Author Interview – Jill Weatherholt

Please welcome my author friend, Jill Weatherholt, to Book Club Mom today. Jill is a talented writer and an active promoter of bloggers and writers on her blog and across many social media platforms. By day, she works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness for Harlequin Love Inspired.

BCM: Hello Jill and welcome! I think everyone has a story or two in their heads. Some people have written stories their entire lives, even as children. When did you begin your writing career?

JW: It’s hard to pinpoint an exact time as I’ve always enjoyed writing and journaling. For me, writing has always been a way to relax and destress. In 2010, I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month contest. I frantically wrote 50k words during the month of November. That ugly and very rough start to a first draft became my first published novel, Second Chance Romance in March, 2017.

BCM: How did you become a writer for the Harlequin Love Inspired series?

JW: In March of 2015, I made a last minute decision to enter Harelquin’s Blurb to Book contest. As I advanced through the stages, I frantically rewrote that 2010 NANOWRIMO project and in August of 2015, I was offered a contract. It was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget.

BCM: I was struck with how Second Chance Romance, in addition to inspirational romance, fits into several categories. I think that’s because your characters face modern and often complex problems, just like real people and characters in other genres. I believe your specific genre is popular because of this and because readers simply like to read a book with a feel-good finish. What’s your favorite genre to read? Do your reading tastes cross into other types of books?

JW: When I was in college, I read a lot of Stephen King and true crime stories. As I got older, I guess I turned into a big chicken because I couldn’t read stories like that and fall asleep at night. These days I enjoy reading romance and women’s fiction. I do enjoy a happy ending, but some tears along the way are okay, too.

BCM: I very much enjoyed reading “Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper” and congratulations on being the Dream Quest One First Writing Prize Winner for this moving story! Many writers begin their careers by writing short fiction. Some stay in that genre while others move to writing longer fiction. Do you like both? Any short stories in the works?

JW: Aw…thanks so much, Barbara. “Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper” is a special story to me. It was written shortly after my mother was diagnosed with dementia. I enjoy the challenge of writing short stories. I’ve been writing and submitting short stories to Woman’s World Magazine for several years. After numerous rejections, I sold my first story to them in December, 2017. It was a story inspired by my mother and father and their dating years. I recently sold a second story, also inspired by my mother and using her maiden name. I’ve told her she’s my little lucky charm.

BCM: I see a lot of hummingbirds on your website and on social media. They are such beautiful birds and very fun to watch! Do you have a special interest in them?

JW: Many years ago, I saw my first hummingbird while on a golfing vacation in Arizona. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by these amazing creatures. As someone who has a difficult time relaxing, watching these guys whiz around our backyard gives me peace.

BCM: How would you describe your approach to writing your books? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?

JW: I’m very much a creature of habit. I like my routine and can become quite cranky when it’s disrupted. That said, when it comes to writing, I’m a total panster. Once I come up with characters and their internal and external conflicts, I let them tell their story.

BCM: How do you come up with ideas for the Harlequin Love Inspired books you write?

JW: Often my stories are inspired by something I’ve read in the newspaper or a magazine.

BCM: Tell me about your experiences with submitting short fiction to magazines.

JW: My first published short story was a result of a writing contest offered by Southern Writer’s Magazine. Shortly after, I started submitting to Woman’s World Magazine. I probably submitted 20 or more stories to them before getting published.

BCM: Do you enter a lot of writing contests?

JW: I don’t really enter contests much these days. I did enter Second Chance Romance for the 2018 Golden Quill award and was a finalist. As someone who got their first publishing deal through a contest, I highly recommend them to writers, especially contests that offer feedback.

BCM: What is your approach to marketing and publicity? Do you take on a lot of it yourself in tandem with your publisher?

JW: I am the worst at self-promotion and don’t like to be the center of attention. As I tell my father, I don’t like to toot my own horn. Thankfully, my faithful friends, like yourself, in the blogging community and on Twitter have helped to spread the word about my books.

BCM: I’m not sure if I met you on Twitter, WordPress or Facebook. What’s your favorite social media? Do you think any one of them is better for book publicity?

JW: I think we probably connected through WordPress. Blogging is definitely my favorite form of social media. I’ve met so many wonderful people who’ve become great friends. Facebook is my least favorite. When I need to clear my head, Twitter is my go to place. I do think Twitter is the best platform for book publicity. My sales numbers really spiked when I became more active on that site.

BCM: What’s your working style? Are you a morning person or late-night writer? Do you write on your computer or long-hand? Comfy chair or straight back at a desk?

