For my first ever author interview, I have the honor of talking with Jean Ann Williams, published by Clean Reads.
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, Just Claire is her first book. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and she writes regularly on Putting on the New blog and her own jeanannwilliams blog. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
Tell me about your book Just Claire.
One mother damaged. One family tested. One daughter determined to find her place.
ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My own mother almost died giving birth to my younger brother. She suffered from the ‘baby blues’ as they called it back then. A year later, Mom became depressed after the death of my youngest sister Maria and never recovered. As I was coming to terms with the loss of my mother (loss in emotionally not there for me), I decided I needed to write a story I could have been helped by when I was ten years old.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I have writer’s block for only a few moments. For me, writer’s block is a momentary inability to figure out what would be best to write next. So, I write even junk to keep going and it works every single time.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I’d love to visit the Azores’ Islands where my grandparents, Vaa Vaa and Voo Voo were raised. I’ve been told the islands are still backward in time, and I’d enjoy a respite there and to visit where my family came from.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.
A rattle snake. It reminded me of the taste and texture of frog legs. My brothers shot the snake and then Mom fried it for us to taste. When my dad came home from work later in the day, he threw away the frying pan Mom had cooked it in. 🙂
Are you a morning or night person?
Morning. I enjoy waking at dawn and writing through the rising of the morning sun. My office window faces the east, where I have a view of a smaller mountain to my right and the sun rise.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?
Grandma Neecy. I took a similar real-life character who used to babysit us children and my husband’s funny auntie, and recreated from those two women the character of Grandma Neecy.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never, ever give up. It took twenty years from the first pages written to publication of my debut Just Claire.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on two books, actually. The sequel to Just Claire, titled Being Claire, and a YA contemporary about one strong-willed great-granny and three sisters who take a road trip together and become stranded in a snowstorm.
Please enter the drawing for a chance to win Just Claire. Leave a comment with your email address for where Jean Ann can gift the e-Copy to the winner.
You can purchase Just Claire here:
Please check out the trailer: https://youtu.be/s8x5lJKZFHU
Follow Jean Ann below:
Jean’s blog: http://jeanannwilliams.blogspot.com/
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Ann-Williams-848295125269670/?ref=hl