Our Interview with Tommy Jordan!
Tommy Jordan is a self-published author. His first book Partly Cloudy is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and very soon will be in Barnes and Nobles and on the Apple Store.
In addition to writing internet and computer how-to books, he is also the founder of Twisted Networx, a national computer and cabling support company. He has traveled the world performing consulting and project management tasks for small businesses, international customers, and even foreign governments.
You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and just about every corner of the web where communication channels exist. The easiest way to reach him is through the website at http://tommyjordan.me/contact/
Bio provided by author’s site
It was an honor and a privilege to get the opportunity to interview Tommy and learn more about how he came to be an author of an instructional how to book. Tommy is a hardworking industrious person with a great love of family and friends. So get comfortable and grab a note pad to take notes as we give a warm welcome to Tommy!
1. What makes for a good hook in your book? Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m not sure I have “hook” because it’s not a fiction novel. It’s a how-to in the “for Dummies” style. The intended audience is definitely NOT the techno-geek generation, or even my generation mostly. It’s geared towards normal non-computer-geeks who want to learn a little about how to get started. It holds their hand through the process with one of many available programs and then points them off in a few directions for other things they can use as they become more familiar with cloud-computing.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I’m overly organized, which is why I’d never make a good fiction novelist, no matter how much I’ve always dreamed of being one. I can’t just free-think and fly off the cuff. I have to understand where it’s going, what it’s goal is, so I’d need to know the ending before I started. From what I’ve been able to learn of fiction writers, that’s not usually how they operate. Yes I make extensive notes and lists. I’ve got a few programs that sync my phone, tablet, and PC so I can take notes when they hit me and they’ll be waiting for me when I get to the computer again to write. And on your final part of that question, yes, once I have a clear thought of where I’m going I can usually free-write on that subject for quite a while. When it comes time to change topics, that’s when I have to get more analytical and go back to my notes to figure out how to blend from chapter to chapter.
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
Because I run a company and have all the same duties as other fathers and husbands, I write when I can. Once I decided to really move forward with Partly Cloudy, I kind of sequestered myself in my office late at night and would do most of my writing after my family has gone to bed, usually from about 10 PM to 3 AM.
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
I’m way too big a fan of way too many authors to know how to answer that. I can tell you that my inspiration for going ahead with this first book and the “how to” knowledge came from John Locke and his book “How I sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months.” HE is a great writer for those who are interested in writing for the kindle and eBook audience.
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing about technology but is there any part of it you don’t like?
Yes… the technology. Lol. It’s very hard to write ANYTHING about technology because using technology for most people is a vapid experience; it’s a tool to achieve an end. Further, the technology field changes by leaps and bounds every day, so how do you write a book that will still be relevant to your readers in 12 months? Or two years?
Honestly, the passion is to be a fiction novelist. I just know my limitations. I’ve learned enough over the years about myself to realize my limitations. The largest one when it comes to writing is the burn-out factor. I can’t approach anything slowly and methodically, except maybe woodworking. When I write, I get energized and I write hard and fast. My imagination burns hot constantly with new ideas, much faster than my fingers can type out the ideas on a keyboard or write them down. But eventually I’d be three-quarters through the book and I’d put it down one evening, never to pick it up again. Once the fire dies, I have no way to rekindle it. I know… I’ve tried. I’m not destined to be a novelist apparently.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
I absolutely LOVE to read, but I’m also always on the go. I’m constantly moving, hate to be bored, and don’t have the time to put a book in my hands and slow down enough to read paperbacks very often anymore. A friend years ago gave me my first audiobook on CD, and I was hooked from then on. I have an audible.com account that I burn up each month without fail. I’ve even emailed the website creators at Audible and requested they make a package that has more than 2 books per month because that’s not enough for me. I listen to audiobooks when I’m doing chores, driving, even when I go to bed most of the time. My brain doesn’t shut down easily, so I can stare at the ceiling for hours each night if I don’t. Instead I plug in an audiobook and paying attention to the book makes my mind quit focusing on other thoughts, and eventually I’ll drift off.
As far as “right now” I’m finishing up the latest Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child novel, titled “Brimstone.” I read so much faster than my favorite authors can write that I’m constantly having to find new authors to read. Currently, some of my favorites are Vince Flynn, Ben Coes (he’s new but very good), Tom Clancy, Lee Child, Brad Thor, David Baldacci, Neal Stephenson, … well, you can see where that genre is going.
7. How did you get started in writing an educational book that helps others better navigate Cloud Computing?
I’m an IT engineer and own my own company, Twisted Networx, so I’ve been giving out this same advice to people for years already anyway. The difference is I usually charge $65.00 per hour for training and consulting. I figured if this many people needed to know about how to use it, I could write a book that sells for three dollars and it would both save them money and earn me revenue without having to work with every customer independently.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
While I don’t necessarily like nor dislike it, yes I see that being where it’s going. In my case it was a matter of cost. I couldn’t afford a publisher, editor, etc for such a small niche book. I spent a few weeks learning the formatting requirements for Amazon and Smashwords and the various rules for different types of e-readers, and simply did it all myself. It was a cost and efficiency decision for me. Truthfully, I’d LOVE to see some of my own work in a paperback on a shelf somewhere, but I’ve yet to write anything that I think merits that kind of attention.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your tutorials?
I’ve been blogging and Facebooking this stuff for years, but no, there isn’t one consolidated place where I’ve posted it all. I guess that’s something that needs to go on my to-do list as well.
. Do you have any more educational books in the works? Have you thought of branching out into other genres of writing?
Yes, but I’m not sure what it’s going to be. I think, based on the recent media I’ve received due to my Facebook/YouTube debacle, the next book will be on Social Media and how it can affect your family. I don’t think anyone in America is more qualified to write that book right now than I am. My family has become a true case-study about what can happen. That’s probably going to be the next one I write.
11. If your book were to become a instructional documentary, who would you want to be the voice of the narrator for your book “Partly Cloudy – Getting Started with Cloud Computing”?
That’s a really cool question. I don’t think my books, at least the one I’ve written thus far, would be good choices for that, but if I had to pick a narrator: Scott Brick or George Guidall all the way. Love those guys!
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
That’s one of those questions I feel like anyone should probably have a ready answer for… but I’m drawing a complete and total blank.