JW: Since I work full-time during the week, I’m definitely a weekend warrior writer. When on deadline, I might write after my work day, but typically the bulk of my writing is accomplished over the weekend. I do write blog posts during the week. I’m kind of a nomad with my writing spots. During the spring and summer, I like to be out on the patio with the hummingbirds. During winter months, I switch between my two offices and the kitchen or dining room table. I love to write short stories in longhand, so I usually settle into a comfy chair.


And now some fun stuff because everyone wants to know!

Coffee or tea?  Both! I drink strong black coffee in the morning and on the weekend, while writing, I drink tea…also straight up.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?  Definitely dark!

Muffin or bagel?  I don’t really eat bread, but if I had to pick, I’d choose a bagel.

Steak or shrimp?  I love a good steak. Throw in a lobster tail and I’m set!

City or country?  I’m definitely more of a country girl than city.  I don’t like crowds or traffic.

Cat or dog?  I don’t have either now, but I’d say dog.

Hat or visor?  While playing golf, usually a visor. When at the beach, I’ll wear a hat.


BCM: Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview, Jill. I’m looking forward to reading your new book, A Father for Bella. What’s next for you?

JW: I’m working on more books for my Whispering Slopes series, but I do have plans to venture into writing women’s fiction.  Thanks so much for hosting me today, Barbara. I’m so happy we’ve become friends.


Jill’s latest story, “A Pair of Lovebirds” is in the August 27 issue of Woman’s World Magazine. It’s a heartwarming story of a chance meeting and a promise of something more!

Be sure to visit Jill’s website at jillweatherholt.com. You can also find her on the following social media platforms:

WordPress: jillweatherholt.wordpress.com
Facebook: @jillweatherholtauthor
Twitter: @JillWeatherholt
Pinterest: @JillWeatherholt

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

149 thoughts on “Author Interview – Jill Weatherholt

  1. Hello Barbara. hello Jill – it’s lovely to pop over here and see our lovely Jill being celebrated a bit more. I didn’t realise we had so much in common until I ticked my way down the list of your preferences Jill. Thank heavens you said ‘dog’ 🙂 Have a lovely weekend xo

    1. How great to see your sweet face, Pauline! We are kindred spirits. Of course, my favorite dog is Siddy! Sometimes when I get lonely for him, I’ll pop on your blog to see his adorable face. Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your weekend! xo

  2. It was great to learn so much about Jill. Wonderful interview, Barbara. My, you are prolific, Jill, and I love how you got your start (in publishing) from writing contests.
    Yes, to strong black coffee and tea–and dark chocolate, too! 🙂

    1. Hi Merril! Thanks so much for stopping by to read the interview. Barbara had some great questions, didn’t she? Yes, I honestly believe if it weren’t for the generous contest sponsored by Harlequin, I probably wouldn’t have received a contract offer since I never planned to query that book. Yes! Bring on the strong black coffee and dark chocolate. Enjoy the weekend! xo

    2. Hi and thanks so much for reading my interview with Jill. She sure does have a lot of things going on – lots of creative energy! And for the record, although I’m mostly a tea drinker, whenever I have coffee, it’s black, no cream and sugar for me! And of course, it’s dark chocolate all the way 🙂

  3. Interesting, most people seem to prefer dark chocolate. I was interested in Jill’s comment about not being able to read scary books as she got older. I felt the same, especially when my children were small. I over identified with anything scary and it traumatised me. My boys are now 15 and 12 years old and I am just starting to read thrillers and scary books again.

    1. Hi Robbie! I wonder if the preference for dark chocolate is because the medical field gave us a “green light” to partake in moderation…hum. I do like the bite it offers. Keep me posted on your experience with reading thrillers and scary books again. If it’s good, I might dip back into them as well. Since I work for the police department, I’m bombarded with emails that often leave me craving for a feel good story, though. Thanks for reading today. Have a great weekend!

    2. Hi Robbie, thanks for stopping by. I know what you mean about reading scary books. When my kids were little, I could only handle super nice stories. I’m okay with thrillers now that my kids are bigger than I am!

  4. WONDERFUL interview, Barbara! Jill – I already feel like I “know” you, even though we haven’t met in person, but this interview helped me know you even more. Of course you prefer dark chocolate, and of course both of us relax by watching the going-ons of the hummingbirds. One of them stopped right in front of my yesterday, wings going a mile a minute, studying me as if reading my mind. I wondered for a second if she was gong to see if there was any sweet juice in my mouth! A special moment. Your BOOKs are special and your writing just gets better and better. I look forward to reading your next novel or short story.

    1. Hi Pam! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. As you know, we’re often our own worst critic when it comes to our writing, so hearing something nice, while in the middle of editing, is definitely motivating to push through…so thank you. ❤ Oh gosh! Don't you love when the lone curious hummie hovers to investigate your presence? There's truly nothing better. I'm going to miss them so much. Thank you for stopping by. I read a great review of THE RIGHT WRONG MAN over on Jacqui Murray's blog this morning. Have a great weekend! xo

  5. What a wonderful interview! I loved learning more about Jill and in the process, you as well Barbara. I am so impressed and inspired by Jill’s journey. Now I must read more! Thank you both for this delightful and informative exchange. Good coffee and dark chocolate make for a special sisterhood. 🙂

    1. How great to see you here, Gwen! My writing journey has been a fast and crazy ride…sometimes I wonder if it’s real and then I feel my tendinitis and know that it is…LOL! I agree about our special sisterhood. Thanks so much for visiting today. Enjoy your weekend! ❤

    1. Hi Laurie! It’s so nice to see you on Barbara’s blog. You both have a lot in common. Yeah, bread just isn’t really in my diet. It’s not that I won’t eat it, I’ve just never been one to have bread or a roll with a meal. Sometimes, Derek will make homemade french bread pizza and I’ll devour it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great weekend and stock up on your water in case Florence pays us a visit. ❤

    2. Hi Laurie and thanks very much for coming over to my blog to read my interview with Jill. I don’t think I could get through a day without bread, or chocolate for that matter!

  6. Yay! So nice to see Jill here and to know which Woman’s World her story is in. Great interview! I especially loved your fun questions at the end.

    I also feel the same way about scary books. When I was a teen, I was into Stephen King’s books. Now I prefer a comforting story.

    1. Hi L. Marie! Thanks so much for stopping by today. I enjoyed Barbara’s questions. You both are great at interviewing. 🙂 You know me, working for the police department, I hear enough bad. Enjoy your weekend! Chat with you soon. ❤

    2. Hi L. Marie. It was so exciting to open up Woman’s World and see Jill’s story in there! Thanks for coming by and reading my interview. I love throwing in some fun stuff at the end because people do want to know about coffee or tea!

  7. Great to see Jill here! Love her books and stories in WW…..she’s a great author and great person! I am anxiously waiting for her next book!
    Hugs to Jill! xo

    1. Aw…Jackie, you’re so sweet! Thank you so much for stopping by today. I’ve missed you! I have another WW story coming out in the upcoming weeks…I’ll let you know. Enjoy your weekend and stay cool. This heat is getting old! ❤

  8. I had to laugh at your evolution from King to cozy. I find with the horror genres, I don’t need to be shocked and disgusted anymore than I already am. But believing in good–that’s easily forgotten these days. Cozies like yours, Jill, reminds me it is out there.

    1. I know…it’s crazy, isn’t it? You’re right, all we have to do is turn on the local news to be shocked. I see it all day at the day job, too. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, Jacqui…they mean a lot. Thanks for visiting! ❤

  9. Nice interview BCM and Jill. I like that you didn’t get disheartened by so many rejections Jill, you are indeed a warrior (I like that expression)…50k words in one month! That’s how writers are made!
    Though contests and challenges could never inspire me to write but I appreciate those who rise up to them and are successful. Wishing you great success dear friend.

    1. Hi Balroop! Thanks so much for stopping by today. I never would have imagined those 50k words that month would turn into a contracted book, years later. I though I only got a bad case of tendinitis. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, sweet friend. ❤

    2. Hi Balroop! Thanks for visiting and reading Jill’s interview. Yes, writing 50K words in a month sounds like a big job to me, but Jill was certainly up to the task!

    1. Aw…you’re one of my favorites too, John…along with Twiggy, Bailey and Lucy. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy your weekend. We’ll be stockpiling water in case Florence heads toward the Carolinas. ❤

  10. Hi, Barbara – I loved learning more about Jill here. The strong, black coffee did not surprise me at all. Only a true lover of coffee could have added those details in Second Chance Romance and A Father for Bella! 🙂

    1. LOL! These days, I feel as though I need to double up on that coffee, Donna. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and for all of your support. You make me want to be a better writer, sweet friend. Have a fantastic weekend! ❤

  11. Hi, Jill!
    I find I don’t like scary now that I’m older, either. However, I have never really been a fan, I’ve just noticed I have gotten to where I like it even less than I used to.
    It’s fun reading the interviews about you!
    Blessings to you and BCM~💖

    1. Hi Robbye, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my interview with Jill. I recently listened to a scary audio book and it was a bit too much for me. Have a great weekend!

