Dame for a Day: Jordan Summers

Introduction by Dame Kaz

What can I say about author Jordan Summers? Okay, I’ll start by saying that I absolutely love her dark fantasy-romance ‘Dead World’ trilogy. The first book, RED, blew me away with its post-apocalyptic take on the genre – the world is quite science fictional in many ways, and that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned. Jordan is here to mark the release of book two in the trilogy, SCARLET – which just came out on June 2nd and I’m happy to report that it more than equals the first book. In fact, I think SCARLET is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. :)


Ladies, Gentlemen & Dames, I give you… Jordan Summers!

(Oh, and stick around afterwards for news of a cool giveaway.)


There’s a phenomena that seems to be happening to a lot of the writing community. Authors are becoming internet writers. What are internet writers? When I say that, I’m not talking about authors who write stories for the internet or blog regularly. I’m referring to authors who ‘write’ around their internet viewing time. jordan-summers2

Instead of writing their next book, they are surfing blog sites and following random links. They spend several hours making themselves ‘busy’, while the real work waits for their return. This might have started out innocently enough. They may have wanted to stay in touch with friends, promote their books, or feel like part of a community, but somewhere along the line something changed. The occasional drop in became an all day, every day affair.

How do I know so much about these internet authors? Gulp, because I’ve become one.

I’m really not sure how it happened. Perhaps it was trying to keep up with my blog or **cough**promo**cough**, but sometime over the last six months I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve made the switch. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t missed any deadlines. The real damage occurs when I’m NOT under deadline. (Release the procrastination hounds.)

It takes me at least forty-five minutes to read through my RSS feeds. Yes, I have that many. The forty-five minutes doesn’t include the time it takes to leave a comment. It’s not unusual for me to spend two to three hours a day minimum going through blogs and dropping by various sites. That’s three hours that could’ve been spent writing, researching, studying craft, or outlining a book.

I’ve still managed to write the last two books of my Dead World series, an urban fantasy, a Blaze, a novella, and a couple of partials, but I wonder how much more I could’ve written if I’d used that internet time to write or work on craft issues.

Fortunately, like twelve step programs, there are a lot of ways to break this nasty habit. The easiest/and most difficult way is to turn off the internet. You can still work at your computer, but you won’t be able to receive emails or float aimlessly online. The second best thing is to get out of the house. You can work on your disconnected laptop (if you have one) or your NEO (or if all else fails paper). I do a lot of writing in a notebook because for some reason the act of placing pen to pad fires up my imagination. This works especially well when I’m stuck.

I wrote a large section of my first Dead World book, RED on a notepad. I needed to do character charts and arrange chapters. For some reason, I can’t do that on the computer. I need paper. I did the same with the second book, SCARLET. I had a character that I couldn’t get a handle on until I broke out the notebook.

I guess what I’m saying is it’s really easy to get caught up in the online world whether you’re a reader or a writer. It’s nice to be part of that community, but don’t let it keep you from writing or reading more books.


redJordan is offering one lucky winner a signed copy of the first book in her Dead World trilogy – RED. All you need to do is leave a comment on this entry. If you’d like to ask Jordan a question, I’ll see what I can do about getting her to swing by and answer them over the course of the weekend, but just a comment to say you’re ‘in’ for the giveaway is fine. This contest is open to all and closes at the end of the day Monday 8th June, so you don’t have long! I’ll announce the winner along with my regular post on Tuesday. :)


  1. Jeanie says

    That so describes me. It doesn’t help that I like to sign up for on-line workshops and these are done through email loops. Whenever the little mail chime goes off, I wonder if it is about my assignment and immediately have to check it. I stopped getting mail from other loops I’m on, so at least I don’t have to go through those messages. Last month I took three workshops at the same time. I wrote two chapters all month, though one of them applied the lesson we learned the first day in the workshop and now I absolutely love it.

  2. says

    I find I get a lot more writing done if I start the day with my writing and go play on the internet afterward than I do when I get on “just to check my email” with the intention of going to write afterward.

  3. Jackie U says

    Scarlet was devoured as soon as it reached my doorstep it was that good! I LOVE these books, especially the realism of the science behind the others.

  4. Donna S says

    Thanks for sharing. Very interesting and something to think about. I have noticed more and more authors spending more time on the internet.

    Sounds like a great series. Cant wait to track down a copy of Red to start it.

  5. Tina Christopher says

    You are soo right! I find myself randomly floating through the web and I have to admit I haven’t written properly in weeks because there is always one more link. There’s a coffee shop just round the corner so I may try writing there away from the internet.

    Great post, thanks!


  6. says

    ooo, it looks like a good read.

