Jill Williamson’s Blog

A Reader’s map of Achan’s and Averella’s journeys through Er’Rets

Posted by on Jan 15th, 2018 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 3 comments

I am tickled when I receive artwork inspired by my books. It’s so touching. Well, I’ve decided to start sharing them with you all more often. I figure, why should I get to be the only one to see it?

Here is a map of Er’Rets drawn by Noah for his 8th grade English assignment. I love the arrows and paths he added as to Achan’s and Vrell’s journey throughout the stories, and I especially like how he took the time to burn the edges of the map to make it look more authentic. Nice job, Noah. I give you an A+!

What do you think, readers? Have you ever made a map for a school assignment? Just for fun? Share in the comments.

 

Trevn’s Map of Er’Rets

Posted by on Dec 4th, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 4 comments

It has come to my attention that I never posted Trevn’s map of Er’Rets on my website for all to see. It was part of The Reluctant King ebook, so I must have been thinking of that ebook when I thought I’d already shared it with the world.

So, without further excuses, here is THE MAP from King’s War, book three in the Kinsman Chronicles. What do you think?

 

Click on the image to see a larger version.

My 2017 Christy Awards and Art of Writing Conference Report

Posted by on Nov 21st, 2017 in Jill Williamson's Blog | 6 comments

My 2017 Christy Awards and Art of Writing Conference Report

When I heard that King’s Folly had finaled for this year’s Christy Awards, I was tickled pink.

But I was totally not going Nashville.

Gut-honest confession time: I really don’t like award ceremonies. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about whether or not I’ll win. It is a huge honor to be nominated, but as a total introvert, sitting through a banquet, not knowing whether or not I might have to go on that stage and speak to everyone makes me nuts. Anxiety takes over my body. I might look like I’m holding it all together, but inside, it’s not pretty.

The only reason I was tempted to go the Nashville had nothing to do with the awards banquet and everything to do with what might be my only chance to ever meet co-finalist Beth Moore, whom I absolutely adore. ❤ 

But I wasn’t going to go. No way.

Until my friend Mindy of the Quirky Faith blog said she’d come with me.

This changed everything. If I had a friend with me–someone to keep me sane–I felt like I could handle it. So I changed my mind.

And I’m so glad I did. 😊

Day One

We arrived in Nashville, rented a car, and found our hotel. Then we went to downtown Nashville and walked around. We ate dinner at a place called Rippy’s. It was so good! There was a band playing in the restaurant, too. After dinner we walked around and shopped for cowboy boots, belts, and candy. Because . . . candy.

 

Day Two

We got up early and drove to Brentwood, TN and the offices of Dave Ramsey. Mindy had an appointment to meet a man there whose small group donates to the Rwanda clinic that our church started. We parked the car and went inside. The first thing I noticed was that most all the cars in the parking lot had my last name on them! Turns out Dave Ramsey’s offices are in Williamson County, Tennessee. Then next thing we noticed was that people were milling all around the parking lot. It was strange. I felt like I’d walked into a Sims game. Inside, we ran into an old friend of Mindy’s sister, who now works for Dave Ramsey, so he gave us a tour. Turns out Wednesday is company devotional day. The guest speaker had cancelled, so they had done a prayer walk instead, which explains the Sims people. What a neat place to work! Sadly, Dave was in Arizona, so we didn’t get to meet him. But we got to see his studio and his office. He has a round table in his office with a crest on it.

I need a round table with a crest on it.

I probably need an office first to put it in. Oh well. I’ll add that to the dream list. 😉

While we waited for Mindy’s meeting, we were served free coffee from the coffee shop in the lobby and took pictures.

 

Then we stopped at a Barnes and Noble to buy books that we hoped we’d later get autographed, then headed into the city to eat lunch at Biscuit Love. We were way too slow, however, looking at the scenery and mansions as we drove. We had to get over to the Art of Writing conference by 12:30, so we only had time to get some bonuts to go (donuts made from biscuit dough. Let me just say: yummy.)

 

We caught the shuttle to Lipscomb University, eating our bonuts on the way. We met Theon Hill on the shuttle and learned he was one of the conference speakers. The conference was fun. There were four sessions. I’ll talk about the things I learned at the conference over on the Go Teen Writers blog tomorrow. I had fun introducing Mindy to many of my writer friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years! Somehow I forgot to get a picture with my friend Melanie Dickerson, though I did make her sign a book plate for The Silent Songbird, to put in my daughter’s book. Isn’t she funny? LOL

 

After the conference, we changed into our dresses for the Christy Awards, but first we got to attend a VIP Reception. I’d never been invited to a VIP Reception before, so that was quite fun. It was also our first Beth Moore sighting, though we didn’t get to talk to her there. We did get the sad news that Charles Martin had cancelled. He is one of Mindy’s favorite authors, so that was a disappointment.

We arrived at the banquet room and went straight to Beth Moore. She signed our books and took a picture with us. She calls her novel her “Big Girl,” which was sweet, and totally understandable. I feel like all of my novels are my children.  🙂

 

 

 

Beth’s cute boots!

 

Now that we had succeeded in our mission, we were able to enjoy ourselves. We took lots more pictures. We sat at a Bethany House table with David Long, Amy Green, and several other Bethany House authors. Dinner was delicious, and there was cheesecake for dessert. Chris Fabry MC’d the event (and won two Christy Awards!), Karen Kingsbury keynoted, and Andrew Peterson entertained us with some amazing music. I did not win a Christy Award that night, which was totally fine with me. I read both Jolina’s book and Jim Rubart’s. They were both wonderful, and Jim’s very much deserved the honor. There were free books on all the tables, so I collected a pretty impressive pile of books to take home. Even more so that I managed to fit all these into my carry on luggage! We went back to the hotel that night and packed, then collapsed. It had been a long, but very fun day.

 

 

Day Three

We only had the morning before our plan left, so we started out at the Grand Ole Opry, then went back to Biscuit Love for lunch. There was a line this day, and we waited for nearly an hour! The Country Music Awards had gone on the night before and almost everyone we net had a story to tell about seeing Garth Brooks! After lunch, we posed with some angel graffiti art and took pictures of the skyline. It was a wonderful adventure, and I’m so glad I decided to go.

Have you ever said “No” to something you really wanted to do because you were afraid? Next time see if you can be brave and say “Yes” instead. If you’re on the fence, it might help to take a friend. 🙂

 

 

P.S. Sauon’s Tower

I saw this building over and over. I realize it has an AT&T logo on it, but it sure did look like Sauron’s tower from the Lord of the Rings. Thankfully, there was no sign of the eye . . .

 

What Are Storyworld Shorts?

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

What Are Storyworld Shorts?

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

The “I’m Going to Nashville” Book Sale

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*