  12. Hi Robbye! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m happy you enjoyed the interview. These days, turning on the news is scary enough for me! Enjoy your day, my friend. ❤

    1. Jill, I definitely understand. We gave up TV a long time ago (cable kept creeping up by $25 every 3 months!!) so the only news I get is from the internet, and I have it set to screen the really bad images, etc.
      Have a wonderful week, Jill!
      Blessings~💖

      1. You were smart to give up cable, Robbye. Our bill is more than it costs to run our A/C in the hottest months of summer! Right now, with Hurricane Florence approaching, I am thankful for The Weather Channel. Enjoy your week! ❤

      2. I guess they’ve got us too addicted to cut the chord! We watch a lot of the Weather Channel. Some of their shows are really interesting. I should have been a Meteorologist…I love the weather!

      3. Where we live we can’t even get the basic channels without cable, due to the mountains (really just large hills) that surround us. So the cable company really has us over the barrel!
        Praying you and everyon in Florence’s path remain safe.
        Have a great week!
        Blessings~💖

    1. Hi Jennifer! I feel like I know you, too…that’s what’s so wonderful about blogging. The connections are real, aren’t they? Thanks so much for stopping by today. ❤

    2. Hi Jennifer – so glad you stopped in to read my interview with Jill. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I’ve become a dark chocolate fan in my more mature years!

      It’s so fun to pull everyone together like this. It’s like we’re old friends!

  13. Great interview, BCM.

    Jill:
    “Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper” – I loved reading this!
    You’re well on the road to being an ‘established’ author, Jill with your second published novel.
    Oh yeah, I like that you’re a two-fisted drinker: coffee in the AM and tea in the PM
    😀

    1. Hi Laura, I also loved reading “Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper” – Jill has a special talent and it’s great to see her achieve success and recognition! I’m mostly a tea drinker, morning, noon and night, but I always take my coffee black. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Laura. It means a lot that you enjoyed Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper. That story will always hold a special place in my heart as I wrote it shortly after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Thanks for reading! xo

    1. Hi Mimi – thanks so much for visiting and for reading my interview with Jill. We had a great time with it. Jill is such a supportive blogger and friend! Have a great weekend.

    2. You’re so sweet, Mimi. Thank you so much for your kind words. Congratulations on your recent publication. I ordered it the other day. I can’t wait to read it! I’m sitting at our kitchen table watching the hummingbirds going crazy outside. I love it! Thanks for stopping by. xo

  14. Great interview! I love hummingbirds too. Living in NH, I don’t get to see them as often as people in warmer climates, but this summer a hummingbird (think it was the same one) came at least a couple dozen times to greet me through my study window. Very unusual, so of course I took it as a sign from the Universe. 🙂 Love seeing how much you’re writing and that you’re enjoying it! That’s awesome. 🙂

    1. Hi Kate! Thanks so much for stopping by. I enjoyed answering Barbara’s questions. Hummingbirds will often visit the same feeder each year during their life span. They truly are amazing creatures and quite curious. By the way, I tried to comment on your post the other day, but I don’t know if they went into spam or what happened. Have a great upcoming week!

  15. I came to visit! I love learning more about Jill and the questions at the end are great “fun stuff”! I wear a visor most of the time. I haven’t seen a hummer since we moved to Florida. Jill. stay safe! Gordon took a glancing blow at us but it was just a lot of wind and a few hours of crazy rain. I will be thinking about you and your husband. I hope Florence finds her way out to sea!

    1. Hello and thanks for visiting and commenting. I think I’ve transitioned from hat to visor – my head gets too hot under a hat! Hope the hurricane bypasses us all, though I’m a little north in Pennsylvania so it might just be rain for us (already raining all weekend)!

    2. Hi Pix! I always love to see those feet! 🙂 I’m surprised you haven’t seen any hummingbirds…maybe you’ll see some buzzing around this winter. Thanks for the well wishes on Florence. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like it’s going to turn. I appreciate your visit!

  16. What a long scroll to get to the end. Yay! Congrats to Jill and to both of you for an entertaining interview. I enjoy hearing about Jill’s process and what inspires her, as well as all the successes along the way. I can surely relate to being crappy at self-promotion, but this is a wonderful community to be a part of – kind, generous and supportive. Happy Writing.