    I spend wayyy too much time online instead of writing. But, to be fair, I’m part of a writing group that has word wars and we go for 30 minutes at a time with 5-15 minutes breaks trying to write more than anyone else in the chat :)

  7. says

    Very guilty of this… and it doesn’t help that I need to be online to do a bunch of my work. And while I’m plugged in, might as well check my email, my twitter, my facebook, my LJ, play a few games, chat, etc etc etc… (In fact I should be working RIGHT NOW but instead I’m leaving this comment…)

  8. says

    Um, 45 minutes to get through RSS feeds doesn’t sound bad to me. In fact, I bet it takes me longer, when I add up the multiple times I go through the new stuff. *twitch twitch*

  9. says

    I have the same problem – I spend a good portion of my mornings going through blogs and other things on the internet. *sigh* Mostly I try to keep it under an hour … but you know how it goes!

  10. robin says

    I try to limit my time, but sometimes, I have to wind down (or wind up?) to writing, and reading the various blogs/boards helps me do that. It’s a tough balance!

  11. says

    I’ve been weening myself out of this particular addiction. Slowly.

    I’m so in for the giveaway and bless you Dames for having contests open to those of us outside the big U.S. of A. 😉

  12. Elyane says

    So true for readers only. I’m now spending way more time that I used to on the net reading reviews and blog to find what I will read next. That’s why my laptop is only for my ebook and not for the net. all my friends think I’m crazy but if I log on my laptop I will spend the day online and forget to do everything else.
    Count me in for the giveaway.

  13. says

    Well, I can never pass up a book giveaway! Count me in please!

    I’m finding that starting out as an author makes it just as difficult to manage the internet. Trying to building a “platform” can easily, easily, easily, oh so sweetly and easily turn into the “internet writer.” If you are trying to build readership by commenting on popular forums, etc… gulp. Just gulp.

  14. says

    Hi Jordan! I really loved RED as well. Great book. I don’t remember where it was posted, but I believe it was Dame Jackie who posted her recipe on balancing her internet time and still cranking out pages. The ironic part is it may not have been Dame Jackie, but someone else. You see I get confused sometimes in my feedreader *L*

  15. says

    It took literally years for me to become interested in the internet, then I discovered blogging….OMG, now I quit. I spend way more time than I used to, I follow about a hundred different sites, because I love reading about books. I think I need an intervention… LOL. If someone has a plan for how to limit internet use without just giving it up, let me know. I guess if I didn’t love reading so much, I wouldn’t spend so much time reading and writing reviews.

    Dottie :)

    (seriously addicted in Illinois)

  16. Leslie says

    I’ve picked up so many great reads by popping into sites like these . . . quite easy to get hooked and I’m trying to limit myself to only the best (right here, of course!)

    Please enter me for a chance at the next great read.

  17. says

    I understand exactly what your talking about. I used to read 3-5 books a week, that was with two full time jobs: work & family. Now that I’ve discovered the book blogging community and running my own blog, my read count has gone down to 1-2 books a week. It is about the balance, I’m still trying to find mine. *sigh* :)

  18. says

    Hey Jordan,

    Thanks for the insight. I was slowly beginning to sink into category in the two weeks in between finishing my last novel and starting my current WIP, but I think I’ve got a handle on it now. Great post.

    I’m excited for this contest. The trilogy sounds remarkable…hope I win! 😉

  19. says

    Woo contest! I’m definitly an internet junky, though I’m pretty sure I would be regardless of whether I was writing or not. I recently bought an AlphaSmart and have found leaving the house to write with it to be very useful for getting work done. Unfortunately I’m rewriting now so that doesn’t work so well!

  20. says

    Katherine, I plan to try rearranging my writing schedule that way. I’ll check the inbox for business, then leave until the writing is done. Only way to get all the books written that I want to this year.

  21. says

    Donna, As more and more authors are being asked to pick up the promotional load at publishing houses, you’ll see them ‘living’ online. It can be avoided, but very few authors succeed these days without having a healthy online presence.

  22. says

    Elyane, I agree. I don’t spend near enough time reading. I am trying to change that because I have a lot of great books calling my name right now.

  23. says

    Patrick, Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I have to admit I’m horrible with remembering where I get my information. I just know that I read it somewhere. *ggg*

  24. DragonKat says

    I know what you mean. I sit down to write and then think of something I need to look up right quick, so over to internet I go… and while there, what could it hurt to check my feeds or others’ tweets or… hours later I am caught up but haven’t written anything. There really needs to be an Internet Anonymous.

    This is something I am asking a lot of writers these days: how much time do you devote to research? Do you fully research something before you write or as you write?

  25. says

    Don’t forget, folks (and as you can see *g*), Jordan is more than happy to answer questions! Keep the comments coming and thanks for hanging out with our Dame for a Day. Well, more like our ‘Dame for a WEEKEND’. lol.


