Jill Williamson’s Blog

What Are Storyworld Shorts?

Posted by on Oct 2nd, 2017 in A weekly story blog, Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen, Podcasts | 0 comments

 

I started a new website.

You might have seen my countdown to October 4, 2017. Well, this is what I’ve been working so hard on. I created a writing website primarily to host my YouTube videos and podcast versions of those videos to make it easier for listeners to find them.

What are Storyworld Shorts?

They are short writing videos or podcasts in which I teach lessons on the craft of writing. I will post one new video and podcast a week. Over the years I have posted sporadic YouTube writing videos, and I loved it. I always wanted to do so more regularly, so this is something I’ve been wanting to do for a loonnnggg time!

Storyworld Shorts are by nature short. Over time, the episodes will build upon one another and eventually give you a thorough understanding of how to write a novel. Some of the topics/series I will discuss in weeks to come are:

-How to come up with a great idea
-Creating compelling characters
-Different types of plots
-How to outline and plan your novel
-How to add themes to your story
-Tackling a major rewrite
-How to edit your book

I’ll also be doing a monthly Q&A Live video, in which I’ll answer listener questions.

To learn more and to watch the first video, visit StoryworldShorts.com.

The “I’m Going to Nashville” Book Sale

Posted by on Sep 26th, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 2 comments

Last week I found out that King’s Folly is a finalist for the 2017 Christy Awards.

Yay! I’m so excited and honored.  😀

In past years, the awards banquet was held during the International Christian Retail Show, but the Christy Award is now run by the The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), so this year’s event is going to be different. ECPA is putting on a half-day conference for storytellers called The Art of Writing. And while the lineup of that event sounds amazing (Karen Kingsbury and Andrew Peterson, just to name two), I had no intention of going. My husband has to work, and the introvert in me hates going to such things without someone I know really well.

But then my friend Mindy, who runs the Quirky Faith blog, said she’d come with me. (She drove me to Seattle two weeks ago to meet Jon Acuff.) I took a couple days to pray about it, then said, “Yes, I will do this!”

And she said, “Whoo hoo!” (And instantly started making plans for us to try and meet Dave Ramsey!)

Then my sweet mother-in-law gave me miles for a plane ticket! ❤

To celebrate, I’m having a sale in my author bookstore. Everything is 30% off with the discount code “CHRISTY”—while supplies last. (I only have two copies of To Darkness Fled!) That puts paperback copies of Replication at only $4.20 each!

So if you’ve been meaning to order King’s Folly, or if you want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, here is a great opportunity. Please feel free to spread the word!

You can find my author store by clicking here or by clicking on the “Store” link in the menu above.

Jill Williamson is having a 30%-off Christy Award sale. Discount code: “CHRISTY” — Click to Tweet

Opportunities like these don’t happen everyday, so I’m excited that I am able to seize the moment and enjoy it for what it is: a chance to go on a great adventure with a dear friend and make some fabulous memories.  🙂

 

 

There’s a Teen Track at This Year’s OCW Fall One-Day Conference in Portland, OR

Posted by on Sep 19th, 2017 in A weekly story blog, Jill Williamson's Blog, Novel Teen | 0 comments

 

I have been invited to teach two workshops for teens at the fall Oregon Christian Writers one-day conference in Portland on October 21. This will be a really neat opportunity for teens who love to write. We’re going to learn about how to create characters, plot a novel, and how the publishing industry works. The conference is offering a special rate of $20 for writers under the age of twenty, which is a really great deal. (The non-member adult price is $75.) Please help spread the word to teen writers in the Portland/Vancouver area. We are going to have so much fun. You can see the full schedule online at http://oregonchristianwriters.org/fall-2017/.

 

“Don’t miss it! @OregonWriters is hosting a Teen Track, led by @JillWilliamson at this year’s fall conference.”

Click to Tweet this!

 

Here are the descriptions of my two workshops:

“What Every Character Needs.” (Teen Track, part one)
A great character can live in a reader’s mind forever. These are the kinds of characters we want in our books. In this class, we’ll go through a step-by-step process to help you create authentic characters that your readers will never forget. We’ll discuss character backstory, motivation, tags, archetypal roles, interactions with other characters, and tools to help you keep track of it all.

“Secrets of a Great Plot.” (Teen Track, part two)
What is a plot, anyway? What is its purpose? And what makes that three-act structure so successful? Are there other ways to create a strong story? In this class, we’ll discuss the secrets of a great plot, look at some alternative plot structures, and talk about the different ways to keep things moving when your story is too short, seems to have stalled, or is just plain boring.

