Friday, October 28, 2011

Interview With YA Author JILLIAN BOEHME

JILLIAN BOEHME writes MG and YA science fiction and fantasy and runs a successful blog for aspiring authors. She is the homeschooling mom of 5 incredible offspring and wishes someone would make gourmet meals for her and clean up the kitchen every night. Or at least rub her feet while she's writing. She lives with her husband and children in the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

     I met Jillian many moons ago on a website for stay at home parents. We we won't go in to how many moons ago because that could give away some age details. We all know you never ask a woman her age! We have been online friends for most of that time .Jillian has been willing to indulge my amateur interview skills. Someday ( hopefully in the not to distant future) Jillian will be a famous author! 
1) When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Have you always just known? Or was it one particular event? Maybe it was gradual?

          It's funny; when I revisit my childhood, I can see so clearly that I've always been a storyteller. I wrote my first rhyming poem when I was six, and my collection of illustrated picture books grew large over the years. I was one of those kids-who-like-to-do-lots-of-things, though, and in the end, my love of music won out. I got a degree in Music Education. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I rediscovered my love for writing. There was a web site called Themestream that paid its writers 10 cents per click. I made hundreds of dollars and paid for Christmas that year! Unfortunately, the site's business model was flawed, and they eventually ran out of money and shut down. I came away from that experience calling myself an "essayist" and believing that I could never -- I mean NEVER -- write a novel.

Silly me. I think I was meant to write novels all along. :)

2) How did you figure out what genre you really wanted to write? What is your genre of choice.
          My first novel was fantasy -- no surprise, since that was always my first love. Like all first novels, it ended up with the label "practice novel" and tucked away. But my love for science fiction and fantasy hasn't changed. I'm not sure why I decided, at first, to write for teens, but now I can't imagine writing for any other audience. So my genre of choice is definitely YA, and I've written fantasy, dystopian, and--my latest--a paranormal.

3) How do you find time to write without the distractions of life around you? I know as a home schooling stay at home mom your time must be limited. 

          Actually, quite the opposite is true! As my children enter high school, most of their work is independent, via CD-ROMS and such. I outsource the higher sciences, so they take those classes at a tutorial. My four-year-old naps from 1-3, so that's my writing time. Period. In fact, it's SACRED. I won't make appointments or anything during that time. (And woe is me, because my daughter is starting to outgrow her naps!) Also, my kids are supportive of my writing, and that helps. If they were wee, things would be a lot harder. But the older and more independent they become, the easier it is for me to write, and to work on all my writing-related things.

4) I know you are like me in that you like to start your writing in a notebook. Letting it flow on lined paper with a pencil just seems to work so much better than sitting at a computer and letting my fingers type away. The big question is can you read your own writing? I know For me I struggle a bit to figure out what I wrote LOL. 

          My handwriting is AWFUL! I think way faster than I can write, but for some reason I keep trying to catch up anyway. I use my notebooks for working out plot, and sometimes even sketching characters (very badly -- I mean, seriously!). But once I start the actual draft, it's all on my laptop. Scrivener is my tool of choice!

5) Speaking of reading a topic you and I have discussed on occasion. What is your favorite genres to read?
          Fantasy! Though I also love nineteenth century novels; Jane Austen is my favorite author. But I was one of those kids who read Nancy Drew and was frustrated that the ghosts and magical elements always ended up being someone pretending. Once I discovered the world of books that contained magic *for real*, I was hooked!

6) I know you are a self-published Author of “My Lima Beans Are Allergic to My Spoon” . This Is a book every parent or soon to be parent should read. Do you think you will ever self-publish again?
          You know, if I were to write another non-fiction book, I would definitely self-publish. It was a great experience! But I don't believe self-publishing is necessarily the best choice for fiction. Not unless you have many thousands of dollars to invest in order to do it right. Pursuing traditional publishing can be VERY frustrating, but I'm blessed with a great agent who is enthusiastic and supportive.

7) I know you have a new book in the works. Are you at a point you can share a little bit? Or are you still in the hush hush stage?
          The novel I'm currently tweaking with my agent is a YA paranormal set in a small beach town in New Jersey. It's funny, because when I started writing it, I was sure it was going to be urban fantasy. It sort of turned into a paranormal all by itself!

8) Is there anything else you would like to share about your writing that you have always wanted to explain to others?

          I gave up trying to explain myself to others a long time ago! ;) But I think I would like people to know that when I'm sitting and staring out the window or at my blank screen, I'm actually WORKING. Because plotting is hard--it makes the inside of my head hurt! Logic doesn't come easily for me, so the plotting really stretches me. I guess I'm trying to say that writing novels is HARD WORK. That doesn't make me wonderful; it's just the truth. I'm glad I didn't know how hard it was when I first started, or I may have given up!


  1. A very enjoyable interview, I like that you ask questions about the author and she was so willing to answer. It make her seem touchable, what I mean by that is she is one of us just with a very special gift.

  2. Thanks for your comment mom :-) you're always so supportive!

  3. A great interview, both. Very interesting.

    I agree about the whole plotting business. It is hard. No one believes me when I sit and stare out of the window for hours and claim to be working.

    I use Scrivener too. Love it!

  4. Thanks Shirley!

    If you continue to comment on my post you may end up next on my Interview hit list ;-)