Sunday, June 17, 2012

Author Jordyn Redwood ~ Interview & Giveaway

Thank you ALL for coming by to meet and encourage Jordyn. And now, our random drawing winner for a signed copy of PROOF is: "inspiremichelle"

One of the best parts of my career as an ER nurse was the warm camaraderie that comes with being part of a team focused on a single goal: saving lives.
In my new journey as a Christian fiction author, I'm amazed to discover a similar sense of team and commitment among my fellow writers. Our goal: To bring readers stories that both entertain and inspire. 

Today I'm delighted to introduce a talented friend who is a part of both teams:

Nurse author JORDYN REDWOOD!

Jordyn and I met two years ago an ACFW conference. We ended up as seat mates on the flight home, and it was then that I first heard the intriguing concept for what would become Jordyn's first published novel, PROOF. 
It's been so great to follow her journey, and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to interview her here today. 

Here's a short bio:

Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. Her debut medical thriller, Proof, examines the real life possibility of DNA testing setting a guilty criminal free. It has been endorsed by the likes of Lynette Eason, Dr. Harry Kraus, and Rick Acker to name a few. Jordyn loves to hear from readers via e-mail at 

And here is a brief description of her newly released medical thriller:

When Dr. Lilly Reeves is raped, she's determined to punish her assailant. A unique tattoo and unusually colored eyes make identification easy. But when Lilly finds him, DNA testing clears him. What good is her Proof of guilt if science says he's innocent?

And now, let's learn more about my newest medical fiction team mate:

Welcome, Jordyn! 

As a debut author, what has surprised you most about the process of publication—meaning the working journey between the exciting moment of signing a contract and the actual release of your first book? What one thing proved surprisingly easy? Unexpectedly difficult?

Candace, thank you so much for hosting me. You’re a great friend, talented author and wonderful mentor and it’s an honor for me to be here.

I’m beginning to think that the process of publication is a lot like working in the ER. There are months that go by where you may not have much contact with the publisher and then, all of a sudden, it is a flurry of activity. We need this novel edited this month! Reminds me of times at work where we’ll be sitting at the desk with an empty department and bursting our seams in the next 30 minutes.
Of course, as a pre-published author, I heard horror story after story about what little marketing your publishing house would do and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised at how much my publisher is doing. I’m very thankful for Kregel’s efforts in marketing this book and Cat Hoort is a pleasure to work with.
Unexpectedly difficult? How much work the life of a published author really is and how little I’m actually writing on my latest novel. The majority of my time right now is marketing efforts and editing my second novel before the first is even on the shelf. Also, the learning curve of social media. 

 Would you say your background in critical care nursing prepared you in any way for these new demands of your publishing career? How so?

 Yes, definitely. Critical care nursing is all about preparing for the worst case scenario. Worst case scenario in writing for me was marketing a debut novel, editing my second novel and writing my third novel at the same time.
Well, that’s exactly what I got notice of on May 3rd. Now, in preparation for my worst case scenario, I already have 1/3 of my latest manuscript complete (not due to the publisher until January 15th), my blog has posts written into late June (I blog three times/wk so it’s quite a few posts) and I’d at least started on my marketing commitments. Even though I wasn’t happy this happened, I at least anticipated it was likely to occur so I was somewhat mentally prepared. That’s why medical people rehearse emergencies—to mentally prepare as well.  

 I love this exuberant statement on your blog:  “If anyone ever says I write like Dean Koontz, I will drop tackle them and smother them with kisses . . .” Let’s imagine this: 
You’re sitting in a Southern California restaurant across from Mr. Koontz, this favorite author whose work the New York Times has called “psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.”  He’s graciously offered to let you pick his brain. It’s a rare chance to harvest something from his writing process and years of experience that could enrich your work. You are allowed 3 questions—what are they?

 Oh my, Candace! You literally gave me heart palpitations even thinking about this possibility. 
After I recover my ability to speak from just being in the presence of sheer author awesomeness and have him sign every copy of his books that I own I think I would ask these questions.
1. Are you a Christian? I’ve been curious about this for years as a Dean Koontz novel truly highlights the battle between good and evil and at times, I feel his voice coming through and think, “Only a Christian would say it quite this way.”
2. Do you have any special techniques for writing prose? This is one of the things I love most about Dean Koontz is that his use of description is so elegant and not boring. This is one area I struggle with in my own craft is writing beautiful prose that elevates the story and isn’t just a means of pointing the reader in the right direction. Here’s one example of his from The Moonlit Mind. “His breath plumes from him as if he’s exhaling ghosts.” I just love that.
3. How is it you write suspense so well? Reading a Koontz novel can feel like you’re watching a thriller movie. You want to peek through a very small slit of the fingers that are clasped over your eyelids. That’s what I strive for—that feeling for the reader.
And then I would beg him to write another book about the writing craft. Dean, really, for me?
Bestselling author Dean Koontz
Your medical thriller, Proof, offers many elements: medical detail, mystery, faith, action, and a thread of romance. Assuming that medical elements are second nature for a critical care nurse, will you tell us which of these other elements came most easily? Which proved more difficult?

Dialogue comes most easy for me. I will generally start a chapter by setting the scene and then write the dialogue that happens between the characters next with few tags and other description. During editing, I’ll add in the other layers.
In Proof, the middle proved difficult. I knew what I wanted to write in the first part of the novel, the middle climax and the end but I needed a creative way to move Lilly along this path of the last third of the book in a way that was still interesting for the reader. 

