Monday, August 09, 2010

Guest Blogger: Autumn Jordon

I'm pleased to welcome another of my Ruby Slippered Sisters today. Author Autumn Jordon has been a delight to get to know, and her first book, Evil's Witness, released in June of this year. Join me in welcoming her to the Playground (although we may have to sit under the pavilion because it is too hot to play out in the sun!).


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What would you do if someone told you your story line didn’t work? None of the elements worked? It in fact, the plot sucked? Would you give up writing the story, because after all, time is precious and you have so little now and you can’t afford to waste it? Or would you give up writing?

This actually happened to me. I was told by someone in my early writing days that my idea would never sale. I was told this by someone whom I admired. The words hurt and I never forgot them even though I did forgive the person for being so harsh.

I also let the story go for a number of years until I met another author at a conference who I hadn’t spoken to in a while. She was signing her books and doing very well. (Back-story: Muliti-pubbed author also had critiqued the first three chapters of that same book years ago. We were both pre-pubbed at the time) After our initial greeting and hugs, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Did you ever finish that book?” When I hung my head and said, “No.”, she asked, “Why not? I loved that story. I still remember the scene….”

I can’t tell you the feeling of JOY which welled up in me as I listened to her enthusiasm for my story. I hugged Multi-pubbed author again. Wow! YEARS later, she still remembered my story. That is the goal of every writer, at least of those I know. God, I love her.

After the conference, I found the file on a floppy disc and unfortunately was able to retrieve it. I worked on the story with the enthusiasm of a new writer. The ideas flowed. The characters once again came to life and I was so happy.

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The moral, don’t ever let any ONE person stop you from writing the book of your heart. Passions for books are so subjective. There are books on the NY Times list that I wonder how they got there. I’ve tossed books aside because they were a waste of my time and money, and there are those I’ve read released from small publishers that have touched my heart and will remain on my keeper shelf.

I finished my story. Its first pages went on to final in the Golden Acorn contest. It won the NJ Single title PUT YOUR HEART IN A BOOK contest, it was a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist and Evil’s Witness sold to that same year to the Wild Rose Press. Since its release on June 18 it has received two great reviews from review sites and great comments from readers on B&N.com and Amazon. Com.

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Don’t’ you ever let anyone take your dreams from you. I will find you if you do.

BIO: Autumn Jordon, a quiet nut with a reputation for finding trouble, lives with her husband who supplies her with support and tons of laughs along the Appalachian Trail in northeast Pennsylvania. Crafting stories has always been part of her life. While in fourth grade, her first novel, A Night To Remember, sold three copies: to her best friend, teacher and mother. When not writing or blogging she enjoys her family which includes a Yorkshire Terrier and an Irish Setter, her friends, great books, gardening, walking the trails and traveling with her dear hubby . Her favorite destinations, so far, farther from home are Vermont and Arizona. Visit her at http://www.autumnjordon.com/


Thanks for joining us today, Autumn!

So let's discuss dreams today--what dreams have you pursued throughout your life? Have you given up on some, discovered new ones, or followed one in particular with the determination of the tortoise (slow but steady)?

Angel

19 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

I *love* your story Autumn and how you never gave up. I'd like to wring that first author's neck and give Multi-pubbed author a big hug for giving you back the dream and encouraging you to go for it.

I'm not sure I had any big dreams before writing and I really sort of stumbled into writing. I wish I could say I'd stuck to it with dogged determination but I've waffled all over the place. The request I got from an editor in Orlando is going to change that though.

Welcome to the Playground and congrats on your releases -- and for proving that first person wrong!

Cheryl said...

The one I get is that you are wasting your education... I'd like to tell these people that being a writer is harder than most things (except maybe brain surgery). I usually laugh it off and pray I will some day get published so I can rub their noses in it.

Congratulations on your releases! Such a wonder reaffirmation of your talent!

Cheryl said...

Blog monster -

Such a wonderful reaffirmation of your talent!!!!!

rita said...

When I look back on my life I realize I made my dreams come true. I simply didn't give up until I got what I wanted.
AJ getting her writing dreams stomped is something that happens to new authors. I was told my kick a** heroine was great -could I make her more lady like. The plot was too simple. The plot was too complicated. Too much sex, not enough sex. The middle was great the middle moved too slow. Ugg! I quit writing for a couple of months because of so much conflicting information. Double ugg! It did teach me a lot about who to listen to. That MS took me to the GH and beyond. Keep learning your craft and keep writing is all I can say. The publishing world is crazy right now. If they don't like your story this week try 'em again next week. If things don't go your way, change you way, just don't lose sight of the dream.

