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Author Q&A with Jordan Gerdes | Goshen Book Tour | YA Fiction Memoir

Goshen by Jordan Gerdes is on virtual book tour. The young adult fiction memoir stops at Readeropolis with an author intervie...

Goshen by Jordan Gerdes is on virtual book tour.

The young adult fiction memoir stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card (1 winner) or a character named after you in my next book (5 winners) and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).

Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author? 

For as long as I can remember, I loved books. My grandmothers were teachers, and I grew up on a heavy diet made up of the classics and fantasy novels. As I grew older, I found myself attracted to horror, and to Stephen King specifically. His part autobiography, part writing guide, On Writing, became a sort of bible to me in college. My copy is well worn, dog eared, and heavily annotated. I wanted to write something that evoked emotion in a reader, the same ways I felt reading ‘Salem’s Lot by flashlight in a tent while camping. 

When I was in my undergrad at Portland State, I was going through a tough time. I know that sounds really cliche and all, but I had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety a couple years prior. Those following years became a blur of burying myself in relationships, self medicating, and going on and off my medications repeatedly. If I am being honest, it started as suicide note, but it sat collecting dust in my iPhone notes folder for a few days. I added another entry, then another, and so on. Over a few months, it became therapeutic for me to write down what was going through my mind, reminiscing on what had gotten me to the broken place I was in, or thinking about all that I feared about living for another day.

This is where Goshen was born. Growing up in church, I heard the story about the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, in the land of Goshen. For some reason, though my faith has wavered over the years, that place of trial and tribulation stuck with me. Though I wasn’t enslaved, I felt that I was in a place of suffering, of trials, and that I wasn’t sure I would make it out. The notes grew and grew, and I began to share a few around after a few years. Though it wasn’t horror, I noticed that the folks I shared it with identified with something in the words. Be it their own struggles or trying times, I saw that these words had a power in them to help others feel not so alone, to be seen, and to be comforted. 

Where were you born/grew up at? 

I was born in Bend, Oregon. I lived most of my entire life in Central Oregon before venturing out to college. It’s a place I hated so much growing up for being archaic, rural, and redneck, but the further I got away from it, the more I realized how much I loved being surrounded by mountains, forests, desert, and rivers. The attitudes around here are still very much the same, but I felt it was a place that I refused to be chased out of for thinking differently. So I ended up coming back here for my graduate program, and now that I have a Masters, I intend to teach middle/high school English out here this coming fall.

Who is your hero and why? 

Stephen King. Hands down. The man is an absolute legend, who has constantly challenged himself to always improve upon his craft, as well as educate and bring new authors along with him. He had a lot of troubles in his life that I identify with, and really find a solace in his writing, especially as so much of it stems from his own experiences.

What are you passionate about these days? 

My passions revolve around writing in some fashion. I found a deep love for research based writing in college, and began to write analytical essays. This weaved its way into a website, Features of Fright ( where myself and anyone else that wants to write think pieces about the horror genre. Currently, as an educator, I have been extremely interested and busy writing a comprehensive history of the state of Oregon and it’s often forgotten foundations as a white supremacist state. Given the current societal climate and the erasure of marginalized group histories, it has been a fascinating and often horrifying exploration that I hope to have out sometime in the next year. 

Goshen: A Memoir 
by Jordan Gerdes 
Genre: YA Fiction Memoir 

Goshen is a collection that chronicles a battle with depression, heartbreak, and moving forward.

Written first as a collection of notes in a phone, this became the only thing that kept me alive over those few years. It is my hope that you find hope within these pages, a kindred spirit, solidarity, and know that you are not alone. 

Jordan Gerdes is an English teacher in Central Oregon, where he lives with his fiancée, Justy and their two golden doodles, Huck and Finn. He is the owner and editor of Features of Fright, a horror website focused on genre analysis. He is currently working on a collection of short horror stories. 

$50 Amazon – 1 winner, Character Named after you in my next book- 5 winners! 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 

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