I don’t do many interviews here, but I had to have Jill, author of To Darkness Fled, on the Light of Truth blog. I just LOVED her book.
WELCOME JILL WILLIAMSON!
Tell us about your latest book.
To Darkness Fled is the second book in the Blood of Kings trilogy. It’s about Achan, a young man who wanted to become a knight, and Vrell, a girl who is dressed as a boy to hide from the man who wants to marry her. Book two picks up where By Darkness Hid left off.
Here is the back cover copy for To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings, book 2):
They have no choice. Chased by an evil prince, Achan, Vrell, and the Kingsguard knights flee into Darkness. They head north, for Tsaftown and Ice Island, where they must free an army that can help them fight for Er’Rets.
Darkness sickens Vrell. How long can she keep her secret without being caught? Achan already suspects her of lying. If she is not careful, he will suspect her of treason as well. She hopes he will let his suspicions go until they reach her home.
Achan wanted freedom, but this new journey has bound him more than ever. Sir Gavin’s claims are so far fetched. First, that there might only be one God, and second, that this God chose Achan to push back Darkness, the magnificent curse of Er’Rets. Him. Achan. Barely a man himself.
Each setback Darkness brings seems minor compared to the one choice only Achan can make. What will he choose?
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved slowly revealing Vrell’s secret here and there. Vrell is a girl, but in the first book, she is in hiding, dressed as a stray boy to avoid having to marry the evil Prince Gidon, who only wants her inheritance. Then she meets up with Achan, who thinks she’s a scrawny boy. It was so much fun to dangle Vrell’s secret out there to be nearly discovered time and again, only to save her at the last minute each time. But the secret does come out in this story, and that was a fun scene to write too.
Do you have a favorite scene?
My favorite scene is when Achan finds out that Vrell is a girl. ☺
What did you dislike most about writing this book?
It was a challenge to write a book where much of it takes place in pitch black darkness. You can’t describe people or surrounding as easily without light. I had fun at first, but it was hard to keep it up for most the story. I used lanterns and torches and candles sometimes, but often, my characters travel in the pitch black darkness so that no one will be able to track them. That was tough to write.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Achan. He tries to be tough. At sixteen, he’s a man by Er’Retian standards, though he feels insecure about stepping into that role and taking charge. He’s stubborn and that trait often causes him a lot of heartache. His sarcasm and heroic nature work well together, I think. Sometimes you want to scowl at him—boys will be boys—but you can’t help but love the guy.
Which character is most like you?
Vrell. She is more intense than Achan. She likes to do things properly, if she can. She is kind and loyal and hardworking. She likes learning new things. She likes order and rules and wants everything to be fair and right in the world. She also stresses out too much, too.
What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I outline a basic plot. I need to know where the story is headed. I also need to know how each main character’s story will end. I use a spreadsheet, since I am dealing with two point of view characters. I write Achan’s scenes in one column and Vrell’s scenes in the next column, so I can see how their journeys will mesh. Once I feel good about where I’m headed, I start writing.
Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?
I keep my Er’Rets binder close at hand. This is a three-ring binder filled with all my storyworld notes including my character charts, maps, sketches of castles, sketches of characters, crests for each town, pretend languages, lists of knights that serve which lord, a timeline of Er’Rets, lists of herbs and their medicinal uses, and things like that. I am lost without that binder because it keeps me organized.
I also use two online sources all the time. www.dictionary.com is an online dictionary and thesaurus.
And www.etymonline.com is an online etymology dictionary that allows you to type in a word and find its origins. This is really helpful for historical writers. This way you can use words that people would use during a certain time period. I use this to help me find out whether a word goes back far enough to be medieval.
What are you currently writing?
I am working on From Darkness Won (Blood of Kings, book 3).
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My husband is a youth pastor and he and I do a lot with teenagers in our free time. We have teen events, teens over to hang out, Young Life. I enjoy playing the guitar, playing games with my family, and helping my son learn the piano.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I’m everywhere! My website is www.jillwilliamson.com. I’m also on Facebook, MySpace, Shoutlife, Shelfari, GoodReads, Twitter, Amazon…
On top of that, I run two blogs. The first is Novel Teen Book Reviews at www.novelteen.com. It’s a website that reviews clean teen fiction. This is a great resource to see what books are available in the Christian market for teens. The other blog is for teen authors, though adult authors may find some useful tips too. www.teenageauthor.com.
And if you are looking to buy one of my books, online go to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or MarcherLordPress.com. You can also buy an autographed copy from me through my website. Many libraries have the first book and if they don’t they would likely order it if you ask. And you can request your local bookstore order my books too.
THANKS, JILL. It was awesome to have you on the Light of Truth blog again. You’re book was fantastic. I wish you the BEST on this second book! Anxious to read book 3!!