“By Darkness Hid”” By Jill Williamson- Part 2

ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH! I got this all ready yesterday and my computer must have died on my because it saved it to DRAFT and not published. Oh well. Enjoy anyway. 🙂

For my blog today, I am going to use the interview I did with Jill Williamson, not only is she a great writer, but seems to be very open and friendly. Just from her descriptions of how into the story she got before she even wrote it, how excited she was, it seems like we would get along in person too! Definetly a plus in my book!!! Please enjoy!

1)What made you decide to write “By Darkness Hid? “Two things happened about the same time. My son and I were walking past a burned-down house. There was a tree in the yard that was half charred and half leafy green. I thought it was the coolest image. So I ran home and Photoshopped it. It’s the same image that’s the header on my website. I knew I wanted to write a story about this tree.  I also had a weird dream. A woman soldier was on a mission to rescue the heir to the land from a hospital. His transport had been in an accident and he was taken to the wrong side of the city, the dangerous side. He was in a coma. But there was another guy in the hospital room who had amnesia. And what only I knew—coma guy was an impostor. Amnesia guy was the real heir. And the soldier woman was going to be the one to figure it all out.It was a very strange dream.But I liked the idea of a switcheroo to put with my half-dead/half-living tree. So I drew a map—because I love books that have maps—and started brainstorming which lords ruled each city, what kind of people lived there, the climate, and things like that. I made a 3-ring binder to keep everything organized. I drew (somewhat lame) sketches of castles and characters, created family trees, brainstormed lists of names, things like that. It was fun. I finally made myself stop playing and actually write the story.”

2)How long did it take you-from conception of the idea to final draft? “I don’t remember when I saw the tree. I know I spent a few months creating my storyworld and my Blood of Kings binder. I started writing at the beginning of December, 2007. I had just completed NaNoWriMo in November and was excited to do it again. So I punched out the first draft of By Darkness Hid, which I had tentatively titled Bloodvoices, in December to mid January. I had the full first draft done before we moved to John Day on February 2. Once we got settled into our new home, I spent the next few months working through the story with my critique group. I had it done and ready to pitch that summer. I gave Jeff my first chapter at the Oregon Christian Writer’s conference in July 2008.”

3)How did you come up with the idea for “blood voices”? “I was thinking about how my soldier chick might know there was a switcheroo. I liked the idea that my true heir could pass his suppressed memories to her. Still, she needed to find proof to convince her superiors. As I thought about how this might work, it morphed into a telepathy thing, which ended up being a genetic trait that passed through the blood of kings. As you can see, I abandoned my soldier girl—she became Vrell. ”

4)Who influenced you as a writer when you were growing up? “No one. I wanted to be a fashion designer. But movies more than anything captivated my imagination. Star Wars was the first. I grew up without electricity. We had a tiny, 5-inch B&W TV that you could hook up to a car battery. And we weren’t supposed to be watching that when our parents weren’t home…On my ninth birthday, my parents rented a TV and VCR and all three (original) Star Wars movies. It was so awesome. It turned me into a major daydreamer.”

5)What made you decide to be a writer? “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 appropriate for Christians to read. The debate inspired me to write a novel specifically for Christian teens.”

6)How long have you been checking out other books and doing reviews for teens? “It started when I needed to list comparative titles in my first book proposal. I started to discover what CBA young adult books were already published. I was surprised how many there truly were. In July 2008, I started my Novel Teen Book Review blog. I wanted to help teens and parents discover all the great Christian fiction for teens that was available.”

7)What helps you when you come across writers block? “Forcing myself to get through the scene. Sometimes I’ll skip a difficult scene and will come back to it later. I try not to stop writing.”

Please also enjoy her website and check out her book. She also does reviews of books for teens, the site is here.

These are some other people who read the book, check out what they have to say!

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Gina Burgess
Beckie Burnham
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Sarah Flanagan
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher


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