About the Author
Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
Twenty one years ago, my car was hit by another vehicle. I was bedridden for weeks, barely able to walk. But, I made myself walk to the front door and back after the first week. I became depressed because I was used to manual labor and my veggie garden was growing weeds. I called my only daughter and told her the problem of my overwhelming sadness. She said, “Mom, you’ve always wanted to be an author. Why do you start writing a book?” So I did.
2. What writing project are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I’m working on the sequel to Just Claire, titled Being Claire. For the month of April, I’ve entered the NaNo Writers Camp to spur me on to write six days a week. Being Claire’s theme is about forgiveness, when the Lavender Girls Club has followed Claire to her remote part of Southern Oregon. Claire is faced with choosing to be like the girl bullies or rise above and show kindness in return.
What suggestions would you give a potential author to help them become a better writer? Read, read, read, (I know it’s a clique by now) other great and later not so great books. Why do I say not so great? For me once it sank in what a great story looked like (this took about five years in my situation), I then started reading sub-par books. It actually helped me how not to write.
3. What authors inspire your writing?
Laura Ingalls Wilder with her Little House series, Valerie Hobbs’s Tender; Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky; Deborah Wiles’s Each Little Bird that Sings; all books by Jane Kirpatrick, for the beautiful storytelling and spiritual content, and more recently Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith’s Rainy Day Dreams, for teaching me deeper POV.
4. What period of history interests you the most? Does this influence your writing?
The time period which I love to read is the 1800’s. Because I know the work it would take to research for a book in this era, I don’t write it. I instead enjoy this time period to read for a pleasant and needed break from my not-so-distant historicals (1960s), and my contemporary writing. There is one way it may influence my writing, is I keep my books clean and good values-based, the same as what I read. This doesn’t mean my characters don’t struggle, as we in real life struggle, but love and truth always win in my stories.
5. What inspired the idea for Just Claire?
My own mother almost died in childbirth with my little brother. And as with Claire’s mom, my own mother was never quite right after this. I wrote the book I longed to read when I was ten and struggling with the emotional loss of my mother who was never the same.
6. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming a writer ever cross your mind?
Here’s the order of what I wanted to be, with if the first career didn’t work out, there were other choicies: a wife and mother, a horse jockey, a race car driver. Becoming a writer was a secret desire that I shared with no one and wanted to do along with whatever I did in life.
7. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I really enjoy archery, big game hunting (no, I’ve not brought home the meat, yet, with my bow), and hiking in the mountains of Southern Oregon. I love spending time on my hobby farm, and with husband, thirteen grandchildren and my two children. My youngest child, Joshua, died at the age of twenty-five, and has been greatest loss of my life, and God continues to bless me with life and love.
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