling. You have to have patience to do it.

Lee Lofland said...

Jordan - I have a novel that should be ready to shop in a couple of weeks. I also have a kid's book coming out in early 2009.

Jordan Dane said...

Ok Lee--Can you tell us what your novel is about? We all have to get good at pitching it, so I'd love to hear more about your book if you care to share. This is great.

And the kid's book surprises me, but I probably shouldn't be. I'm curious about the focus of that. You are such a versatile guy.

Lee Lofland said...

Joyce - You know that maggots are just eating machines, right? One end is a mouth and the other is a breathing tube. This design allows them to eat continuously without having to stop to take a breath. You know, like cops at a buffet.

Jordan Dane said...

That would come in handy at the Golden Corral...

Joyce said...

I've seen those people at the Golden Corral. Some of them remind me of maggots.

I have to say though that I much preferred my description of a suicide with a 12 gauge shotgun under the chin.

Joyce said...

And Lee? Don't think you can gross me out. Ain't gonna happen.

Jordan Dane said...

I've got my money on YOU, Joyce. You go, girl!!

Jordan Dane said...

Do any of you find that you hold back on graphic descriptions for the reader's sake?

I had to explore how far I could go for my debut book. Human trafficking is a rough subject and I went as far as I felt I could go, but I'm sure I will probably cross the line with some folks. Guess if they did get turned off--like my MOMMMMMM--they aren't my readers.

My mom told a bookseller where I'm going to have my launch in San Antonio that she wanted to duct tape pages together. LOL Coming from my mom, this is a compliment.

But I've taken her off my PR committee.

JennieB said...

Now, I have a decomposing body in my first book, too. But I put it in the pitch dark, so my protagonist never has to look at it. That way, I don't have to think too much about what it looks like, either. Let alone look at photos. All I have to do is use a few words like 'squishy'...

Jordan Dane said...

Oh Jen--If it's dark that can be even creepier. And the smell....

That would be like the old Halloween haunted house thing where they blindfold you and stick your hand in mushed grapes and tell you it's eyeballs.

In my 2nd book, I wrote a scene from the perspective of the man who is killed--his throat cut. I studied the autopsy reports for the OJ Simpson case, but I also tried to imagine something from my childhood when we lived in a remote area.

I took care of injured wild animals. I wondered if a man dying in this way would actually go into shock like a rabbit in the jaws of a dog. Does that rabbit really know what's happening to it?

Kind of creepy but it gave me an interesting way to write that scene. And since the body actually drowns in its own blood, I also researched the symptoms of drowning. All of that went into a few lines, but I really liked how it turned out. And I think it took the reader out of what could have been a passage too graphic to read.

JennieB said...

Thanks a lot. Those images will stay with me for a while...

Joyce said...

I try not to hold back. Even a graphic description in text is far from experiencing the real thing.

For example, we recently had a death where the guy's body was on the basement floor for over a month. I looked at the digital photos, which didn't look at that bad. The guy's skin had turned completely black and you could see fluids on the concrete floor. Now, I could write this and give some description of the odor, etc. (The detectives had to THROW THEIR CLOTHES AWAY) but it's not the same as living it. No matter how descriptive I get, it won't even come close.

Jordan Dane said...

Yeah, mushed grapes really get to me too.

Joyce said...

Jordan, you're sick. I really like that in a person.

Joyce said...

I have no trouble at all writing graphic murder scenes. The ones I have trouble with are the sex scenes. I wonder what that says about me!

Tina M. Russo said...

I am such a wimp. I could never write the dark side.

I spent a year as a criminal justice major (I wanted to be Ms. Serpico). I read every cop bio book out there. Then I joined the Army.

Major flaw in my strategy. Couldn't hit a target. Hated guns.
Able to break down an M-16 in record time and clean it but couldn't actually fire it.

I am happy to sit on the sidelines and read your books and others Ms. Dane. Counting down five days to holding your book in my hands.

I might write a book on 1001 uses for a broken down M-16 some day.

HA!!!

Jordan Dane said...

But I'm thinking some people start to skim at some point. Or in my mom's case, she breaks out the duct tape.

I think the mind fills in the gaps of the writing. All we have to do is trigger the images or the emotions and let the reader do the rest. I've been thinking a lot about this recently.

