What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jill Williamson and Free Books!

PhotobucketAchan, Vrell, and the Kingsguard knights flee into Darkness to escape the wrath of the former prince and rescue their own army from the Ice Island prison.

Before we meet today's novelist, I'd like to announce that the winner of the drawing for Lynette Eason's novel, Too Close to Home, is:

sunny_girl_anna@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's meet novelist Jill Williamson, author of To Darkness Fled, Blood of Kings, book 2 (Marcher Lord Press, April 2010).

PhotobucketJill Williamson is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. She grew up in Alaska with no electricity, an outhouse, and a lot of mosquitoes. Thankfully it was the land of the midnight sun, and she could stay up and read by the summer daylight that wouldn't go away. But in the winter, there was nothing better to do than daydream. Both hobbies set her up to be a writer.

VOYA magazine named By Darkness Hid as one of the Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novels of 2010.

Jill has served alongside her youth pastor husband for the past twelve years and loves working with teenagers, especially to encourage young writers. She gives writing workshops at churches and schools.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of To Darkness Fled.

PhotobucketTo Darkness Fled is the second book in the Blood of Kings trilogy. It's about Achan, a young man who wanted to become a knight, and Vrell, a girl who is dressed as a boy to hide from the man who wants to marry her. Book two picks up where By Darkness Hid left off.

Here is the back cover copy for To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings, book 2):

They have no choice. Chased by an evil prince, Achan, Vrell, and the Kingsguard knights flee into Darkness. They head north, for Tsaftown and Ice Island, where they must free an army that can help them fight for Er'Rets.

Darkness sickens Vrell. How long can she keep her secret without being caught? Achan already suspects her of lying. If she is not careful, he will suspect her of treason as well. She hopes he will let his suspicions go until they reach her home.

Achan wanted freedom, but this new journey has bound him more than ever. Sir Gavin's claims are so far fetched. First, that there might only be one God, and second, that this God chose Achan to push back Darkness, the magnificent curse of Er'Rets. Him. Achan. Barely a man himself.

Each setback Darkness brings seems minor compared to the one choice only Achan can make. What will he choose?

Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote?

Achan. He tries to be tough. He's technically a man, by Er'Retian standards, though he feels insecure about stepping into that role and taking charge. He's stubborn, and that trait often causes him a lot of heartache. His sarcasm and heroic nature work well, I think. Sometimes you want to scowl at him--boys will be boys--but you can't help but love the guy.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I have been told that I write characters with very human and realistic hopes and fears that the reader would relate to if they were in my characters' boots. The series also has an unpredictable, fast-paced plot. Teen girls like that Vrell is disguised as a boy, especially when her story comes together with Achan's and he thinks she's a pest. There is some romance in book two that readers also like. If you want to read what readers are saying, check out the "What people are saying" page on my website (see link, below).

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketSteven Strait would be the perfect Achan if he looked just like he did as Warren Peace in Sky High.

PhotobucketDakota Fanning could play Vrell, with brown hair, though.

Not the best Dakota Fanning picture, but her hair is a little darker here, and I think it's a pretty current shot.

How many points of view do you typically use in a novel? If you vary, what have you found you enjoyed the most?

I use two points of view in the Blood of Kings series: Achan and Vrell. But, because of Achan and Vrell's ability to bloodvoice, they are able to look in on other character's occasionally, which allows me to see a few other points of view.

Oh, I like that, Jill! We can't get away with that in many storylines, can we?

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

Brainstorming new story ideas comes easiest to me. I start by finding a unique premise, then I work on my characters, then the plot.

I struggle with finding time to write all my ideas. I get easily distracted with promotion and emails and Facebook. I also struggle with remembering to describe people and rooms as soon as they are introduced. Jeff Gerke, my editor, has been training me on this, though, and it's becoming easier.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

Hmm. I always get stuck on this one.

Yeah, I should have sent you a different question here, Jill. (Readers, last time Jill said a textbook, because she was full of lots of different information.) You're a good sport to answer it a second time.

I wanted to answer differently than I did last time, so I asked my husband for help. He says, "A keyboard. It's always sitting in front of the computer screen." LOL

There you go. That works!

What is the last book you read that moved you? 

I just finished The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. This is a classic YA novel from 1967. I was very impressed by how real the author showed the life of these boys and got the reader to empathize and see things from all sides.

What are you working on now?

I am working on From Darkness Won (Blood of Kings, book 3).

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My website is www.jillwilliamson.com. I'm also on Facebook, MySpace, Shoutlife, Shelfari, GoodReads, Twitter, and Amazon.

On top of that, I run two blogs. The first is Novel Teen Book Reviews at www.novelteen.com. It's a website that reviews clean teen fiction. This is a great resource to see what books are available in the Christian market for teens. The other blog is for teen authors, though adult authors may find some useful tips too. www.teenageauthor.com.

And if you are looking to buy one of my books online go to Amazon.com, through the button at left or go to Barnes and Noble via the button below:

The book is also available thorugh MarcherLordPress.com. Or you can also buy an autographed copy from me through my website. Many libraries have the first book and if they don't they would likely order it if you ask. And you can request your local bookstore order my books too.

Thanks, Jill, for visiting with us and telling us about To Darkness Fled. Readers, Jill has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Saturday, May 1. To enter, leave a comment for Jill, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Stephanie Grace Whitson, and Vanessa Miller, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their novels.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


Anonymous said...

thanks for chance to read this fabulous book :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Janna said...

I LOVE the first book and would be thrilled to win the 2nd one! Can't wait for #3 to come out - fantastic series!

ryanx6 at msn dot com

Kimberly said...

I love to see this genre getting published in the Christian market. Keep writing Jill:)

gahome2mom said...

This book seems like one for my two teenagers. They are very picky. lol



Julia said...

This book sounds great in the reviews I've seen.


David James said...

I've enjoyed everything I've read so far from Marcher Lord Press, and I'm so glad that Jill is doing so well with her series. If you haven't read any of the other novels by MLP other than Jill's first one, then I certainly recommend going to the site and getting some of them. Good reads for all. :-)

Here's my e-mail for the contest:


Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

I really enjoyed the first one and would love a chance to win the second one... Thanks so much!


Matt said...

Cool interview! I loved the first book in this series!


~Ley said...

I would love to win this book. It sounds so good!


Trish Perry said...

I agree with you, David, about Marcher Lord Press--that was a publisher the Inspirational Fiction market sorely needed. They've published some wonderfully creative books, including Jill's series.

Jill Williamson said...

Thanks for the interview, Trish! And thanks for all the kind words, everyone! If you love speculative fiction, you should check out some of the other MLP books. They are really fun. :-)



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