- When did you start writing?
I wrote my first books at the kitchen table around the age of six. Constructed with paper, crayons, and random staples, I even managed to design advertisements for future “books” in my series on the back of each creation.
- What motivates you to write?
My current work is a series of chapter books for tweens. The books celebrate children living with issues such as anxiety and cerebral palsy while encompassing a diverse set of characters. Someone needs to tell the story of kids who are not typically well-represented in traditional literature. Every time I hear from a reader who saw themselves reflected in my work, it motivates me.
- What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I am currently writing books that target tweens. A particular child with anxiety who couldn’t find a book with a main character that mirrored her own experiences led to my choice of genre. I could see myself expanding to other age ranges in the future. However, the characters in my current series still have many more adventures ahead of them.
- What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I want my books to help kids see that they are not alone in their experiences. I would love to write from a warm, tropical island at some point in the future.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I usually worry at the start of each new book that I won’t have enough to say. Somehow, the story falls into place and I have the words to tell the tale.
- What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Don’t write a book trying to impress a certain market or follow a trend. Write a book you truly love and others will feel your passion.
- Please, tell us about your work.
As a teacher in Flint, a mother, and a foster parent, I have seen many kids who struggle to find themselves represented in popular culture.
A child I have known and loved has battled anxiety from an early age. As she struggled through a difficult time period, I looked for ways to help. I wanted to find a kid’s chapter book for her where the main character worked through similar issues in a compassionate manner. I wanted a series where the main characters were a little different, and lived in a neighborhood where everyone didn’t look the same. When I was unable to find what I needed, I decided to write it myself.
The Cloud at the End of My Rainbow follows a young girl named Elliot McIntire. Elliot lives on a horse farm with her family, including her nearly famous little sister Daisy. The only problem is Elliot is terrified of horses and is fearful in other areas of her life too. A new friend, Em, who lives with cerebral palsy, makes a bet with her that involves Elliot riding a horse for the first time in years. Their newfound friendship is tested.
The series continues with my second novel, When the Rain Falls, due out this summer.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
Connect with Jill:
My website: www.jillsammut.com
Jill Sammut’s book: