JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Donna Deloney, author of Journey to Jordan
Journey to Jordan was the 2nd place winner in the 2007 Black Expressions Book Club Fiction Writing contest.
Jordan Crawford is a successful attorney who has little room for people and no use for God in her life. When a phone call alerts her to the death of the one person she cared the most for in the world, Jordan is sent on an emotional journey that forces her to face her feelings about the people in her past and about God. She quickly learns that the road to forgiveness takes a lot of turns.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Journey to Jordan?
Donna Deloney: The original idea for Journey to Jordan stemmed from the song “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men. The song was playing in my head over and over again. Slowly, the characters began forming in my head. The character and story that I started out with eventually evolved into Journey to Jordan.
JP: What sets Journey to Jordan apart from other novels in its genre?
DD: I think that some Christian fiction now tends to shy away from the gospel, preferring the message to be more subtle. Part of what sets Journey to Jordan apart is that there is a real call to accept Christ within the novel. In addition to knowing that God can forgive, heal and deliver, we must be willing to accept Him as Savior and Lord.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Journey to Jordan getting out to the public?
DD: First, I’d say perseverance. It’s easy to get discouraged in this process. I had the book marketed for two years and for whatever reason, the major publishing houses didn’t pick it up. Also, I think having a good editor is key. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. My editor worked with me throughout the process to make sure that the manuscript was on point with content and mechanics. Another key is having the support of writers in your corner. I’ve reached out to authors in and out of my genre for advice and they have been most gracious and encouraging.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Journey to Jordan?
DD: My story ideas usually spark in the weirdest ways. A song lyric or a piece of dialogue may pop in my head, or I’ll see something that sticks with me. I’ll mull that over for awhile and the characters and initial story idea will take shape. At that point I’ll jot down the idea, chapter or initial character sketch. If I continue with a story, at around chapter 3, I’ll put down plot points just so I have an idea of where I’m going. Sometimes I stick with the points, sometimes I don’t.
From start to finish, Journey to Jordan took six years. I stopped working on it for about three years before picking it back up. Then it was sporadic at best. I’d have gaps of six months between working on it. After being laid off from my job in 2005, I spent about four weeks completing the first draft. It took another year of revisions and adding to it before I presented to an agent.
JP: What’s next for Donna Deloney?
DD: I’m currently working on my next manuscript, tentatively titled A Decent Proposal. I’ve also contributed to the Christian fiction anthology Bended Knees, which is coming out in November from Hollygrove Publishing. I have several other story ideas in the hopper including a children’s book that I hope will become a series.
In June, I’ll be a workshop presenter at the Black Writers & Reunion Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. In July, I’ll be an author panelist at the Faith & Fiction Retreat in Orlando, Florida.
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