Archives for posts with tag: Jill Williamson

BookClub1I had good intentions of simplifying my life. I’d just take a year off of the whole Simply Faithful book club thing.

Who needs the hassle of scheduling interviews with authors? The struggle to balance work and home and extra reading? The nervousness of keeping up with Facebook chats?

Apparently, I do.

I’ve missed the Simply Faithful book club, and I’ve missed visiting with you.

Can we try this again? Can we read spiritual books together as a community?

The last time we did this was in 2012, and I picked a non-fiction book by Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts. That summer, we read the novel Rooms by James Rubart, and then in the fall, I chose three books for children.

This time, I’ll announce a non-fiction book on Feb. 3. I’ll sprinkle in discussion questions on www.simplyfaithful.com for the following six weeks. Then, we’ll host an online chat with the author in late March.

I’ll be looking for people willing to host in-person gatherings the night of the author chat. I’d like people to open up their homes, or their places of worship or their favorite coffee shops and invite their friends to meet and talk about the book – and I’d like those hosts to help with the technology that night because we don’t want anyone left out of the discussion just because they aren’t familiar with Facebook or Google Chat or whichever platform we settle on.

Then, I’ll announce the fiction book June 9 and we’ll chat with that author toward the end of July.

Now, in the meantime, I’d love to hear your book suggestions. What books do you think we should all read? Are there authors you would love to visit with? 

I really enjoy discovering great authors who haven’t had a lot of attention, so feel free to suggest first-time or little-known authors. I also like introducing topics that people of all faiths would be interested in discussing.

My one stipulation is that the author needs to – how do I say this delicately – be alive. It makes interviewing the author and hosting a chat for readers much easier.

Give it some thought. Talk it over with your friends who like to read, and let me know by Jan. 20 what books you’d recommend.

I’m looking forward to reading and learning with you again.

To hear Jenn Kelly tell it, it was a very fancy wedding where you had to stand through the whole thing. Somewhere amid all the pomp and circumstance her gaze fell upon a woman with hair piled high. (No, think higher than that.)

The woman was maybe 5 feet tall and looked like she usually carried a small dog with her. She was probably mad that the dog couldn’t come to the wedding, Kelly thought. But wait!

Maybe she was carrying her dog… in her massive hair.

That’s how it started, this idea to write about a boy who falls into his great aunt’s hair and discovers a whole new world of elves and bubble-gum chewing crubbies. A book about a boy who – like many of us – doubts himself a little too much and has to be reminded that the Author has a plan and a purpose for him.

“I want readers to know that life can be funny and amusing, and they are indeed loved,” said Kelly, author of “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” ($12.99, Zonderkidz).

And somewhere between crazy Chapter 37 “In Which We Learn about the Book, the Author, and Fred the Turtle” and Chapter 38 “A Chapter that Is Not Nearly as Long as the Last One” we find gems like this one, where Jackson has had a glimpse into the future. He has improved at baseball, become a professor and won a prestigious writing award.

“So, what I saw in the mirrors, that was true?” he asked. 

“Unless you see yourself differently from the truth,” she said softly. “Unless you forget.”

Lines worth underlining.

This time all of the books in the Simply Faithful book club touch on purpose, on remembering who we are and whose we are. I hope you’ll join us and encourage the young readers in your life to give these books a try. They’ll also have the chance to ask their own questions and chat live with Kelly at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. We’ll meet online at the Simply Faithful page on Facebook.

“Jackson Jones” is written for elementary students but my almost 14-year-old laughed at some of the chapter titles, and the book practically begs to be read out loud to a classroom.

“That book is me to a T,” Kelly said. “That’s how I talk. Anyone who reads it knows me… ish.”

Jackson’s adventures continue in “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken” and Kelly has more adventures in her head, ready to escape on paper.

I can’t wait.

Meet Jenn Kelly

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Learn more about author Jenn Kelly at her Website: www.JennKelly.com. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JennKellyauthor.

Readers have the chance to chat live with her at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

 

About the Simply Faithful book club

For about a year Marketta Gregory, author of the Simply Faithful column, has invited readers throughout the Rochester community to join her in reading and discussing books with spiritual themes. So far, the community has read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and “Rooms” by James Rubart. The current selections – all four – were chosen to encourage younger readers to participate in the conversation. They are:

  • “Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
  • “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zonderkidz).
  • “Replication [The Jason Experiment]” by Jill Williamson ($15.99, Zondervan).
  • “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).

 

Photo courtesy of Jill Williamson

Jill Williamson, author of “Replication [The Jason Experiment],” will be available at 7 p.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 16. You’ll be able to join the chat live on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

For about a year now I’ve invited readers to join me in reading and discussing books with spiritual themes. So far, the community has read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and “Rooms” by James Rubart. The current book club picks — like “Replication” — were chosen to encourage younger readers to participate in the conversation.

