Photography by Heather Sachleben

About Jill

A LITTLE (OR A LOT) ABOUT MOI:

I was born in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, which is where I lived when I decided that I wanted to become a writer.

It sounded so glamorous (and still kind of does.) I was about seven at the time—maybe eight. I set out to be the youngest published author ever, typing out a solid eighty pages of my first novel, GO WITH IT, on my family’s Commodore 64. Like all good 80’s kids, I saved that gem on a floppy, which my dad accidentally overrode the next day. It was a serious bummer but a few weeks later and came to realize that GO WITH IT probably wasn’t my finest work, anyway.

So that’s when I started reading pretty voraciously. Even then I knew that if I wanted to write books I’d better start by reading everything I could get my hands on. Francine Pascal’s SWEET VALLEY HIGH was what I started with. Until, of course, I realized that V.C. Andrew’s FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC was a little more my speed. By then I was in high school. And even though I still devoured the works of Atwood and Monroe and Wyndham, I was under the spell of teenage peer pressuredom, so I kept my reading and writing passions closely guarded. By my senior year, I was writing as often as I could and winning the occasional contest as I entered The University of British Columbia. Thing is, college really sucked at first because, other than the writing classes, I just hated everything I was taking. Nothing felt right.

So, being the runner I was (or am) I quit and decided to spend the rest of my days traveling the world and vowing not to come back until I realized what I wanted to do with my life. That was a phrase I heard a lot back then. What are you going to do with your life?

A couple of years later, I wandered off to Florida where some pretty great people told me about this little old thing called The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I joined. After that, I found out about this other thing called critique groups. I joined a couple of those, too. It was all so new and wonderful. I had found my people! My tribe! Soon my former mere ideas were transforming into actual work which took lots and lots of actual WORK. But want to know what else I found out? I could write out in the open and other people just kind of accepted it. That’s the greatest thing about being an adult, I think. You get to do what you want and people don’t say much about it. Or at least, they don’t say much about it out loud.

Since then, I went back to UBC and got my MFA in Creative Writing. Pretty great, huh? My YA novel, Spin the Sky, came out in 2016.

Thanks for checking out my site.