IndieView with Don Jordan, author of The Great Snail Race

About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents?   Who else would write about a snail trying to win a race? I do, however, do a lot of preliminary ruminating, and have a pretty developed idea of where I want my story to go before I begin to write. I hope that it will have something to say to adults, as well. End of Interview:
For more from Dan, like his Facebook page. I owe a tremendous debt to two of my favorite writers: Mark Twain and Miguel de Cervantes. I mention this not only because living in Europe affected my writing, but also because being an artist in Europe was quite a different experience, and really helped me grow and find a voice. Did you hire a professional editor? We are currently touring two original works and are in the process of developing a new piece. Or painting the bedroom. Dan Jordan – 8 December 2018
The Back Flap
In this first book of Don Jordan’s series, the feisty Snappy sets out to prove that he is the fastest snail in Latimer Bay, and in the process creates an enduring event for the whole community. How long did it take you to write it? Was it a particular event or a gradual process? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? My primary advice would be, get lots of help. I’m a clown by profession. That meant that every word really had to count. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? This is probably because I write songs as well, and the music would start me off on some other journey. What would you like readers to know about you? I guess it’s my reaction to the superhero craze. Yes, Latimer Bay is based on a real place. The whole publishing scene is changing so fast, and it’s very hard to know what actually works and what is just whistling in the wind. Unfortunately (or maybe not), ideas come to me from out of the blue, and there is very little method to my madness. Our work draws on clowning, mime, masks, puppetry, dance and music to tell stories in new and engaging ways. When did you start writing the book? Where did you get the idea from? I don’t know about you, but I spend most of my day trying to do stuff that I would never win a prize for. What came easily? The easy part was creating the characters and finding their roles. Vacuuming comes to mind right away. So, a snail race just seemed like it would make a really good story. Extensively. We all know how important it is for writers to read. About the book
What is the book about? I spend a lot of time exploring ideas while I’m going about my daily life. I do a lot of writing when I’m not writing. I wish I had some, but it would be the blind leading the blind. I identify with a painter friend who once told me “My biggest problem is knowing when a painting is finished.” In my theater work, I’ll keep revising a play long after it has been in performance. This moment is key, and I can’t really start the story without knowing what it is going to be. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? I’ll get up and interrupt my work frequently, and often get the “right” idea while fixing my cup of tea. The Great Snail Race was written for children around 4-7 years of age, more or less. I guess it’s my reaction to the superhero craze. Do you have a target reader? The most difficult part of writing this book was keeping it short. Do you outline? I may even write some of the actual text in my head while lying awake at night. No, I don’t. The Great Snail Race is the story of a feisty snail who sets about to satisfy a personal goal, but ends up engaging his whole undersea community to create an event that will go on to delight the inhabitants for years to come. In my theater activities I’ve always worked independently, and I prefer it that way. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? I seldom do an outline. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? No. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? Or maybe they will lead us to places where we never intended to go. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut. It drives my actors crazy…. I’ve travelled quite extensively, and have spent many years living in Italy and other parts of Europe. Or painting the bedroom. However, in the interest of privacy I have taken some poetic license and changed all their names.  
Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) What are you working on now? About Writing
Do you have a writing process? I direct Nutshell Playhouse, a small, independent theater company dedicated to creating and performing theater and music for family audiences. I don’t know about you, but I spend most of my day trying to do stuff that I would never win a prize for. Maybe our aspirations have nothing to do with reality. Yes, I do have a son named Luca. Indeed, I find physical activity is a great stimulus for ideas. I now live in western Massachusetts in a community that is very special in that it offers both great natural beauty and a lively arts community. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Get your copy of   The Great Snail Race from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Vacuuming comes to mind right away. But most of all, they were both writers with a tremendous respect for nonsense! Each word had to serve double or triple duty, while still being meaningful and evocative to a child who may be just learning to read. And, yes, he did spend a lot of time looking off our dock every summer, although nowhere near as much time as I spent when I was his age. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? And I can’t imagine wanting to. About You
Where did you grow up? I began writing the book in the summer of 2012, while I was on vacation – by the sea, of course. Both. It really allows me to follow my imagination, wherever it leads, without any thoughts about what “the market” may be looking for. After trying to do my own marketing, I realized that I neither know enough nor have the kind of personality to market myself, so I hired a publicist. When I do sit down to put things on paper, I tend to work slowly, picking my words and reworking phrases as I go along. I like to put characters in places where they have to do things that they’re really not good at. Of course the snail had to be proud – anyone who moves that slowly must be very sure of himself. But I keep trying. And yes, we did watch snails and blue crabs and barnacles and fish and even sea cucumbers. For example, just between you and me, Snappy’s real name is Bartholomew, but that just didn’t sound zippy enough for the story. Yes. Do you listen to music while you write? Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? The Great Snail Race is one of a series of five stories that I worked on for about a year, give or take. I wanted the book to have a strong story and interesting characters, I wanted it to create a fantastic world where readers’ imaginations can roam, I wanted it to have several themes, and I wanted it to be funny – and all this in about 1,000 words! Both writers drew on the rich treasures of folklore, both had what I call a “comic” view of the world, and both used humor to reveal the deep humanity that ties us all together. My illustrator did the cover as well. Oh yes! Where do you live now? But I keep trying. No, I mean really. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? No takers. If so can you please describe it? Much of my writing depends on something I call the “leap of the imagination” – a point at which the story jumps beyond the bounds of reality and everyday logic. After so many years of watching these creatures, I felt like I knew them all personally.