This week’s interview is with the wonderfully dynamic and endlessly joyful Jordan Bernal. I met Jordan through TriValley Writers Group, an organization I highly recommend for local authors looking to connect and educate themselves. http://www.trivalleywriters.org/
Jordan and I both write, in very different ways, of dragons. In addition we are both of Irish descent and have a lifelong love of Anne McCaffrey. Naturally, I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you all to her and her fabulous book,
Jordan, thanks so much for stopping by this week!
The Keepers of Éire
The Keepers of Éire is a modern-day fantasy. For centuries dragons have protected Ireland, their existence kept secret with the help of earth magic and their human riders. Now that secret is threatened as the bodies of four riders are found at sacred Irish sites. Christian Riley, a man with secrets of his own, is haunted by vivid dreams of each slaying. An American searching for her Irish heritage and the meaning of an inherited dragon ring, Devan Fraser, stumbles into the mystery of the murders. Christian’s only memento from the mother who gave him up for adoption is a dragon pendant that matches Devan’s ring. Together they discover their destinies, the truth of dragons, and the depth of honor and loyalty to which people will go to protect the ones they love.
- Important stuff first… what do you like to raise a glass to and what is your favorite way to toast?
Family and friends are important to me, so celebrating their achievements are a must. I’m not a big drinker, but I do love a properly built Guinness. I like to toast by saying a brief bit about what is being celebrated, then wish everyone health and happiness, and end with Sláinte (pronounced ‘slawnt-cha’, which means Cheers)!
- When and how did you know you were a writer? Did any books help you along the way?
It’s so clichéd to say I’ve always written, but I will say I’ve had a love affair with reading since I was quite young. In elementary school I claimed to have trouble reading just so I could have an excuse to read more. I loved making up stories, and once—when I was about seven-years-old—I challenged myself to write a whole story with each word starting with the letter T. I wrote about taking a ride on Timothy the Train. Perhaps the real beginning of Thomas the Train? I used to be a technical writer in my past life. Vastly different type of writing than I do now. I have lots of books about writing fiction. My two favorites are Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythical Structure for Writers and Jordan E. Rosenfeld’s Make A Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time.
- The Keepers of Eire has recently been released in a YA format. What differences can readers expect from this new version?
I started writing my ‘Celtic Keeper’ fantasy series for adults because there didn’t seem to be a lot of good, new adult fantasy to read. I figured there were plenty of good YA fantasy books, and I was gobbling them up, so I concentrated on a story with adult content. At book fairs, The Keepers of Éire drew attention, but buyers wanted something their teenage children/grandchildren could read. So for the YA Edition, I removed the more blatant adult scenes (sex) and toned down some of the language. The story didn’t change, I didn’t adjust the age of the main characters, and I didn’t change the major theme of the novel.
- Is there another genre that you enjoy- just as a pure fan? What is it?
I enjoy a variety of stories, though not horror. I particularly enjoy romantic suspense, a good mystery/thriller, and entertaining travel books that take me to distant lands.
- Can you share one resource: website, marketing strategy, social media medium that you feel has most helped you and could help other writers on their way?
I believe writers should have a website where they can communicate with their audience. At the very least, you (the writer) should promote your achievements in writing—book releases, other publications, events, etc. If you are an expert, or have a passion for something, then share that knowledge with your audience. The more you share, the better chance of building an audience. And isn’t that what most writers want—to have their stories read and enjoyed?
- What do you wish your readers could know about you?
Okay, most of my writer friends already know this, but readers don’t: I’m a plotter—I plot out the key scenes of my novels and keep track of my characters using character cards. Having an outline helps me stay focused on the story. That being said, I’m usually pleased with the outcome when a character takes over a scene and alters my outline—not by a lot, mind you. Also, because of ongoing medical issues with my arms, I write using voice recognition software, Dragon for Macs—how appropriate! Writing this way does take longer, especially since I use some Gaelic in my writing, and the software requires me to vocalize all the formatting and punctuation as I talk in the scene. Editing can be tedious.
- Okay, BESIDES dragons, what fantastical creature would you like to write about and why?
I am also fascinated with the phoenix. Who wouldn’t want to be reborn from the ashes? In a sense, that’s exactly what I did after leaving my technical writing job and restructuring my life due to long-term medical issues with my arms. My rebirth as a writer brought me out of the ashes and onto the back of a dragon.
- Denim versus leather- compare and contrast. It’s an argument that may never be settled. What’s your preference and why?
Denim for trousers and leather for a jacket. I love the feel and look of supple leather in a bomber jacket.
- If you had to choose… Japan or Spain… where would you go? Why does your choice speak to you?
Spain, most definitely. With a surname of Bernal…let’s just say I have roots in the Basque region of Spain I’d enjoy exploring, as I have my Celtic heritage.
- And lastly… what is your favorite reward after a long day of writing—that little treat you give yourself?
I wouldn’t really call it rewarding myself, but…I enjoy losing myself in a good story.
When Jordan Bernal says she was born on the wrong planet, she’s referring to the third planet in the Sagittarian Sector, known as Pern. So clear and descriptive was Anne McCaffrey in her Dragonriders of Pern series, Jordan was transported into the body, mind and soul of Anne’s characters. Jordan came away knowing she was destined to be a dragonrider; to hop from one foot to the other on the hot sands of the hatching ground awaiting a dragon of her own. She fantasized about the air currents lifting the dragon she rode, soaring over cliffs and chasms, embracing the joy and freedom as together, they broke gravity’s harsh leash. And most of all, Jordan knew she was meant to create stories of a new set of dragons and dragonriders.
Jordan is the author of The Keepers of Éire, a dragon fantasy that encourages adult readers to let their imaginations take flight. Jordan’s enduring love of dragons and her pursuit of her Celtic heritage inspired her to write and publish her debut novel in her “Keeper” series through her independent press, Dragon Wing Publishing. The Keepers of Éire is the 2104 Global Ebook Gold Award Winner and the Bella Online Gold Award Winner. In 2017, Jordan released a YA edition of The Keepers of Éire.
Jordan lives in the Tri-Valley region of Northern California, and has been a member of the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch since 2010. She enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and spending time with Roarke, her Pomeranian. For more information on Jordan’s current projects, visit http://www.jordanbernal.com.
The Keepers of Éire—YA Edition The Keepers of Éire
By: Jordan Bernal By: Jordan Bernal
Published by: Dragon Wing Publishing Published by: Dragon Wing Publishing
Retail Price for Print: $15.00 Retail Price for Print: $17.00
Print ISBN: 978-0-9910134-2-5 Print ISBN: 978-0-9910134-0-1
Retail Price for eBook: $5.99 Retail Price for eBook: $7.99
This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.