Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Crazy Writer Lady

Since I started writing seriously … or should I say seriously writing … something has happened to me. I find that I live in whatever book I’m working on more than I live in the real world. I wake up with thoughts about my characters and sit at the computer to put them “on paper.” Sometimes I do this at 3 a.m. I live with a cat. She doesn’t mind my odd hours.

Of course, I do have to spend time in the real world. I have to pay bills and feed the cat and check on my children and grandchildren. But my worlds overlap all the time. I can be wandering through the supermarket and have a sudden answer to a knot in a plot and have to hang onto the thought (see what I did there?) until I get home. Instead, someone I’ve known for years says hello and I struggle to pull myself back into the twenty-first century (all my novels take place in the twentieth century) and remember who in the world this person is.

I’ve become the crazy writer lady. Since I’m approaching the milestone birthday that marks me as older than God, I’m sure some people attribute all this to advancing age. I don’t feel old, but I definitely feel distracted. I need to get back to the twentieth century to work on my book.

My background is music and theater. Primarily musical theater as I directed musicals for over thirty years. I experienced some of this while working on a production, because along with the many other people involved we recreated the world of that particular show. But a key word here is “recreated” ─ we were bringing the work of the composer and authors of the musical to life as best we could. We tried to understand what the creator of the work wanted to tell the audience and were acting as a conduit for those truths. I was part of a team and we were all working together to make this happen
Here’s where being a show director is gratifying. With an audience, there’s an immediate response to your work. The audience applauds, sometimes cheers, and sometimes stands in appreciation.

Releasing each book is difficult. It’s like sending your child off to kindergarten and hoping she will be safe and happy. But being a creator is exciting and fulfilling in ways directing could not be. These are my words. This is a world I have created and am inviting people to enter. These are my characters that I want people to care about. It’s not a task undertaken lightly. I know I have a good story to tell, and with each book I believe I learn a little more about how to tell it better.

My characters talk to me. They argue with me. They do things I never intended for them to do and refuse to behave themselves. They are very real and I come to love them. I’ve heard other authors say this, so I understand it goes with the territory, and if I don’t love them and believe them, neither will my reader.

 I’ve come to understand that while there is an audience, they aren’t all there at the same time. They come into the world of my story one by one. Sometimes they speak to me in the supermarket or in a parking lot to tell me they enjoyed a book. Sometimes they send me a message to let me know the same thing. Occasionally they write a review, and that’s especially nice because other potential readers see that review and are intrigued enough to buy a copy of the book.

When I first started on this “third act” of my life, a theater friend, who happens to be a writer, reminded me often: “There is no opening night.” He was cautioning me not to rush to publish. And then I realized there is also no closing night. People continue to find their way into the world of my books. One audience member at a time.

All in all, I love being the crazy writer lady. It’s a great third act.


Please visit my website at
or my Amazon page at

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


So I just released another book, Memories of Jake. This makes six … five novels and one non-fiction memoir.

For thirty-some years I was part of the theater community where I live, directing high school and community musicals (that’s what the memoir, entitled “More Fog, Please”: 31 Years Directing Community and High School Musicals” is about). So when I released my first book in the fall of 2013, How I Grew Up, it was a Big Deal. People knew me as a theater person, and now I was trying my hand at writing. I appreciated the congratulations and the book sales. When I released the second novel, Eli’s Heart, it also created a bit of a stir.

Since then hardly anybody blinks when I release a new book. I suppose that’s what happens to most of us, though, and one of the reasons writing can be a lonely endeavor. I keep remembering Anne Lamott’s comment in Bird by Bird, “Writing is its own reward.” And in most ways, that is a truth.

I really love it, though, when somebody buys a book. I love it even more when somebody buys a book, reads it, and WRITES A REVIEW! That’s a standing ovation. With each novel I have worked at improving my craft. I think all the stories I’ve told are good stories, and people seem to have enjoyed reading them. I think Memories of Jake is my best effort to date, without question.

So this blog post is pure, shameless self-promotion (it comes with the territory). I would love for you to read my story. And if you love it, please write a review. Here’s one that was definitely that standing ovation:

Susan Moore Jordan’s extraordinary new novel, Memories of Jake, is dedicated to “all those whose souls have been bruised by war and with admiration for those who found their way back to life through the power of creativity.” In Jordan’s story, wars can be personal struggles as well as political conflicts, and the power of creativity may extend to the expression, pain and redemption of love itself.

A horrific childhood trauma forges the bond between brothers Andrew and Jacob Cameron. As adults, their experiences in Vietnam seem somehow to resonate with the childhood drama. Amnesia enters the picture, but to say more would give away the intricate and sometimes shocking plot. As in Jordan’s other novels, music plays an important part, in this case the glorious requiems of Verdi, Fauré, and Brahms, especially Brahms. 

Although Memories of Jake is a free-standing book and may be read on its own, many of the affectionately-drawn characters will be familiar from Jordan’s Carousel Trilogy (How I Grew Up, Eli’s Heart, You Are My Song) and Jamie’s Children. In fact, Andrew and Jacob are the little boys who witnessed a murder in the first book of the trilogy. In Man With No Yesterdays, scheduled for release in the fall, Jacob’s account will take front and center. - Michaele Benedict

 cover by Tristan Flanagan
Memories of Jake is available on Amazon, paperback and Kindle:
or visit my website