Hey everyone, please welcome to the blog author Jordan Riley Swan. Their newest book, The Heart’s Bidding was published earlier this month and is a fun contemporary romance. Get to know this author a little better and don’t forget to check out the novel (links below).
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
According to my first one-star review, I should have changed the entire book. Hahaha. But seriously, I’m proud of what I ended with. If left to my own devices I would rewrite it into eternity, but at some point, you have to release it into the wild.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Holy crap, the whole thing was a learning experience from beginning to end. I only hope I learn as much every time. We should always be getting better at our craft, and I think this one proves it (if you compared first draft to last draft I’d hope you’d agree.)
If your book were made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I don’t know enough actresses’ names to answer that. But I can say I got my dream narrator to agree to read it (Xe Sands) and that makes me happier than it being turned into a movie would.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
This isn’t a typical romance. I don’t really hit the tropes like most people would want, just keep that in mind as you go through it. Whether that makes the book better or worse I leave to you.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The van ride in chapter three. It was fun to write. A lot of my later work in other novels resembles it more than the other chapters inside this one.
If you could spend time with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I’d hang out with Bridgette. She’s the kind of no-nonsense woman I’d totally date if she were my age (and you know, real). We’d go to a concert and she’d belittle the fact that I have no idea who the singer is and ask me why I even bothered to come.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
There is a seed of a real person in every character. Usually, it’s a mixture though. I might take a personality trait from one person and combine it with a trait from another person and then describe the physicality of a third person. A few of them were made up whole cloth as I don’t really know anyone like my true love in this book, Bridgette. LOL
Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I felt like we worked together. They pushed me into storylines I wasn’t suspecting and I threw them for some curves that they didn’t like in response. But at the end of the day, I felt like I was in charge.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Every so often a book enters into a genre that is of the genre but doesn’t follow the rules exactly. This is that book. Maybe you’ll find it frustrating, but the readers who want to try something a little different may just find this a perfect match for them.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
About ten or so. Three from my misspent youth. Several recently, but a few of those will eventually be published.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
I’m allergic to strong scents. LOL. But I imagine with Kay doing so much painting and furniture repair it would smell like sawdust and milk paint.
What did you edit out of this book?
About 30k words. Hahaha. The first draft was nearly the size of an epic fantasy. I had to drop several subplots and dial back some of the background characters. Did it hurt? Yeah. Is it a faster, better read now? Absolutely. Will I overwrite my next novel like that again? Probably. I guess I didn’t learn enough after all.
The biggest subplot that got sacrificed was about a male character who was also crushing on the main hero but couldn’t confess it because the said character has to hide the fact he’s gay because of small-town and old men at auction prejudices. It had to go for multiple reasons, but I will reward him with his own book down the line.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I have been blessed with the opportunity to pick a few brains of my real-life hero’s for advice after meeting them at conferences. I can say with certainty that there are few, more rewarding things, then having a hero be as cool in person as they seem in their writing.
Fact (not sure how fun it is): I chose my Pen name based on its androgynous nature. I researched the top hundred names shared by both boys and girls and picked Jordan and Riley out of them. I did this because I knew I’d be writing in both romance and fantasy and wanted the reader to associate my gender with whatever preconceived gender they assigned to the genre. Besides, I doubt too many people would buy a romance novel with the name Bernie on the cover. I mean, that does make me sound like I’m a Jewish sex machine, but might not be the best sales tactic for sweet romance…
About the Book
Kaylee Heart would rather run through a roaring fire than endure even a minute of public speaking. Put in an eighty-hour workweek? No problem. Shut down her grandfather’s gold-digging girlfriend? Easy peasy. Stand in front of an auction crowd and call for bids? Show her the exit.
So she has no idea how Gerald, the golden-voiced auctioneer she’s been crushing on at the local auction house, can find the courage to stand on stage every week, with all those eyes on him. But as cruel fate would have it, she is about to find out.
Her family antique shop, the Vintage at Heart, has tripped over one financial hurdle too many and Kay is propelled, full speed, into her biggest phobia—the spotlight.
With terror chasing her, she’ll have to fight to keep the family business from closing forever. Even if the battle takes place in front of a live crowd.