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.
1) First, congratulations on a wonderful book. What is your writing process like? Do you work from an outline of ideas or scenes, a roadmap of sorts? Do you let the characters pull you forward through the narrative? (BN) Thank you. “Red Audrey” started as a short story that I wrote in graduate school. The short story was, in its way, quite complete: four of the five main characters from the...Read More
First person is a tricky thing sometimes. It makes the story more immediate and direct, more story-like. But, depending on the character, the reader may begin to see the narrator and the writer as the same creature. Confessional poetry lends itself to this blur. Sylvia Plath is the classic confessional writer. Her own experience, her own voice, herself as protagonist. But it’s really not that clear, is it? Or, at least, it’s not that...Read More
I’m contemplating a murder. I can see it: the body, and two teenagers. And part of me is concerned that as a writer, I’m becoming ghoulish, and part of me is intrigued by this notion. In Alice Munro’s short stories, the characters are frequently informed by violence, but the violence is usually outside the scope of the story—it happens off-stage. I don’t have any interest in writing thrillers. I think I’m much more interested...Read More
Joss Whedon (I’m a major fan of this brilliant guy — creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.) said that conviction is what makes evil different. Conviction is why fringe groups are so dangerous: they cannot see the other side. This is interesting to me because I’ve been thinking, lately, about obsession. I struggle with obsession. I can’t play video games because I used to play non–stop for two days—all through the night, calling...Read More
Oh, this is mad exciting. Bywater Books has organized a number of stellar events in Provincetown, Massachusetts during Women’s Week. I’ll be there from Tuesday, October 14th until Saturday, October 18th. On Wednesday, October 15th, I’ll be reading at the Vixen with several other authors from 1-3 p.m. Signings afterward at Now Voyager. Thurday, October 16th, I’ll be reading in the Vixen’s wine bar at 5 p.m. Check out Now Voyager and Womencrafts...Read More
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