Friday, April 9, 2010

My Friend Jill - Interview & Giveaway

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Jill Williamson to come and chat about her Young Adult fantasy series, particularly the newest release, To Darkness Fled. Jill has graciously offered one lucky winner a choice of either this book, or the first in the series, By Darkness Hid. So as always, leave your comments below for a chance to win!


About Jill

Jill 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. You can learn more about Jill on her Web site at


About To Darkness Fled

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?


What's your latest book?

To Darkness Fled is the second book in the Blood of Kings trilogy. It released April 1, 2010 from Marcher Lord Press. To Darkness Fled is about Achan, a young man who wants 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.

What's your favorite part of the story?

My favorite part is the scene when Achan finds out that Vrell is a girl. J Yes, it will happen in book two!

LOL—I can definitely see the potential in that scene! What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

I am happiest writing speculative fiction. That’s anything weird. Fantasy, science fiction, time travel, supernatural stories—anything like that. I love to write it. It’s also probably my favorite genre to read, though I also really like suspense novels…and Jane Austen…and historical romances…and anything written by Jenny B. Jones, which is funny stuff.

I've only read one Jenny B. Jones, but it was FABULOUS! Can't wait to get my hands on more! And for the record, my hubby's favorite author ever is Orson Scott Card, so I've read quite a lot of spec-fic too. =) (Though I gave your book to my best friend when she BEGGED me.) What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

I’m reading Nicole O’Dell’s Scenarios for Girls series. These are quick, fun reads for young teens, similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books. In each of these, a story is told about halfway though, then the reader has to choose what to do. There are two endings based on each choice. They are pretty cool books. I’m excited to read Tosca Lee’s novels. I bought both a few months ago and can’t manage to find time to squeeze them in.

I just got both of Tosca's too. I've already read Havah, am looking forward to Demon. Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

I keep my Er’Rets binder close at hand. This is a three-ring binder filled with all my storyworld notes including my character charts, maps, sketches of castles, sketches of characters, crests for each town, pretend languages, lists of knights that serve which lord, a timeline of Er’Rets, lists of herbs and their medicinal uses, and things like that. I am lost without that binder because it keeps me organized.

I also use two online sources all the time. www.dictionary.coman online dictionary and thesaurus.

And www.etymonline.comis an online etymology dictionary that allows you to type in a word and find its origins. This is really helpful for historical writers. This way you can use words that people would use during a certain time period. I use this to help me find out whether a word goes back far enough to be medieval. is my homepage. =) And Etymonline I use so much that it comes up whenever I type 'e' in my browser, LOL. And I am thoroughly impressed with that binder! I just can't imagine the time that went into that. Speaking of which . . . aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?

Taking care of my children, ages eight and six, and working with the youth group. My husband is a youth pastor and we spend five nights a week doing church activities.

Wow. Do you remember where you were when you got your first or most important call about a book contract?

I was sitting at my computer and Jeff Gerke emailed me asking if he could call me. I ran and told my husband to keep an eye on our daughter, then emailed him back and he called right away.

What are you writing right now?

I am working on book three in the Blood of Kings series. From Darkness Won should come out next April.

Where can we find you on the web and where can we buy your books?

I’m everywhere! My website is I’m also on Facebook, MySpace, Shoutlife, Shelfari, GoodReads, Twitter, Amazon…

On top of that, I run two blogs. The first is Novel Teen Book Reviews at 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.

And if you are looking to buy one of my books, online go to,, 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 taking time out of that crazy-busy schedule to chat with us!

Void where prohibited. Contest ends 4/15/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim the book before another winner is selected.


  1. Since I have not read the first one I would pick By Darkness Hid. These look like great books. Thanks!

  2. I would love to start reading this series, please enter me, I too would pick By Darkness Hid.

    tiffanyniekro at hotmail dot com

  3. this sounds like a great series...i would like to start w/ the first book...thanks for the chance to read it :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. Please enter me because this fantasy series is one of the best I've ever read. I would love to have bunches of copies of this book to give to friends and stuff.


  5. Sounds good.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  6. I would love to read this book!

  7. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! It was fun to interview here.

  8. Please enter me in the giveaway! I loved the first book! katiegalyean(at)yahoo(dot)com