Autumn Jordon said...

LOL, PG Monitor. I know I felt like you for a number of years, but life goes on and (SHRUG) I got one with mine. Proved her wrong too. HUGE GRIN

Good for you for pitching and getting the request. That is a huge step. The best advice I can give, is don't rush. Polish, Polish, Polish and when your think you're reday to sent, polish again. Good luck with that submission. Let me know how you make out.

Autumn Jordon said...

Oh, Cheryl, you are so right. Writing a okay story is hard. Writing a damn (Can I said damn here? SHRUG) good is harder and writing a great story is real brow sweating work. It takes a great deal of determination and education. It did for me. Study everyday. Read everday. Write everday.

Thank you for sharing.

Autumn Jordon said...

High-five, Rita. You nailed the advice. Never give up. Never.

One of my favorite quotes..

'You are never given a wish without the power to make it come true.' Richard Bach

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

Autumn, I have put down manuscripts because of hurtful words. Some of them I've abandoned. I should give 'em a second look.

People can be so cruel. When judging, I never lose sight of the fact that this is someone's art. I've never fallen in with the cookie-cutter, template way of writing, where your hero "must" do this and your story "must" begin here or end there.

Autumn Jordon said...

Your totally correct, Kelly, one of my Ruby sisters. Ultimatly it's your work the world is going to see. You need to take from contests, critique parteners, or readers what you deem will make your work better.

It was a hard lesson, but I learned it. GRIN

Thanks for stopping by.

Vivi Andrews said...

The "You can't"s I hear always turn into "Just watch me"s. But I'm ornery like that. Glad you proved the naysayers wrong, Autumn!

Autumn Jordon said...

Thanks, Vivi. I wish I would've learned to be ornery like you earlier. jUst imagine all the books I'd have on the shelf. Oh, well no looking back. GRIN

Mary Ricksen said...

This one hit home having just gotten a rejection I didn't expect. I am so glad you never gave up. You are inspirational to others and a wonderful person as well as author. You go sweetie! Knock 'em dead!

Problem Child said...

Finally, I'm able to access my own stinkin' blog. Why does Blogger hate me so?

~Ahem~

Hi Autumn and welcome!!

Proving them wrong is the greatest revenge, isn't it :-)

And I must admit, I have a guilty conscience from an early contest I judged. I was pretty hard on the author -- not that I don't stand by my comments, but I was still in teacher mode and may not have worded them nicely. When my back hurts for no reason, I always wonder if that author made a voodoo doll of me...

Autumn Jordon said...

Mary, Hugs on the rejection again. They do suck, but unforunately part of the business. Just remember that is only one person's opinion. Take a hard look at the work and then get it back out there.

(((HUGS)))

Autumn Jordon said...

LOL, Kim. I'm sure you were as tough as you say. I know whenever I judge a contest, I try very hard to show the writer how I think their work could be improve. The Operative words in the last statement, I think. It's my opinion and they might not agree with me and that's fine. It's their work. I always try to find something they are really good at to compliment.


And you're right too. Revenge is sweet. GRIN Thanks for having me here today.

Bev Pettersen said...

Yay, Autumn. You always make me feel better. Congrats and thanks!

Angel said...

Goodness, its been a long day! First day of school around here, and it feels like I've done nothing but wait in car rider lines and fill out paperwork. Why do they send children home with a dozen forms to fill out every year, each?

Anyway, very inspirational blog, Autumn! I've had quite a few moments when I was tempted to give up the dream. Luckily, it only takes one positive comment to keep me going! Okay, the comment has to come from someone other than my friends to be really inspiring, but the people surrounding me are the source of my perseverence. I couldn't do it without their support.

Angel

Autumn Jordon said...

Hey, Bev. Thanks for stopping by. ((HUGS))

And, Danielle, you just keep doing what you're doing. It would be a mistake not to. Thank you so much for hosting me today. I had a blast. (((HUGS))

P.L. Parker said...

So wonderful you gave it another shot - I agree, don't let anyone stop you from realizing your dream and good for the multi for the wonderful encouragement.