Monday, May 12, 2014

Feature: Jordan Acker, author of The Shadows

Author Interview

What inspired you to write this book?

I had all of these characters stored up in my mind for years, and one day I just said to myself, “I better write all of this down, so that I don’t forget any of it.” Once I started I just had to prove to myself that I could finish.


Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?

 There is a lot of hidden symbolism in the story. I think The Shadows will be great for the readers who enjoy analyzing a plot on multiple levels.


How did you choose your title?

The title was something I struggled with during the entire writing process. I did not come up with The Shadows until after I finished the first draft. It was something that just came to me one day and seemed to fit perfectly with the story.


Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.

The cover was something I envisioned when I neared the end of the writing process. I knew that I wanted the protagonist of the story, Jay Alaker, to be looking out into darkness. An amplified version of the cover is something I will eventually be releasing. I am pleased with the cover currently, but I’ve recently started working with an artist, Kyle Mjoen, whose style fits The Shadows perfectly.


Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?

I published the book through an online company called Outskirts Press. Outskirts Press provided me with a way to utilize the resources I would need, but allowed me to keep the rights to my work at the same time. I was very pleased with my publishing experience through Outskirts.


What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

There has to be suspense. People like not knowing what’s going to happen next, and I’m no exception to this. I can’t stand a predictable storyline. As I was writing this book, creating a plot that keeps the reader guessing was one of my primary goals.


What is your writing process?

I always outline something before I actually write it. This way I know the characters and the setting before I write it into the story. I’ve found that this helps me significantly with the quality of my work.


How long have you been writing?

The Shadows is my first book. I started writing it in 2010 and finished it in 2013.


How did you get started writing?

Like I mentioned before, I just made the decision one day to write a book.


Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a plotter through and through. Everything in The Shadows was written methodically.


What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

Definitely Starting. Once I’ve actually started writing it’s easier for me to just keep going, but I’ve gone months without writing because I struggle with beginning every time.


What tips can you give on how to get through writers block?

When it comes to writers block, just keep writing, even if you think your work is awful. It’s probably not as bad as you think it is, and if it is, you can always go back and change it later.


What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?

I listen to a lot of 70’s and 80’s music.


Who is your favorite author?

Either C.S. Lewis or Philip K. Dick


Who is your favorite character from a book?

Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby


What is your favorite book?

 Watchers by Dean Koontz or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.


Read anything good lately?

Unfortunately I have been so wrapped up in my own work lately that I have not had the pleasure of reading much else.


What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I work fulltime at a bank, so that takes up a huge chunk of my time. If I’m not using my free time for writing, I’m working out, drinking coffee, spending time with friends, driving around aimlessly, watching movies, or sleeping.


What advice would you give an author just starting out?

The best piece of advice I can give to any aspiring author is to stay single. I probably would have finished The Shadows much faster if I had been single throughout the whole process.


Have you had anything else published?

Not yet.


What's your next project?

My next project is the sequel to The Shadows. I am in the process of writing it currently, and hope to have it out sometime next year. The book will be titled The Secrets.



Character Art: The Shadows by Jordan Acker         
Character Art: The Shadows by Jordan Acker

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