Meet Novelist Lisa Jordan

Lisa Jordan writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, edits one e-zine, and is a columnist for another. She lives in Pennsylvania with her real-life hero hubby of almost 21 years, two teenaged sons, assorted dust bunnies, and a colony of ants that continually feasts from the crumbs on her kitchen floor. All three of her fellows are students, her hubby and their oldest son both being in college, and their youngest in high school.

Lisa is a SAHWAHM—stay-at-home-work-at-home-mom—who loves kids. She owns and operates a state-registered family childcare business, caring for six children ages two to five. Working from home allows her to dictate her own schedule. She writes during naptimes and is able to take time off to attend writing conferences, such as the one sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My Book Therapy retreats.

When not caring for her young charges, caring for her family, or hanging out with her characters, Lisa enjoys crafting. She’s addicted to the TV show, NCIS, which she uses as a great study in characterization. Her second favorite place in the world is Sanibel Island, Florida, where her family vacations every other year. Her favorite place is her hometown, where she enjoys spending time with her family and hanging out with her Coffee Girls.


Lisa enjoys fruit and yogurt smoothies, so I’ve set up a smoothie bar. Feel free to create a concoction of your choosing. I’ve got bananas, peaches, mangoes, kiwi, pineapple, and an assortment of berries. I added some fun enhancers: peanut butter, honey, and a selection of nuts. Whip up your tasty treat, settle in, and enjoy the opportunity to get to know more about Lisa and her writing.

Lisa’s Journey Begins

When did you decide that you wanted to write? Did you start right away, or did the dream remain on hold for a while?

I’ve wanted to write since I was sixteen after reading Danielle Steele’s The Promise. I wanted to give others that same heart satisfaction I felt after reading The End. I wrote, but life situations interrupted my quest until about ten years ago.

I decided to become serious about my writing and my husband bought me a word processor for Christmas. In 2003, I completed my first NaNoWriMo novel. My hubby realized I was serious and bought me a laptop. Since then I’ve worked to hone my craft so I can get “the call” someday.

You joined American Christian Fiction Writers and made some great connections. How did this come about? In what ways has your involvement in ACFW helped you grow as a writer?

Out of high school, I majored in fiction writing in college, but left college to get married and start a family. I decided to write seriously about ten years ago. I joined Writers Village University and met some writers whom I’m still friends with today, but I wanted to write Christian fiction and WVU wasn’t solely Christian, so I Googled Christian fiction groups and found ACFW in 2005. I joined and went to my first ACFW conference that September. I found my place in the world.

At the 2005 conference, I met three of my all-time favorite authors: Deb Raney, Colleen Coble, and Susan May Warren. All three of them encouraged me and helped me to strengthen my writing. My relationship with Susie Warren continued to develop and grow. Last July, I become the forum coordinator for her My Book Therapy site. My writing has continued to improve under her mentorship and absorbing what she teaches on her site and through her MBT retreats.

Lisa’s Squee-worthy Successes

One of the most prestigious contests for inspirational writers is the Genesis, sponsored by ACFW. Your category romance, Draw Me Close, took second last year. How did you react when you received the news that you were a finalist? What was it like attending ACFW as a finalist and hearing your name at the awards ceremony?

I received a phone call from Jim Rubart letting me know Draw Me Close had finaled in the Genesis. Surprise and joy filled my heart. I cried and apologized to Jim for crying. He was very nice about it.

Attending the conference as a finalist was kind of a surreal experience. When people congratulated me, I almost wanted to turn around to see if they were talking to someone behind me. I met the other finalists in my category and loved them immediately—they’re wonderful ladies. I sat in the back of the banquet room, and when my name was called as runner-up, I kept telling myself as I walked to the platform, “Don’t trip. Don’t trip. Don’t trip.” 🙂 I was so happy for Christy for taking first place because that meant I wouldn’t have to speak..

This past March you received The Agent Call. How did that come about? What was your response? Stunned silence? Tears? Incoherent babbling? Or did you startle the neighbors with your shouting?

I met Rachelle Gardner for the first time at the 2008 ACFW conference where I pitched a women’s fiction novel I had completed. She asked for the first five chapters, but I did not follow through. (The novel is still not completely revised yet.)