I hope to pack the place with teen writers, so feel free to help me spread the word. Here is a link to my teen flyer. Print and share with as many as you can. Thanks so much!

The 2017-2018 #MyBedsideTableTBRChallenge

Posted by on Sep 12th, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 0 comments

I have a book due in a week, so I’m constantly procrastinating. (Why I do this, I’ll never know.) Anyway… I cleaned my bedside table and commiserated over the 41 books, some of which are brand new, but some have been there for +/- five years. I thought, “Hey… I should try and read all these!” (I’ve had this revelation before, so I laughed it off. Until I thought about Instagram. And I was inspired.

So I cleaned #MyBedsideTable. I took this picture. I added little numbers. I took pictures of all 41 books. And I’m going to Instagram them. And hopefully read them ALL. It will be my 2017-18 reading challenge. Can I do it? And when I finish one, can I put a new book there? Because this isn’t the only massive #trb pile in my house. I have, like, seven. :-/

Here’s the plan: I’m going to introduce you to #JillsBedsideTable. Then I’ll give you a list of the 41 books on that table. Since that post will be dated, I’ll know by this time next year if I succeeded or if I let new books take cuts. Again.

Here’s what’s on the top of my little bedside table:

1. Clothespin holding a handy stash of bookmarks.
2. Chapstick, so I don’t have to get up if I need it.
3. Fingernail file. Because, same as #2.
4. Magic touch lamp.
5. Current fun read: #FinnikinoftheRock by #MelinaMarchetta. #TheLumatereChronicles
6. This month’s Book Club read: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.
7. Note pad.
8. Writing utensils.
9. Sticky notes for marking passages in books.
10. Hand lotion.
11. Water for hydration (and to keep from snacking too much).
12. A flashlight, just in case (and also for middle-of-the-night reading of print books.
13. Tissues. Because, same as #2, and because sad scenes in books.
14. Extra bookmarks.
15. Bible memory verses.
16. Earbuds for talking to my husband on the phone.
17. iPad for ebook reading and Googling more authors and books.
18. Powerstrip for phone and laptop charging.
19. The other 41 books!
20. My two Booknitures for #MyBedsideTable photographing.
21. My laptop, for writing.

 

And here’s what’s on the shelves:

TOP SHELF
1. Siren’s Fury by Mary Weber
2. Among the Flames by Kim Vandel
3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
4. Still Life by Dani Pettrey
5. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
6. The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton
7. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
8. Writing Screenplays That Sell by Michael Hauge
9. The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell
10. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
11. Sorcery & Cecelia: Or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
12. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
13. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp
14. Recruits by Thomas Locke
15. Sacred Privilege by Kay Warren
16. Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin
17. Breaking Point by Karen Ball
18. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
19. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling
20. Night by Elie Wiesel

BOTTOM SHELF
21. Risen by Angela Hunt
22. Me, Myself, & Bob by Phil Vischer
23. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
24. A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert
25. My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McCay
26. Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig
27. The Greatest Moment by Dr. Charles Earl Harrel
28. Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer
29. Magic Kingdom For Sale—Sold! by Terry Brooks
30. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
31. When Couples Walk Together: 31 Days to a Closer Connection by Cindi & Hugh McMenamin
32. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
33. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
34. The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark
35. To Be Told by Dan Allender
36. The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
37. Closing the Gap by Patty Slack
38. Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice
39. The Diviners by Libba Bray
40. Shadows Beneath by Sanderson, Kowal, Wells, and Tayler
41. Rising Strong by Brené Brown

 

My challenge to you: Post your own #tbrBookPile and see if you can finish it in a year too. Who’s with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? You can play on your blog, on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Anywhere you can post pictures and book reading updates. Let’s get through a pile of books together!

Join My New Street Team

Posted by on Sep 12th, 2017 in #shinelight, Jill Williamson's Blog | 0 comments

I usually put together a new launch team each time I have a book coming out. Instead of doing that work over and over, I’ve decided to switch tactics and create a Street Team. What is a Street Team, you ask? Allow me to explain.

My Street Team is an exclusive group specifically for readers who love my books and want to tell the world about them. Each time I have a book release, I will call on my team for help. And later, once I’ve recovered from the frenzy of a major book release, I will reward my team with presents. 😀

To become part of the team, fill out this Google form.

I would also like you to join the Street Team closed Facebook group, which you can find by clicking here.

You don’t have to be part of the Facebook group to be on the Street Team, but I will communicate to the team more often in that group, so it’s great if you can join. If not, you’ll only hear from me via my author newsletters (so you can keep up with what I’m doing), and via a private Street Team-only newsletter each time I’m gearing up to launch a new book.

Promotional activities of the Street Team are always optional, but I’m hoping that everyone who joins will be excited to help. I’m all about shining light in the darkness, and to do that well, I need assistance!

Thank you, all! I couldn’t do this job with out you. ♥

The Reluctant King Release Day and a FREE Preview to Read!

Posted by on Sep 5th, 2017 in #shinelight, Jill Williamson's Blog | 0 comments

For those of you reading the ebook parts of The Kinsman Chronicles, Part Seven, The Reluctant King, has now released! I am GIDDY to get this third book into your hands, faithful readers. I’ve been working on this trilogy for nearly four years now, and it’s going to be so fulfilling to finish strong.

The Reluctant King is the first third of the final paperback volume, King’s War, and I’m sorry you’ll have to wait for parts Eight and Nine. I’m actually on the final edit of Part Nine right now, so it’s weird to almost have the book done, but you all can’t read it for months yet. I feel quite dastardly, actually.

Anyway, below you will find the story description for The Reluctant King. And if you scroll WAAAY to the bottom of my cool Book Table app (that I could not edit, unfortunately), you can read a free preview! Hooray! But BE WARNED. There are HUGE SPOILERS if you haven’t read the previous books yet. Huge, EPIC spoilers.

You have been warned. 😉

 

The Reluctant King (The Kinsman Chronicles): Part 7

The Reluctant King (The Kinsman Chronicles): Part 7

Part 7 of Jill Williamson's Epic Fantasy Series The Kinsman Chronicles

Following the ambush that destroyed the veteran armies of Armania and Sarikar, Prince Trevn travels back to Armanguard to help defend his people from future attacks. With a sorcerer seeking to usurp the throne and giants threatening to enslave them, the struggle to unite and encourage such a distressed populace is no easy task. While Armania seeks unity, so do their enemies. Barthel Rogedoth sets out to combine forces with the mother countries in hopes of banding together against the Hadar family. But Chieftess Charlon wonders, is there any value in the vow of a traitor?
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Series: The Kinsman Chronicles, Book 7
Genre: Fantasy
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Something Fabulous This Way Comes On 10-2-17

Posted by on Aug 29th, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 2 comments

I’m gearing up to launch something new in my world that I hope many of you will enjoy. It’s specifically for writers, so it won’t appeal to everyone. But if you readers have a writer in your life, they might find some value in my new endeavor. It’s just a little over a month away, and I can’t wait to share it! *jumps up and down and giggles*

 

 

 

Oregon Christian Writers 2017

Posted by on Aug 22nd, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 10 comments

Oregon Christian Writers 2017

Last week I got to attend, teach, mentor, and learn at the 2017 Oregon Christian Writers summer coaching conference. It was my last big writing conference of the year, and it was a wonderful time. The summer OCW conference takes place each year at the Red Lion Hotel on the River–Jantzen Beach, which isn’t far from where I live! My son was helping out with the tech team, which he loves, so we got to go together.

The event started out on Tuesday morning with an early bird workshop taught by screenwriting consultant, author, and lecturer Michael Hauge. I volunteered to help sell his books, which turned out to be a great chance to chat with him a little more. He is the Story Master, and he teaches in a wonderful way, showering his class with information and examples. I LOVED it! Took pages and pages of notes. I also bought one of his books and very much look forward to reading it.

 

“Brad & Jill – Stay in your essence!”

 

Frank Peretti was our conference keynoter, and he was filled with wisdom and encouragement, as always. I’ve heard Frank speak many times over the years. He’s wonderful to listen to–that voice! And his books are amazing as well. Since I already own all his books, I brought This Present Darkness and Tilly from home to get them autographed!

 

 

Tessa Afshar was another keynote speaker, and she also taught the continuing class I took. She is a lovely woman, and I can’t wait to read her books. She tells wonderful stories. She got us thinking about the lies we believe and how we can incorporate our own life themes into our writing. Great stuff.

 

 

I taught a workshop on how to use timelines when creating your stories. There are so many ways to do this. It’s a subject I really enjoy, and I hope the class learned some useful tips.

 

 

And then . . . people! Friends and lots of fun. Here are many more pictures from this year’s conference. If you live in the Pacific Northwest or always wanted to get over this way, put next year’s OCW conference on your calendar. The keynote speaker will be Robin Jones Gunn!

 

Me with Go Teen Writers girls Ivy Rose and Taylor Bennett!

