Author bio: I majored in literature at the State University of New York, Empire State College. My passions include spending time with my family, writing, reading biographies, watching documentaries, and anything chocolate. I live in upstate New York with my husband and two teenage sons. I am the author of St. Agnes’ Place, and At This Moment.
Brief synopsis of your book: Six lives connect: from a ballerina, a gang member, a devoted wife, an ambitious builder, a mistress and a blind child. As told through the point of view of each character. The choices they make today will affect their lives and one another. Follow them as their lives intertwine and unravel in ways you never expected. Anything is possible, At This Moment!
Current book or project you’re working on:
I am currently working on a sequel to my debut novel St. Agnes’ Place, and a children’s’ series, entitled, Monet the Mouse.
What was the inspiration for your novel?
I was inspired through a series of personal things that occurred in my life over the past two years, which opened my eyes to the fact that it takes only seconds for a tragedy to occur. This being said, I believe this moment is all we are promised for now—so savor it!
Please share three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
Who is the most complex character from your current novel?
They are all pretty complex. If I had to choose one I would say, “Lauren.”
Lauren is selfish, self-confident, and will do whatever she has to do to get what she wants. Regardless, of whom she hurts in the process.
Are there any characters in your book that remind you of yourself?
There are really no characters that share my traits, but I believe I have a heart like, “MaryAnn.” She wants only the best for her family.
If you could pick any well known or famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
I would want Dr. Maya Angelou. Her novels were a work of art, opening my eyes to things I never thought about in the past. My prayer is that my novels have the same effect on the reader as Dr. Angelou’s.
What genre does your book fall into? Contemporary Literature.
What is the first book you remember reading, that affected how you thought or felt about something?
I don’t remember one particular book, but all of Judy Blume’s books opened my eyes as a child to the wonderful world of books. Her novels were about “real people,” not just the pretty and popular ones, but those who are sometimes overlooked.
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Richard Wright
2) Ralph Ellison
3) Dr. Seuss
Their stories stuck with me since the first time I read them.
Have you ever read a book you couldn’t finish reading?
I hate to disappoint everyone, but I only made it halfway through “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It wasn’t my cup of tea.
Do you read a book, while you are writing a book?
I love to read, but don’t read often while I’m in my writing mode, due to lack of time.
How many books have you written? Which book is your favourite and why?
I have written two adult novels, St. Agnes’ Place and At This Moment. I have a children’s series that I wrote that is in the processed of being illustrated entitled, Monet the Mouse.
Is there anything that helps get you in the mood to write?
Watching documentary films, and a clear mind, always motivates me to put my pen to paper.
What were three challenges you faced when writing your book?
3)Time. There are never enough hours in a day or days in a week.
What lessons have you learned as an aspiring writer?
I learned that writing a book is only one piece of the pie. Self-promotion takes up a lot of time. Thankfully, social media has made it a whole lot easier. Also research, my novels deal with many issues that are not always openly talked about. I do a lot of one on one research in order to prepare for my novels.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to ‘overcome’?
I do, but I don’t let it bother me. I know that God gives me the words to write. They don’t always come right away, but when they do they are very free-flowing.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned, either in the self-publishing or traditional publisher, route?
I learned that once the last word is typed, it is really only the beginning. Edits take a long time.
How long does it usually take for you to complete a book?
It usually takes me about a year and a half, give or take to complete a novel.
Do you have any ideas for your book and Hollywood? Actors, directors, music.
I always write my novels in scenes, which play out in my head. I actually write as if my books were a movie. Many people have told me that St. Agnes’ Place should be made into a movie. I agree. I could see Rita Moreno or Cicely Tyson playing the part of “Alma.” I believe Vanessa Hudgens would make a great “Leelee,” and maybe Jennifer Aniston for “Shawnsy.”
I am waiting anxiously to see people’s reactions to my new novel. I believe that could be a movie, too.
My prayer is that someday producer Scott Steindorff, known as “Hollywood’s Book Man,” takes on one of my novels and makes it into a movie. That would be a dream come true.
Which book to movie conversion is your favourite?
Eat, Pray, Love. I loved the book, and enjoyed the movie even more.
Do you watch a lot of science fiction or fantasy movies?
No, I very rarely watch science fiction or fantasy movies. I’m more “real life.” They actually bore me.
Do you study science, the planets, history or anything special to help you with your writing?
No, in order to prepare for my research I watch documentaries and interview people who have lived through the experiences which I am writing about.
What, who, and when were you first inspired you to write?
I always wanted to be a writer.
I would say since the third grade, when I started reading Judy Blume. I feel being a writer is my destiny and what I am called to do.
Drink – Unsweetened Iced Tea
Food – Oh so many, but anything my mom makes, which is usually Italian.
Vacation – Mazatlan, Mexico, one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. My husband and I took an excursion there while on a cruise for our honeymoon, many years ago. I definitely would like to return there someday.
TV show – The Killing on AMC
Movie – Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, Manhattan Murder Mystery and Eat, Pray, Love.
Animal – Dogs and Llamas
Sport – None
Book – The Bible. Biographies, and anything spiritual.
How can people connect with you?
Website/Blog: www.jillstarlingnovels. com
Twitter: @ jill_starling
Facebook: facebook.com/Jill Starling
Goodreads: Jill Starling
Where can readers find your book?