Today we have a young author from Canada joining us. Jordan Creed’s passion is storytelling, and he’s been writing since he could pick up a pen. He writes young adult dystopian fiction/scifi, and his second book has just been released. With initial reviews of his work containing statements such as “page turner, original, exciting,” it sounds like he has a great future ahead of him.
Welcome Jordan, and thanks for joining us!
At nineteen, you have a lot of writing ahead of you. I know you’ve recently finished high school. Do you plan to continue studying writing?
I believe that the art of writing is a lesson that never ends, and being an author is an academy I’ll never graduate from. I started studying narrative structure, dialogue, and character development – subconsciously, mind you – when I was around ten. For a period of about five years, a fair portion of my spare time was spent watching the same films dozens of times. Through this method, I developed an intuitive sense of proper plot structure, and whenever a new film deviated from this, I would feel an irritation in my chest. Since then, my studying method has become more literate, of course, and I spend my time reading and listening to more direct observations on the writing craft. With the explosion of the Internet, I find myself in an endless library of expertise and wisdom. I believe I’ll remain occupied here for a long time.
Where did you come up with the idea for your first book, The Breacher?
The idea for The Breacher actually emerged from my interest in political and economic systems. I had reached the age when I began noticing the operations of my own society, and I recognized that we in the west follow a form of meritocracy. I then began to imagine what a more extreme form of meritocracy would look like. What if we removed all social programs? What if one’s social status was determined absolutely by their ability to climb the ladder of success? What if only a certain number of workers could remain within the society? What if the price of poor performance was death? From these questions, The Breacher’s System was created, and I began designing a world in which this society could operate. Before long, The Breacher in its present form was born.
How did you find out about self-publishing?
Self-publishing was recommended to me by my mother, another passionate writer who had experience in the traditional publishing sphere. As a boy, my interest was more for stories than it was for the industry of selling them, so my knowledge on the subject was scarce. Once I proved my commitment to writing, though, my mother explained my options to me. In the end, self-publishing seemed to be the most promising avenue, and I have been very pleased with it so far.
Do you find that some people don’t take you seriously as a writer because of your age?
No, I think that I’m treated fairly as a young author. That said, however, I have encountered my share of justified skepticism. While everyone I know has always been supportive of my pursuits, I don’t believe much was expected of my first attempt. In fact, I remember very clearly a conversation I overheard between my friends, who had recently read The Breacher in its early stages. One of my close friends had said, “You know, his book is actually really good!” I think that this sums up strangers’ reactions nowadays, as well. Initially, I see a flicker of doubt in their eyes and receive a gesture of approval for following my interests. They tend to recognize that this isn’t just a hobby once they’ve read the first chapter.
What do your friends think about you actually getting your books out there and achieving some success already?
I’ve always been surrounded by supportive people, and I try hard to never take that for granted. All of my family and closest friends eagerly reading the early drafts of The Breacher motivated me to continue, and they were there to congratulate me once I had published it. The friends who express the most pride in me, though, are those who also have a passion for writing. I think that anyone who has attempted to write a novel understands the dedication and patience required for a project like that, and I am always surprised when they ask for my advice on how best to complete theirs. Looking around me, I am always reminded how fortunate I am for the people who truly want me to succeed.
Who are some of your favourite authors and why?
When I was younger, one of my many obsessions was The Lord of the Rings and all of its related works. I read nearly all of Tolkien’s books about Middle-Earth, and his writing style heavily influenced my early style. As I became more interested in politics, however, I discovered George Orwell’s works. One of the things that caught my attention about his writing was his ability to communicate advanced political concepts through a fictional story. This is one of the skills that I have been attempting to incorporate into my own writing for a while now.
Do you listen to music when you write or do you need total silence?
I’m constantly listening to music – sunup to sundown! It plays a monumental role in my writing, and I often wonder what I would do without it. Almost all of my scenes, concepts, and characters have been inspired by songs and the emotional impressions they make on me. Beyond the idea-generating phase, music helps me throughout the writing process. I have amassed at least thirty playlists since I started writing, each embodying a specific emotion or tone. When I write a chapter that’s scary, hopeful, exhilarating, sorrowful, or so on, I just put on that playlist and enter that mood. I’ve found that surrounding myself with a certain tone through music has subtle but crucial effects on the page. Thank you, Hans Zimmer!
