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Thursday, August 16, 2012
Q) Is there a message is your book that you want readers to grasp?
A) Yes. I wrote Sykosa for many reasons, but one of them was to draw attention to the nature of trauma and how it changes a person. Specifically, I wanted to draw attention to the fact that the nature of the event is not linked to the trauma experienced. In society, myself included, we’re always applying a “test” for how bad something was for a person, we want to know exactly what happened so we know if it’s okay for a person to feel what they’re feeling. In Sykosa, I wanted to show the process of trauma without showing its cause, I wanted people to view the process only. I wanted people to see how a cause and affect attitude can lead to bias.
Q) What books have most influenced your life most?
A) It seems like a book has to hit me at the right time of life for it to really influence me. When Where the Sidewalk Ends found me in 1st grade, it felt like the greatest thing that had ever happened. When Roald Dahl found me in the 3rd or 4th grade, it was greeted by the same result. When Garfield comics found me in the 5th grade, I couldn’t stop laughing, I loved that dude and his pranks on Odie. As I got older, it transitioned to more “serious” stuff. When I was 15, an English teacher assigned Black Boy and it changed my life. I thought Valley of the Dolls was a great peek into the “secret” world of women, where class, ambition, and lies drove the social landscape. It felt like an atypical description of women at the time. There were many other books as well!
Q) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A) That’s so hard. Believe it or not, the two writers I get compared to most are Tom Robbins and James Joyce, yet believe it or not, I only read three page of When Cowgirls Get the Blues before I quit, and I’ve never read James Joyce. I’ve never sat down and specifically read an author, like the entire bibliography, trying to figure out that writer’s methodology, I’m way too lazy for that type of undertaking. I just sort of have a passion to write and so I go forward doing so.
Q) Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A) I liked books when I was young. I was a poor reader, but I liked them for some reason. I thought they had power and I saw an aura around them, even the bad ones. My mother read a lot of fiction and my father read the newspaper every night, so I was also exposed to adults who read daily, that probably influenced me.
Q) Did you learn anything from writing your novel and what was it?
A) I learned so much I often feel overwhelmed by it. It wasn’t so much writing a book, it was growing up. I grew up with Sykosa. If anyone ever gets the chance to read the early drafts, you see that it’s not so much the characters or the plot that’s maturing or getting more complicated or more sophisticated, it’s me. You’re watching me grow up.
Q) What are your current projects?
A) I’m trying to get working on Part II of Sykosa. It’s been hard. This marketing thing is exhausting and it requires just as much energy as everyone swore it would! I need to find a way to establish a bit more balance but I’m not sweating it right now. I think the more you practice marketing, the more efficient you become at it, so I think I just need to get some wear on my tires.
Q) What are your hobbies when you’re not writing?
A) I like to play games on my iPhone like Plants vs Zombies or Angry Birds. I read a lot of stuff on the Internet, like remarkably boring stuff that nobody bothers to read, like studies from universities and things. I like to exercise and it makes me feel good about being alive. I don’t really have a lot of hobbies, I sort of think about or am doing writing 24/7.
Q) What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A) Keeping up the energy level. I forced myself to write daily, without regard for what I was thinking or feeling, for years and years without any exception. I did it if I was feeling alive and great. I did it if I was slumping over and falling asleep. I was just always doing it. It got to the point where I never considered if it was a good idea or a bad idea, I just did it. In its own way, that was an extremely difficult way to live.
Q) Do you have advice for other writers?
A) Yeah, stick to it. Just write until you’ve written the book you’ve always wanted to write. It’s a painful process, but most things are painful, including being idle. I think if you want to tell a story, it’s your responsibility to tell it. The illusion is that you don’t matter or no one cares what you have to say, plenty of people care. That’s why places like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads exist, because we all care so very much, and we all want to be part of each other’s lives.
Hey! Justin Ordoñez wrote a book called Sykosa. It’s about a sixteen year old girl who’s trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence destroys her life and the lives of her friends. You can find out more about Justin at his blog, http://sykosa.wordpress.com. You can also find Sykosa, the novel on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007N709IG/
(Part 1: Junior Year)
Price: $12.95 paperback, $2.99 ebook
Publisher: TDS Publishing
Release: March 2012
Publisher: TDS Publishing
Release: March 2012
Sykosa Book Summary
Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after 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.
Justin's Ordonez's Bio:
Justin Ordoñez was born in Spain, raised in the mid-west, and currently lives in Seattle. He's nearly thirty years old, almost graduated from the University of Washington, and prefers to wait until TV shows come out on DVD so he can watch them in one-shot while playing iPad games. For fifteen years, he has written as a freelance writer, occasionally doing pieces as interesting as an editorial, but frequently helping to craft professional documents or assisting in the writing of recommendation letters for people who have great praise for friends or colleagues and struggle to phrase it. Sykosa is his debut novel.