    1. Thank you – Jill and I had a great time putting this together! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Jill and her books. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great evening.

    2. Hi Diana! Barbara was firing questions at me left and right. 🙂 It was fun. Self-promoting is the pits, but the blogging community really pulls together and helps each other. Thank you for your kind words. I was so sorry to hear about your mother. You and your family are in my prayers. xo

  17. Enthralling interview with Jill and your questions bring out so much about herself and her writing. Jill, it’s lovely to learn more about you, how you came to be published and your success with short stories. Memories of a Lighthouse Keeper was wonderfully touching and sensitively composed … I was thinking of your mother as I read it and realised this must have been your inspiration. Now, I’m intrigued by the journal discovered by Katie on her Dad’s desk – surely a story/book of its own!! 😀

    1. Hi Annika! It’s so great to see you! I’ve missed you this summer. I hope you and the family are all doing well. Thank you for your sweet comment. Yes, I remember the day I wrote Memories of a Lighthouse Keeper. I was thinking so much about my mother that afternoon, I got out a pad of paper and a favorite pen and hand wrote the story. It will always remain my favorite. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. ❤

  18. I’m a dark chocolate fan, too, Jill. You’re amazing, Jill. I don’t know how you get it all done while working a full-time job. Mega congrats on your dedication and success! What a great interview, ladies. Sorry I’m late to the party. Hope you both have a fantastic week! ❤

    1. Aw…thanks, Tori! As someone who can procrastinate when I have more time on my hands, keeping busy seems to make me more productive…if that makes sense. Dark chocolate is the best! Please be safe…Florence is looking to a whopper! ❤

  19. Even though you ‘know’ someone’s story, it’s only the bits revealed on the blog, so it’s always interesting to add to it. Thanks for sharing, ladies, and good luck, Jill 🙂 🙂

  20. I love the interview with Jill, Barbara! Hi, Jill! It was good to find out a bit more about you and I loved reading ‘Memories of a Lighthouse Keeper’. Thanks very much for sharing! xo

    1. Hi Clare! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I loved the Memories story too and was excited to read Jill’s latest one in Woman’s World, as well as her first book. I’m looking forward to reading A Father for Bella soon! Hope you have a great day 😀

    2. Hi Clare! It’s so nice to see you here on Barbara’s blog. I’m happy you enjoyed the interview and my short story. Thanks so much for popping over and taking the time to read and comment. Have a great evening! I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for your next post. I’m due for a nice walk. ❤

  21. Thanks for the interesting and informative interview, Barbara; and my congratulations to Jill on her successful publications, winnings, and accomplishments. As a writer, I especially enjoyed the nuts and bolts of Jill’s writing practices. Best of luck to you both–

    1. Hi Jet – thanks for reading my interview with Jill. We had a lot of fun with the questions. I always enjoy learning about those “nuts and bolts” – that’s what brings the personalities out! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  22. Thanks Barbara and Jill. I can endorse that Jill is the most supportive of bloggers, much as I neglect her romances 🙂 Writes with a proper pen too, a touch of class.

    1. Hi Roy! LOL! I don’t feel neglected…honest. As long as you continue with the occasional tours around your town, we’re good! 🙂 For me, the words flow much easier with a nice pen. Thanks so much for visiting.

  23. Wonderful interview, Jill! I enjoyed learning more about you. So, you started off as a Stephen King fan. I never would have guessed. He was an early influence on my writing. You don’t eat bread? That’s amazing. I wish I could give up bread. Your book, A Father for Bella reads fascinating and it’s on my TBR list. Congratulations on your magazine story!

    1. Hi Vashti! It’s great to see you on Barbara’s blog. Yes, I was a huge Stephen King fan then I moved out of my parents house and lived alone for many years and turned into a big chicken. 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words and for the visit today!

  24. Great to hear about how Jill landed that Harlequin contract! I’ve been a fan of Jill’s for a long time now, not only her kindness in the blogging world but also her talent at writing 🙂

    1. Yes Jill is a great supporter in the blogging world. I enjoyed reading Second Chance Romance and I’m looking forward to reading A Father for Bella. Thanks for reading and commenting, Christy!

    2. Thanks so much for stopping by to read Barbara’s fun interview, Christy. I apologize for the late response. I’m so happy we connected through WordPress. Your blog is a great source of information for so many.

  25. Great interview, Barbara. It was nice getting to know more about Jill.
    Ps: i haven’t been able to read a Stephen King, or any other horror books since my late teens.

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