I continued to read her blog and planned to pitch to her at the 2009 conference, which I did. During our appointment, she asked for the full manuscript. I completed the final edit on it and submitted it to her in March. I had emailed her a couple of times between September and March letting her know the status of the manuscript.

A week later, she emailed me with an offer of representation. The words of the email blurred as my eyes filled with tears. I whispered, “Thank you, Lord.” and burst into tears. I called my husband, expecting to leave a voice mail on his cell phone. He had forgotten to put his phone on vibrate, so it rang in the middle of class. I shared my news with him, and then called several close friends and emailed my writing friends.

After speaking with Rachelle on the phone, I accepted her offer and have been Snoopy Dancing since March of this year.

Lisa’s Perseverance

One of your life goals was put on hold for a time, but you returned to it later. Please tell us about this experience?

You’re never too old to achieve your goals. I didn’t finish my college education and always wanted to, so I went back to school a few years ago. At the age of forty, I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in early childhood education. Because I worked full-time, taught Sunday school, cared for my family, and wrote, going to school was an additional challenge, but I learned I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength.

Lisa: Contributor, Columnist, and Editor

You wear all these hats. Please tell us about each one.

Contributor . . .

I am a bi-monthly contributor to PG (Parental Guidance) Magazine, a regional magazine for parents, children, and families in my area. I write articles that deal with child development..

Columnist . . .

I am a bi-monthly My First Sale columnist for ACFW’s Afictionado e-zine. I share the honor with published author Tiffany Stockton who writes as Amber Stockton. We interview debut authors who have sold their first novels.

A list of my articles and interviews can be found on my website..

Editor . . .

I am the editor of Voices, My Book Therapy’s e-zine—For the Voices by the Voices. Readers and writers who are members of My Book Therapy are called Voices. They have opportunities to submit articles for the e-zine.

Partners on Lisa’s Journey

Who are you some of your writing buddies?

My writing partners include The Ponderers, a group of women who met at Susie Warren’s My Book Therapy retreats. We clicked instantly and formed friendships that will last a lifetime. We pray over each other almost daily, brainstorm together, and encourage one another. Now that they are a part of my life, I can’t imagine continuing my writing career without them.

I have another group of friends who have supported and encouraged me as well—the Writer C.H.I.C.K.s—a group of published and unpublished writers who understand the struggles of publication. We bring our diverse abilities to the group to pray for and support each other.

Lisa’s Best Tips for Writers

~ Pray—without God directing your path, how can you stay on the course he has laid before you? Pray for your writing friends.

~ Ask—no such thing as a stupid question. If you need help, ask for it. None of us knows everything, but chances are you will find someone who can help you with information.

~ Read—read what you love and read outside of your comfort zone to see how authors of various genres tell a story.

~ Write—this should be followed by a duh, but I’ll be polite and resist. Talking about writing is more fun and so much easier, but you won’t sell that book unless you write it.

~ Partner with one another—writing is a solitary business. Find a writing partner or two or three to pray and encourage one another. Swap chapters and help each other hone those writing skills.

~ Persevere—writing takes time. Don’t be in a rush to submit anything other than your absolute best work. And when those rejections or low contest scores come in, grieve for a day, brush yourself off, and get back to writing.

Lisa’s Journey Continues

What are you working on now?

Draw Me Close, the first novel in my Coming Home series, has been submitted to Steeple Hill for their consideration. Tina James requested the full at the 2009 ACFW conference. While waiting for their response, I’m writing Pocketful of Posies, a contemporary romance about a travel agent who feels she is unworthy of God’s unconditional love, but a shy landscaper, an infant with special needs, and an inherited dilapidated house show her God’s grace is hers for the asking.

Five Items Lisa Has at Her Fingertips When She’s Writing

~ MacBook

~ Water bottle

~ Susan May Warren’s Inside…Out & Deep and Wide books

~ Earbuds to listen to music on my computer while I write

~ Post-it notes & pen for notes

Five Accomplishments That Have Meant the Most to Lisa

~ Giving my life to Jesus over 14 years ago

~ Celebrating almost 21 years of marriage

~ Raising 2 boys who treat others with love and respect

~ Graduating college at the age of 40

~ Completing and submitting my first novel

Lisa’s Question for You

As someone who works full-time and struggles to balance family, business, friends, church, downtime, and writing, I would like to know how others have moved from writing part-time to becoming full-time writers. If you are not a full-time writer, how do you juggle your responsibilities to make time to write?

