It may be the weekend, but I still love
welcoming authors to the blog!
Here we go...
Hi, I’m Jillian! My husband Shawn and I live in Ontario, Canada with our 4 children – Hayden (6), Willow (4), Greyson (2), and Isla (1). Our hands are full, but so are our hearts!
I have always had a passion for storytelling, and can usually be found making up silly rhymes and/or songs for my kids–or to be quite honest– just for myself!
My favourite thing to do is go out for breakfast with my family.
My least favourite thing is hanging up clean laundry!
When Violet and her family move into her mother’s childhood home, she is determined not to let the boring, old walls confine her boundless imagination.
After a long day of unpacking her room, she becomes happily distracted when she stumbles upon a rather unusual box of crayons. Compelled by her love for art, she draws her first picture in her new room and tapes it to her wall. Soon Violet drifts off to sleep but wakes to something so marvellous even she couldn’t have dreamed it.
Who are you and what do you write?
My name is Jillian Her, and I write children’s books! My first book, Drawn In, is available soon, but I have many more in development that I can’t wait to publish!
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I have always considered myself young at heart, and the thought of writing picture books was always very exciting to me. I put it off for a long time because I had that fear of, ‘What if I’m not good enough’. About 10+ years ago I had a dream one night that I wrote down once I woke up. I saved it all these years with the intent to turn it into a picture book. About a year and a half ago, I ask my cousin Kevin, who is a designer/illustrator, if he would be interested in working together on some picture books. Our first book, Drawn In, is that story from my dream!
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
A roller coaster! The self-publishing process is such a huge learning curve when you’re going through it the first time. I’ve learnt so much and feel a lot more comfortable with it now, so it will be much faster publishing our next book. Kevin and I had weekly meetings at our local coffee shop -- me sharing new drafts, edits, and ideas, and him sharing new sketch ideas and revisions. It was a lot of fun! Certain aspects of the book took longer than others, like choosing the title and knowing when the main character ‘Violet’ looked just right. We used a company to help us bring the book to completion, by providing editing services, a design team, and marketing consultant. Next time, we are going to try it on our own and hire our own editor and any other additional services we might need.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part has been seeing disruptions in our timeline. Whether it be realizing a specific aspect was going to take longer than we thought, or being told we would have something by a certain date and then were left waiting. The most enjoyable part has been seeing the characters and the story brought to life in the illustrations. When my first physical copy arrived in the mail, the feeling was unreal!
Would you go back and change anything?
I think the only thing I would change is that Kevin and I would find our own services to help where needed, on our own. Being able to discuss directly, one on one with an editor and designer, etc, is very important to us, and we didn’t realize that the ones we were using through the company were not ‘author facing’ – which means they are hired by the company, and communicate with you via a project manager. This process is different for everyone though, and this was just something that was our personal preference.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
In 5 years, I’d like to be strictly working from home, have 5 more books published, and be picked up as a series on Netflix! Or maybe Pixar gives us a call! In 10 years, I’d love our characters to be household names, easily recognized and loved, and just be continuing to create and share more stories that family’s will love.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Be kind to yourself and patient with the process. There are a lot of drafts to come, bumps in the road, lots of research and waiting. If you feel unsure of yourself, that’s normal – just go back to your ‘why’—remember what made you passionate enough to get this far, and it will help you to keep going!
And now for the important stuff...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Mayo, if it’s chipotle flavour!
Night or Day? - I’m a night owl for sure.
Inside or Outside? - Outside
Dogs or Cats? - I have a cat, but I’d love a dog one day.
Twitter or Facebook? - I’m newer to the ‘Twitterverse’, but I love it more every day!
Ebook or Paperback? - Paperback!
Sun or Rain? - I love a good thunderstorm.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Pencil & Notebook – I have a thing with collecting notebooks with inspiring covers. I even wrote a blog post about it once lol.
Comedy or Drama? - I am silly through and through. Comedy all the way!
Chips or Chocolate? - Dark Chocolate!
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!