Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Debora Coty is Barbara! Please email my assistant Amy with your mailing address. (email@example.com)
This week is Jill Savage is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of Jill’s latest book, Living With Less So Your Family Has More, leave a comment on this post!
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
My husband and I have been married 27 years and we have five children. Out three older children are married and our two youngest (age 14 and 16) are still at home. Four of my children are biological and one is adopted (you can read our adoption story at www.jillsavage.org). I’m the Founder and CEO of Hearts at Home, an organization that encourages moms in every season of motherhood.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I write non-fiction books about family and faith. I primarily write for moms but I also write on the topics of leadership and marriage. Here are my titles:
• Professionalizing Motherhood
• Is There Really Sex After Kids?
• Creating the Moms Group You’ve Been Looking For
• Got Teens?
• My Heart’s at Home
• Real Moms…Real Jesus
• Living With Less So Your Family Has More
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I started writing as a columnist for my local newspaper in 1995. I wrote my first book as an extension of the Hearts at Home ministry in 2001. It was a way to get encouragement out to more moms than we were able to reach through our conferences.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
My story is a little unique because I was published right away because of the Hearts at Home ministry.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
No coffee for me…I’m a tea drinker! I enjoy writing on my laptop sitting in my big recliner. I do a lot of my writing while my kids are school. I write about an hour a day doing blog posts and articles when I’m not working on a book project. However, when I’m working on a book, I usually write about 6 to 8 hours a day…and we eat a lot of frozen pizzas during those months!
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
I do have a group of friends who read my manuscripts and aren’t afraid to challenge me in my writing.
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
The writer’s life is a bit of a solitary life. When I’m working on a book, I have a relationship with my computer! I’m an introvert, however, so I’m fine with being alone for long periods of time.
What are your biggest distractions?
Email is probably my biggest distraction. I like to take care of things as soon as they land in my inbox and when I’m writing, I have to turn off the email notifications to decrease the distraction.
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
The best was probably when I opened the box of each of my books. It’s when there’s a sense of accomplishment for all that hard work!
One of the worst is probably the day I discovered that a national magazine had published an excerpt out of one of my books but they had used an unedited, advanced copy of the book. The part they excerpted contained some personal information that I decided to take out during the editing process. The magazine was supposed to check their excerpt against the final, published book before they ran the article…but they didn’t. So they printed the excerpt with the personal information for the whole world to see.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
Writing non-fiction has a sense of vulnerability to it. I’m a storyteller and not all of my stories put me in a positive light. I think that’s important to connect with your audience…but it’s still scary.
I most like having the opportunity to encourage others in their marriage and family life.
What is the role and importance of an agent?
The agent takes care of the business side of a book contract. They have the relationships with the publishers and they understand what needs to be spelled out in the contracts. I have had an agent from the very beginning of publishing and I have never regretted it!
What advice would you give to new writers?
Write whenever you can. Start a blog and build up a platform. Perfect your craft. Attend writer’s conferences if you can. Join a writing group. All of these will help you strengthen your skills.
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
Our culture believes that bigger is better. However, Mark and Jill Savage believe that you can actually live with less and give your family more. If you’re looking to live with less stress, less activities, and even less money, join the Savage’s on the adventure of finding out that less really can be more!
What’s on the book horizon for you?
I’m starting to work on a book that I hope to have a publisher for very soon. It’s working title is “No More Perfect Moms.” I have about 3 other titles rolling around in my head. I think a book to death and then do a major brain dump when I finally get down to writing!
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
My books are available on both websites as well as amazon.com and your local bookstores! I’m an avid blogger, so come join the wonderful conversations we have every weekday at www.jillsavage.org!
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)