Lisa’s Drawing

Lisa has generously offered to give away a set of 4 hand-stamped assorted note cards with  designs of her choosing.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for Lisa by midnight June 15 (Pacific time) and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process. (You don’t have to leave it in the body of your comment this way.)

On June 16, I will hold the drawing and post the winner’s name here as well and will contact her/him via email to get a mailing address. (I don’t share your information with anyone, other than sending your mailing address to my guest, and I don’t add your name to any mailing lists.)

Congratulations to Beth K. Vogt, winner of Lisa’s hand-stamped note cards.

Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Learn More About Lisa

Visit her website ~www.lisajordanbooks.com

Visit her personal blog ~ www.lisajordanbooks.blogspot.com

Friend Her on Facebook ~Lisa Jordan

Follow her on Twitter ~lisajordan

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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44 Responses to Meet Novelist Lisa Jordan

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Lisa! It’s great to have you here at RWotJ. I enjoyed learning more about you and your writing journey.

    Congrats, again, on your offer of representation from Rachelle. I went hoarse from shouting “Oh, my Gosh!” at the top of my lungs when I opened her email saying she wanted to discuss the possibility of representation.

    How fun that we’re now agency mates. I’m soooo eager to hear that Rachelle’s sold your first book. 🙂

    • ojidli says:

      Thanks for inviting me to be a guest, Keli! I’m humbled to be a part of your site.

      Each time Rachelle tweets about a book sale, I keep hoping it’s going to be one of my friends! Hoping she tweets about your sale soon!

  2. territiffany says:

    I was at first drawn to this interview as I see Lisa is from PA and so am I! But then as I read more, I loved reading about her journey and how she took such care getting her work at its best before she turned it it.I think I can learn from that:) I am always rushing and have decided this time to not.
    Thanks for a great inteview and congrats to her for having Rachelle pick her up!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Thanks for your sweet words! Always glad to meet another Pennsylvanian. 🙂

      One thing I’ve learned is you have one chance to snag an editor’s or agent’s attention with your words, so you want them to be the absolute best you can make them!

  3. christicorbett says:

    Lisa,
    Great interview!

    Thanks for sharing how you set, and then achieved, your goals.

    I liked how you mentioned you always have post-it notes at the ready…my own desk is filled with them so it’s great to see another fellow “sticky” lover 🙂

    And, I love that you believe there is no such thing as a stupid question!

    Christi Corbett
    http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Christi. As I glance around my desk, I counted ten notes posted to my desk with at least four stacks of Post-its available to jot down story ideas or a plot thought. I’d be lost without them. I even carry a pad in my purse. Besides, I’m a list maker and these handy pads make it so much easier…not to mention the cute colors they come in! 🙂

      After working with kids for so many years, I’ve learned no question is stupid…yes, even those annoying “why?” ones. Questions help us learn. 🙂

      • Keli Gwyn says:

        Lisa and Christi, I’m stuck on sticky notes too. I use them in my story plotting system and in my To-do list binder. I love the variety of colors and sizes. How did people survive before that 3M scientist turned his “weak” adhesive into a product I use everyday? 🙂

        • lisajordanbooks says:

          Keli, I totally agree!! His “weak” product is one of the greatest inventions ever!

  4. Sherrinda says:

    Congratulations on getting Rachelle! That is wonderful! I am amazed that you work full-time, write, raise a family AND went to school. You are my hero! 🙂 I loved hearing about your journey and hope to have your book on my shelf sometime soon!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Sherrinda,

      You are so sweet! Thanks for the congrats. Rachelle is a doll. I’m blessed to be on her client list. Believe me, I wouldn’t recommend my crazy schedule to anyone. Sometimes writing gets shoved aside when I run out of the hours in a day.

  5. Loved the interview and learning more about you Lisa!!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Katie,

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad you loved the interview. Keli makes it easy by asking great questions!

