1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Jill Williamson, and I live in Eastern Oregon.
2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My most recent book is called Replication: The Jason Experiment. It’s about a girl who discovers her biologist father is covering up multiple secrets—all of which are named Jason.
3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have ideas for two more books in a trilogy, but whether or not I get to write them depends on how well the Replication does. Right now I’m working on an apocalyptic (book 1) and dystopian (book two) duo for teens that will come out in 2013. They are tentatively titled Thirst and Captives, though those titles may change.
4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I wanted to speak to teens about life and chasing after your dreams. I discovered that sometimes, people hire speakers based on articles written by the speaker. So I looked into writing articles. Along the way, I started writing a novel about a spy kid. It was so much fun that I forgot all about writing novels. But I do get to speak to teens about chasing their dreams, so it all worked out.
I started that first book in 2004, so it’s been many years of writing now.
5. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
My publisher designed the covers for all my books. I got to turn in a list of ideas, and in all cases the designers used them. I’ve been pretty thrilled with my book covers.
6. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Originally, I called the book Jason Farms. I came up with that title the day I came up with the idea for the story. I was in a car with my sister in upstate New York. We were driving to an orchard to pick apples. As we passed farm after farm after farm, I got to daydreaming: What if there was a Farm that grew people? They could call it Jason Farms! And the idea was born.
But my publisher felt that Jason Farms was confusing, so they changed the title to Replication: The Jason Experiment.
7. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I have two book trailers for Replication! I made one from each main character’s point of view. Here are the links:
Abby’s trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SODPu2WfxcI
Martyr’s trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCYeTXZGvg0
I love book trailers. I made one for my very first novel, By Darkness Hid, then a bunch of teens got together to film a live-action trailer for my second novel, To Darkness Fled. They had such a great time they decided to make a trailer for the third book in that trilogy, From Darkness Won. That trailer is in post-production right now, but should be done any day. I can’t wait to see it! I even got to play a small role in that one. *grin*
8. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I like them all! My favorites are paperbacks. I like paper books and paperbacks are lighter than hardcovers. But I own a Kindle, and I like it too. It’s so convenient. Audio books are fun, but I don’t spend much time in a car and have little time to listen at home, so I don’t get through many of those.
I do podcast my own books on my website, though, which is kind of a free audiobook that listeners can download. So if you like audiobooks, and would like to give my medieval fantasy trilogy a try, the entire first book is available for download on my website.
9. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
My first trilogy was published with a small, independent traditional publisher called Marcher Lord Press. And my new books are with Zondervan, which is a division of Harper Collins.
10. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Write, write, write. Get into a critique group where you feel you are learning. And finish that first book. Many new writers tend to get stuck for years writing that first book. Train yourself to be a writer by doing the hard work of completing a full manuscript. Then go back and rewrite it. And when you’re done, put it down and write another book. Then write another. Then another.
Also, read, read, read. When you read, study what the author did. Look at their dialogue, action, punctuation, characters, plot, everything. Learn all you can. It will help you be a better writer and storyteller.
And try not to be impatient. Work on making each book the best it can be. When you finish a book, send it out. While you’re waiting to hear back, write another one. I wrote six novels before my first book was published. I’ve heard the same from many authors. So, try to have fun.
Advice-wise, one of my favorite writing quotes is from Michael Crichton. He said, “Books aren't written—they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.” It’s so true.
11. Where can your readers follow you?
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jwilliamsonwrites
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2869923.Jill_Williamson
Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!