Talented author Robert Gregory Browne brought up a similar thought in a blog on his ning site. It made for an interesting discussion about scene writing that turned into how the reader actually interprets what they read.

Julie Kramer said...

Hello Jordan,

Congrats on your impending debut! The rest of the gang are watching and waiting.

With so many books finished, you must be a fast writer, with a feel for pacing. How much rewriting of your first draft do you do? Or do you rework along the way and when you're done, you're pretty much done?

Jordan Dane said...

I can not see you in the military, Tina--but my hat's off to you, girl.

BTW--I do have an advance copy of my book in my hands. Avon sent it this week.

And a funny thing, they put the dedication in a bad spot, rather than on a separate page. It said:

"To John--You are the Cornerstone to every hero I will ever write."

Then right under that, it says:

This is a work of fiction.

Reality bites

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Jules---GREAT to see you here. How is life in the great white north?

I edit along the way and usually don't go back over the end product, although I did do a quick read through on #4 to make sure I had certain transitions right. I am hardcore editor as I write though. I hammer thru it over and over so I probably do more along the way than most people who create various draft versions. I'm an impatient writer and when I'm done I get this melancholy/euphoria feeling but want to get into the next book process. Writing is an addiction that I'm happy to have.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Joyce--Writing the sex scenes hasn't been really natural for me either. I have to work at it.

I also try to write those scenes by avoiding the body part descriptions found in Hustler. Each word is carefully picked, more as a suggestion of what is going on.

And for every one of these scenes, I write more than just what is happening. I want there to be an emotional subcontext that gives the reader a deeper understanding of why this scene is important to the book.

Jordan Dane said...

You guys, Julie Kramer is one of my International Thriller Writer debut author buddies. She's got her first book coming out with Doubleday - Stalking Susan - release July 15th.

And when is that website going to be done, girl? I just went out there.

JennieB said...

Jordan,
if you edit heavily along the way, but don't do more than one draft, do you outline everything in detail before you start? I'm more of a pantser than a plotter myself. I edit as as I go along, and my first draft is usually pretty clean, but I have to go through the whole thing once or twice more to get, as you said, the transitions right, and make sure that everything makes sense and hangs together.

Jordan Dane said...

Jen--I'm a pantser too. I tried to storyboard recently, but that hasn't worked either.

I see my books in my head like movies and just write it. Ever since I learned that plots don't have to be linear, I've been a scene hopper for pace. It's great and you can hide plenty in POV for mystery lovers.

I used to do 3 chapters then write a synopsis of 5-7 pages for proposals, but now my publisher doesn't really need much for a book concept. So that's forced me to reevaluate my process. (I sold this last series on a cover letter, giving a vague notion of how the next 3 books would fit together, and a one page synopsis of book#4.) I wasn't sure that would be enough, but I guess it was. They really spoil me at Avon.

But I wish I could plot ahead of time. I really think I could write faster if I did.

Jordan Dane said...

You know, Jen--you're the only other writer I've chatted with who is a pantser and edits as thoroughly as I do as you go. We have a lot in common. Good to know. I'm so anal about edits too.

JennieB said...

Yeah, having a detailed outline before you start sure would make the writing easier. Then again, if you already know everything's that gonna happen, why write the book? There's no fun in that.

Jamie Livingston said...

Hey Jordan, I signed up with Harper Collins First Look, but didn't get in on your book. I've got it on my wish list at my local bookstore. I also write mysteries. I'm polishing a lighter romantic suspense, and working on a suspense thriller. With the thriller I have to put it away from time to time because it changes my mood. And I own a restaurant, so I can't be thinking the things I am and be nice to customers at the same time. lol
Hopefully I'll be doing the same as you, early retirement. Well, sort of. I own two businesses and then write in my downtime. By the way, my husband would love to talk to you if you were in the commodities business. He'd an AVID investor (hence, the chance at early retirement). I can't wait to read NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM.

Jordan Dane said...

I tend to agree with you that it would take out some fun for me too if I had an outline, but I am pretty flexible on taking my book in different directions if I find a fun new thread to follow or a character motivation that works better. I ditch the damned outline and go for it. LOL

I think that's why I've been fascinated with the 9-act structure for screen plays. I've got it on my website under my FOR WRITERS page. If I had the main acts down, it would be as close as I'd care to come to an outline. I'm determined to come up with a method that works for me, the impatient writer.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Jamie--

My commodities trading experience was geared for natural gas and other energy related products. And the trade floor is a fun place to be. The excitement of trading was fun for many years. You sit elbow to elbow with people and emotions can run high. I found it addictive,but after I was done trading, I had to have downtime. I used to serve on a not-for-profit board that helped bilingual kids integrate into English speaking schools and I scared those little ladies if I came in off a trading high. You talk about being assertive.

