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Amazon best-selling author Frank H Jordan was born in Western Australia and now lives in central Queensland with his author wife, Alicia Hope who is also an author.

Trained in martial arts, and an ex-weekend warrior (Army reservist) with the Australian Defence Force, Frank showcases his interests in combat and all things military in the high-action JO MODEEN series

The latest book in that series is Modeen: Strikeforce, which was published in December 2020. Frank is currently working on the tenth Modeen novel which will be published in the summer of 2021.

I like that Frank Jordan sets his book in his home country of Australia. It’s always fun for me to learn about new places and learn about the military and special forces of countries other than the United States like Frank does for his books with an Australian soldier kicking butt around the globe.

We chatted about how he came up with the idea to write thrillers, how he came up with the name of Modeen (during a hand of poker), on being an indie author, and a lot more.

Connect with Frank H. Jordan: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Frank H. Jordan’s Latest Book

Other Books by Frank H. Jordan


Show Notes

Other author mentions: Alicia Hope, Lee Child, Matthew Riley, Andy Weir, WIlbur Smith, David Baldacci, J. R. R. Tolkien, James Rosone

Tools and software mentions: AutoCrit, Vellum. BookBub for promos.

Video Podcast

Transcript

Please note, transcripts are generated by an automated program called Happy Scribe not a human and only lightly edited so if any section seems choppy or off, that’s why.

Alan Petersen
You are listening to meet the Thriller author, the podcast where I interview, Writers of Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense Books. I am your host, Alan Petersen, and this is episode number one hundred and forty four.

Today on the podcast, I have Amazon best selling author Frank Jordan, who writes the Jo Modeen Thriller series featuring an ex Special Forces Australian soldier, Josephine Dakota Modeen. Frank writes fast paced, action packed thrillers, and I like that he sets his books in his home country of Australia. It’s always fun for me to learn about new places and learn about the military and special forces of other countries other than the United States, like Frank does for his books.

With an Australian soldier kicking butt around the globe. So I really enjoy that part. And your talking with Frank about that, learning about his background and about his books. So we’ll get to that interview here in just a second.

But before we get to the interview, please do rate and review this podcast on your favorite listening app or visit THRILLINGREADS.COM/LINKS to find the links to the podcast on all the main sites over there through the newest dot com for slash links like Apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcast and the like. Now you can now also find this podcast on Pandora. I’m excited about that. So if you’re listening to this from Pandora, please read and review the podcast over there to feed the algorithms on all these apps, wherever it is you listen to, it is the best way to help other fans of thrillers and mystery books find the show.

So I really appreciate that. If you like a video of also been recording the last few interviews on video as well, including this one with Frank. So if you want to check out our mugs as we chat about Thriller’s, you can go to THRILLINGREADS.COM/VIDEO on that will link you over to my YouTube channel. I’ve been putting up all these interviews over there as well.

So thank you for your support. Much appreciated. All right. Here is my interview with Frank Jordan and he’s joining us now live from Australia. Welcome, Frank.

Frank Jordan
Oh, thank. Thanks, Alan. It’s great to be here. And as I was saying before, this platform that you’ve created is fantastic. It’s a real credit to you. Great. Thank you. Yeah.

Alan Petersen
Well, thanks for for being on especially. What time is it in Australia right now?

Frank Jordan
Yeah, it’s six o’clock. Oh, I think it was going to happen because we’ve got thunderstorms happening outside and my NBN was telling me that we’re going to have outages and all the way up. And I thought, oh, here we go. And this morning I got up and got thunder out there, rain. But hopefully, fingers crossed the the electricity won’t go out and get a blank screen.

Alan Petersen
It’s happened before. It’s happened to me before last year when there are wildfires here in Northern California. So I it was happening on my end. So I know how that goes. Yeah. Yeah, it can happen.

So can you tell us about your background and about your writing journey?

Frank Jordan
I’ve got an ace in the hole. My wife’s an author she writes as Alicia Hope. And she did all the hard yards for me. So for me, getting into the writing was easy. She she was the one that got into joining the writers clubs and getting out there and learning about the whole business of getting published for a start. She started off, as you know, joining joining the writers clubs and learning the craft right back when CreateSpace was part of Amazon.

So she got in there early and going through the with with all the all the stuff that she did do with the writers clubs, she she wasn’t getting you know, she had that sort of mindset. And a lot of the guys in the actual club had the mindset of you had to be traditionally published. We’ve seen so, so often that a lot of the people get a bit hot and sometimes they they don’t have that network to be able to go out and self publish.

So it puts them off. And a lot of people that don’t get traditionally published tend to just fade, fade into oblivion, being able to self publish. Now, in this age that we’re living in, it’s a lot easier. I’m so lucky because Alice went for she did the hard yards, went through with create space to get all her books up on the web and formatted in ebook format, which isn’t what back then it wasn’t easy to do.

You’ve got a lot of better tools now. You got Vellum, which is great. That makes things a whole lot easier when when we got onto vellum, we should just, you know, there was a big sigh and she thought, oh, this is fantastic. We don’t have to worry about always, you know, where your full stops and commas go and all that sort of stuff. It just. It formatted so nicely for you, so I had this I had Alice go through and do all the hard yards and with me my background, it’s not as academic as Alice’s I’m more of a sports type oriented person at school. I excel more in sport than in the academic side. But with Alice doing all the hard yards of the writing, it was so easy for me to get up and and get into the business. And I had Alice writes in rural romance and I write In the more action adventure genre. You know, the way it came about really was we’re having a cards game over a friend’s place. It was Texas Hold’em.

So we had a big group of people and we’re all sitting around and shooting the breeze. And I said, well, you know, Alice is talking about the books and the hard yards. Well, what do you get into a you know, into the writing business? Right. And thought, you know, all the holes in the chase are lined up. I should be doing it. So we were sort of sitting around one of the ladies in the card game sitting at the table wasn’t too sure what a first name was, but we all always used to call Modeen. And so that’s where the name came from. We thought, that’s cool name and no one ever called it by a first name was always Modeen. What are you doing short term and Modeen and she would respond to that no problem. And I thought that’s a pretty cool name. So, you know, we’re talking about, well, what what sort of book are you going to write about? And oh, I liked Lee Child Jack Reacher stuff.

I mean, who doesn’t in the action adventure genre. But I thought, well, I don’t really want to go up against Jack Reacher, so I make my protagonist female and Modiin, because this lady, Modiin, she’s a real shaker and mover. She’s broadened motorbikes, she’s kickboxing, she’s driving trucks. She’s doing all this adventure stuff. So I got the thumbs up from her to use her name, spelt it differently, but that’s how the Modeen came about.

And at the time, SAS were in the in the news, we just had been Robert Smith, six foot six and a bit this huge guy and built like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And he was in the news and they’re getting a bum rap. I mean, who’s the highest decorated soldier in our army? And the media was on and a bit of tall poppy syndrome. Try dragging down a bit. And I thought that’s a bit of a bum rap.

So I think what I’ll do is I’ll incorporate the SAS in the story. What they do after they leave the SAS, the way it came about was I thought, well, I’ll have Ben and Modiin and her group in the SAS over here. It’s more SAS-R is what they call the British, just the SAS and the SAS regiment. The way it came about, I thought, well, I’ll have a group and they’ll be old friends in the SAS.

And it’s all about their life after they leave the SAS. So then goes off and he joins national security and is given my team leader in Australia. And so he thinks, well, I need as a team, we don’t need a team, obviously. And what better team to pick than your old mates in the SAS-R? So he goes and recruits a lot of his old friends and Modiin is one of the last ones. So basically that’s how the Modiin series came about.

And the first book starts off developing Modeen’s street cred. So it gives, you know, how she leaves SAS and she gets a job as a security guard and she’s feeling a bit flat because security guards not as exciting being SAS. So anyway, so and she goes through a whole transformation there and she goes through basic training with this national security force called Natsec and then gives her a few little assignments to do. And at the end of that book, she goes out on one major assignment where she has to prove her credentials, basically.

So I’ve had mixed reviews on the first book. I think, oh, you know, there’s a lot happening in there. And it’s you know, that that’s the way I set it up. I wanted to develop a straight grade. And from there, the next books in the series build on her abilities and she just goes on a wild ride from from there on.

Alan Petersen
You have nine books so far, right?

Frank Jordan
That’s correct. Nine books in the series. And I’ve got nine, nine books now, I’m working on the tenth one. And yeah, they’re getting good reviews online medias, Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, even getting really good reviews on Goodreads, which is hard to do sometimes.

Yes, I’ve heard that Goodreads can be pretty brutal, but thank God and fingers crossed, I’ve been pretty lucky with a lot of the reviews. And the the other thing too, when I was thinking about writing the the books because I listed all of it, all the hard yards, and she started off doing a real romance and then she went to a chick lit and did a historical fiction as well. So she had a few different genres that she was jumping in between, which is great.

And if you got the inspiration and you’re writing them as far as sales go, I think where I got it probably right and where a lot of people like Lee Child got right is to have that series. So if you can get someone hooked on that first book and they like the characters in that, they’ll follow that series through. Whereas if you do jumping and changing genres, they might like this one. Someone who likes action adventure is not necessarily going to go and buy a real romance, obviously, and or a chick lit.

They’re going to stick to their action adventure. So it’s been great. And the feedback that I’m getting on the Web is really positive. And the people really like the series, like this next book. And we got a lot of preorders on building a fairly good readership. And having all those preorders beforehand is a really good testament to the people out there wanting to get the next book and wait. And a lot of our beta readers, as soon as I gave them book nine were going, oh, hang on, what’s going on in book ten?

You’ve got to have a book, you know? So I sort of left it as a little bit of a teaser on the end of Book nine. And it’s surprising how much ownership your audience has over your characters. And they’re telling me what my writing would be doing, that sort of thing, which is great. Yeah. So it’s been a really good journey.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. You’re connecting with readers. That’s the that’s the fun part of this is connecting with the readers and interacting with them. Yeah. You said so what is your writing process like? Do you outline your stories before you start to write them or do you just start to write them kind of curious about your writing process?

Frank Jordan
Yeah, I’m sort of I like to visualize my stories as like if I was watching a movie, I started off and I had the whiteboard and I still do that. I have a basic idea and I outliner that as I go along. I follow that basic idea. And I think, well, hang on, I’ve got to get my guys from here to there. And when I’m starting to write the whiteboard, my power from the same direction and I’ll go off on the other one, I’m thinking, hang on, is this what I really wanted to do and how am I going to get these guys from point A to point B? And I like to think that I’m keeping it real plausible as opposed to a bit of fantasy.

You know, like all of a sudden, you know, I think in action and then you’ve got to make it a bit more real to keep your your your customers, your clients interested so and so it’s you know, if you’ve gone off on a tangent. So they’ll certainly give you a lot of feedback on my stories. The more you spy military thriller, action, action and a lot of action adventure. So some of the books that I had read and I didn’t read a lot when I was younger. The first book I read was J. R. R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings. I mean, everyone’s got to read that just fantastic in The Hobbit. I love Wilbur Smith, the seventh Skrull and the other one river. God, they were brilliant. I love those ones. He’s just recently. I’ve read not only that belches Will Reiby series. Oh, yeah. It was only three books in that series. And I said when he finished writing those, I kept on going with them.

But I was interested to hear the and listen to the podcast last the last one you did with James Rosone. And my books follow not so much the action on as he does, but no profanity and no explicit sex scenes or anything like that. And I think the audience do appreciate that. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback in that regard as well. It’s brilliant. As I said, the what you’re doing here allowing allows me as well to have a listen and get in touch with what everyone else is doing.

And from what I’m hearing, I’m pretty much following the same field and coming through and and having all the obstacles and and following the same sort of process. So it’s really great and really reassuring.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I think it’s really cool, too, that you’re doing that you’re you’re based your characters are based in the Australian military, which is kind of cool for, you know, it’s got different for us here in the States, you know, in the US.

Frank Jordan
Yeah, exactly. I didn’t want to go up against, you know, the Michael Connollys the Harry Bosch series. And it’s quite, you know, Hollywood. And they’re driving around Hollywood Boulevard. And hang on, Australians got some places not to say there’s anything wrong with Hollywood Boulevard. I mean, it’s great. I’d love to get to America and and have a walk around and Hollywood walk of fame and that and see all the sights and be awesome.

But Australia has got some really lovely spots, too. And I suppose to that’s what what drove me with a lot of the places I’ve been in Australia to to highlight those areas. Again, they don’t well, Australia features mostly in there because of their background. Every now and then the guys get called back to Afghanistan because as a SAS Special Forces, er, they’ve got a lot of street cred in Afghanistan and they know the area. So every now and then the CIA rings up and says, hey, we need your help over here. The guys end up going over there and it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s a good journey for them.

Alan Petersen
And what’s the what’s the military. I’m not too familiar with the military structure in Australia. Is it all volunteer or is it time?

Frank Jordan
Well, we’ve got to have reservists as well. When I at school, when I was in primary school, I did a stint in the air cadets, which is basically that I learned how to stand up straight and march properly and step from there. When I started off life as an electrician, when I left high school, got into mining, and during that time, too, I did a stint in the Army Reserve so that that was basically a volunteer.

But you get paid for that, which was really good. They pick you up in a Iroquois helicopter dumping in the middle of the bush and they will find your way home, fellows. So, you know, you learn a lot of good life skills and you learn to work as a team, which is just great. And a lot of my sporting career to played AFL, which I think you guys call aerial ping pong. I know our guys over here, guys that are into rugby, I always call it aerial ping pong cos it’s a lot more skill involved in aerial ping pong, as you could imagine.

But yeah, most of my sports have been in that team environment, although I have at an early age too. I did judo, karate and a lot of self-defense in that regard. So it’s it’s been good.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I it when I look when I was reading your bio there on an Amazon that you said you were a weekend warrior and same here I was in the Army National Guard here in the States for college.

Frank Jordan
So I think it’s a it’s good for people to go through that because it does give you a good look at what these guys go through and in good taste of it in the media over here at the moment. You know, they’re talking about war crimes that happen over there. And to me, it’s they’re trying to apply civil law to what happens in a war zone. And you just can’t do that.

Alan Petersen
Yeah and 10, 20 years later.

Frank Jordan
Yeah, and years later. And sending people, you know, news reporters over there to interview the Taliban to say, hey, guys, did your Australian soldiers do anything bad while they were over here?

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I didn’t realize that there was that that was going on over there, so. Oh, too bad.

Frank Jordan
Yeah, but anyway, I hope hopefully that will sort of sort themselves out for the positive in that regard.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. Kind of curious to know with the whole pandemic that we’ve been going through this past year, the whole world, did that affect your writing at all or your or your style or anything or.

Frank Jordan
I think it tracked everyone down a bit. Yeah. It’s funny how those sort of things can affect you. I mean, my parents are on the other side of Australia, so with a pen name, I haven’t been able to get over there and and and visit them. And you’re thinking, well, wouldn’t it be horrible if you did go and you did take the bug with you and, you know, so it’s something you really want to go and see them, but it’s at the same time, you don’t want to cause them any dramas that not only the pandemic we’ve had fires and floods.

It’s it’s been crazy, crazy last couple of years instead of two things like two thousand and twenty and twenty one, doesn’t look like it’s going to give up any time soon.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, I think it’s going to be at least till next year. We’ll hopefully get back to normal maybe. What do you use to write your books to use like Word or Scrivner or some other software?

Frank Jordan
Yep. Just use word. I use a Mac. So I used to when I was when I was working as an electrician, I went into mining and in the morning till I started using more computers, everything the payload monitoring systems were all computerized. So it was something that I sort of had a knack for. I was the first one to run the laptop out of the store, plug it in and then go for it. And I had to wait a couple of programing courses in basic and then I embarked on a degree.

So I’ve got a Bachelor of Information Technology and a lot of the stuff we were doing was all Mac based up until this. And it wasn’t till I left and got a job as an I.T. tutor that I got an administration job as a Mac field. And that sort of changed me thinking, you know, the macs so much less prone to a lot of the viruses and just especially for editing and graphics, because I do all the graphics, my books as well.

I use Photoshop. So Alice and I are really lucky in the respect that she does all the editing and polishing the books, my book, so I can just get in there and I can do the writing side of it and can hand it over to Alice. And she put it through Auto Crit, how many ifs and buts and how many times we’ve mentioned that and then and and all those sort of things and grammatically publish it.

We call it auto-cretin and comes up with a lot well, not a lot that we’re getting a lot better now. And and I think looking back at the books, they are really improving. The stories are getting more polished. So as we get going along, it’s getting better. But at the same time, it’s getting harder to try and keep that standard up and come up with new ideas.

Alan Petersen
And what’s the latest? One is the Modeen Strike Force. That’s just the latest book that you have out? What’s it about?

Frank Jordan
The latest book is that one about basically to go back to Afghanistan? Because one of the British royalty who were assigned to Camp Bastion, you go they go out on a little sortie in a helicopter and they get shot down. So the the member of the royalty gets taken and it’s all hands on deck. And, of course, with the the guys being having ties with the CIA and being in the SAS and knowing the area where the chopper went down, they’re asked to. And take part in the rescue, so it’s it’s a real trek for the deserts of Afghanistan and the caves and even Tora Bora, they end up in Tora Bora following the bread crumbs. And eventually or once it comes out, I’ll let the readers decide if it’s good enough.

But, yeah, a whole lot of issues that are going out that are going on on there. So I think it’s from all the reports and the reviews that I’ve had, it’s one of the best ones yet. So trying to keep that standard up again. Yeah, it’d be hard to do. And with this next one, it’s called Modiin Salvation. And it has been walking out, being the leader of that team, walking out into the desert after he’s been bombarded with all these war crimes issues and all that sort of stuff. And it’s taking a heavy toll on his marriage and his life. And he’s he walks off into the desert. So there’s been a lot of questions on what’s happening to Ben, which is quite a bit of a buzz for the next book.

Alan Petersen
A cliffhanger

Frank Jordan
Yeah a cliffhanger sort of thing. Some people like that. Some people don’t.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, that’s true. It’s a very passionate subject. It’s true.

Frank Jordan
That you could is the first book and it’s funny the first book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger after moning goes through basic training in that. And we’ve found that if we package the first or promote the first boxset, more people get more of a fuller read and it’s a more rounded story so that cliffhangers answered straight away. I think the first three books and, you know, the first book did really well when we got our first BookBub promo and it did fantastic. It’s expensive but they they pay you back in spades for the amount of readership in the manner of specialty reviews that you get so hard to get reviews for an indie author on the, you know, writing platforms, especially Kobo and Smashwords and other places like that. When we do advertise the the first first book that went to we had a international BookBub promo and that went to number one in England, Canada, not so much India, but Australia. So it went really well.

Then to get our next BookBub promo, we actually to get the the full BookBub that was including America, repackaged the first three books into a box set and that really went went super well. People were well it went to number one in America, went to number one in England, went to number one in Canada, went to number one in Australia. And of course, with those sort of promos there, any out there for a couple of days. So a week, you know, but if you have so much exposure and you got so many clients that they send it out to, it’s great.

