Author Interview with Zelly JordanWelcome to another of NewBookCentral.com’s Author Interviews. If you are an author and would like to be considered for an Author Interview please Contact Us.
Author Interview with Zelly Jordan – New Book Central
Hello, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Zelly Jordan and I’m a divorced mother of one adult son. I’m independent, talkative, empathic and fun. I’m lucky to live in the most liveable city in the world – Melbourne, Australia. I’m a great listener and love chatting over a good coffee – about anything and everything! I find the world and its people endlessly fascinating. I’m also a cat person without cats at the moment.
Where were you born and where do you live now? Has your ‘journey’ shaped you?
I was born in a little town called Karlovac, near Zagreb in Croatia. My family emigrated to Melbourne in 1970 when I was five and I’ve been here ever since. To say that event has shaped me would be an utter understatement because I know my life would have been completely different had I stayed in Europe. Not just in terms of lifestyle, education and opportunities but who I am as a person.
My earliest memories are of arriving in a strange country and being put into primary school and not being able to understand anybody or anything; of being five years old and not knowing how to ask the teacher if I could go to the bathroom; of being overwhelmed and lost; of struggling to communicate. So much so that according to my mother, I stopped speaking Croatian altogether in my fierce determination to learn English, to be understood. To make friends.
So much of who I am can be attributed to that event – my favourite school subject came to be English, along with Drama, where I could express myself in both classes in different formats. My love of reading – reading all types of genres and reading well beyond my years. My dreams of being an author, of creating – all of that stems from the hugely life-changing event of emigrating and it moulded me into the person I am today. I know on a soul level that this wouldn’t have happened had we not moved countries.
That’s quite some transformation you’ve made. When did you first decide you would try and publish a book?
When I received a call out of the blue from a book company and they asked me if I’d consider self publishing my work. I’d never even heard of the term “self publish” – had no idea such a thing was possible. I’d assumed that if I ever did write something worthy of publishing that I would have to go through the traditional route and who knows if that would ever work – authors talk about being rejected over and over all the time. I simply didn’t know that there were other options. So with one question, a whole new magical world of possibilities opened up in front of my eyes.
My book was published through that company that called – Xlibris. They looked after me really well, guiding me through the various steps until I had the book and all its components exactly as I wanted it. Since that time, I’ve done a fair bit of exploring and research and I’ve learnt that there are many ways an indie author can publish their work, which is awesome. As a brand new author, I know there is so much for me to learn yet and that’s very exciting.
Who inspires you as a writer, your heroes, those who can really use words?
As a writer, the authors that inspire me are people such as JD Robb, JK Rowling – authors who can create their own world with book series that are consistently good over the course of many installations.
Where you fall in love with intriguing characters you watch evolve and grow over the years. When you pick up one of their books, it’s like stepping into a familiar beloved home filled with people you’ve missed and who feel like old friends. I really admire the talent it takes to create that. I’ve always loved it as a reader and I hope to one day create a similar vibe in my own books.
Why do you write?
Initially, I wrote simply to fulfil a promise to myself and to correct what I thought was a storyline gone horribly wrong in a television show. Now I write for the enjoyment of it, for the creativity of the process, of seeing where my characters are leading me. I write for me, for them and also for the people who have followed and supported my efforts from the start.
If you could only keep three books when all others were taken from you, what would you choose?
If I could keep only three books and all others were taken from me, I would keep…… The Bible so that I could always hold onto my faith; my Book of Angels for their loving guidance and wisdom. And I’d keep my own book – my first publication, Fractured – for the reminder to never give up on your dreams; to persist, believe and strive and to always have gratitude in your heart.
What’s your typical working process and ‘desk’ setup? Please tell us where and how you write.
I don’t think I have any firmly entrenched processes yet but generally speaking it’ll go something like this: someone says something or I see something that sparks an idea; that idea tosses around in my brain for an indefinite time, marinating and percolating until I’m ready to pick up the iPad and start jotting down a rough draft. Sometimes I’ll do that in longhand in a journal then transfer it to my iPad.
Recently I finally got my PC up and running after being out of action for a very long while so with its huge massive monitor and terabyte of space, I’m looking forward to working on that. It still surprises me that I’ve written two and a half books on an iPad only.
As I’m writing, I’ll tend to have several nights of insomnia as my characters like to come alive at night and keep me awake, the cheeky devils. Once the story is all written, then it’s edit edit edit!! For me, editing takes longer than writing it as I suffer with torturous self doubt and needy perfectionism. I’m sure there’s many like me who stress out over the placement of a simple comma or full stop and I know they understand the agonies of pedantic indecision.
We all have one, what’s that one book you really want to write ‘one day’ but haven’t started yet?
I think one day I’d like to write something more factual, perhaps about my life experiences. I just need to convince myself that it would be interesting to somebody. I can’t think of anything more mortifying than writing about yourself and nobody buys the book. Maybe several years down the track, once I’ve gotten a few more fiction books published, I’ll venture into it.
What writing tips would you tell your younger self?
I’d tell myself to stop doubting myself. To not suppress my creativity, to simply trust my authors voice and write what I know. How I know. I’d tell my younger self that I don’t need to sound like every other successful author, I just need to sound like me.
Could you share with us a ‘3 paragraph’ excerpt from one of your books?
Here is an excerpt from FRACTURED by Zelly Jordan:
Once I’d gotten within a couple of blocks, I could see the fire trucks, cop cars and ambulances clogging up the street; the building still chugging out huge billows of black smoke; police barriers set up around the scene and the entrance to the building cordoned off with tape. As inconspicuously as possible, I’d made my way closer and blended into the crowds that were gathered to watch the drama unfold. The night darkness had helped to conceal me as I stood watching Clements having the deep slashing cuts on his forearms being treated by an ambulance officer. He’d somehow managed to escape death in the explosion but he looked pretty busted up: blood and soot and muck all over him. A cop stood asking questions, a big old guy with an overhanging belly, writing on the little notepad in his hand. Clements seemed shocked and distressed as he looked up at the blaze high above.
I watched as firemen worked fast and hard in the battle to destroy the fiery flames and toxic fumes belching from the high rise building’s fifteenth floor, massive black clouds of smoke thick and putrid obscuring the upper levels from view. And as I watched them hauling heavy equipment in and out of the building, helping the injured, the hair on the back of my neck stood up – as if a ghostly finger had scraped its’ way across my nape, the whisper breath blowing in its’ wake sending tingling sensation to every extremity. Something about these firemen unsettled me: something about watching their moves, their actions, caused a frisson of unease to curl through my belly and squeeze at my temple.
I scanned the faces that weren’t hidden behind helmets and visors, looking for any sense of familiarity- did I know these firefighters, any of them? Is that the cause of this strange and eerie sensation? But there was nothing, no recognition, just the discomforting feeling of having stepped off an edge somehow.
Thanks for that. What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Over the next twelve months I plan to release books two and three in the Unbreakable series as well as hopefully start a new series. I also plan to learn much more about marketing myself effectively so I don’t spend so much time agonising over it as I have been.
Sounds like you’re going to be busy! Thanks for being interviewed for NewBookCentral.com. If people want to find out more where can they go?
They can follow me on my blog…zellyjordan.com and my Facebook page zelly309writes. I’m on Twitter as zelly309 and also Instagram as zelly309. On Goodreads as Zelly Jordan. I love interacting with my followers so I’m looking forward to meeting some new people. Come say hi.