Claire Collins is a smart eighth grader. Science is her favorite subject, after all, it can explain everything, right? But then her grandmother arrives, saying that fairies are REAL! Nothing is more real than the danger Claire’s brother is facing in the Iraq War. So having a crazy grandmother in the house is the last thing Claire needs. But with the strange things that have begun happening lately, Claire wonders, could fairies actually exist?
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Jill Sayre whose book Fairies of Turtle Creek captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love fantasy but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Jill, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Jill will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Jill Sayre!
Jill K. Sayre had lived all of her life in a small town in California, but moved to Texas for a new adventure. Little did she know how much she’d fall in love with her new town, especially with the beautiful creek that runs through it.
The Fairies of Turtle Creek is her first novel, set in Highland Park, Texas. Drawing on the history of the area, she sets the stage for her story, weaving in folklore and modern fairy beliefs. Magical realism is a favorite of Jill’s, to read and write. She also loves nature, art, music, and seeking everyday beauty that is hidden in plain sight. Jill holds a degree in art and elementary education, specializing in gifted students. She currently teaches 6th grade at a local public school.
Jill is a professional writer, freelance editor, and educator. She also is an educational speaker on such subjects as “Writing Your First Book” and “Helping Your Child Become a Better Reader and Writer.”Jill lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three kids, two cats, and a vizsla.
Now, how wonderful does Jill sound?! Jill is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Jill’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Jill, I hope that you enjoy Jill’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
I was born and raised in southern California, so when my husband’s job got us transferred to Dallas, I looked at as an adventure. My children were small then, and we’d take walks by the creek near our new home— it was beautiful: lush, quiet, with trails everywhere. We imagined fairies living there, and that inspired my first book, The Fairies of Turtle Creek. I am also a middle school teacher, and I felt that the books choices for that age were limited, either too simple or too “adult”. I wrote my book to bridge the gap in reading choices, making it a chapter book with higher thinking and vocabulary.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
I work with many aspiring writers, and I always advise them to: 1.) attend writers’ conferences— you meet many other writers and leaner about the craft of writing, 2.) join writers’ groups— if you want to write for children, SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) offers amazing connections, workshops, and tools, and 3.) join a critique group— having others read your work and receiving feedback are crucial to making your manuscript the best it can be! Also, don’t give up or get discouraged. Writing takes time… it took my four years to write my first book and I have been working on my latest book for almost as long. Persevere and your dream of becoming an author will come true.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
The most important thing about is a book is that you learn from it, either about yourself or about others. I heard once that a good book is like a mirror or a window: you can see yourself or see into the world of others, and I totally agree.
What is your writing process like?
I start with and idea and begin researching it. I then outline the beginning, middle, and end of my story. I can’t write unless I know where I’m going. I need to be held accountable, so my critique group makes me write. We expect each other to be ready to share a chapter every other week. It’s easy to procrastinate, but not if you have other writers to encourage you to get your writing done. Writing only she inspired can cause very little work to be done. I write, even if I know that what is coming out isn’t that good. Most of the work of a writer is editing, so I let my mind run.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I love to do research, so that is why I have to set a deadline for myself. I have found that many writers are like me— in danger of researching too much. I limit myself to a book or two, and a dozen or so online articles, but then it’s time to write. Writing while still wondering is a good thing since it drives you to tell the story. I often stop and do research along the way when I need to find out more about an idea I am exploring in the plot.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I do read a lot, but since I teach 6th grade English, I read a lot of books for middle grade-aged readers. I am currently reading The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz. I love magical realism, so Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite adult authors. I also love the classics and have read several novels by John Steinbeck, Thomas Hardy, and short stories by Leo Tolstoy and Ray Bradbury.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I am currently working on a fantasy novel that is inspired by the play Cyrano de Bergerac (by Edmond Rostand, 1897) that has gargoyles in it. I plan to write a sequel to The Fairies of Turtle Creek next, setting it in Maui, Hawaii with mermaids, sea sprites, and Hawaiian gnomes called menehunes.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Jill! If you have liked what you have read about Jill and are interested in learning more about Jill and reading Jill’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,