 

Jeff Gerke, Susie May Warren and James L. Rubart hosting the award ceremony.

 

Kristen and me at Michael Hauge’s book table.

 

Selfie with Steve Barclift from Kregel Publications.

 

Our fabulous conference director Lindy Jacobs.

 

Signing books!

 

With YA fantasy author Heather FitzGerald!

 

With author Charles Harrel.

 

Sitting at my editor’s table. I forgot to get a picture with Dave! 🙁

 

With author friends Traci Hilton and Kyle Pratt.

Some Fabulous Blood Of Kings Fan Art

Posted by on Aug 10th, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 2 comments

It’s been far too long since I posted any fan art. It is such a great compliment when I hear that one of my books inspired a reader to create art of their own. I get giddy just thinking about it. These two drawings came from Rebekah. Both were inspired by the Blood of Kings novels. First we have the cursed allown tree in Allowntown. And the second drawing is of the vineyard in Carmine. Aren’t they amazing? You probably can’t see it as well as I can on the originals, but there is so much detail on every leaf and grape.

Lovely work, Rebekah. Thanks so much for the gift of these drawings, and for allowing me to share them with my readers. <3

 

The cursed allown tree in Allowntown.

 

The vinyard in Carmine.

 

 

 

I Went To Realm Makers 2017

Posted by on Aug 1st, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 24 comments

I am the luckiest author alive.

Why, you ask?

Because I was asked to teach the teen track at this years Realm Makers conference.

It was amazing.

I had three, two-hour sessions with my class, plus a separate two hours in which we all got to play various video games and eat pizza. Here are a few pictures:

My amazing class.

 

The story we brainstormed as a class.

 

Our attempt at plotting out our story.

 

Riding the Jet Buzz 360 with Jonathan.

 

Rose standing in for Steve Laube.

 

Where was Maple?

And that was just my amazing, fabtabulous class. Realm Makers also had lots of other workshops for people to attend. I spent most my time under David Farland and Ted Dekker’s tutelage. And since I couldn’t go listen to Mary Weber teach, I sent my husband to take notes for me!

 

Something new this conference, my husband came along. He has always been a writer. About eighteen years ago he wrote his first screenplay. He wrote his first novel back when I started writing. I remember him saying to me that it looked like I was having fun, so he wanted to try it too. He has written dozens of plays and skits. And two or three years back he wrote a stand-alone time travel novel. And right after that he wrote two and a half books in a separate trilogy. He is currently bored out of his mind with his trilogy and has put it aside. But being at the conference inspired him. He came home and picked up that time travel novel, which I had edited for him way back when, and he’s slowly started working through his edits. He’s also working on a few screenplays. Time will tell if the writing bug has infected my husband indefinitely, but it sure was fun to have him with me at the conference, seeing the world in which I live. He writes under the pen name Casey Oswald, so if you see Casey around, that’s him.

Something else cool about Realm Makers, I got to cosplay with my husband. How did we look?

Peter Quill (aka Starlord) and Gamora.

 

And of course, with every writers’ conference, I get to see old friends and make lots of new friends too.

 

Dinner with Steve Laube and several Enclave authors (and my husband).

 

Failstate was there! (From John Otte’s superhero YA novels of the same name.)

 

Tim Akers gave me this cool fidget spinner he made.

 

I met Lisa, a former Go Teen Writer.

 

John and me.

 

Me and the talented Jim Rubart.

 

Me and Rose from my teen class.

 

Me with Keturah, a Go Teen Writer.

 

My class!

 

Me with Tanara, who will someday be published with an amazing fantasy novel.

 

Me and Khylie from my class.

 

Me with the talented Jamie Foley. I wanted to go buy one of her books, but they were sold out! So I got a Kindle one later.

 

Me and Mary from my class.

 

Mary Weber up close, me in the middle, and Steve Rzasa in the distance at the book signing.

 

My author friend Diana Blackstone as (Hem, hem) Dolores Umbridge.

 

These two Go Teen Writer girls are AMAZING! Meet Cassia and Victoria.

 

Starlord and Gamora were recruited by Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Steve Rzasa), who had already located a middle-aged Peter Parker (John Otte).

 

Gamora and Emma Swan (played by Tracey).

 

Just B. Jordan attacking Morgan Bussie. (Writing conferences are filled with peril.)

 

Me and my #1 Jost. He and his name are so cool I think I need to put him in a book.

 

Morgan, Mary, and me, trying not to laugh. I’m clearly losing . . .

 

Were you at Realm Makers? If so, what was your favorite part?