Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Jordon Greene and I’m 30 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I grew up in the North Carolina foothills in Lenoir, but I now live in Concord, North Carolina about half-an-hour east of Charlotte.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a Senior Full Stack Web Developer by trade, but my degree from UNC Charlotte is actually in Political Science. As a developer I work for the nation’s largest privately owned shoe retailer, SHOE SHOW, Inc., handling the company’s internal websites. In my spare time, when I’m not writing, you’ll probably either finding me reading or at the theater, or off at some festival or comic con promoting my books.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I don’t really have any recent news. However, my last full-length novel did garner Official Selection status from the 2017 New Apple Summer eBook Awards in Horror a few months back and I believe I’ve decided on the general plot of my fourth novel, but that’s a secret right now.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing, technically, in sixth grade. Of course, it wasn’t like now, but I attribute the beginning to that year for me. The year before I entered a short story competition with a friend (he wrote the story and I illustrated) that got me thinking about writing, and then from that point, as best as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write ever since. I really got started, as in seriously into it, in 2012 about a year after graduating from college.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
At first I didn’t consider myself a writer until my first book, They’ll Call It Treason, came out in May of 2016. Since then I’ve come to the conclusion that if you write, and you are taking it seriously, that you’re a writer, regardless of your publication status.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I can’t say that there was any one real thing that inspired me to write my first book, except for the point that I was extremely into politics during the years before and after its release. I lived politics at the time. I went to school for it, I was involved in it, I ran for office at one point on the state level, and I even formed my own election law advocacy organization that up until about a year ago I still ran. It was just natural at the time. Now, I’d prefer to avoid the politics if at all possible.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It took me a while, and at points I swear it was harder than writing the book. Of course, I went through many different title ideas during the first few months, but I ended up settling on They’ll Call It Treason in the end. I wanted something that sound conversational, but at the same time sort of blunt and major, and it’s actually a phrase taken straight from the book itself.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ll just say that I do a lot of planning. Now, that I’ve moved over to horror instead of political thrillers, the challenges are different. Instead of just thrilling someone with tense action sequences, car chases and explosions (all of which I like to include even in my horror where possible), I have to find a way to get under their skin, to make them actually fear for the characters in a way that’s real. That’s not easy.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
For the most part I like to write about things that can happen. Even with my first novel, They’ll Call It Treason, while some of it may seem farfetched, it really isn’t. Now with my horror, up until my current project, I’ve wrote stories about scenarios that are all-too plausible. I think that realistic horror is in some ways more scary. I mean when you read a story about a home invasion, you sit there reading knowing that the horrible things happening to the family on the page, like in my horror novel To Watch You Bleed, could easily happen in real life. Even the events in my short stories Anywhere But Here and The Maze are possible.
As for my characters or events in the story, in ways you’ll find me in my stories as well as my family and friends. It’s more of characteristics than anything, but it’s there. For instance, the main character in the novel I’m writing now, Cooper, is in some ways like me, like having two brothers (one older and one younger) and a younger sister. I also like to use real places, places that I’m familiar with. You’ll usually find some location in North Carolina in my books, even if it’s as small as one character being from the state, or as much as in To Watch You Bleed which takes place entirely in Concord and Kannapolis, NC.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
At this point no, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. I do a lot of Google Mapping and Google Street View, as well as online research about the locations I want to use, but when time and money allows it I’d love to be able to actually visit locations before writing with them.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Creative Paramita designed the covers for both of my novels, They’ll Call It Treason and To Watch You Bleed. I designed the covers for my short stories, Anywhere But Here and The Maze, along with the anthology I edited, Down with the Fallen.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main thing I was trying to get across in To Watch You Bleed, apart from trying to tell a non-Happily-Ever-After story, was the importance of cherishing and appreciating those that you have in your life while you have them.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Marie Lu has been around for a few years now, but she’s still relatively new. She’s a young adult author, but I love everything she’s wrote so far (except I haven’t got to her latest, Warcross, yet). As for my favorite author, I’d have to go with James Rollins, the amazing author of the Sigma Force series. His work is amazing, they’re so detailed and the twists seem to never end. Of course, picking one favorite is hard, so I’ll still give a little list. In addition to Rollins, I love the work of Marie Lu (as already stated), the late Michael Crichton, and James Alan Gardner. I’m working on getting into Stephen King’s work, but I’m just getting started there.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
That’s easy. Outside of my family I had one teacher, among many, who stands out. Mrs. Hicks, my sixth grade teacher, now Tammy Sanabria-Cook, was a major support. She pushed me to pursue writing even then, when it was really just a fascination for me. I remember her letting me take a group of my classmates off to the side in our own little room to discuss the book I wanted to write, you see my friends were to be characters in the story. I came to find out just this year that the principal didn’t take too kindly to her letting me do this, but she didn’t stop, and I’m glad. I’m not sure I would be writing today if she hadn’t pushed me to.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No, not right now. I mean, I’d love for it to be. However, at the moment I see it more as a hobby, an almost all-consuming hobby, but a hobby nonetheless. Being single and having a stupidly irrational anxiety of group events definitely lends itself to writing though. That’s one reason writing it’s about all I do outside of my full-time job, reading, the occasional house work and attending events to sell my books (yeah, I don’t get the anxiety when I’m behind a booth or talking to groups about my writing, sounds weird I know, but it’s true). Hopefully one day that’ll materialize into an actual career in writing. We’ll see.