I was never a star English student or a literature buff, but I’ve always had a creative soul and an active imagination. Writing was a natural culmination of those two talents.
I write what I like to read: romantic suspense. I also write for the same reasons I read–entertainment and escape.
Two years ago I left my day job as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center after 22 years in the field to write full time. The muse must have been paying attention, because shortly after, I hit the New York Times Bestsellers list under my name and again a month later under my pseudonym, Skye Jordan. If you like red-hot contemporary romance, check out my alter ego.
This year will mark my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary to my own personal hero, a veteran firefighter who retired as a Deputy Chief from Cal Fire and is now the Director of Wildland Fire Fighting Safety and Response for the International Association of Fire Fighters, or more commonly known as the international firefighter’s union, which is based in Washington DC.
We have two beautiful daughters in college, one in Oregon studying veterinary medicine and one in Colorado studying equine science. Rick and I recently relocated from the heart of wine country on the beautiful Central Coast of California to the east coast, so Rick could pursue his dream job, continuing to serve his fellow firefighters. We’ve gone urban, are living in the gorgeous, historic city of Alexandria, Virginia, in Olde Town, and loving every minute of it!
Becoming a NYT and USA Today bestseller is no easy accomplishment. What advice do you have for all the authors and aspiring writers out there who hope to someday achieve your level success?
An author has very little control over how many books they sell. Marketing attempts only have so much push. The only thing an author really has control over is the story they tell and how they tell it. Write hard and write good.
More recently, I’ve started scheduling writing retreats with fellow authors. We book a week at some mutually agreed upon location, rent a condo and pow-wow to write. The days are broken up into a series of write-break-write-meal-write-drink-write-TV binge decompression modules that are incredibly productive. I can often leave a 5-7-day retreat with 35-50 thousand words. And I leave feeling refreshed, excited about my work and sad that I’ll miss my friends.
A few other things that have increased my productivity over time:
What is the best line from a book TV show or movie that you wish you wrote?
I think Shonda Rhimes (Greys Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and The Catch) writes some fantastic lines. Olivia Pope has some of my favorites. “If you want me, earn me!”
You’ve written a flawless bad boy in Teague Creek. Are there any fictional or real-life bad boys who served as inspiration for Teague?
Every girl loves a good bad boy. They are our kryptonite. My favorite bad boys are bad boys who are reformed just a bit by a good woman. I think there might be a bit of RDJ in Teague…. he’s a little naughty, but ultimately wants to do good. And he’s not too bad on the eyes either!
The zombie apocalypse has hit (as we all knew it would one day). Which TV or movie characters do you want as part of your crew? (no superheroes…that’s cheating)
Are you kidding? Olivia Pope and Associates! Nobody but the best! (Any Scandal fans here? I’m hopelessly addicted!)
Can you tell us a little bit about your current WIP(s)?
Yes! I have a packed year this year with releases from my pen name, Skye Jordan. I am introducing two new series, a new Renegades novella, and I will be included in the 1001 Dark Nights collection.
I have two books coming out from my brand-new Wildwood series, which are being published by Montlake. The first book, Forbidden Fling, will be out July 27nd. The second book, Wild Kisses, will be released in January. This series will be all about the honorable (and gorgeous) men of Wildwood and the women who bring them to their knees.
Lastly, I am introducing a new trilogy that will center around a hockey team. Hockey is a new love of mine, and my love inspired me to write. The first book in that series will be out late September, with the remaining two following in October and November.
Joan Swan can be reached via her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest.