I always enjoyed writing and if I had been paying attention would have recognized writing as a
good choice of profession. I did not have an example of someone making a living outside of a steady, salaried kind of job, so never really considered anything creative like writing as a true alternative. I waited until middle age to finally have that "aha!" moment.
Do your readers contact you? If so, what do they say?
Readers contact me through Facebook and also in person through a small number of paperback sales locally. Most ask when the next book in my Evolution Series is coming out
which really motivates me to keep going on book #3. Some also express amazement at my ability to pull together research, characters, setting, and plot to build lengthy historical
romances. A few like to point out typos and that is helpful too!
For aspiring writers, what three pieces of good advice would you give them?
1. Learn your craft. A foundation of correct puncuation, grammar, and spelling is not optional. You might make a style choice that ignores a rule but it should be a justifiable choice, not
ignorance. On top of those fundamentals layer fully-formed characters, tight plot, and scenes that make sense to propel the plot.
2. Learn your genre but trust your instincts or your voice.
3. Write. Write. Write.
Do you have a favorite of your own books?
My favorite is probably Redeemed, the second in my series. The hero and heroine, Doeg and Philantha, are atypical in that the Doeg is physically and emotionally damaged, and Philantha
is more womanly than willowy and she is period-correct in being a bit submissive which is an important quality for her to ultimately gain Doeg's trust. They both have pain in their pasts that is almost inadvertently healed as they begin to love each other. I am writing a few scenes with Doeg and Philantha in the next book and am so enjoying a visit with them.
How do you balance writing with your life?
Well, I am fortunate to work part time in my husband's and my computer consulting business so I usually have at least one day per week to devote to writing, and hopefully I squeeze some time in on the weekends too. It makes for slow going so I try to stay focussed on writing the story, and then when it is done I focus on promoting and then switch gears again!
How old were you when you wrote your first book and what was it about?
I don't know what would count as a book, but I voluntarily wrote stories and poetry as a young elementary student. My mother still has a saccharine-sweet anniversary poem I wrote for her
and my dad.
Where do your ideas come from?
Usually I get a single interaction between hero and heroine in my head that starts to introduce the characters and their circumstances to me. Oddly enough, that scene does not often make it into the final book because of plot issues.
Do you have a writing quirk?
I used to write scenes out of chronological order but I am trying to break that habit with my work-in-progress. And I really prefer to write in absolute silence.
Pantser or Planner?
I am becoming more of a planner as I go. I think particularly with historicals you are more likely to introduce a fatal timeline problem or historical inaccuracy if you haven't created a skeleton for the story.
Do you pick out dream casts for your books? If so, what's your favorite so far?
Funny question. It has never occurred to me to cast my books, though I did look for pictures for my main characters in Vain, my current project. I am now using software called StoryMill that
lets me pull a picture right into my character description so I can check back to make certain I am representing somebody properly.
Coke vs Pepsi?
Pepsi, though not very often because my husband now calls soda "devil water".
Chocolate vs Vanilla?
Cake vs Ice Cream?
Cake. Brownies. Cookies. I love bad carbs.
Do you think we dream in color or that we wake up and remember it in color?
I think we dream in color.
What's your favorite food?
That is really hard. Is coffee a food?
What type of food could you never live without?
I would struggle to truly eliminate grains from my diet, but I would also miss fruit so it would be a tossup between those two.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what would you take with you (limit 4 items)?
Fresh water still. Tarp. Flint. Fishing pole. As you can see, I am infuriatingly practical. I would not bring books or music because I am making them in my head all the time.
Favorite show growing up?
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Super human strength. I think there would be so many practical applications. I definitely would not want to be able to read minds or see the future – those would be a minefield.
What do you think the future will hold?
For me, I think it holds more story-telling and hopefully a steady increase in success as a writer.
Thank you, Jesse, for inviting me to your blog. I have a blog too if anyone is interested in visiting me. I tweet @jillhughey. My books are available for Kindle or in print at the Amazon
links below and also at most ebook vendors. I also welcome reviews on any of the purchase sites, Goodreads, Shelfari, and AskDavid.
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Jill Hughey writes fast-paced historical romance in a modern voice, with three published books so far. Two of the books, Unbidden and Redeemed, are part of her Evolution Series, set in the middle ages shortly after Charlemagne's death. Her third, Sass Meets Class, is a sweet romance set in Arizona Territory in the 1880s. Jill is currently writing Vain, the third book in her series.
Jill has a wonderfully supportive husband and two teenaged sons. She works as a business administrator, acts as the kid taxi, takes voice lessons, and fits writing in wherever she can.