  6. Melissa says:

    Yay, Lisa! Great interview, fellow Ponderer. So glad to know you! And I can’t wait to read your book when it’s published.

    And let’s see, how do I juggle my responsibilities? I drink lots of caffeine…and prioritize. Which means I run out of clean clothes regularly and haven’t vacuumed in weeks. Ah well…:)

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Melissa, my sweet Pondering pal…so glad you stopped by. I don’t drink much caffeine. Priorities revolve around NCIS–just kidding. Hubby helps do laundry, and vacuuming is a necessity. I’m trying the getting up when the alarm goes off to see if that gives me more writing time. We’ll see… 🙂

  7. Terry Ervin says:

    Great interview! Hoping and praying that Rachelle Gardner is able to find a publisher for your work–and don’t ever quit the Snoopy dance!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Terry, it’s so great to see you! Thanks for stopping by. I’m praying Rachelle places my book, too. With my world revolving around kids, it’s hard to stop the Snoopy dancing. 🙂 How’s your book doing?

  8. audraharders says:

    Lisa, congratulations on finally completing your degree! It takes great strength, courage and energy to care for your family, care for the children in your charge, write to deadlines AND complete homework and classes. Whew, I’m worn out thinking about it : )

    Your journey is amazing and I’m so proud of you for signing with Rachelle Gardner. She’s a great agent and I’m praying you go far.

    You’re also a great face for MBT! Susie is such a wonderful author and teacher. The entire blog and readership is a blessing.

    Keep doing what you’re doing!!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Audra, thanks for your sweet words and congrats. I kept thinking if I didn’t have homework, I’d have so much more time to write. Now other stuff fills that time. Now I’m thinking how did I find time for homework AND writing.

      One thing I’ve learned on this journey is you can’t go it alone. I’ve met terrific friends and mentors who’ve continually supported me. Love all of them. 🙂

  9. Beth K. Vogt says:

    How fun to get to know you a little bit better through this interview, LJ! You continually amaze me with all that you do–and how you do it all with such a loving heart! I’m thankful God allowed our paths to cross through our mutual friendship with Roxanne, Suzie, ACFW and the MBT Retreats. I count you a forever friend.

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Sweet TEE, you’re stuck with me now, baby! 🙂 God had a plan long before either of us was born to have us meet and become firm friends. I’m so blessed by that friendship! Thanks for your sweet words of affirmation.

  10. Lynn says:

    Other gifts possessed by Lisa:
    She is the best kind of sister – always supportive, never critical.

    Lisa is an amazing aunt – showing the most patience and love possible to her special- needs niece.

    She carries everything in her purse. Need an extra pair of shoes or a tire iron? She just might have them in her bag.

    Lisa has an amazing ability to recall the dates of special family events, family history, and phone numbers…

    She can spell anything, so don’t play boggle (or is boggel?) with her.

    Lisa has the best laugh! She is fun to share a laugh with.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lynn, what a beautiful tribute to your sister. Thanks for sharing these wonderful insights into Lisa. It’s easy to see she’s a very special person who has touched many lives for good.

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Ok, I’m loving all the sweet comments so far, but I have to say this one made me cry. Cyber world, meet my incredible sister who happens to be my best friend. We got a two-for-one deal with this relationship. I love you, Lynn!! (And can I say just how shocked I am that you’re posting online!) 🙂

  11. Teri Dawn Smith says:

    Wonderful interview, but whew! I don’t know how you do it all! I’m praying that you’ll be hearing great news from Rachelle soon, Lisa! I count it one of life’s great blessings to be a fellow Ponderer with you! I can’t wait to see you again at ACFW!

    (Great interview, Keli!)

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Teri, I’m so thankful for ACFW and MBT for bringing us together. The way the Ps have all intersected and cemented a friendship is one of life’s greatest joys. Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi!

  12. Roxanne says:

    Lisa,

    I’m constantly amazed with how much you accomplish. You constantly give 110% in fifteen different directions. You have such a big heart and give to so many people. I can’t wait to hold your book in my hands one day, and I’m so glad we’re friends!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Roxanne, you were one of my first online writing friends and read so many of my words when they were so blah. Your feedback and prayers helped me grow and become a better writer. I’m so blessed by our friendship.

