Michaele Jordan is the author of Mirror Maze, a ghost story from Pyr. It has some nice people who are under a very wicked curse. I invited Michaele to stop by the virtual offices for a chat about her new book.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Michaele Jordan] I’m a classic 60’s Gemini: serenely neurotic, an elitist libertarian, an SF fan and practicing Jew, and a realist with invisible playmates
(That was hard–clearly, I’ll never make it on Twitter!)
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Mirror Maze?
[Michaele Jordan] I call it an occult thriller. I like to think it is also elegant Victoriana. One of the reviews called it an erotic ghost story. My girlfriend said it was so scary and gruesome it kept her up all night.
The short form: Jacob Aldridge comes home one day and finds his late fiancée waiting for him in the study. Then things get worse. Much worse.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Michaele Jordan] Oh, dear. I was afraid you would ask that. I was watching TV. (No, I won’t tell you the show. I’m too embarrassed.) And while I was watching, the show sort of bumped into a story I had just read that afternoon. Hmm, thinks I. That would make a great combo if I just changed one little thing…. Guess what. I changed more than one thing.
[Manga Maniac Café] Which of your characters are you most like?
[Michaele Jordan] That’s a very hard question, since there’s some of me in all my characters, and aspects to all of them that are nothing like me. I hope I’m as clever and articulate as Cecily, but I lack her confident control and elegant manners. I’m probably more like Rhoda, but I hope I’m not so headstrong. Maybe I’m most like Anna Strasser: a direct, often accidentally tactless, open-hearted lady, who happens to see things that are invisible.
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing Mirror Maze?
[Michaele Jordan] Keeping at it. Writing a novel takes a long time, and the world is full of distractions. And Mirror Maze is long (135,00 words), even by modern novel standards. Twice I hit blocks, and had no idea what to say next. I even had to throw out 10,000 words that I wrote when I decided to force myself to keep writing after I hit a block. A lot of pros recommend doing that. As I found out the hard way, the technique doesn’t work for everybody.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your biggest creative influences?
[Michaele Jordan] My style was shaped by all those long afternoons spent curled up with a book in my grandmother’s library. To this day I tend to write (and even sometimes to talk) like a nineteenth century novel. My general choice of content comes from my profound belief in magic during my childhood, which I had a very hard time shaking. (I still think sometimes… well, never mind that!) And, alas, my immediate story choices (like that of Mirror Maze) usually come from something I just saw on TV. TV is a wonderful mixed resource. Just good enough to catch my attention, but bad enough that I want to rewrite everything I see from scratch.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Michaele Jordan] A computer with an ergo-dynamic keyboard, a really comfortable chair, and a long suffering husband to bring me many cups of tea. (Although, the above mentioned TV set would be a strong candidate for fourth place.)
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Michaele Jordan] Hardest question yet! Like so many readers, I started out being read to. So there were already many books in my life, before I could actually read them. Maybe the Oz books? I have no idea at all when I crossed the line between demanding they be read to me and reading them myself. Or Half Magic (by Edward Eager), which I still cherish and occasionally reread.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Michaele Jordan] Like I said, the world is full of distractions! I watch far more TV than I ought—I’m a devoted animé lover, plus a Doctor Who addict. (Not just the new Doctor Who, either; my collection goes back to William Hartnell.)
But when I’m watching TV, I’m usually crocheting, too. (My next project will be a crocheted Dalek.) I spend a lot of time gardening although I’m not very good at it. I’m an excellent baker (but only a fair cook).
For exercise, I do Tai Chi and swim and take long walks with my true love. (We also hike, when woods present themselves.) And we travel around the country when we can and check out Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
You can learn more about Michaele by visiting her website – www.michaelejordan.com
Mirror Maze is out now, and you can purchase it from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the handy widgets below. It is available in both trade paperback and ebook.
Jacob Aldridge is still utterly devastated by the death of his fiance, when he suddenly encounters her doppelganger. Livia Aram’s uncanny resemblance to the late Rhoda Carothers so transcends coincidence that Jacob becomes obsessed with her. The intensity of his passion terrifies her until her compassion is roused by his desperate plight. A demon is stalking him, a succubus-like entity that feeds on human pain and desire. With the help of Jacob’s sister, Cecily, and Livia’s guardian, the mysterious Dr. Chang, they overcome the demon. Or so it appears . . .
Jacob, Livia, and Cecily are all victims of a single curse, a curse that entrapped and destroyed their parents before them. Now fate has drawn the unsuspecting descendants together, and the curse is playing out again. Nothing can help them, until Cecily’s husband returns from abroad. Colonel Beckford has been missing for years; he has seen strange things and acquired strange powers in his absence. Now he will do whatever it takes to free his wife and end the demon and its curse once and for all.