Can you tell us about The Breacher trilogy?
Well, The Breacher trilogy follows Nathan Hardline as he struggles to keep his family alive, uncover the mysteries around him, and follow his ideals. In his home, the Colony, your performance determines your rank in the Standings, and the unfortunate few who find themselves at the bottom of the list by the end of each month are publicly executed. When he accidently dooms his brother to that fate, he sets out on a mission to save him, a mission which takes him beyond the walls of the Colony and into the uncharted Outers where the air itself can kill in minutes and savage Screechers crawl over and beneath every mountain. He’s soon swept up into a larger game of conspiracy, ever-rising stakes, and a mystery which his past may be the only answer to. At its heart, The Breacher trilogy deals with themes of family, duty, morality, war, and sacrifice.
You’ve just released book 2 in the trilogy, The Breacher: Revenant; are you now working on book 3? And when do you expect to release that one?
With the release of The Breacher and The Breacher: Revenant, my attention has jumped to the final installment in the trilogy, The Breacher: Exodus. This is a project I have been preparing for since I was sixteen years old, and I am eagerly tackling it. Exodus is a very large undertaking that will take many months, but it will be an explosive conclusion to a story I have lived with for three years, and I can’t wait for fans of The Breacher to read it! The Breacher: Exodus should be published this coming summer of 2018.
I love your covers. They’re original and dynamic while presenting a theme so they are recognizable as related titles. Did you employ someone to do them for you? And if so, how did you find them?
As a matter of fact, I did these covers myself. Originally, I had intended to have them done professionally, and I was in contact with an artist for many months until we went our separate ways. In the end, I decided to do them on my own, so I took a camera to the basement, grabbed some props I found lying around, and shot some poses of myself against a hung-up sheet. I took those silhouettes into Photoshop, purchased some stock images, and got to work. About a month of work and learning later, I had a cover. Revenant’s cover went much quicker, of course, and I’m confident that Exodus’ won’t take much time at all when I get to it. In the future, however, I think I’ll focus on my writing and leave the cover art to a professional!
That’s pretty impressive, though. Most covers done by authors who are not artists look like a ten-year-old did them lol. Nice work!
What’s your favourite part of being a published author?
I think a lot of authors would answer this question with a reference to the pride of the accomplishment, maybe the money, perhaps the fact that other people are simply enjoying their story, or even some boasting rights. But I’m a bit different in that respect, and I knew I would be even before I was published. See, I write because I love my stories, but I complete my novels because I maintain a healthy terror of the alternative. The mere thought of my stories lingering in the back of my mind and eventually drifting into oblivion is enough to send me running back to my laptop to, in a sense, save their lives. I am given a curious sense of comfort and peace every time I complete and publish a story because I know that it no longer exists solely in my own mind. It exists in the world – tangible, concrete, secure – and no matter what happens to me, it will survive. That’s my favourite part of being a published author: ensuring my ideas will outlive me.
What’s next for you?
Once The Breacher trilogy is complete, I intend to pursue more mature ideas and stories in the broader science fiction genre. Since I first began The Breacher, my philosophical views have evolved into a central passion in my life. Every writer needs something to say, and I truly believe that I have something to say. I have a single, crucial message I want to convey. I intend to focus on stories that can carry it like a vessel, as all the greatest literary works have been designed to do. If I can help to course correct our present philosophical trajectory before we develop technologies that will feast off our inconsistencies, I’ll have done my job. Fortunately for me, I have the benefit of time on my side.
Thank you so much for chatting to us today, Jordan. You sound like you know where you’re headed, and I’m sure your readers can’t wait for you to keep releasing books :).
If you enjoy young adult dystopian fiction, just click on the book covers below to visit Amazon and grab a copy. And if you want to keep up with what Jordan’s doing or say hi, you can find him on Twitter, Facebook, or his website. Happy reading!
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