Who’s Up Wednesday: Arizona Writer Elaine Jordan

A few years ago I had the pleasure of serving on the board of a local writer’s group with Elaine Greensmith Jordan.  Last month, Elaine was the guest speaker of our group, where she continues to be an active member, writer and mentor.  At this meeting, she talked about her memoir, Mrs. Ogg Played the Harp: Memories of Church and Love in the High Desert.  

Here’s a mini Q&A session I had with Elaine:Eleaine Jordan Memoir

How long did it take you to write this book?

I worked on this memoir for ten years, steadily. It took a long time because I needed to learn to write along the way. That is, I’d write a section and then ask for input from smart people and then have to revise. At some points I had to do major revisions. Why I stayed with it, I have no idea.

What experiences made you most proud about this project?

I’m most proud of myself for going into publication despite my fears of inadequacy. I too often compared my work with that of others whom I respected and found my work wanting. Yet, I went ahead and let my story into the world even though I thought no one would like it—that it was a subject, a church, that no one would have the vaguest interest in, that my own struggles were not worthy, etc., etc.  If I’d given in to those fears, I’d never had the rewards I’m experiencing now. In fact, I’ve just been notified that I’ve won the grand prize in the Great Southwest Writers Festival contest.  Congratulations, Elaine!

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to write a memoir or personal story?

I’d advise writers to keep writing, of course, especially if it is satisfying on some level. Then, of course, to expose your work to people you can trust to give you good feedback.

You’ve chosen to give 100% of your proceeds from this book to the Women’s Shelter in Prescott, AZ. How did that organization become close to your heart? 

I chose the Prescott Area Women’s Shelter because it is one of the most important efforts in our area that serves women. I knew a wonderful woman who volunteered there, and on that basis I could trust that the shelter was a true organization that was reliable.

The book is available at Two Harbors Press, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Local Bookstores. The Author’s pElaine copywrite lighterroceeds go to Prescott Area Women’s Shelter.  Elaine will be teaching a class on memoir writing in April.  Visit her website for more information about her book, a schedule of appearances, and how to register for the class. www.elainejordan.com.

P.S.  I’m currently reading this book and loving every page. 


  1. Kate R Said:

    Congrats, Elaine on winning the grand prize in the Great SW Writers Festival! I’m sure you’ll win many more awards for your memoir – wonderful work!

  2. Leslie Hoy Said:

    As one of Elaine’s readers, I very much enjoyed this interview. Beautiful blog, Tara!

    • tsblogin09 Said:

      Thanks, Leslie — if you know of any writers interested in being featured on my blog, let me know!

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