READ ANY GOOD BOOKS?

(Originally feature in the Arizona City Independent Edition, June 27, 2007)

Just in case you missed the notices scattered in various places around this web site, let me repeat the big news right here: My first book in more than 20 years is finally a reality!

As I completed this article for the newspaper's deadline, I hadn’t yet received my copies of Lion's Pride from the publisher, but I was able to hold the book in my eager little hands before that, so I knew it wasn't a dream. A coworker of Jim’s purchased a copy from Barnes & Noble. But alas, after I signed it for his wife, I had to send the book back home to its rightful owners.

The blurb I wrote for the back cover of Lion's Pride will give you a good idea what the story is all about: “Beware the Old Lion Who Jealously Guards His Pride. In 1911 Arizona, as Sheriff Paco Alaniz investigates the murder of Don Santiago Castillo de Leon, he must deal with the priest who seems to be more than a confessor to the distraught widow, a runaway teenager who's promised as the tenth bride to the leader of renegade Mormon polygamists, an ex-Mormon gambler who wants to save his sister and the woman he loves from the husband they both share, and a rampaging mountain lion threatening inhabitants of the Territory.”

And the people at Outskirts Press who helped me design the cover added this inspired bit to the front cover: “ . . . murder, runaways, gamblers, adultery and mountain lions . . . An Arizona Sheriff has more than he bargained for.”

You can order copies of Lion's Pride, and my second book, The World I Imagine, from almost any online book store, including several based outside the United States. The only exception I found at first was Borders, but they soon came around and added it to their online catalog too.

Not surprisingly, I discovered that some vendors had me mixed up with a couple of other Debbie Jordans. One British purveyor thought Lion's Pride was written by an English “actress,” now retired, who built a stunning reputation in the 1980s around two impressive physical assets. My book’s page on the bookseller’s web site even linked my book to her Wikipedia entry. And another book store mistakenly linked Lion's Pride to the woman who wrote Abducted! about her and her family’s experiences with extraterrestrial visitors.

As I explained in an earlier column (which I plan to post to this web site sometime in the future) about all the talented Debbie Jordans I found when I googled my name, I’ve never skippered a charter boat, appeared in or produced any X-rated films, or been kidnapped by little green men. But the number of places where this Debbie Jordan can be found on the internet is growing all the time.

I was tempted to disabuse these merchants of their misapprehensions regarding my identity. On the other hand, any confusion could help sales, which I don’t mind as long as I get the royalties. People will soon discover which Debbie Jordan actually wrote Lion's Pride, and now The World I Imagine, and the errors can be a clever selling point when I do publicity for my books.

Recently, I've added some personal notes to my book’s pages at one book-store web site that allows for that sort of thing. It’s just one of the many ways that authors can use the internet to expand their fan base, and I intend to use it for all it’s worth.

By the way, you can add your own review of Lion's Pride and The World I Imagineto those sites as well. In fact, I’d be honored. But please, be honest and objective. If something you say helps me do a better job with my future writing, I appreciate that as much as any of the attention that is focused on what I do well. And if you enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it, then I’ll be very happy, indeed.

Speaking of reviews, many small newspapers are happy to run things like that, but major dailies like the Arizona Republic do not review self-published books, so you won’t find it there. On the other hand, the more attention I get for my work, the better chance I’ll have of getting the big papers to write about me. We’ll see!

As I explained earlier in this column, one reason I decided to self-publish is that I don’t want to get stuck in a rut turning out the same kind of book over and over. First a historical mystery novel, then a nonfiction think piece, then for my third effort, I might turn a short story I wrote back in Texas into a children’s book. That story would also work as a play, and I’m already taking steps to make that happen too. I’ll probably get back to the mystery genre for my fourth book--or maybe I’ll do that science fiction/fantasy that I envision as a companion piece for The World I Imagine.

Meanwhile, I know of more than one author who's written several genre books, such as category romance novels, then got so tired of churning out the same kind of book over and over that they let life and other things take them away from work they truly enjoyed. That’s why I plan to keep writing all sorts of different things. Besides, I don’t know how to stick to any particular genre. I don’t want to get tired of writing, so I intend to do everything possible to keep my work new and fresh.

And when I'm looking for a publisher, I don't have to look past the one I've got now!

 


Debbie Jordan