  13. Jenness says:

    Great interview. Lisa, can’t wait to read your stuff! 🙂 As for Boggle…I’d like to issue a challenge. lol. That really would be a great retreat game, eh?
    Congrats on your accomplishments. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for you.

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Game on, Jenness! Next time I know we’re going to be in the same area again, I’ll bring my travel Boggle. Thanks for popping in to say hi!

      • Lori Benton says:

        Oh Boggle is one of my favorite games. Is this a writer thing, do you think?

        I enjoyed your interview, Lisa. Hope our paths cross at this year’s ACFW in Indy, if you plan to be there. It will be my first ACFW, though not my first conference.

        Blessings to you!
        Lori

        • lisajordanbooks says:

          Lori, thanks for reading my interview and posting a comment. I’ll keep an eye out in Indy for you. I’d love to meet you!

          Did you know you can buy Boggle in book form? It’s like a word search, but instead of circling words, you write them down. Found mine a few years ago at Barnes & Noble. Great for travel or to kill time while waiting for appts. 🙂

  14. Susan Mason says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for sharing your journey! I don’t know how you juggle all that and still find time to write! Makes me want to crack my own whip!

    What your post has made me realize is that I need to get out more and meet some new writing buddies!

    Best of luck with your submission at Steeple Hill.

    Sue

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Sue, thanks so much for your sweet words. Sometimes finding time to write is a challenge, especially when demands from my day job take priority.

      I would be so lost without my writing friends. Their prayers and constant encouragement keep me going. God blessed me with great friends.

      Do you belong to any writing organizations? Do you have writing friends on Facebook or Twitter? My writing friends came from ACFW and My Book Therapy.

  15. Lisa, Congratulations on your journey thus far. In addition to your writing success, you’re represented by the best agent in the business. (Of course, I may be prejudiced, since she represents me as well).

    Keli, Thanks for another great in-depth interview.

    Oh, and don’t enter me in the drawing for notecards. I try not to write notes. Have you ever seen a doctor’s handwriting?

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Richard, you are so right about having the best agent in the industry! I found your book at Barnes & Noble the other day, but resisted buying it because I’m waiting for ACFW so I can get you to sign it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Kit says:

    Hi Lisa and Keli,

    Great interview as always!!! Hope to see both of you at Nationals!!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Hey, Kit! So glad you dropped in. I won’t be at Nationals, but I’m planning to attend ACFW. Are you going?

  17. Jody Hedlund says:

    Very fun interview, Lisa! I didn’t realize you were targeting Steeple Hill. Hope that is going well for you!

    • lisajordanbooks says:

      Jody, thanks for stopping by to say hi! Believe me, you’ll know if Steeple Hill buys my book. Still waiting to hear from them…that’s the hard part. You’ve been there. 🙂

  18. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by–and an added thanks to those who left a comment for Lisa.

    I’ve held the drawing for the winner of the hand-stamped note cards Lisa so generously offered as a prize, and the winner is Beth K. Vogt.

    Congratulations, Beth! I’ll be in touch.

  19. lisajordanbooks says:

    Keli,

    Thanks so much for inviting me to participate on your blog. You’re a terrific interviewer and I had so much fun being here!

    Thanks to my friends–old and new–who stopped by to say hi. Your sweet words of encouragement warm my heart. I look forward to seeing many of you soon in September at ACFW!

    Now, will anyone think I’m a total dork if I print out this interview for my writing scrapbook?

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lisa,

      I’m a scrapbooker. Well, I scrapbooked before I started writing. Can’t seem to find the time these days.

      Anyhow, I think printing out the interview is a cool thing. Not dorkie at all. 🙂

      The way I see it is that we writers need to enjoy the journey and record the special moments. Having you as my guest has been one of mine.

      • lisajordanbooks says:

        Keli, are you attending ACFW? If so, I’ll be sure to find you and share my scrapbook of my writing journey. I wouldn’t bring it if I had planned to fly, but since I’m driving with a friend, I’ll have extra room. It’s a documentation of my writing journey so far. Scrapbooking is a passion, but one I have less and less time for. So sad. 🙂 I’m learning how to do digital scrapbooking now. So handy to do while away from the house and my tools.

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