In “Replication,” one of Williamson’s six Christian teen novels, Abby discovers her scientist father is working in a hidden human cloning facility called Jason Farms. One of the clones, J:3:3 (aka Martyr), escapes in her father’s pick-up truck because he desperately wants to see the sky and the outside world before he expires on his 18th birthday. Eventually Abby and Martyr work together to try to free the other clones, especially Baby because Martyr protects Baby and the other “broken” clones in the facility.

“Everybody loves Martyr,” Williamson said, “and I’ve had a lot of readers tell me that they have had to think about the things they have taken for granted. It’s made them pause and notice the world.”

To learn more about Williamson, visit her Website: www.JillWilliamson.com, where she offers a free monthly manuscript review. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JillWilliamson.

To read other articles I’ve written about her, click here and here.

 

My newspaper colleagues and I used to joke that there was always a local angle to national – and even international – stories. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised that one of the authors we’re featuring in the Simply Faithful book club has Rochester, NY, ties.

Jill Williamson, author of “Replication [The Jason Experiment],” used to visit the area when her sister lived here. During one of those fall visits they went to pick apples and as Williamson looked out the window at the passing orchards she wondered what it would be like if there was a farm that grew people, a farm that created clones.

She answers that question in her teen book “Replication” ($15.99, Zondervan), where she takes her readers inside a hidden human cloning facility. As the adventure unfolds, she delves into questions about the value of life and about forgiveness, even of ruthless captors.

Even though the idea for the book came from Western New York, it is set in Alaska where Williamson grew up. It features characters who are working to find their purpose in life and struggling to live a life of faith that’s really examined, that’s more than black and white.

“Being legalistic can become a habit,” Williamson said from her home in eastern Oregon. “It can get us in rut.”

And that’s not where Williamson wants her characters to be.

You can hear more about her characters, her passion for helping other writers and her upcoming books during a Facebook chat with her at 7 p.m. Nov. 16. Join us at the Simply Faithful Facebook page and feel free to jump in with questions of your own. This is your time with the author. 

I hope you give the book a try, even if it isn’t your go-to genre, and I’d love it if you would discuss it with friends and make an effort to include younger readers in the conversation. Soon I’ll be sharing more about the other three books I’ve selected:

  • Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
  • “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zondervan).
  • “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).

Even though we’re focusing on younger readers, I think you’ll find there are lessons in these books for every age.

Photo courtesy of Jill Williamson

The idea that each person has a purpose in life is important to author Jill Williamson – so much so that it’s the current that carries readers through her teen book “Replication [The Jason Experiment].”

“Every person is created for a reason,” Williamson said, adding that people’s purpose can change, like in her life.

Williamson studied to be a fashion designer, then worked toward being a motivational speaker for teens before deciding to write speculative fiction for young adults. Now, she’s bringing the topic up for readers to wrestle with in “Replication” where humans and clones struggle with what their contribution should be.

In “Replication,” one of Williamson’s six Christian teen novels, Abby discovers her scientist father is working in a hidden human cloning facility called Jason Farms. One of the clones, J:3:3 (aka Martyr), escapes in her father’s pick-up truck because he desperately wants to see the sky and the outside world before he expires on his 18th birthday. Eventually Abby and Martyr work together to try to free the other clones, especially Baby because Martyr protects Baby and the other “broken” clones in the facility.

“Everybody loves Martyr,” Williamson said, “and I’ve had a lot of readers tell me that they have had to think about the things they have taken for granted. It’s made them pause and notice the world.”

“Replication” is planned as a three-book series, but Williamson is currently working on other book projects, raising an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old and involved with youth ministry in eastern Oregon where her husband is a youth pastor.

“I’ve always loved to read teen books,” she said, and she often shared books with the teens she knew and wished that there were more options in Christian fiction – more books that Christians could agree on.

Then reality struck. Agreement was hard to find and writing took practice. Publishing took networking.

Still, it was fun to create characters who are real and flawed, so Williamson stuck with it.

“Stories are powerful,” she said, like a woman who has found her purpose.

About the Simply Faithful book club

For about a year Marketta Gregory, author of the Simply Faithful column, has invited readers to join her in reading and discussing books with spiritual themes. So far, the community has read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and “Rooms” by James Rubart. The current selections – all four – were chosen to encourage younger readers to participate in the conversation. They are:

  • “Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
  • “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zondervan).
  • “Replication [The Jason Experiment]” by Jill Williamson ($15.99, Zondervan).
  • “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).

Meet Jill Williamson

Learn more about author Jill Williamson at her Website: www.JillWilliamson.com. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JillWilliamson.

Readers have the chance to chat live with her at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

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