And it’s a guest! Author of the Month on Goodreads, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jorden Leonard!
Portland, Oregon. In a corner of the unfinished basement of a 1920’s bungalow that my wife lets me claim. My little man cave.
Why do you write?
So I can rationalize my rate of pop culture consumption and also self-therapy.
When did you start writing?
As a hobby the summer after college in 1998. Right from the start I wrote in present tense, as I explain here.
What genre(s) do you write?
Sci fi, always sci fi even if it reads like fantasy if you go deep enough it is based on a sci fi setting.
What does your writing routine consist of?
When I’m being good. Drop off son at bus stop. Hurry back. Write for an hour and a half and then go to work.
What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
I develop vibrant settings within which the characters can interact honestly. It takes time and good organization to keep such complexity from turning on itself for lack of consistency.
I’ve created several wikis, dozens of spreadsheets and documents, and countless hand written or drawn aides for my background. Also every story I write is compatible with every other story. They all take place within the same overarching setting.
I can write poetically and intend to develop a talent for vocalizing my work as audio companions to the written.
Here is a link to my first audio attempt with an early draft of a short chapter I’m working on.
Good writing and a good setting aren’t enough to make a good book. I’m focusing now on melding these qualities with good characters and storytelling. I’ve got to get readers to care about the characters and not get bored or confused with details.
I consume a lot of pop culture in an effort to stay in tune with our modern mythology. I almost exclusively write in present tense and have the story running like a video in my head while I type.
I put caricatures of people I know into my stories, but never intentionally myself as a character.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
More of an improviser, but in waves where an early draft can effectively serve as an outline. I try to have the larger story worked out and then let the details sort themselves out in a way that makes the most sense as I write.
I’m now effectively slow because of time constraints. It takes me a bit to get into the flow of writing, but on the rare occasions when I do have a large block of time in a day I can write rather rapidly.
Tell us about your latest book
Destiny’s Hand is my first and only published book. It is the keystone for everything else that I’m working on. It introduces a setting on a generation spaceship where there is a power struggle that spans the confines of the physical ship and the virtual universe it spawns.
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Self-publishing. With the advent of online publishing it is not just a valid choice for me, it is the best choice. I keep the majority from a book sale. I can make it available to everyone as soon as it is done. I am responsible for everything, which forces me to become more savvy about everything.
Success or failure, it’s all on me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yes, Ranger Of Path is my current focus.
I was thinking Seeker of Truth would be my second published book, but I found the story getting too complicated and paused it so I could go back in time and present important backstory as another book.
I also have a blog that I update with family and writing related posts.
I am sporadically active with that depending on where I am with my writing. At the moment since I restarted with a new book I’m behind enough that it will be a few months before I likely put up a new post.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
I want to be read and respected. I am trying to improve my storytelling without leaving the depth of my stories behind.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
People don’t care about ideas, but they might care about a man with an idea.