  26. Jessica says

    Sounds awesome. I always look forward to reading new authors. One day I hope to be in their position as a new author!

  27. says

    Oh, this is *so* me. As a newbie author I know I should be doing promo but don’t really know what :) so a lot of my time is used up hunting for opportunities.

    I try to limit my internet time to an hour first thing in the morning. Then I close my email/Twitter/web apps, and try to get working. It doesn’t always happen…

    I have a quick question for Jordan, if she’s still here: did you always intend RED to be the first book of a series? Or did you build the series afterwards?

  28. says

    I am very much guilty of surfing non-productively, which is why I made the conscious decision not to get involved with Facebook or Twitter. I know myself,and that way would lie insanity! I think the idea of a computer without internet capacity is brilliant – but have I taken that step? No!

    Q: Red, Scarlet – means Crimson is next?

  29. Julie Doe says

    Heh. The other window open on my computer right now is a short story I should be working on…but instead I’m surfing the Internet.

    Please enter me in the contest. RED has been on my TBB (to be bought) list for some time.

  30. Tom Gallier says

    Red? Scarlet? Hey, I’m no genius be I think I detect a theme here. I’ll bet the rent the next installment isn’t called Green.

    And yes, I’m an internet writer, too. Hangs head in shame as he clicks on link to next “daily” blog….

  31. Jacqueline L. says

    “The easiest/and most difficult way is to turn off the internet.”

    Oh ya, every now and then, I’ll go internet-free for a day. Unfortunately, those usually end up being days when I get an email needing a prompt response. :)

  32. says

    I know the feeling… I’ve gotten so caught up checking all my favorite sites, that I’ve been late for work a couple times.

    And I almost picked up a copy of Red today while I was at Borders earlier… There were so many books I wanted to get and I just couldn’t make a decision, so I have decided that once I get my next paycheck, I will go splurge. And I’ll definitely pick up Red (if I don’t win) and Crimson! :]

  33. Jennifer L says

    Well, I’m a sucker for retold fairy tales, so Red and Scarlet look like winners to me. What’s #3, Crimson?

  34. Wemdy says

    Hi, Jordan! the fairy-tale plotline sounds really awesome and I so want to read Red!

  35. says

    DragonKat,***Internet Anonymous*** LOL! I wouldn’t be surprised if it already exists.

    This is something I am asking a lot of writers these days: how much time do you devote to research? Do you fully research something before you write or as you write?

    Kat, This really depends on what type of book you’re trying to write. For example, when I write historicals, I tend to do a LOT of research. I want to make sure I get the period correct. For my Dead World series (ie RED, SCARLET, and CRIMSON), I had already read several scientific articles. (Love Science magazines.) I took the technology and expanded upon it, imagining what it would be like in a hundred and fifty years. So my ‘short’ answer is, I devote as much time as needed. The key is knowing when you’re getting caught up in the research and procrastinating. Sometimes that’s difficult, but I find once I start seeing the same information in books over and over again, then I’m done.

  36. says

    Erica, Nip that in the bud. *g*

    I have a quick question for Jordan, if she’s still here: did you always intend RED to be the first book of a series? Or did you build the series afterwards?

    I actually intended RED to be a stand-alone book (ie one book), but my editor at the time (the lovely Anna Genoese) suggested that it become a series. I had to build the series around the elements I introduced in the first book.

  37. says

    Maya, Thus far I’ve resisted temptation, too. That said, Twitter still sings to me like a siren. Sigh. You’re right that, that way lie dragons.

    Q: Red, Scarlet – means Crimson is next?

    Correct! Although, I do have to admit the only name I came up with is RED. My editor came up with the other two titles after the wonderful Claire Delacroix (sp) suggested we stick with short color-based names. :)

  38. Kimberly B. says

    This series sounds interesting! And I am another of those who is guilty of procrastinating on the computer—-even if I turn off my email notifications, it seems that there is always something I need to look up online!

  39. says

    Red was on my birthday wishlist but one of the ones I didn’t receive. After getting a shed load of books then, I’m forbidden to buy any more for at least two months – my only hope is winning one! lol

  40. Irene says

    Oh yay! I love giveaways! Okay, if i don’t win this, I’m buying it because it just sounds so good! :)

  41. Shari C says

    Thank you for the interesting post, Jordan, and I was so happy to find this interesting blog and discover a new trilogy I want to read. ‘Red’ sounds exciting and I look forward to enjoying it.

    If you are still answering questions I would love to know more about your characters developments. When you write do you think up your character personalities and traits, then decide on a name to fit the person or do you find an interesting name for a book and work the character around the name. Are names important to you in your story or more of a minor point. Thank you for your time.

