Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Diane Lunsford is talking with Karla Jordan, author of Cartwheels in the Dark.
FQ: I am a strong believer that covers, and titles, are the first point of entry and vital to entice your audience into the novel. I was intrigued by both your cover and title and wonder if you could share what inspired you to decide on both.
JORDAN: I also believe that a cover is important, along with the title. Like with most things related to Cartwheels In The Dark, the cover and title came to me out of the blue and I knew exactly what it needed to be.
FQ: I enjoyed the layers you developed for both Kallie and Amy. You caught my eye in your bio noting you worked in social services. How helpful was this to draw from in developing Kallie’s character, in particular?
JORDAN: I feel that every experience we have in life affects us in some way or another. I'm sure what I've picked up along the way in life, came into play when developing the characters. Kallie needed to go through some things in life, but also to know that there is an inner strength that gets us through the hard times. I wish everyone were able to know this in their soul.
FQ: Another question relating to your bio. Are you native to Maine or elsewhere? I ask because Kallie’s adult life has her living in Vienna, Virginia which is vastly different from the beautiful woods of Maine. (I live approximately 20 minutes from Vienna, VA.)
JORDAN: I am a lifelong resident of Maine. I was born here and have remained here, although in different locations. I wanted Kallie to live a different life in her adult years than she had known in Maine. Vienna, Virginia seemed to me like just the place she could go and work on that life she always wanted for herself.
FQ: Final question on your bio...what is your most memorable experience from your years working in property management?
JORDAN: I'd say my most memorable experience in my years of property management was being able to give a home to a family who had been homeless. There were many of them. To see the excitement and appreciation of something most of take for granted, made my job feel like something so much more than a paycheck. I am still in touch with some of these people who have done very well for themselves after being given a chance to start over.
FQ: Your characters are beautifully developed, and the dialogues are credible. There is notable color and uniqueness to each of them. If you had to select your favorite, who would it be and why?
JORDAN: I think Brandy is my favorite character because there's so much about her that we don't yet know. Her story in itself, I believe, needs to be told. Don't be surprised to see her story down the line.
FQ: Was there ever a time when you felt your pen slowing down? What is your formula to ramp the writing back up when this happens?
JORDAN: I can't honestly say I have ever known that feeling (yet) of my pen slowing down. The characters speak through my pen and sometimes I can't get the words on the paper fast enough. I do take a little break after writing the first rough draft to give my mind a break before the editing begins.
FQ: You captured my heart with your dedication to your Nana. I couldn’t help but sense a little bit of your Nana in Maddie’s character. Is this accurate?
JORDAN: Maddie's character is absolutely one hundred percent from my memories of my Nana. She was, and still is, my hero. Everything I know about reading/writing came from inspiration from her. I don't think she ever knew that but I do hope that she is able to see that now even though she has been gone since I was twelve years old. Her impact on me was huge and I am grateful.
FQ: I enjoyed the zingers of plot twists you infused in a few areas. Were these moments that wrote themselves or was it intentional?
JORDAN: The story just sort of writes itself. I have a basic idea to start and then it writes itself, it seems.
FQ: In line with my previous question, what is your process? Do you outline the entire body of work and then begin writing or do you open a blank screen and you’re off to the races and the writing simply takes you along with it?
JORDAN: I don't do outlines. I have a basic idea and nowhere in mind to start. My blank notebook and pen take me where the story needs to be. Once I start writing, I tend to have the mindset of whatever character I'm working on, and it just seems to take me where it needs to go.
FQ: I want to thank you again for your time today. You mentioned you are working on your next book. Are you able to give us a sneak preview?
JORDAN: The absolute rough draft of my next novel has been completed as of a few days ago. It will be months of editing, but the story is in place. I don't have a sneak peek ready but I can tell you that it is set in the depression/prohibition era and will focus on a character named August.