When reading Proof, I was struck again and again by the thought that this story would make for an incredible movie or TV feature.  Your scenes seem almost cinematographic.  Does it feel that way to you as you write? Would you like to see Proof in film format? Which actress should be cast as Dr. Lilly Reeves?

Thank you, Candace. That’s a really great compliment. As an author, you are nearly beat to death with the phrase, “Show. Don’t tell.” As an early writer, I really struggled with what that meant and the best way another writer explained it to me was to write the scene like you’re watching it as a movie. So I think your observation is accurate as this is one way I get through those areas of description that are much harder for me.
Of course, I would love Proof to be a movie. Lifetime Channel—can you hear me? Dr. Lilly Reeves should be played by Angelina Jolie though I think she might be too expensive for me to hire at this point in her career.  {Proof Character Spotlight with "celebrity picks" here}
Angelina Jolie
You juggle a demanding career and family responsibilities as well as offering Redwood’s Medical Edge, a remarkable blog that helps writers “get it right” when penning medical scenes.  All that AND you’re currently contracted for three books in the Bloodline trilogy! How do you carve out your writing time? Can you tell us about that process?

The only way I can manage all of my responsibilities is to make writing goals. Split that big elephant up into tiny, bite-size pieces. I look at the deadline, what I need to do to accomplish it, and write daily/weekly/monthly goals to help me get there. Also, I add in a buffer so if a crisis hits, I can stay on track. 

If a CSI team examined your writing area, what crumbs, spills or interesting “evidence” might they find to connect that space to author Jordyn Redwood?

Piles and piles of books. I’m a research nut so I always have a few interesting books around. Right now, I can see The Science of Evil and SAS Survival Guide to name a few. My favorite Dean Koontz novels are here too and I’ll pick those up when I’m stuck and read a few passages. Life Expectancy is my favorite. Chocolate is readily available for a crisis though I try not to eat it (and rarely succeed). Gum to keep me from eating the chocolate. Something to drink—not a coffee drinker but am a big tea fan. Though I do put the flavored coffee creamers in my tea.

With your busy schedule in mind, what do you like to do for much-needed R&R?

I love going to movies. I’m also a quilter and cross-stitcher and this is what I like to do in the evenings to unwind. 

What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on book #3 of the Bloodline Trilogy currently titled Peril and am editing book #2 entitled Poison that is set to release February 2013.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My medical blog designed to help authors write medically accurate fiction can be found at and my website with book news and events at Free chapters of Proof are on my website!

Candace, thanks again for hosting me. It’s been a pleasure visiting you and your fans. 


Jordyn, it is our delight--thank you for being here.  And for offering folks a chance at a signed copy of PROOF!

For a chance at the giveaway, please leave a comment below. Be sure to add your
 e-mail address in this format: candace(at)candacecalvert(dot)com

I'll do a random drawing on Saturday June 23rd. I'll post the winner's name here and send an e-mail notification as well.

Best of luck to all, and thank you for "scrubbing in" with our exciting and hopeful medical fiction!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tell Us About That Tee Shirt . . .

As you may know, I’ve been doing a continuing feature on my Facebook Author Page called
“Getting to Know YOU” in which an author turns the tables to interview her readers. Such fun!  I’ve been working from a (pick and choose) list of questions designed to learn about my readers, especially their reading habits. One of those questions was simply, “Have you ever stayed up past 2 AM reading?”
Here’s where we stand so far on the answer to that question:

Wilma:  NO
Rick : YES
Suzanne:  YES
Nicole :  YES (preceded by “of course!”)
Ann : YES
Clari: YES

While we still have more reader features pending, you can see the evolving trend here . . .
SO, I was particularly tickled when I saw this book lovers’ Tee Shirt on the CafĂ© Press website:

I thought it was SO great, and when I posted a photo of it on my FB page, there was hearty agreement along with a chorus of “I want one!”  squeals.   And, because I love to reward my readers, I thought it would make for a fun GIVEAWAY.  So . . .

I bought the shirt

In size Extra Large

Hopefully it can easily adjust to size, gender . . . or even become a night shirt for those of you who admit to staying up past 2 AM reading!

Because Tee Shirts are a common experience, I thought  I’d ask giveaway entrants to leave a comment telling us something personal about a tee shirt : your old favorite, the one you saw and wished you’d bought, that one you had made at the fair, that ratty one of your husband’s you’d like to sneak into the trash . . . oops, did I say that?  (wink)

To start off, I’ll tell you about MY favorite tee shirt:

It was an old M.A.SH. 4077  three-quarter sleeve, army green and tan shirt with a red cross and lettering (she says with a sigh and misty eyes) that I wore completely out many years back when I was a serious runner. LOVED everything about that shirt, the colors, the cotton, and the way it made an “I’m a trauma nurse” statement even in my off duty hours!

Okay, YOUR TURN:  Leave a comment below about a tee shirt you have, did have,  or wish you could toss out.  And leave an e-mail address so that I can contact you if your name is drawn for the giveaway.

I’ll draw a winning name on Saturday, June 9th.  

Note: I am also posting this giveaway note on my FB author page. You made enter at either site, but not more than once, please.

Good luck to you all!