After doing an arts degree at the Australian National University, she worked at the Australian National University’s School of Law before spending the next 10 years with the Business Council of Australia and the University of NSW, ADFA Campus, in the School of Electrical Engineering.
Jill is the author of three published books. The Celtic Dagger, Murder At The Rocks, and Once Upon A Lie which are all part of the Fitzjohn Mystery Series.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing whether it’s been letters to the editor, essays, short stories, and now novels. So, I can’t say there was any conscious decision to become a writer.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve never used a storyboard, but I do spend a lot of time drawing diagrams over the backs of my manuscript pages, on serviettes while I’m in a restaurant or coffee shop, and in a notebook I carry with me. I don’t know whether this pastime helps me sort out my plot problems, but I think it has a therapeutic benefit. I liken it to watering one’s garden. It has a calming effect when you can’t solve the mystery you’re writing! I do create a time line for my characters so I know where they were at the time of the murder(s). And I keep a table of all my characters’ details. It doesn’t do to have someone’s eyes change color between page 2 and 22.
I don’t seem to have any grand plan for writing a book. I just write a first draft and once that is complete, I write several more, adding and changing things. Some of those drafts are just following my Detective’s investigation. Another will be to follow my other main character through the story. I once read somewhere that if you get stuck, kill someone else off and it will get you going again. I haven’t used that problem solver yet.
What advice would you give other writers?
I would have to say just believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. Keep your dream in the forefront of your mind, tell Mr Doubt to take a hike when he appears, which he will from time to time, and carry on. Determination is the optimum word here.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first book, The Celtic Dagger, was initially traditionally published. This was before I became aware of self publishing. Once I had, I looked into it further and decided to self publish my second and third books, Murder At The Rocks and Once Upon A Lie. I think the main reason for this was because it gives me full control. Also, once The Celtic Dagger was out of print, I re-published it myself.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
This is such a wonderful time for authors. No longer do we have to search in vain for an agent to represent us, or submit our manuscripts to publishers who may never read them. If, in fact, we can find a publisher who will accept unsolicited manuscripts.
If we decide to self publish, everything we need is at our fingertips from professional editors, book cover artists, formatting services, as well as information on how to access it all.
Consequently, the book publishing industry, as we know it, will never be the same again.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print