Monday, 13 August 2012

Interview with Justin Ordoñez

Today we're taking part in the Sykosa blog tour by interviewing author Justin Ordoñez. Let's dive right in and get to know him.

Welcome to We Do Write, Justin. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m thirty years old, live in Seattle, and I'm currently obsessed with getting people to read my book Sykosa. When I’m not doing that, I’m preparing myself for a total hip replacement surgery I’ll be doing at the end of July, which should allow me to play golf and tennis again, so I’m rather excited about it. I’ve also been watching a television show called Friday Night Lights and I’ve been thinking about it constantly.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been seriously writing since I was 14. What I mean by “serious,” is that it’s a daily writing habit that I perform under the instruction of no one else. I wasn’t turning it in for school, I wasn’t getting it published in a school paper, I didn’t have an audience of any kind. I was just writing for the sake of writing, just cause I wanted to do it.

Tell us about SYKOSA. What' the story about?

Sykosa (that’s “sy”-as-in-“my” ko-sa) is the story of a sixteen year old girl who’s trying to reclaim her identity an act of violence shatters her life and the life of her friends. This process is complicated by her best friend, Niko, a hyper-ambitious, type-A personality who has started to war with other girls for social supremacy of their school, a prestigious preparatory academy in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. To compensate, Sykosa has decided to fall in love with her new boyfriend, Tom, who was involved in the act of violence. Propelled by survivor guilt, an anxiety disorder, and her hunger for Tom and his charms, Sykosa attends a weekend-long, unchaperoned party at Niko's posh vacation cottage, where she will finally confront Niko on their friendship, her indecision about her friends and their involvement in the act of violence, and she will make the biggest decision of her life—whether or not she wants to lose her virginity to Tom.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

It developed itself over many years. At first, I just wanted to write better female characters (I’m a dude). Once you get a bit better at that, you decide you want to write better plots. Then, you decide you want to write better plots that fit better with your better female characters. Over time, it all sort of finds its way into one vision. It wasn’t anything deliberate.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

I’m a pantser. I always have a general idea of where I want to go, but I have a lack of regard for my writing that might make some writers ill. I delete hundreds of pages on a whim, throw way stuff that’s 99% done, change things at the beginning when I’m just finishing the ending—it’s kind of a madhouse. Right up until I finish a story, it appears to be a disaster, and it’s often met by people smiling warmly at me like, “Yeah, Justin, it’s great…” I trust myself, though. So I know that moment will come when it all seals itself up, but it takes time, and you have to be willing to work through the shortcomings.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is being patient. Waiting for something to be done, waiting for someone to read it, waiting to find out if anyone cares about it, waiting for reviews to come in… The game is waiting. It’s enough to make someone lock themselves in a room and forget life is even happening on the outside.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

I’m going to say my laptop because I write directly onto the computer. Anything else, including my cell phone, can prove to be a major distraction, so I try to limit being around those things.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I’d like to have a healing ability similar to Wolverine’s of the X-men. Something so that I can be rid of the aches and pains, yet I don’t get a superiority complex that isolates me from humanity.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

It actually happened just last night. My friend mentioned a rumor about the rapper Lil’ Kim and he wanted to know if it was real, so I Googled it on my phone. Unfortunately, the rumor is too grotesque for me to mention it here.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: surgery, ballet shoes, and disintegrate. 

The pillar blocked the wearer of the ballet shoes, but it did not block what exceeded sight—a precision as cutting as surgery, and a disintegrating doubt with her each practiced move.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I doubt I could thank all the people who truly helped me and I’d feel bad if I forgot someone. Suffice it to say, I owe a lot to my family, my friends, and lots of people I don’t even know any longer who decided to read my work over the years.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

You can find me at any of the following places.

You can also find Sykosa on Amazon @

It was great chatting with you, Justin. Sykosa sounds like a great read. I wish you lots of success.


Tribute Books said...

Dorothy, thanks a million for featuring Justin today. Gotta say LOVE Friday Night Lights - what a great show!

Justin Ordonez said...

Thanks for hostIng me! Hope you'll have me back sometime!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Anytime, Nicole and Justin! :)

asian mens wedding clothes uk said...

I doubt I could thank all the people who truly helped me and I’d feel bad if I forgot someone. Suffice it to say, I owe a lot to my family, my friends, and lots of people I don’t even know any longer who decided to read my work over the years.