Another great addition to my In Conversation series! Today I’m thrilled and over the moon because I have one of my favourite authors on my blog!
So folks, welcome the amazing Jack Jordan!
Before we dive into the interview, let me tell you more about the author himself:
But the killer can see her…
Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in the small, claustrophobic town of Balkerne Heights, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But before she can, Naomi stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.
For Naomi, this frightening truth changes everything: she realises that she wants to live, at the very point at which her life is in greatest peril. As the police begin hunting the person responsible and the bodies pile up, Naomi must lie in wait and answer the question that hangs her fate in the balance: why did the killer let her live?
In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…
I had the pleasure and honour of reading My Girl last year and I instantly fell in love with Jack. And this year, A Woman Scorned and Before Her Eyes cemented my resolve. We’ll talk more about them later. First, let’s move to the interview, shall we?
Rubina Reads: Let’s start at the very beginning: What inspired you to write Before Her Eyes?
Jack Jordan: I was on a London tube train in the heat of summer. It was packed with people and unbearably hot. I closed my eyes for a second of relief, and when I did, I focused on all of the other senses around me, and suddenly imagined going through life without sight. Being a thriller author, this then took a dark turn: I wondered what it would be like for someone to stumble into a terrible situation and not be able to see what was going on right before their eyes. When I got off at my stop, Before Her Eyes was born.
RR: How did you come up with our blind protagonist Naomi Hannah?
JJ: All I knew going into the first draft of Before Her Eyes was: I wanted Naomi to be a good person. So many thrillers revolve around protagonists with despicable secrets or lies to cover up, but I wanted to write a book about a protagonist that was living a relatively normal life who happened to stumble into a terrible situation, someone that could be me, or you, or anyone who picks up the book.
RR: You have written Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman Scorned and Before Her Eyes – all psychological thrillers. What is it about this genre that grabbed your attention and made you write in this direction?
JJ: I didn’t actually start out writing thrillers! Although Anything for Her was my debut published novel, it was actually the fifth book I’d written. All of the books leading up to it hadn’t actually sat in the thriller genre – but one thing they all had in common was a streak of darkness in them. It didn’t matter what I was writing, they would all turn out to be dark tales in the end, so I realised writing thrillers would be the best fit for me.
RR: How did writing Before Her Eyes change your life?
JJ: Before Her Eyes has certainly changed my life. Being my traditionally published debut, it’s the first book to sit on the shelves in bookshops and supermarkets, train stations and airports. It’s the first book I’ve worked on with an agent and publisher. It has created so many firsts for me, and hopefully many more to come. This journey will always be an important chapter in my life.
RR: I’d love to know about your writing process, from conception to publication and beyond. What goes behind the scenes?
JJ: I’m a big, big planner. The idea of sitting down without any idea of what I’m going to write is what nightmares are made of. While I’m writing one book, I’m mentally mapping numerous others, so by the time I’m ready to plan my next book, I already have a rough idea of the story and the characters. I write notes constantly, and once I’m ready to actually sit down and write the book, I sift through them and put them all together, creating a rough timeline of the story, and focus on filling the gaps… and then I get writing! I write at least three drafts before sending the manuscript to my editor, and new ideas always crop up – although waiting for them to do so can feel like a lifetime, sometimes!
RR: When not writing, what can we find you doing?
JJ: When I’m not writing, I’m acting. I only started out this year, and have four short films and a play under my belt, but I love that it’s another opportunity for creative expression, and I get to experience characters in a new, visceral way. I think the two complement one another well. When I’m not acting… I’m reading!
RR: Since writers are also readers, can you give us your top 3 books which you highly recommend others to read?
JJ: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
The latest ARC I read was My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. It’s dark, it’s funny – it’s brilliant. Published January 2019.
RR: Last but not the least: What are you working on next? What can we expect to come out of your magic pen?
JJ: My next novel Night by Night, which is published in 2019! When a mother with insomnia causes the death of her daughter, she wonders if she’ll ever be able to get her life back on track. But when she finds a journal with a man’s writings of being stalked, a man she likens to the brother she lost many years before, she vows to unearth the truth of what happened to him, night by night. Little does she know, there are people in the town who are willing to do anything to keep her quiet.
Thank you to author Jack Jordan for taking out precious time from his day to reply to my email. It is an absolute pleasure to have you here on my blog!
Thank you Corvus for organizing this blog tour and letting me be a part of it.
Here’s to many more emails, reviews and interviews together! 😊
Before Her Eyes is available in paperback and ebook (audio coming soon) from Waterstones, WHSmith Travel, Waitrose, and all good bookshops and online outlets, including all major e-retailers.
Here’s the Amazon link for you!
Don’t forget to check out the other blogs who are taking part in this blog tour!
*If you would like to check out my reviews for all the Jack Jordan books I have read so far please click the following links: