Allen Park resident and author Vickie Jordan introduces officials at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to “The Chronicles of Cambralon: Throne of Fire” which she co-authored with her husband, George Jordan. A mother and minister’s daughter, Vickie Jordan hopes to provide reading for teens that reflects the “strength of love, faith and the human spirit” while still sparking the curiosity of younger readers. The second book of the series, which is being written, will feature a character based on a winning entry from among readers. For more information go to www.cambralon.com.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Vickie Jordan became a fiction writer to find a different way of inspiring young people.
A mother and a minister’s daughter, she seeks to write books for younger readers that celebrate “the power of the enduring strength of love, faith and the human spirit” – qualities she believes sometimes get overlooked amid the latest craze of vampires and the supernatural.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting Jordan, along with her husband and co-author George Jordan, introduced their debut novel, “Throne of Fire,” the first part of the Chronicles of Cambralon. A second book is already being written.
“Throne” tells of a king and his grandchildren in a mythical historical kingdom. The king fears the consequences of his evil son taking the throne, so he brings his grandchildren to his castle to relate the stories of their ancestors. Those stories tell of battles, secret loves, wizards, dark lords, talking wolves and “a dragon with an attitude.”
“Chapter after chapter, (each) is a whole different story,” Jordan said.
She says the book can be read by preteens, teens, and even young people going into college. Each chapter provides a life lesson that she hopes will impact readers.
Jordan and her husband love inspirational fantasy books, which planted the seed that led to the series.
“He was in a bookstore, and the lady came and asked if she could help,” Vickie Jordan said. “And he said, ‘Why don’t they write more fantasy books?’ and she said, ‘You know what? You’re going to have to write your own.’ And he came home and said, ‘Honey, we’re writing a book!’ and it blew me away.”
She loves writing, and credits her husband with a great imagination. They worked together on the storyline, and she puts the words on paper.
“I have freedom to go down my bunny trails, but I know the story line. I can come back, and he’s got what’s going to happen in the next chapter,” Jordan said. “We’re just having a ball.”
The story plants the seeds for what the couple hope will become a “sweeping epic.”
The first book was written over 10 years.
However, they realize the second book must be written much more quickly, because readers are waiting impatiently for the next installment in the series.
“Throne of Fire” is expected in bookstores soon, but is available only online at www.cambralon.com.
A positive review from a local youth librarian prompted Mayor Gary Burtka to invite Jordan to the council meeting.
“With this being our first book, we’re waiting with bated breath to hear what everybody thinks about it,” she said. “We’re getting such great reviews, and I’m excited about it.”
Zoe Life Publishing Co. initially published “Throne” but Vickie and her husband bought back all the rights and now are rerunning it through their own publishing company.
Vickie Jordan’s background is in public speaking at conferences. She also is a missionary, following a calling that began when she was 14 years old and following in her father’s footsteps.
“My father was a missionary and took us out to Arizona, and I began ministering with him to Indians and Mexicans out there.”
Throughout the years she has been involved in a nondenominational Christian ministry, as well as conferences and retreats for women.
“God in our book is the Earthmaker,” Jordan said. “This book, I believe, is going to go into schools and certain places where certain rigid denominations might have a closed door. But what we’ve done is taken actually the teachings of the word of God, and old King Jathan teaches his grandchildren through the teachings without getting into the doctrine.”
She says readers will learn something in every chapter, but will do so in an intriguing way.
“The stories that (King Jathan) tells will be of talking wolves, or a talking dragon, or a wicked wizard or a prophet,” Jordan said. “So he takes these stories, and (what) he shares with his grandchildren (is) life-changing. What’s he’s doing is speaking into their future, into their destiny, and they are the destiny of Cambralon.”
She says the stories are similar to Biblical stories, but with different characters and fantasies designed to intrigue young readers.
“The king tells them a different story every day when they come into the Room of Remembrance, surrounded by relics of the past,” Jordan said.
“Our young people have been feeding on a diet of vampires and witchcraft, and this is a book that can take them to adventurous places,” she said, “and they’re hungry for fantasy; they’re hungry for the supernatural. ‘Throne of Fire’ has all of that. But they don’t come away wanting a book on how to cast spells on people, or what vampires are all about.”
Jordan says the stories are set in a medieval time period with “knights in shining armor” and castles. She’s very excited about the second book.
“My husband always gets upset when I talk about it,” she said. “He’s afraid I’ll tell too much. But I will have to say there is time travel involved, so we’re going to be going back and forth in these realms. So that’s exciting.”
To encourage readers to familiarize themselves with the first novel, the authors announced a create-a-character contest for the second novel. Readers can propose a new character, either a human or creature, and describe its appearance, personality and predisposition toward good or evil.
The winner’s character will be written into the second book of the Cambralon series. The book’s illustrator will work with the contest winner to create a visual representation of the character.
The winner also will be acknowledged as a creator in the book.
Jordan says readers have expressed hope that the series will be made into a movie someday, a prospect that excites her — and one she believes could come true. She has done some research, and she says her book will be the type that parents will want to read to their children — something many have gotten away from doing.
“Just like old King Jathan sits down and reads to these kids, a parent could sit down and read this book with their child,” Jordan said. “What the king does is he’s got this pouch, and he pours out these little relics. And every one stands for something. One is forgiveness and one is restoration.
“And he passes it around and the kids can actually hold these. One of these days we’re going to have that pouch available for the young people.”
Jordan believes the books will appeal to both boys and girls.
“Parents will be excited,” she said, “because the kids are going to take away from every chapter that you read with them, something that they can discuss.”
Jordan and her husband have included discussion questions for each chapter in the back of the book. She encourages parents to use them to get their children thinking about the chapter when they read out loud to younger children.
“What’s happening with this is they’re getting all into the fantasy part of it,” Jordan said, “not realizing that actual life lessons and seeds are being planted inside their heart that I believe will be harvested the rest of their life.”