A Conversation with Michaele Jordan
From our first email contact, I was wowwed by you (even if you didn’t follow our submissions guidelines), and I am so glad that we are getting the opportunity to publish one of your stories. What is the source of this amazing charm of yours?
Amazing charm? Me? If only everyone had your profound insight and perception! But it’s funny you should mention my failure to follow your submission guidelines. I swear it was an accident; usually I am almost paranoically rule-bound. Ironically (or perhaps it is simply my unconscious at work) my greatest successes are often those occasions when I–always accidentally–break the rules and then have to sweet talk my way out of it.
You write such well-crafted and engaging stories. What is your writing background?
Thank, you again! My trick is to burn my failures.
I went to a posh (and otherwise nasty) private school that drilled me rigorously in grammar, vocabulary and paragraphing, then spent the afternoons in my grandmother’s library, which contained nothing written after the nineteenth century. Once I was out in the work force, I spent most of my business career writing for other people–letters, contracts, flyers, proposals; I’ve composed and edited hundreds of newsletters over the years. All very boring stuff, but the fundamental tool of writing is language, and my tools are pretty deeply ingrained by now. Combine them with my ever-present invisible playmates…
Your website shows us Michaele with Vulcan ears and Michaele the wicked witch. Is SF&F Fandom a big part of your life? What are the outlets that your creativity finds when you are not writing?
Fandom pretty much is my life. You’ve heard the story before–lonely nerd finds fandom, and turns into a real person. Way back in… well, long ago, I was a friendless egghead, home from college looking for work. I was recruited by Lou Tabakow–one of the sweetest men ever to walk the earth–into his local club, the CFG (Cincinnati Fantasy Group). Suddenly there were people in my life who didn’t look at me funny when I used big words, or move away from me when they heard I would rather read a book than watch a sports event. The guys thought I was cool even though I never wore make-up. I had friends. Still do. And I still can’t get over that! I met my husband in the CFG–and that turned out to be true love! Barring immediate family (of which I have very little) everybody in my life came to me from the CFG.
On those (embarrassingly frequent) nights when I collapse in front of the TV, I like to crochet. That way I haven’t ‘wasted’ my evening relaxing. (Again, I’m rule-bound. Time is precious, you know.) It’s a wonderfully calming activity–almost like a meditation. (I’ve taken my crocheting to potentially long meetings to keep me busy and sweet tempered when the boredom approached terminal levels.) I’m pretty good at it by now. Would you like an afghan? I have twelve or thirteen spares. YES!
What can you tell us about your career in adult film industry?
Oops! You let one interviewer ask you about your most daring exploit… Yes, I was in not one, but two, adult films. I did not take my clothes off. They had professionals for that. But I was in them. I had a ‘featured cameo’ as an aggressive lady lawyer in Killer Sex Queens from Outer Space and I was a co-star in Hookers in a Haunted House, playing a ‘Newsbabe.” (I had a script and everything!) Again, I did NOT take my clothes off. But I threatened to!
To what SF&F writer would you most like to hear yourself compared or contrasted, and what qualities you most wish to develop as a writer?
This is a hard question. There are so many wonderful books out there, and I don’t always want to write like the books I read, anyway. Michael Chabon writes things I wish I could have written. Parke Godwin for his evocation and reinvention of the old stories. Phillip K. Dick for his ability to trap the supernatural within the real, leaving the real trapped within the supernatural. Peter Beagle for sweetness that does not cloy. Fritz Lieber for making S&S witty and articulate–and for the conservation of reality. Iain M. Banks for creating the universe I want to live in–and for deleting his middle initial long enough to write Whit. Andre Norton for getting me started. Jonathan Carroll. James Tiptree, Jr. This could go on all day. And if you ask again tomorrow you’ll get a different list because I’ve left so many great ones off.
What are you working on now?
I’m about half way through two novels. (I rarely only work on one thing at a time. I’m always getting stuck. Now that I’m a professional (ooh, I love to say that!) I can’t take time off, just because I’m stuck on one thing, so I go work on another. Novel #1 is Jocasta and the Indians which will be a rollicking steam punk adventure with tons of authentic historical detail. (If you don’t believe it, go check out my occult thriller Mirror Maze, on the stands now thanks to the good people of Pyr Books. Pages and pages of what Publisher’s Weekly called “charming historical end-notes”) Novel #2 is Invasion, my first full length SF adventure, and it’s…. well, let’s just say, the title is a come-on, not a give-away.
Where can our readers find more of your excellent work?
Why, thank you for asking! As I said, Mirror Maze is in bookstores now. My first novel, Blade Light, (a charming traditional quest fantasy, pretty much YA) is currently available as an e-book. (It was originally serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe. I’m still hoping to get it out in paperback.) Both are available on Amazon. Or you can find links to them on my web-site, www.michaelejordan.com. Watch your spelling or you will end up looking at basketball pictures.
I have a wonderful time-travel romp called The Once and Future Cake coming out soon in Buzzy Magazine. (If it were only 500 words shorter it would have been eligible for Redstone!) And my short story Wizard will also appear soon in Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Is there anything that you’d like to shout from the rooftops?
Don’t waste water
Be kind to animals; they deserve better than us.
Please, check me out and friend me on Facebook.