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes. I would go back and find a way to provide more insight about the three antagonists of the story, their problems, their mental states and their motivations. When I planned the story for To Watch You Bleed I did a bit of research on psychological abuse in teenagers (you know, just enough to make me vaguely dangerous with it, haha) to ensure what I was planning was reasonable and realistic. This research changed and molded the story. Each of the “bad guys” has a story, why they are who they are. They’re not just two-dimensional bad guys, and looking back I feel like that didn’t get through as much as I wished it would have. Yeah, they are bad kids, but at the same time, even while you hate them, as you’d have every right to in the story, I wanted the reader to feel bad for them in a way as well as products of their environment and nature. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I didn’t get that through enough for them, maybe the main bad kid, but not all of them.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I don’t know if I’d say I learned something while writing To Watch You Bleed, but I did come to realize that it’s taxing on yourself to write the darker scenes sometimes, especially when you have to kill a character off that you’ve come to care for. I mean I’ve killed off other characters that I liked in my previous book, but these characters were different, closer it seemed.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Jason Bateman. It’s an easy question because, for better or for worse, when I start forming my characters I get a basic idea who they are and what I might want them to look like and then I find actors and actresses that I think fit the part and visualize them playing the part in the book as I write it. It helps me keep things straight and be able to see the story playing out in my head. Jason Bateman is who I envisioned playing the part of Dalton Summers, the dad and main character in To Watch You Bleed.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t rush it, and heavily consider your words when you go through your rewrites. I tend to put myself on arbitrary deadlines and feel like I’m not doing well if I don’t meet them. Yet, that shouldn’t be how it works. Write as your comfortable, let the story build naturally, and let it be done when it’s done. Then when you finish go back and reconsider everything.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes, thank you so much for reading my books first, and second, get ready for spring 2018! My next horror novel will hopefully (fingers crossed) be out then!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
It’s definitely not my usual read, but I’m reading fellow North Carolina author Nicholas Spark’s Safe Haven. I don’t usually read romance, but my little sister loves it and I’m trying to vary my reading genres up a bit instead of just reading techno-thrillers and post-apocalyptic young adult stories. I actually just finished reading Stephen King’s Pet Semetary, only the third King story I’ve read and the first of his novels. Just like with my writing I don’t want to necessarily pigeon-hole myself into reading just one genre, so I’m trying to widen my palette a little.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’m going to go with the first book I read by choice, because I have no clue what the first book I ever read was and or the first book I was forced to read in AR (the school system’s dreaded Accelerated Reader program that almost killed my desire to read and write, like I think it did to so many). So, the first book I ever remember reading fully by choice, which is still probably my favorite book, was Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. I was in seventh grade, I loved dinosaurs, and I loved the movie. Let me tell you, the movie is nothing like the book. The book is way better (as always) and almost an entirely different story, but don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie too.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
That’s a harder question. My family makes me laugh a lot. They’re all crazy, not quite clinical, but crazy nonetheless, and we have a lot of fun. What makes me cry? Usually thinking too much.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I used to say Thomas Jefferson, back when I was into politics (my degree is in Political Science after all, but I hate politics now), but I don’t know anymore. I think he might still be the person I’d like to meet, if I could bring him to our time at least, I definitely don’t want to go back to the late 1700s. He was brilliant, an inventor, a lover of books, a man of liberty, though just as flawed as anyone else.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yep, writing. Haha! Oh, you mean other than writing? Gotcha. Well, in that case does listening to music count?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love House of Cards and Seth McFarland’s The Orville for TV. For my movies, the list is long. I’ll keep it short though. Star Trek, as in all the Star Trek movies, are my favorite, especially numbers six, four, two, eight, eleven and twelve. For those that don’t watch Star Trek that’s The Undiscovered Country, The Voyage Home, The Wrath of Khan, First Contact, Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness. Outside of Star Trek, I love V for Vendetta, both John Wicks, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, Casino Royale and Skyfall (James Bond movies) as well as Chappie, Gravity and of course Jurassic Park.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Hmm… Favorite foods, that’s hard. I really like Mexican, especially Arroz con Pollo, and Japanese, but my favorites are probably an amazing gyro from the Greek restaurant Gateway to the Athens in Concord, NC or a big juicy American cheeseburger piled with bacon. However, I’m dieting right now, so this section of the interview is tormenting. Haha!
Colors, well, I guess I’m partial to green and gold in some ways since they’re my alma mater’s colors (UNC Charlotte 49ers), but I typically gravitate towards black, yellow and silver.
Ah, music. I could go on a long time about this. Haha! As a whole I listen primarily to metal, punk rock and alternative rock, with a little variety here and there into some more poppy stuff, with a lesser dose of country and pretty much exclude rap altogether. My favorite bands right now, mostly in no particular order, are Imminence (an awesome Swedish group), Bad Omens, Villain of the Story (appropriate, right?), Makeout, Five Finger Death Punch (the best metal band of my time) and Starset.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d probably be doing what I currently do for a living which is developing websites from the ground up. Right now I just do it for the company I work for, but if I didn’t write, I’d probably go back to doing it on the side freelancing again too.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t know. I really don’t know, and no that’s not what I want wrote on my headstone.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I sure do. They can find me at www.JordonGreene.com
My Amazon Author page can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/author/jordongreene