And whenever I would speak to my NY agent, she met her match on fast talking. LOL

Jordan Dane said...

Any of you going to Thrillerfest in NYC this year?

(I figured Jennie and Julie are going. It's going to be so nice to meet both of you there. With both of you part of ITW's debut author's program, it's going to be fun experiencing that whole conference together. Can't wait.)

JennieB said...

I'm not going to TF this year, sweetie. My book doesn't come out until November, so I'm missing the cutoff for the debut breakfast, and without that, it doesn't seem worth the trouble. I'll probably go next year instead, when my second book is due out in August. I'll see you at Bouchercon in Baltimore in October, though. Which reminds me, we have to get some panel ideas together...

Jordan Dane said...

Jen--I forgot about that date cut off thing, but it does make sense, from a business perspective that is.

Yeah, Baltimore will be fun. And I'd love to put a panel together with you. I've got to officially sign up for BCon though. More fun to look forward to.

JennieB said...

I try to keep a business perspective on everything, darlin'. ;-) It also serves the purpose of postponing what I'm sure will be a terrifying experience for another year. I'm a wallflower at heart - that's why I became a writer - and the idea of being surrounded by so many people is causing me to break out in a cold sweat. Really.

Jordan Dane said...

Then you need to hang with me and the other kiddies in the pool. Kelli Stanley, Laura Benedict, Bill Cameron & Simon Wood will keep you laughing and completely comfortable. We had a blast at BCon in Alaska. And surround yourself with talkers on a panel, but make sure you get a good shot at talking. I moderated one panel and warned Rhodi Hawk to jump in there. She was quieter than the rest of our panel, but when she opens her mouth, everyone listens. She is a gifted storyteller.

And I had the misfortune of following her 20 minutes segment with readers when she read excerpts from her southern gothic suspense book and played the banjo along with it (which is a part of the scene). Wow, she blew us all away.

So quieter is not always a wall flower. Just bring a banjo.

JennieB said...

I can do a lot of things, babe, but playing the banjo isn't one of them. And it's not the panels that worry me, anyway. I've been an actress, and a tour guide, and a teacher, so with a captive audience I do just fine. It's being surrounded by all those people who seem to know exactly what they're doing and where they're going and what they're going to do when they get there, that gets me. And I'm a bit of a control-freak - understatement of the year - so I worry about every little detail of everything anyway. But between us, I'm sure we'll muddle through.

Jordan Dane said...

Picture them naked...works for me

Jordan Dane said...

No one really knows what they're doing.

Only those who have the power to wield bullshit make it hard on the rest of us.

Joyce said...

I'm planning on Bouchercon, too. So is Annette--one of our other Working Stiffs. I can't wait!

I hoped I'd have a book deal by then but that's not likely since I'm looking for a new agent. Sigh.

Joyce said...

Jordan, I think I'm going to post your last comment right above my monitor!

I tried working with a detailed outline for the last book I wrote and ended up throwing it out halfway through the book. None of the characters wanted to do what they were supposed to do!

JennieB said...

Don't you hate when that happens, Joyce? ;-)

Jordan Dane said...

Once all my cast of characters left a house (where they were guests)in the middle of the night. And I actually yelled out, "What the hell are you guys doing to me? Now what the hell do I do?"

It was quite dramatic. A performance worthy of Susan Lucci.

Joyce said...

Sure do, Jennie. My characters are the ONLY people who don't listen to me.

JennieB said...

Nobody much listens to me, but sometimes I find that people, including my characters, know better than I do what they should or shouldn't be doing, and it can pay to listen to them. Probably I was the one who was wrong in trying to force them to do something they weren't comfortable with in the first place. And boy, do I sound insane...

Jordan Dane said...

Actually, sanity is a handicap here.

JennieB said...

We are a strange breed, aren't we? I think you have a record number of responses to a blog post, BTW.

Jordan Dane said...

I'm chatty. What can I say?

