Saturday, March 5, 2016

Come meet YA author Jean Ann Williams

Today I'm pleased to host and welcome YA author Jean Ann Williams as my debut interview on the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction! Thank you, Jean Ann for sharing the story of Just Claire and the Lavender Girls Club with our readers. Jean will be giving away one copy of Just Claire. So be sure to leave a comment in order to be entered to win.

TraceyTell us a little bit about why you decided to write YA fiction? 
J     Jean Ann: Actually, the book was slotted for upper middle graders, but people who’ve read the book are saying it’s for all ages above upper middle grade. And I chose upper middle grade because I remember my first intense feelings at this age as a pre-teen, and the problems Claire deals with can hit home as early as this age group.
      Tracey:  In Just Claire there is a group called the Lavender Girls Club. What was your inspiration for them and can you share with us how you developed Claire’s compelling character?

Jean Ann: The idea of a girls club was a suggestion by a writing friend. I loved the idea. So, recalled from real life a time when I didn’t feel I fit at home any longer, and so I reached out to a group of popular girls to find my place in life. At the same time, I observed at this age how mean girls could be even at the elementary school level. In developing Claire’s character, it took a lot of years to create her as her own person. I kept taking my feelings, which can be fine, and making Claire out to be me. It’s good to use one’s feelings, but I reached a point where it didn’t work. Claire wasn’t working, and so I prayed a lot about how to disassociate myself from Claire and make her stand on her own. To make her more well rounded faults and all. The lying part with Claire came only a few years ago toward the end of polishing the story.

Tracey: I’m sure your readers would love to know about your writing process. Do you have a set schedule for your writing time? Is there a special place where you write? 

Jean Ann: I don’t have a set schedule, although, my best times are early morning. I like waking before dawn and catching glimpses of the sun rising as I work. I do have an office, but I’ve been known to use yellow, legal-sized pads to do my very first draft, and I most often do this on road trips in the passenger seat of the car. I heard once the color yellow inspires the creative process and so I tried it and found this to be true.

Tracey: Who are some of your favorite authors? Who or what do you find influences your creativity?

Jean Ann: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Nicholas Sparks, and Bonnie Leon. What inspires me in my creativity is people watching and hearing them speak. I can take a sentence or a word someone says and create a character from this. I especially enjoy digging into my past memories as a child and use the antics and words my siblings were known for and create from this whole characters and scenes. But then, my own creative process takes over and I’ll build from what I started, fleshing, molding, polishing my characters.

Tracey: What’s next for Jean Ann Williams? Will we see more of the Lavender Girls?

Jean Ann: I have six writing projects from ages New Adult to chapter books for young readers in various stages of completion. Just a few days ago, I finally realized a solid theme and plot for a sequel to Just Claire, and yes, it has to have the Lavender Girls within the story. I’m thinking, just maybe, the theme of forgiveness will be woven throughout the story.

Thank you Jean Ann for dropping by our blog.
Don't forget Jean Ann is giving away one copy of her fabulous book! Be sure to leave a comment.

About the novel Just Claire...
ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.

With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Downloads available at Amazon:



Jean Ann Williams said...

Tracey, thank you so much for having me on your blog. I enjoyed the questions.

Just Commonly said...

Great interview! Thanks! Jean Ann is a new author to me, so this is great to get to know her a little better. =)

Renee Blare said...

Welcome to the Mine, Jean Ann!

Anonymous said...

I love Christian oriented books for me and now search them out for my girls.
Thank you!

Peggy Trotter said...

Welcome to the Mine, Jean Ann! We're so please to have you. As a teacher, I love to see great books come out for students, giving them a chance to choose quality book. Good Christian books for girls are hard to come by!

Gemstone said...

Lovely Blog . Keep Writing . All the Best .

Amit lamba
Amit lamba

Jean Ann Williams said...

Thank you all for the warm welcome. My book Just Claire is a book tweens and up can read with no guilt. The first chapter is intense, but it serves a good overall purpose to set the stage for the book. I'm currently pulling together a list of books which are clean and even inspirational for young readers. Please drop by my blog and on the right top of the side bar, you may read the list I have up so far. Any suggestions, please let me know. I'd appreciate being able to add to it.

Jean Williams said...

Congratulations, Janice, you're the winner of Just Claire. Would you please give me a different email, so I may gift you the book? Amazon is not able to gift you the book with this email you gave here. Email me at