Hi, I'm Jill
I'm a mom, an award-winning author of 3 books, and an avid outdoor adventurer, who married a performance artist and addiction counselor renown for the best risotto on the planet.
I grew up as an Army brat, traveling the world. Now, I'm psyched to live in Spokane and adventure around the Pacific Northwest.
I used to burn everything. Photographs, letters, any memento from a relationship, once that relationship was over. I had to use lighter fluid a couple of times because the clothes wouldn’t catch fire. For a while, after graduate school, people had a reprieve. They wrote so beautifully that I couldn’t bring myself to burn their letters. Two years ago, I read through the stack and one group of them had been written to a...Read More
Next Saturday, the 23rd, I’m reading at In Other Words Bookstore in Portland. Portland is the place I live in my alternate version of my life. After grad school, I had plans to move there, but something always happened that made me extend those plans—-push them just beyond reach. Seven and a half years ago, I got married there. Tax day, 2001. I love Portland. The clean smell, the biking lanes, the neighborhood quality...Read More
I’m at the point in the writing where the end of the novel is in every sentence–its inevitability, its weight and tragedy. It’s so blissful when you’re puzzling through this stuff, when you untangle the major threads, and the twists, and the climax, and have sorted the beast out. But then, when you must write their happiness, when you must make it honest and vulnerable and give it depth and humanity, knowing all along...Read More
The narrative perspective for the new novel I’m writing is third person limited, which means I’m writing from the perspective of (in this particular case) three different characters. The narration is filtered through one of their perspectives at any given time. At present, I don’t go into anyone else’s perspective. I am beginning to feel though, that the book might really be third person omniscient. In which case, the narration can move into any...Read More
I’ll be reading and signing books at In Other Words in Portland on Saturday, August 23rd at 4 p.m. In Other Words Women’s Books and Resources 8 NE Killingsworth St. Portland, OR Friday evening, September 5th, I’ll be reading and signing books at Fact and Fiction Bookstore in Missoula at 7 p.m. Fact and Fiction Bookstore 220 North Higgins Missoula, MTRead More
I like my heroes dirty. Just imagine how insufferable Christ would have been if he hadn’t hung out with hookers and tax agents. Prometheus chained to a rock for sneaking fire to mortals. Lyra abandoning her daemon Pan at the riverbank in the underworld. Stephen Maturin doping himself with laudanum and cocaine. Sacrifice means less if it costs nothing. I am a sucker for imperfect salvation. I get my definition of lesbianism from Jesus...Read More
How many fist fights have you had? I mean, real, honest, fist fights, not just pushing. The kind of fist fights where you realize that the human head is really hard. I have one of those Irish tempers so I’ve had some sprawling scraps. I’ve had adrenaline burn through my esophagus; I’ve been shaking and sick with it. I’ve been thrown into any number of potted plants. One might ask what the point was?...Read More
Sympathetic Characters I’ve been in, and led, book groups for years, and one of the most difficult criticisms for me, is when a reader doesn’t like a character and decides that’s synonymous with not liking the book, as though one must like the character (or approve of the character) or the story fails. I’m drawn to characters I have to work to like; they feel more real to me. I’m thinking of Susan and...Read More