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Interview with Jordyn Redwood

Jordyn Redwood is a woman of many talents! Not only is she an ER nurse and mother, but she is also celebrating the release of her latest novel, Poison, the second in The Bloodline Trilogy. She has combined her love of fiction and medicine not only for her own writing, but also to help other authors who have medical-related questions.

I read on your blog that initially your one-book contract turned into a trilogy. You had said it took you years to write your first book but the second was expected within 9 months! What did you do to adapt your process of writing from years to months?

I’m an organized person so I split that big elephant up (a 90,000 word novel) into smaller chunks and set weekly and monthly target word goals. I think it’s also important to add cushion into months you know are busy. For me, summer is a difficult time to write because my children are home from school so I plan fewer words for those months. Also, I try to have it done several weeks early so I have some leeway for those unexpected events that arise.

What was the hardest thing about being on a deadline? Any helpful suggestions to those of us facing deadlines, too?
Know you have to write some every day. Know you’ll have to write when you don’t feel well. Know you have to write when you don’t necessarily feel inspired. Writing should be treated like any other “job”. Sometime you have to show up and do the work when you don’t feel like it. Truly, it’s the only way to finish a novel.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Finishing my novel because otherwise I don’t think the publishing journey would have started. If you’re unpublished in fiction, you have to have a finished product before you’ll likely garner an agent and definitely before you’ll get published. Non-fiction might be a little bit different. The issue for a publisher is that many people can write an amazing first few chapters. It’s an entirely different thing to write a whole novel so they want to make sure you can actually do it before putting money on the table.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities like your career as a nurse?
I have to be very organized and set goals. I work two twelve-hour shifts a week so those days I can’t write. I’m trying to get to a point where I actually do a day of “rest”. So I look at my available days and what I need to accomplish and set daily goals. It’s the only way I can stay on task and get projects done.

You also write a blog called Redwood’s Medical Edge. Can you tell us a little bit about it and the inspiration behind it?
Redwood’s Medical Edge is a blog devoted to helping authors write medically accurate fiction. I blog on medical topics and answer writing related medical questions.

When I first thought about blogging, I struggled with what I could contribute. There were lots of people blogging about writing and Christianity and doing it really well. I didn’t feel like I had anything unique to offer in those areas. What I found myself doing naturally was answering medical questions for other authors. I also love doing research so these things became the inspiration for the blog.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
Good question. I always want to write a better novel than the last one so I strive to learn and grow in the areas that I’m weak in. I read a lot of non-fiction to get inspiration for my novels. I feel like the more true to life something is—the scarier it is.

How do your faith and spiritual life affect your storytelling?
I think if you claim Christ as Savior—then the themes of Christianity naturally bleed into your novels because it is an inherent part of who you are. So the themes of grace, sacrificial love, forgiveness, good and evil are hard not to write about. The issue becomes having these themes stem naturally from the story. That’s the challenge.

In your blog you had also mentioned that you are a worrier – what do you do when worry threatens to set in?
This is a tough question for me because I will have to admit that I’ve not conquered worrying in my life. My husband is a true non-worrier and I just don’t get how he can live his life so carefree. Part of my worrying comes from my being an ER nurse where I always have to assume the worst-case scenario. The trouble is not doing that in my personal life. I usually tackle problems by reading and research and I’ve got a couple of books on this topic. I just worry about finding the time to read them.

On your website you say you enjoy reading your “favorite authors”. Care to share a few? Why are they your favorites?
Absolutely. Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Karin Slaughter, Robert Liparulo and Ted Dekker.

All of these authors are amazing suspense writers in their concepts, plotting and pacing. Not only do I enjoy their stories but I love learning from their writing as well.

Any parting words?
Thanks so much for your great questions, Emilie. It’s been a true pleasure.

Thanks for sharing with us, Jordyn!

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