Jill Williamson’s interview

» Posted on Oct 9, 2009 in Blog | Comments Off on Jill Williamson’s interview

This week I’m hosting Glynna Kaye with Dreaming of Home, Allie Pleiter with Bluegrass Christmas and Jill Williamson with By Darkness Hid. If you want to enter the drawing for the book, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (Oct. 11th) evening.

Jill Williamson’s interview:

1. What made you start writing?
Back in 2004 I started writing articles for magazines. I wanted to be a speaker at teen events, so I focused on periodicals for teens. Then the new Harry Potter book came out, and a new barrage of debates within the church community flared up as to whether or not the books were evil. The debate inspired me to write my own teen novel that all Christians would love. Yes, I was a bit naive. I have since learned that no one likes every book. But that’s how I got started.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I started writing in 2004. I worked on my first novel for about three years. In 2007 I went to Mount Hermon and had the opportunity to send in my full to two agents. Neither one worked out, but I knew I was getting closer. I wrote a few other books. In 2008 I attended the Oregon Christian Writer’s conference and gave the first chapter of a different story to editor Jeff Gerke. I knew his company wasn’t looking for teen novels, but he had edited my first book and I wanted to get his take. He loved my first chapter and asked for the full, then wanted to publish it. By Darkness Hid came out in April 2009. Book two comes out in April 2010.

3. How do you handle rejections?
I’m always disappointed to get a rejection, but I file it away and keep working. At first I got really stressed over each one and analyzed what I might have done differently to have had the story accepted. Now I know it’s not always about the writing. Some things are just not a good fit. I will say, the last major rejection I got, I cried. It had seemed like such a God thing and I was certain it was going to happen. Then it didn’t. It took me a few minutes to realize that I had asked God for an answer and he had given me one: No. I can’t always see the reason for the rejections I receive, but God can. I trust him with my career, even when it’s hard and I want to take control.

4. Why do you write?
I want to tell exciting stories to teens that inspire them to grow into men and women of integrity. I want to put my love for God within the pages of my stories and show the readers that life is fulfilling when you know your maker.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
Reading to myself or my son or playing my guitar. Possibly scrapbooking.

6. What are you working on right now?
To Darkness Fled is the second book in the Blood of Kings series. It comes out April 2010.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Not much. If my character is experiencing something I’ve experienced, I write in the emotions and thoughts I remember, but only if it’s natural for the character to behave the way I did.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
I originally wrote By Darkness Hid for the young adult market—my characters are fifteen and seventeen—but I sold it as an adult novel. It’s a medieval fantasy novel about a slave boy who gets the opportunity to change his station in life and train to be a Kingsguard knight. You don’t have to be a fantasy fan to enjoy this book. It’s fast-paced and suspenseful and even has a bit of romance. It is book one in the Blood of Kings series.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write. Get that first draft done. Don’t agonize over perfection until you’ve got a finished draft to agonize over. The beginning of the story could change once you know the end, so don’t waste time. Just get ’er done. Then write a different book.

10. How important is faith in your books?
Faith in God shapes my life, therefore it shapes the lives of my characters. I couldn’t write a book without some portion of my faith coming through.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
Purpose and discovering God’s love.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
Since I only have one published, so far, I’ll share what I like about it. I love Achan. He is a slave, but he stands up for what’s right, even if it gets him hurt. He’s sarcastic and heroic. I also am pleased with how Achan and Vrell’s stories came together. Plus, By Darkness Hid centers around the idea that God has a plan for every person in this world. Part of life’s journey is discovering that purpose.

13. What is your writing schedule like?
I try to write each morning after my Bible study (and sometimes exercise) time. There are many mornings where I wake up and go straight to the computer, but I find that when I skip my Bible study, my day is not as fulfilling. I try to work on my writing until lunch, then after lunch, check emails and critique the work of others.