Name Jordan Elizabeth Mierek. Some people know me as Jori. I use Jordan Elizabeth as my nom de plume.
Age 26…or 13, which I am mistaken for often.
Where are you from Central New York
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc I have my degree in elementary education, but after teaching at the local community college, I realized that I prefer adult students. I am now a trainer at a bank. My dream job is to become a full time writer.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My first novel, ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, came out October 29th. A steampunk anthology I compiled was released November 10th. Both are available from Curiosity Quills Press. They’re young adult, which I realized is my calling when I took a good look at my cellar library. At one point, I had thousands of books (I recorded them into a spreadsheet) and the majority were young adult. I’ve since been passing them on to friends, donating them, or selling them.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have been telling stories since I could talk. My grandmother used a tape recorder to keep track of them. Later on, she wrote them for me. Eventually, I inherited my dad’s old computer and took to typing them. I had so many stories in my head and just had to tell them.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Three of my short stories were published in 13 HAUNTING TALES, a ghost anthology.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book is a young adult fantasy that hasn’t been published yet, so I will answer for ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW. My cousins, friends, and I would film movies with my camcorder. One of them we made, back in my junior high years, involved a witch, people trapped in a hollow, and haunted foundations. In 2012, I looked back through those “home movies” and decided to transform the script into a novel.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’ve been told my writing is cinematic. People say they picture everything as though watching a movie. I need to thank those camcorder years for that.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Witchwood Hollow is where people are trapped, so they want to escape. The title flowed from there.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main character, Honoria, loses her parents in the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. She does suffer from depression, but she deals with it in a healthy way by continuing with her schoolwork and staying strong with her aunt, uncle, and brother. I didn’t want the depression to be the main focus of the story, because there is so much more to it than that. This is more a book for enjoyment than self-help.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Witchwood Hollow…not so much. I like to think the emotions and characters are real. I based them off of people I know, and then used names from other people I know, just to mix things up.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I was inspired to film the movie, and then write the book, by abandoned foundations discovered in the woods around my house.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
My favorite authors are Shana Abe, Tamora Pierce, Jacquleine Carey, Anne Bishop, and Maria V. Snyder. Their books have influenced me by encouraging my passion for writing. If those books can be published, so can mine.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Definitely Maria V. Snyder. I emailed her years ago to tell her how much I enjoyed her novel POISON STUDY and since then, we have been in regular contact. She’s helped me whenever I have a question about writing, editing, agents, publishers, marketing…
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
INKHEART. I found a copy in the used bookroom at the local library and remembered friends raving about it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m passionate about my fellow authors at Curiosity Quills Press, in particular those who contributed to GEARS OF BRASS.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Right now I’m writing my 25th book. It is a continuation of the TREASURE CHRONICLES. Book one of that series comes out February 16, 2015. Think steampunk Wild West with paranormal aspects.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A few of my teachers have been supportive. In particular, my fourth grade teacher, who still comes to my book signings.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely! I’m working toward that. Dream big!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would actually. When I wrote the original draft, I triple checked my facts, but then scenes and descriptions were added along the way to publication, and there is a detail that is incorrect time wise. ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW is a bit of historical fiction, since Honoria lives in 2001. Hopefully it doesn’t spoil the book for anyone. I didn’t even realize it until a friend pointed it out.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mother and maternal grandmother read to me every chance we got. Authors became my heroes.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
In this TREASURE CHRONICLES installment, the daughter of the main characters is kidnapped. I can promise the readers a circus of clockwork creations.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time! I work full time, visit my grandmother in the nursing home in the evenings (I don’t get home until 9pm most nights), and stay with my boyfriend on weekends, so my writing time comes late at night. I try to do a chapter a weeknight and if I can’t squeeze it in, I try not to feel guilty.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Maria V. Snyder. I adore her as a person and a writer. Her novels always contain limitless imagination.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I will now, as I want to visit different locations for book signings. I have a book convention in New York City on March 21, 2015. I’m really looking forward to that.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Curiosity Quills Press designed the covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time. Everything else was fun. Okay, sometimes I got a little frustrated working out details, but I truly love to write.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned about the publishing process. I hope to apply those tips and tricks to my future novels.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep trying. I first started querying agents six years before I landed one, and I appreciate Belcastro Agency taking a chance on me.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
One, always reach out to the author of the book your reading. Authors love to hear from their readers. If you hated the story, try to find at least one tidbit (maybe it was a character’s name) that you can compliment. Two, rate on GoodReads. Those ratings go a long way.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first chapter book I ever read was the SEVENTH PRINCESS. I still remember it fondly. Unfortunately, a friend in junior high (she was in the movie too) borrowed it and never gave it back. I haven’t been able to locate a new copy yet.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
An emotional story. I read on my lunches and breaks at works, and oftentimes a story will make me laugh aloud or bring tears to my eyes. My coworkers must wonder about me.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I have had the honor of meeting Maria V. Snyder, Tamora Pierce, and Bruce Coville. I’m president of the Utica Writers Club and they were guest authors. It would be wonderful if we could bring others. I suppose that doesn’t really answer the question, so I’ll actually go with “great-grandparents.” I would love to meet my ancestors. Hopefully they would want to meet me too!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Wow, that question is a bit creepy. I guess a meaningful quote from one of my books, in particular a quote I haven’t written yet so I can have many years before I need it etched!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to paint, belly dance, knit, draw, and make jewelry. I’ve created a steampunk necklace as the giveaway item for the TREASURE DARKLY cover reveal on January 5th.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I can always watch A LITTLE PRINCESS and never tire of it. Oh, I should say those old home movies I filmed!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Tofu, palak paneer… Black…. Anything that inspires a story in me. My mother and I will often listen to instrumental music so we can describe to each other what we are picturing.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Something with art or film. For film, I would love to act and direct.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is http://www.jordanelizabethmierek.com/home.html , where readers can find bonus scenes and contests. I blog at Kissed by Literature.