BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

NORA INTERVIEWS JAMES DAVID JORDAN




Some writers plot out what they are going to write step by step and others say they write by the seat-of-their pants; which style of writing best describes the way you write?

I fall somewhere between those extremes. I generally decide what I want my spiritual theme to be, and then put together a one page outline of the essential story before I begin to write. From there I just put the characters in scenes and see where they take me.

What inspires you to write? What inspires you while you are writing?

The big questions in life are spiritual ones. Consequently, those are the issues I’m interested in writing about. I enjoy the craft of writing: finding just the right word; turning just the right phrase. That’s the enjoyable part for me.


Can you tell me of two "Wow" moments you have had on your journey to being published and now afterwards? What made it a "Wow" moment for you?

My first novel, Something That Lasts, was initially self-published. Crossings Book Club picked it up as one of its featured books for the summer of 2006. That was my big break and my first wow moment. It was only the second self-published novel that Crossings had ever offered to its members. After that, Something That Lasts got picked up and re-issued by Integrity Publishing (now part of Thomas Nelson), which was my second wow moment.

What part of "Forsaken" came first for you – Plot, Characters, setting, subject matter? How did this story come together? Please explain?

The dilemma – having to choose between my faith and my child – came first. After that came the Taylor Pasbury character. The book is really about Taylor and her spiritual struggle. I just wrapped her struggle in an action-packed story. My goal as an author is to raise spiritual issues in the context of stories that are so exciting that readers who would not ordinarily be interested in Christian fiction will pick up my books.

What do you enjoy most about the writing process? What you enjoy least? Why?

That’s easy. I like rewriting much better than writing. To me, getting the first draft down is drudgery. After that, the fun begins as I work it over and make it good. I sometimes rewrite a single sentence ten times in an effort to get it just right.

How hard is it for you to come up with names for your characters? Please describe how you go about deciding on the final names for your characters?


I try to give meaning to most (but not all) of my characters’ names. For example, in Forsaken, Simon Mason has many parallels to the Apostle Peter. Consequently the name Simon (Peter) and Mason (which hints at “The Rock.”) I hope readers will catch the suggestion in Taylor Pasbury’s name, also.


How was writing your second novel different than writing your first? What do you have in the works right now? Anything that you can tell us about?When do you expect your new project to be available for us to read?

I’m a much more efficient writer now, because I know what I’m doing. I have completed the sequel to Forsaken. Its working title is Double-Cross, and it will come out in October, 2009. It introduces as a character Taylor Pasbury’s long-lost mother, Hillary. The plot revolves around a suspicious suicide that entangles Taylor and her mother.

What was your favorite scent in "Forsaken"? Which one was the most fun to write? Which scene was the most difficult or not fun to write?

The campfire scene in the beginning of Forsaken is my favorite scene out of everything I’ve ever written. I like to write about parents’ and children’s love for each other, and I like to write action scenes. The campfire scene has both.

Could you share some of your testimony with us?

I love God, and I believe that Jesus is the savior of the world. I’m an imperfect man, and I write about imperfect characters who need and receive God’s grace, just like me. That is my ministry. The more exciting my stories, the more people I’ll reach. So I try, first of all, to make my stories entertaining and page-turning.

Is there something that you do every time you being a project that really helps you get started? Is there a ritual - habit or time of day that helps you?


I always ask God to give me the ideas and the words to tell a story that will glorify him. That’s how I begin.

TOP FUN QUESTIONS YOU WANTED TO ASK JAMES BUT WERE AFRAID TO SO I DID!

1.Out of all the high tech gadgets out today; Please name (3) that have really impacted your life and why? Please explain.

1. Computer – I can’t imagine how long it would take to research for a book without it.

2. Blackberry – I travel quite a bit on business and I need to stay in touch.

3. Cell phone – same thing.

2.Given our current gas situation and the fact that we are getting less mileage for our dollar – what alternative resource would you rather use in the future? Lets Dream here! Several authors have been creative here some said they would use the "Beam Machine" in Star Trek, the hovercraft from Star Wars or sit on the shoulders of "Trees" like the hobbits in Lord of the Rings. What type of future travel would you like to see and would like to use?

I’m not an environmentalist, but I will happily switch to a hybrid or electric car once they get them to the point where they make sense economically. On a more theoretical level, I’ve always been intrigued by the law of physics that says nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. That’s difficult for me to believe. How about the speed of thought? If we can think it, isn’t there some way to get there (physically, that is) with our thoughts?

3. If you had the opportunity to travel to outer space, where would you go? And why? If not, where would you really like to travel – given you have the time and the money?

I’m not very interested in traveling in space. I am interested in traveling to places that were integral to the development of Western Civilization.

4.If you could be a superhero to be for a day, who would you pick and why? (you could mix and match if you wanted – be creative you're the author! Ha!)

Superman has it too easy. I’ve got to go with Spiderman or Batman. They have to use their heads.

5.If you had to pick a "Reality" TV show to be on, which one would it be and why?

Survivor. I always joke with my wife that I would try to get everyone organized and build a civilization, rather than just trying to stay alive. She thinks that’s nerdy.

6.If you found a magic lamp and the genie inside granted you three wishes? What would those wishes be?

1.The Texas Rangers win the World Series.
2.The Texas Rangers win the World Series.
3.The Texas Rangers win the World Series.

(** One would think you really want them to win bad Jim!! Ha! Ha!)

7.When you sit down to watch TV can you find your remote control? How many do you have?


Who controls the remote once you find them to watch TV? Generally I have no problem finding it. My son and I totally control the remote. We have a primary channel (usually a baseball game or other sports contest) and a backup show that we flip to during commercials. Don’t worry, my wife and daughter have equal access. We’ve got more than one television.

8. If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money); to do anything you wanted, what would you do?

First option: I would write full time.
Second option: I would own a major league baseball team.
Best option of all: I would do both.


9. What is the neatest place you have ever visited so far and why? What made it so neat, special, memorable to you?

Disneyworld. We had such a blast with the kids.

10. If had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world/ what 2 people would you pick and why? What would you do? Talk about?


Jesus: Because I could learn the secret. Winston Churchill: Because his backbone saved the free world.

Jim thanks so much for letting us get know you and the behind the scenes of your books and what we can look forward to next from you. It's been a delight.

Are the any last comments you would like to leave my readers with?

Nora: My goal is to write page-turning stories that also challenge my readers to think about specific issues of faith. My first book, Something That Lasts, focused on the subject of forgiveness in the context of a minister's family torn apart by a scandalous affair and suicide. My second book, Forsaken, focuses on the subject of sacrifice -- why we humans are willing to sacrifice for one another and how that helps us understand the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Forsaken revolves around a choice that a father must make -- whether to sacrifice for God, or sacrifice for his daughter. Both books are entertaining stories, so the faith message blends into the story rather than overwhelming it.

My books are about imperfect people who struggle with faith. There are no religious superheroes here. That's why I think the books are, first, great reads, and second, thought stimulating.

I hope your bloggers and club members enjoy them.
Jim

Jim, I totally enjoyed Forsaken. Now that I have gotten to know you better becaused you shared your heart with us, I'm definately going to pick your other books up.

We'll have to do this again when you next book comes out Jim. Remember if you are ever in the Atlanta area don't forget to stop by.

Blessings in your writing journey Jim. Until next time!

Nora :)

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