Everything you ever wanted to know about Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, and maybe a few things you didn't want to know.
When and why did you begin writing?
My grandmother greatly encouraged me. She never gave up on me. It wasn’t a question of “if,” but a question of “when.” As a toddler, I would tell my stories to her and she would write them down for me. She did that for years, up until I got my first computer. My handwriting was too bad for me to read my own stories!
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was an “epic fantasy.” I grew up reading fantasy novels. My grandmother would read fantasy anthologies to me and my mom would read classics aloud. My first book was a culmination of all that imagination and memory.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Classics. I have the fondest memories of reading them together with my mom. We would discuss them and then watch movies to compare the script to the novel. We’ve gotten busy with love, but I would enjoy being able to do that with her again. We left off on the OZ series.
What book are you reading now?
I found a box of free gothic novels at the library. Right now I’m reading ALONG A DARK PATH by Velda Johnston.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve really gotten into those gothic novels, so I have been looking for more books by those authors. They aren’t new authors though. The books were written in the 60’s and 70’s.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Maria V. Snyder. I emailed her after reading POISON STUDY. We’ve kept in touch ever since and I even got to meet her when she led a workshop to my writers club.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Maria V. Snyder is my favorite author. Her books are captivating. They suck you in and you just have to finish. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Tamora Pierce, and Anne Bishop are my other favorites.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
Upstate New York. Apart from my fantasy stories, my books take place right here. I like to draw from the scenery and “characters” surrounding me.
Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.
This is a rather sad note, but my maternal grandmother passed away in May. It was a tragic blow and I still miss her every day. I truly believe I wouldn’t be a writer today without her support. Not only did she write down my stories, but she bought me my first computer (and my second one when the first one became too aged). I wrote at her house and I read her a lot of my early work. She might not have offered critiques, but she let me know my words had substance.
About Your Writing:
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on book 5 of the Treasure Chronicles. It will be a Gothic…I blame all those old gothics I’ve been reading!
Tell us your latest news?
I’m currently putting together a ghost story anthology with Curiosity Quills Press. I can’t wait to see it all together and out in print. I’m especially looking forward to a creepy cover.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
People always told me I would be a writer when I had my first piece published. That first piece was done back in high school and the publisher was a small online journal. I honestly didn’t feel like a writer though until ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW was released. I think that feeling helped fuel my resolve to find a publisher for my novels.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’ve been told my writing is very evocative. You can picture it like a movie.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
At the moment it is still in a very rough draft format.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time to write. Work and other commitments seem to take up more and more time.
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I used to yearn to meet Tamora Pierce – but then I got to! She came to do a workshop for the Utica Writers Club.
What books have influenced your writing?
The old classics and fairy tale anthologies. I love the chills that olden-times writing evokes.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I have to be home in a room alone with the door shut. No distractions!
Your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad.
Review, review, review. It shows that you read a book. Authors pour their souls into the books. Even if you don’t like it, review it. It shows you read it. However, please don’t slam a book just because you don’t like the author. To me, that’s petty.
About Your Latest Work:
How did you come up with the title?
ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW derived from the woods behind my house. I first thought of Witch Hollow, then Witchwood, and they sounded great together.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Love your family. I normally don’t write with a message in mind though. I just want the readers to be able to escape from reality for a little while and enjoy their time in a new place.
How much of the book is realistic?
I based a lot of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW on real life experiences. There was never a witch and I was never stuck in the woods, but I do love old foundations and many of the people are based on real acquaintances.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I will have to go with real events. I love finding antiques and visiting historical societies.
Who designed the covers?
Each of my covers has been designed by an artist designated by the publisher.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing it to please critique partners and my editor. I know you can’t please everyone, but I want to help the story be enjoyable.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
This was my first book, so I learned a lot about the writing process. The main thing I learned was about how important reviews are.
If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Honoria and Leon would both like to say that history is important so that you can learn the present. Don’t miss an opportunity to explore what has been before.
What do you say?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. It took me 6 years to find an agent. In those 6 years, I kept writing, and I feel that my stories improved the more I learned.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Love the written word. You never know what you will take away from a story – hopefully all good things!
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW is a standalone, but I am currently working on the Treasure Chronicles, a steampunk series. I have a steampunk standalone coming out in September and a contemporary ghost story with a TBD date.
Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?
There are a few who I have had the honor of communicating with. I hope that we will be able to support each
other in the future.
Do you have a nickname?
Did you have a favorite toy as a child?
My mom crocheted me a stuffed kitty. I still have it.
An early childhood memory –
My grandmother taking me to the bookstore.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
If I’m lucky!
What are your pet peeves?
Incorrect grammar that is really obvious. I’m one of those people who cringes.
Any pets you would like to tell us about, share a pic?
Sadly, I have no pets at the moment. However, my beloved dog would sit at my feet whenever I wrote. I hope to get those books published someday, and they will be in her honor.
White wine or red?
Coffee or tea?
Tea. Today I drank chocolate mint tea. Yum.
So you like to cook? Do you have a favorite food?
I love tofu. I’m a vegetarian like Honoria.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Vanilla…and frozen yogurt over ice cream.
What do you normally eat for breakfast, or do you skip it and get straight to work?
I usually get a donut because I love picking up an iced green tea.
What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
Shoes? Clothes? Haha, sometimes I don’t even take my keys, money, and phone.
Sleep in or get up early?
Sleep in. I like staying up late.
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Desktop! I can never get into the writing groove on my laptop.
Your favorite gadget –
Computer. I can type 77 words per minute. I write much slower by hand and my handwriting is still horrendous.
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
I have no idea! I must be one of the few who don’t pay attention to famous people.
Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
A haunted castle in Scotland.
One of your favorite quotes –
“I wonder what today will bring.” My high school librarian used to say it.
An actor or a book character you have a crush on –
Ian Somerholder. He is perfect as an actor to play one of my characters. Ah, if only…
Where can your readers stalk you?
My blog: http://kissedbyliterature.blogspot.com/
My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-Elizabeth-Mierek/134299303402268
My Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/JordanElizabethMierek