Photography by Heather Sachleben

About Jill


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 with my next novel, Breathe the Dragon forthcoming.

Thanks for checking out my site.