YA Books are Epic: First off, when did you start reading? Who or what influenced you to start reading?
Jordan: Probably started reading at age four or five. I liked stories, and I had an awesome kindergarten teacher, so she and just my love of stories encouraged me to start.
YA Books are Epic: What kind of books do you like to read? How have these books changed your life?
Jordan: My favorite books to read are YA books, because I find I can really relate to the characters and immerse myself in a different world. All the books I read help me see the world from a different perspective, and always help me get through boring school days, because I’ll read and throw myself into the fantasy world. They give me something to look forward to, or escape to, if I’m ever having a bad day, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
YA Books are Epic: Do you have a preferred format to read? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook or eBook?
Jordan: I enjoy paperbacks the most, because normally they’re less expensive, meaning then I can buy more books 😛
I love hardcovers, they have less of a chance of getting ruined, so I’ll buy them when I can. As for online versions, I normally don’t buy those, because I prefer to have a physical copy in my hand; makes it feel more real.
YA Books are Epic: When did you first start writing? Did any authors that you read inspire you to pick up a pen?
Jordan: I’ve been writing little things since I was pretty young, but I started seriously getting into writing when I wrote my feature film, CRACKED, when I was fourteen. Then, at fifteen, I began writing my first (of many, I plan) novel, Marked, and now, I recently turned sixteen, and I’ve been working on writing the sequel to Marked.
I don’t know if I can really say she inspired me to begin writing, but Alexandra Bracken, who has written my favorite book series, The Darkest Minds, she’s a big inspiration to me. My grandmother, who passed away over a year ago now, she’s a big inspiration for everything I do now.
YA Books are Epic: Your book is called Marked. Please tell the people who haven’t read it yet what it’s about.
Jordan: So Marked is about three pretty good high school friends from Minnesota, Knox, Sage, and Kyle, whose lives take an unexpected turn when a government program, the PPR, who have been moving across the U.S. testing people for a virus, get to their town. When Sage’s mom doesn’t come home one morning, all chaos begins as testing begins at their school. Upon escaping, the three begin to make their way to California to find a safe house where Sage’s father, whom she’s never met, is supposedly waiting for them, all while attempting to stay out of sight, and out of mind.
YA Books are Epic: Are any of your characters in your book(s) LGBTQ+?
Jordan: Yes. Kyle is gay.
YA Books are Epic: Where did you get the idea for Marked? Do you actually use people’s names that you know?
Jordan: To be honest, I have no idea. I always have story ideas running around my head, and this one just stuck and began developing itself.
I do, yes. Most of the characters are named after people I know well, or have had a big impact on my life. It’s just another way for me to show them I appreciate them, in my mind.
YA Books are Epic: Is Marked a stand alone or are you planning on writing more in this world? If so what can you tell about the sequels?
Jordan: I’m currently working on writing the sequel to the book, and all I can really say is that the characters go through some rough patches, both with each other, and their situations. I hope it’ll be exciting for people to read, as I’ve really tried to focus on developing these characters even more, and I’m hoping that’ll show through the book.
YA Books are Epic: How did you go about getting your book published? Do you have an agent? Do you have a critique partner? Do you have an editor? In short, how did you publish your book?
Jordan: I self-published through Amazon, which I absolutely loved doing. I don’t have an agent, although I would love to get one. I don’t have a critique partner, but I had a couple friends of mine edit different chapters of the books, checking for grammar mistakes and things like that.
YA Books are Epic: Do you have a favorite place to read? What about writing?
Jordan: I really read wherever I can, if I have a book and extra time with me. For writing, I can write many places, as long as it’s not my house or in a car. For some reason, in both of those places I get distracted very easily, so I find it harder to write. I don’t really have a favorite place, but I once spent about 5 hours writing in a café, so places like that are great for writing.
YA Books are Epic: What do you like to do when you are not reading or writing ?
Jordan: Acting, most likely. Either that, or hanging with friends, or getting ahead on schoolwork (I’m pretty ambitious on doing everything I can, as fast as I can 😂), or singing/doing song covers.
YA Books are Epic: When you were younger which book character did you relate to? Which book character do you relate to now?
Jordan: Like lots of other younger girls, I related a lot to Hermione from Harry Potter. I admired her wit and intelligence, and it kinda set a role model for who I wanted to be when I grew up. Now, I still do relate a lot to Hermione, but I also find myself in a lot of the characters from The Darkest Minds series, as well as my own characters. With or without realizing it, I end up placing a small part of myself in each character I create, which I hope makes them a bit more relatable to normal people like me, who aren’t super smart, don’t have super powers, can’t save the entire universe from an outside source, find their perfect love interest on a crazy adventures, or something else totally cool like that. Reading characters that do have those qualities, or get to do that stuff, makes it fun to put yourself in that world, but when you find a quality in them that you recognize in yourself, it gives you a sense of belonging, that yeah, you may not get to save the world, but just like that character, you’re important and matter just as much as everyone else, and it’s always nice to get that reminder.
YA Books are Epic: I think I am all out of questions but thanks for doing this Jordan!!
Jordan: No prob! Thank you!