Fantasy Friday – Introducing Jill Williamson

What is it about Alaska? Seems like more and more Christian novelists are from Alaska — Sally Apokedak, Sibella Giorello, and Jill Williamson.

Of course Jill doesn’t really need an introduction. After all, she’s won two Christy Awards for the first two books she published — By Darkness Hid and To Darkness Fled (Marcher Lord Press) — and I suspect her third, From Darkness Won, will be up for nomination next year.

Rarely does a novelist enter the publishing world and find such acclaim so quickly. The only other writer I can think of is another fantasy author — Karen Hancock who won four straight Christys with her first four published novels.

That should tell you what kind of writer Jill is. What readers might not know is that she once had aspirations as a fashion designer.

After graduating from her high school and studying at the University of Alaska, she headed off to the lower forty-eight to attend college in Idaho where she ended up meeting her husband, Brad. Together they trundled to New York so that Jill could test the waters of the fashion industry by attending the Fashion Institute of Technology.

A year later, as planned, they moved to Los Angeles, this time so that Brad could explore his interest in the movie industry. As time passed, however, God changed the direction of their hearts, and they both became increasingly interested in ministry, particularly to young people.

Eventually Brad took a job as a full time youth minister. Jill hoped to develop her own speaking ministry too, and started writing articles for periodicals for teens as a means to that goal. In the process, she discovered fiction and began writing novels.

And she loved it! But what about her ministry goals? How did this little “writing hobby” fit in with what God was calling her to do? Thankfully her wise pastor encouraged her to continue with her writing as a way to connect with the teens she wants to reach.

And what, precisely, does she want to get across to her readers? “That God is the desire of our hearts.”

Now she and Brad — and their son — live in Eastern Oregon. Besides being a gifted writer and faithful wife, Jill is a mom and a speaker. Yes, she reached that speaker goal and does talks for schools and libraries and teaches at writing conferences and clinics for children, teens, and adults.

As far as Jill’s writing is concerned, she’s represented by Amanda Luedeke of the MacGregor Literary Agency and is contracted for a new series with Zondervan. In fact the first book Replication: The Jason Experiment is scheduled to release in December! While her Blood of Kings series could best be described as epic fantasy for all ages, Replication is a teen science fiction/suspense novel.

Under miscellaneous, I just have to add, Jill has very good taste in books and television shows — we have a number of the same ones listed in our interests at Facebook, which by the way is a great way to keep up with her. You might also want to follow her on Twitter.

For fans of her fiction, you can subscribe to her Podcast to hear her first novel and soon, a serialization of the second. One way or the other, I suggest you make room for the work of this talented writer. I might even suggest that her books, available at Marcher Lord Press, would make great Christmas presents for that reader in your family.

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