It’s a snowball effect. You get all those good reviews. If you’ve got a good product, you get all the great reviews. And that makes it so much easier to get the next promotion. And that’s the other thing, too. If if you you had just one book, you know, and you took you ten years to write it and you had one book. Yes. Go good on book. But unless you’ve got that arsenal, the follow on, that’s where you you sort of break even you don’t break even you break even on the first promo but that’s where the cream is, you know, people going on in and buying the next couple of books because of to get a BookBub is going to heavily reduce the price you your book or your boxset to to get that promo, because they want to provide their clients with the best deal that they can and it’s really worthwhile. And with them that invaluable.

Alan Petersen
Yeah. If you only have a couple of books are still going to be, it’s not going to be worthwhile. Will focus on getting more, more, more books out to sell before. Before.

Frank Jordan
Well yeah. It’s all fate too if you’re in the right spot, look at Andy Weir you know.

Alan Petersen
Yeah that’s true.

Frank Jordan
Writing the book never know, getting it published. And Matt Damon starring in the movie Fantastic. And it was all within five years. It’s unheard of. You know, all the the the the holes in Jay’s line up. And he was so published, he was throwing it up on the Web. He just happened to be in the right spot at the right time, met the right agent who, you know. Yeah, I was looking for something like that. So there are those fairy tale stories.

Alan Petersen
That is true. You never know.

Frank Jordan
So you’re got to get yourself out there and that’s what I always tell everyone, you know? And when we were going to those writers clubs that I said, get that mentality of being traditionally published at your head. Now, if you want to write, if you’re really passionate about books, get them out there.

Let the people decide and you’ll usually find that the traditional publishing houses will come knocking on your door. And that’s what happened to Matthew Reilly. Basically, he went for self published, got his books out into a bookstore, bookstore really on the piece when you could get them out into bookstores and get a agent. So his book in the shops picked it up and went from there.

Alan Petersen
Yeah, released to both at the same time, you know, send out query letters, but then put your books out.

Frank Jordan
Yes, exactly. Yeah, do both. I’m happy with the way things are going at the moment, you know, with with especially with the series getting good sales, good feedback from people that have bought them. And, you know, I want to get on out there and keep that momentum going as much as I can. As I said, it’s getting a bit harder to sort of set the standard. So you want to try and keep that standard up and you want to try and keep it interesting.

Yeah. So it is getting harder, but some books come easy. And when I’m writing, if I’m in that zone, I try and stay in that zone. Hobie’s you know, if I’m on a roll, I’ll be sitting in bed typing away on the laptop and it’ll be 12 o’clock. Lunch is gone and passed. But in that zone, because it’s so hard to get back when you get out of it. Yeah. So I tend to take advantage of moments like that. And if I’m in a bit of a lull or, you know, I got a bit of a writer’s block and mow the lawn and go and do something like that, and usually something will come to me while I’m working while I and then get to try and get back into that zone.

Alan Petersen
As soon as you start mowing the lawn, then you get the idea as you want to run back to write. So all right, Frank, it’s been so much fun to talking to you. Where can readers just find more about you? You have a website or.

Frank Jordan
Yeah, I’ve got a blog. If you just do a search on Frank H. Jordan Blogspot after it, it’ll come up OK. I’ve got a author’s page on Amazon. You know, when you look at my books, they’re all my books are on Kobo, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks. Any online retailer, so. Yeah, and I’ll post on my blog if there’s a promotion coming up so I can jump in and get the books at a discounted price. A lot of my normal rate is hanging out looking looking for those promos.

Alan Petersen
Great. So the tenth book will be out this year?

Frank Jordan
Yes. I’m hoping to get that out I can get that out in June or at the end of May so I can hopefully get started right away on my next one keep the ball rolling on.

Alan Petersen
All right. Sounds good. All right. Well, thanks so much for coming on the podcast, talking about your writing process and your books. I had a lot of fun talking with you. Oh, look, thank you very much.

Frank Jordan
Oh thank you for letting me be a part of this. You’re doing a great job there and keep up the good work. It’s really great. Thank you.

Alan Petersen
Awesome, thank you.

About the Author
I write thriller and crime fiction novels and host the Meet the Thriller Author podcast where I interview authors of mystery, thriller, and suspense books.

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