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Jill G. Hall on the Happy Surprise of Finding Readers
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
June 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
June 2018

Jill G. Hall is the author of The Black Velvet Coat (2015) and the recently released The Silver Shoes. With the release of her second book, she shares some of the won wisdom from publishing her debut and moving to the next phase of her career.  

SW: Share your writing routine.

JH: Most mornings I get a cup of tea, crawl back into bed and write in my journal.  The days I don’t get to do I’m grumpy. Twice a week I attend open writing time at San Diego Writers, Ink and type worthy pages from my journal. I also attend a weekly prompt writing drop-in group. This is to get words flowing and not for critique.     

SW: Describe your writing style in three words.

JH: Intuitive, heartfelt, feisty

SW: What is the first thing you can remember writing?

JH: I remember writing an essay in first grade about the ribbons in my drawer and their bright colors. Unfortunately my mother wasn’t impressed and told me so. It took me a long time to feel confident about writing again.    

SW: When did you start to feel like a writer?

JH: I know I am supposed to say I felt like a writer as soon as I put pen to paper, but it wasn’t until one of my poems was selected for publication. The prompt was “kissing” but I had ended up really going for it and it went much farther.

SW: Was there something about the publishing experience that surprised you?

JH: I was surprised how many people read The Black Velvet Coat, my first novel, wrote positive reviews and shared with that they enjoyed it. Book club members have pointed out hidden themes I didn’t realize I had even put in there. They also have told me which characters were their favorites and why. In fact, that’s how Anne, my present day artist ended up in The Silver Shoes too.

SW: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

JH: I suggest aspiring authors write with their hearts and not their heads, develop a daily writing practice routine and find a community of other writers. If a writer is planning to publish they should make sure it’s the best it can be, stay positive and consider all their options. There are so many now.

Keeping a balanced life is important too. I schedule for walks, yoga and tap dance lessons. I also make sure to spend time with loved ones. At eight o’clock at night I turn off my technology and don’t turn it on again until after I’ve done my morning writing practice.

SW: What do you do to help develop your craft?

JH: To develop my craft I read a lot, attend workshops and enroll in read and critique groups when I am in the editing process. 

SW: What methods are you using to market your book?

My focus is not about sales but to have as many people read my books as possible, whether they get them at the library or passed on from a friend. I post on my author FB page daily to keep the momentum going. Every three or four weeks I send out an email or a blog post to my email list. Right now it will probably be more often since I have a new book coming out. I attempt to be more outgoing by attending networking events where I share my business card and bookmarks if my writing comes up in conversation. I’ve found people are actually very interested and supportive! 

 

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Comments
  • Judy Reeves

    Thanks, Jill, for sharing your experience as a successful writer. All best wishes as your second book goes public!