Three Times A Charm with Jill Williamson

Welcome to the 2013 version of Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with you. 

Today’s guest is a semi-local author who I discovered when I saw her booksigning event on a semi-local bookstore’s calendar. Jill Williamson, tell us about yourself, please.

I’m a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. I write weird books for teens, love Jesus, and am a recovering fashion design assistant, who was raised in Alaska. Visit me at, where adventure comes to life.

Tell us about your latest book.

The New Recruit

Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club. These guys mean business. Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.

Sounds great! I love that you offer Christian teens an exciting read. There seems to be a misconception that people with faith don’t like adventure.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.

First, my favorite new series of this past year has been Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore. It’s about a girl who meets a boy who had been raised by an angel. And the more she learns about these pair, the more she discovers about the spiritual realm. It’s fabulous.

Failstate by John Otte is another favorite of mine. This is about superhero Failstate, who is a contestant on the TV show America’s Next Superhero. When a contestant is murdered, Failstate sets out to solve the crime.

And The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is apparently a retelling of an older series, but I’d never read it, so I didn’t know. I really enjoyed this story. It’s a medieval fantasy about a boy trying to embrace his destiny as the ruler of a castle.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.

Notebooks—I use notebooks to brainstorm new story ideas. When I’m hit with an idea I grab a blank notebook and jot everything down so that when I have time to work on that idea, I’ll have everything in one place. And then I can take my notebook everywhere and brainstorm.

MS Word—I don’t know how authors wrote before computers. Microsoft Word is an amazing tool. It not only allows me to type and format my stories, I can edit much faster knowing how to use all the features. Some of my favorites are Find and Replace, and the new sidebar in Word 2010 that allows me to format chapter titles so that I can click through my manuscript faster. And these days, edits come with Microsoft Word’s track changes, having replaced the old way of edits done in pen on a printed manuscript. So convenient.

Internet—I have come to rely on having instant answers to any need that may arise as I write. Wikipedia,, Etymology Online, websites and blogs on history or any fact that I may need. I can find it all.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.

Respect your dream—We live in a get-it-now world, and many people have a I-can-succeed-now way of looking at their dreams. But one doesn’t tend to become an expert at anything overnight. Nothing beats putting in time studying and practicing whatever it is that you hope to succeed at. So if there is something out there that you want, put in the time to learn to do it well.

Respect your elders—For centuries elders have been honored. They’ve lived through things and can give advice. Mentors are some of the most beloved characters in the movies. But in these days, many people tend to ignore the elderly and brush off any advice from parents. Resist the urge. People have much to learn from each other. Ask questions of an elder you know and listen to what they have to say. You may be amazed. I don’t know about you, but I’d love having my own Obi Wan Kenobi.

Respect yourself—There’s a lot of stuff out there that can mess you up. I’ve met a lot of teens that embrace the nothing-can-hurt-me mentality. But if you saved up for five years to buy an expensive car, would you treat it badly? Probably not. You’d likely baby the thing. It would be “your precious.” I urge you to treat yourself with that same level of respect. You’re young for a few years, and you should have fun and enjoy life. But to risk your life carelessly without regard for the consequences… well, I did that. And, trust me. The rest of your life is a lot longer than those few years of youth. And it’s not so much fun to live with regret.

Very sound advice, Jill. Where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your writing?

Thanks for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Jill. Best of luck with your writing!


GUESTS WANTED! I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks, Janel! And thanks for the interview, Kai! :-)

  3. I agree, Janel! And Jill it has been fun hosting you.


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