  42. delitealex says

    I’ve heard alot of good things about this book. great post and giveaway.

  43. says

    Shari, ***When you write do you think up your character personalities and traits, then decide on a name to fit the person or do you find an interesting name for a book and work the character around the name. Are names important to you in your story or more of a minor point. Thank you for your time.***

    Naming characters or picking good titles for books is always important. I personally don’t start that way. I’m a ‘little’ weird. I ‘hear’ my character/s speaking in my head. Sometimes they’re having a conversation and sometimes they’re musing to themselves. From there, I try to figure out what’s going on. Sometimes it’s obvious from the conversation, but a lot of times it’s not. I have to wait for them to ‘talk’ more. Naming and personality development come after I’ve established what’s happening in the scene that’s unfolding. :)

  44. says

    The internet has become like my morning coffee… until I’ve had my first ‘dose’ I can’t function. Terrible how much it affects us all really? I mean do I honestly need to check Twitter to see what my friends and family are doing every 30 mins? 😛 I don’t blame you for getting caught up in it Jordan. :)

    And please count me in for the book giveaway! TY!

    — Rhi

  45. Dawn Y. says

    RED sounds really interesting. I would love to read it! Please enter me in the drawing.

    Thanks for the words of caution on spending too much time on the net and not enough time writing and reading. Family and work keep me so busy that I don’t have time to get on the net much. Although I will admit, since I found this site I have been on the net a lot more than usual.

  46. says

    Wow! Sounds like I’ll have to put this series on my TBR list. Awesome. :) And I can definitely relate to the post. All too well…

  47. says

    Rhianna, It’s definitely habit forming. LOL, on checking on your friends and family. I suppose they could’ve had a sandwich while you weren’t looking. 😉 *g*

  48. says

    I hear you on the time-drain of the Internet. I need to start taking action to get me to my writing and away from the on-line world. My problem isn’t getting the words down on paper once I start, but dragging myself away from the Internet to just get started.

  49. Heather C says

    sign me up. I don’t have a bunch of RSS feeds. I just go straight to the websites, and it takes me about an hour to check all my favorites.

  50. says

    I tend to zoe out while online. I have to look through everything and anything. just because it’s there. I ef. need to calm down every once in a while and forc emyself of my lappy. see.. I came here to enter a giveaway and read a nice article. I def. ran through most of the past posts. BTW please enter me into the giveaway(I have horrible grammar probs)

  51. says

    Hi :)
    That was a great blog. I find going to authors’ blog sites & Twitter sometimes sparks an idea or two, do you find the same thing happens to you? I am looking forward to reading RED & SCARLET, they both sound very interesting.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love from Canada

  52. says

    Ooooh, as a sci-fi nut, the ‘Dead World’ trilogy has certainly piqued my interest!
    As a writer though, I don’t know how well I’d do without the internet. Brainstorming on paper is one thing, but I love to put a lot of research into what I do, and quick instant access to the web is essential (albeit incredibly distacting at times!)

  53. says

    Rob, Thank you!

    ***I find going to authors’ blog sites & Twitter sometimes sparks an idea or two, do you find the same thing happens to you?***

    Not unless the author is discussing craft or a specific research topic. I’m certainly amused by the RSS Author Feeds I follow, but rarely do they spark ideas. Now the forensic and science feeds I follow spark all kinds of ideas. :)

  54. says

    Thanks S.Km. I’ve heard the series described as a science fiction thriller. Not really what I set out to write (ie dark fantasy romance), but it’s a cool description. *g*

    I think it really depends on what kind of books you write. Most of my research is done via paper (books, magazines, etc.). I’ve looked a few things up like when I was researching Chinese demons (and demons in general for an urban fantasy), but I still found more in the books I’d bought. I also figure I’ll be able to use them again in the future.

  55. Jody F. says

    Yeah, I too still am a paper user. I feel more of a connection and see things clearer when they’re on paper.

    And your trilogy sounds fab!

  56. catfriend says

    Mmmm..internet addiction…trying so hard to break. As soon as I make it through my photography forums it’s back to work, I swear! And maybe just a couple of news updates…

  57. says

    I limit myself to internet time only when my kids are awake (and then they hog the computer more and more as they get older). That way when they are asleep I can write or do my book reviews without getting sucked into facebook or twitter.

    Great post!!

  58. says

    I can completely relate to th whole needing paper thing. I’m a journalist and when i start out on a story i have to get the ideas and outline out by hand before I can start filling in the meat on the computer.

    I’ve been looking forward to reading Red – it’s been on my TBR list forever! I keep hearing great things about it. Keep up the good work Jordan!