And I love this blog. Crime fiction folks are the best.

As I'm blogging here, I'm writing & editing. But have you read Lee Lofland's blog today? His stuff is always good.

Jordan Dane said...

The Graveyard Shift

http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/?p=329#comment-828

Joyce said...

My husband tells me I'm insane all the time. I think it's a term of endearment...

You've definitely set a record today, Jordan.

Joyce said...

Lee is definitely one of the good guys!

Jordan Dane said...

Yeah, I've known about Lee for a while, but I find myself gravitating to his posts since they focus on research and other interesting topics. And I love his sense of humor with the pics.

And yeah, sanity is waaaay overrated.

Lee Lofland said...

Jordan - I see we have some mutual friends - Bill Cameron and Kelli Stanley. I'll also be at Bouchercon, but I'll see Bill before then in Portland at the Willamette Writers Conference.

Jordan Dane said...

Now that I think about it, I think that is where I first heard your name is from Kelli. She thought you and I should meet and mentioned you to me. I think it was when we were wanting to do a panel at LCC and I had to back out to write. She is trying to kickstart a Roman Noir genre all my herself and I think, as good a writer as she is, that she might just do it. And I want to be first in line to read her book. She read an excerpt at the last BCon in Alaska and she had everyone spellbound. Great stuff!

And Bill is a hoot and such a talented author. His book LOST DOG was a really great read. A quirky story about a disorganized killer and his protag was a real anti-hero who is a kleptomaniac. A strange combo but it works. I told him that the subtle love story was very touching in it too. He's supposed to be a noir writer but I told him there is too much redemption in his work--and that's a good thing. His love story reminded of one of my fav author Dean Koontz and his Odd Thomas Stormy Lewellyn relationship.

I really am wishing nothing but good things for you, Lee, as you launch a new career into fiction. Writing is definitely in your blood and it shows.

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Joyce--Thanks so much for being such a gracious host and for having me play here with you guys today. I've got my email turned on for anyone posting later and I will check back if that happens. Thanks again. You guys know how to throw a party.

Joyce said...

We loved having you here today, Jordan. Don't be a stranger--come back often!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jordan, good to see you again, you busy woman, you...

And I can't wait to read these books because I think your style is probably Steel Magnolia kind of stuff, with real life crime thrown in for good measure.

Writing crime scenes and introspect about crime is never easy, I expect, because real people have to go through the tough scenes we hammer out on a keyboard every day.

And that's just not pretty, but I'd rather read a real book than something totally sugarcoated to lull my sense of disbelief.

Ruthy

Jordan Dane said...

Hey there Ruthy---That is so true. No sugar coating for me either.

I hadn't realized before a reviewer mentioned it that I give voice to the victims in my stories. After thinking on it, I guess that's why I pick certain crimes, to exorcise my own demons. And in order to shed light on the crime, you have to take the reader to the edge and allow them to look over. But I try to draw a certain line as to the graphic nature of my work.

And BTW--I like the Steel Magnolia's comparison. I tend to write my women characters with real backbone and a sense of humor with wisdom born from common sense.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Kelli Stanley said...

Well, NOW I find the party!! ;)

Anywhere JD happens to be is a good time ... just sorry I got here late and missed the juicy back and forths about maggots.

You know, they're considered an Aboriginal delicacy in Australia ... though when I was there, the only kind I ate were in a candy store.

I'm one of the lucky few to get an ARCof NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM, and I'm just hear to say ... DAMN, woman, you're a great writer!!! :)

You can write sex scenes that steam, crime scenes that chill, and San Antonio locations that make me want to tour the Alamo.

Only THREE MORE DAYS!!!

And the world gets to find out what your ITW buds know already ... you're THE BEST!! :)

Jordan Dane said...

LOL Kelli----You've eaten BUGS???

Don't get Lee started on maggots, please.

Can't wait for your book either, girlie. 2008 is gonna be a helluva year.

Joyce said...

Hey Kelli, make sure you come back. We party here all the time!

Jordan Dane said...

Hey Joyce---You really need to have Kelli Stanley guest blog. She is thoroughly entertaining, a real historical and trivia buff, plus she's a damned fine author. I seriously can't wait for her book to come out. Her debut blurbs are from some heavy hitters--and best of all--she's as sweet as they come.

Joyce said...

I'll do that! Kelli, watch for an email soon...