Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Interview with Jill Wheeler

Hello, blogosphere friends! Today I bring you a fun interview with a fantastic up-and-coming writer. Jill Wheeler is represented by Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary.

Hi, Jill! Tell us a bit about yourself.

*sets down Diet Pepsi and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups* Well, hello! Fancy meeting you here! I’m Jill Wheeler. I teach high school English and enjoy World of Warcraft and Buffy reruns. I live in the Midwest with my husband and one-year-old daughter.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for a while. I kept journals and wrote poetry in high school, produced several zines in college, and started writing novels about three years ago.

What is the name and genre of your novel?

SLIDE is a YA novel.

Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

Sylvia Bell is used to sliding into other people, but when she slides into the body of a killer standing over a dead cheerleader, she’s beyond freaked.

Whoa! Okay, I've GOT to read this. How did the idea of the story come to you?

Last year I was bouncing ideas off my colleague, and we just thought that scenario sounded really crazy. Like something we’d want to read.

Definitely does! Tell us about Sarah Davies at Greenhouse.

Sarah is amazing. I signed with her in June, and it’s like she invited me and my little manuscript in out of the rain. And fed us cake. With her help, SLIDE has developed into a much beefier, more satisfying story.

Mmm, cake! LOL. But seriously, she sounds awesome! Besides your agent, do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you do most of your editing yourself?

Shout out to my mom. And Sara Raasch, Shayda Bakhshi, Megan Miranda, Susanne Winnacker, Amber Johnston, Rebecca Rogers, Stephanie Kuehn, and Kate Walton. If I’ve forgotten you, I’m sorry!

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Revising. Oh, revising, how I hate thee. (Unless you’re Sarah, and then I totally love revising!) I used to think revising was just printing the darn manuscript off and crossing out a few paragraphs and moving a few commas around. Sarah has taught me how to really revise. And it can be PAINFUL. But, really, it is so rewarding. Kind of like exercise.

Wow, great comparison. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

I subscribe to Stephen King’s idea of the sweetheart reader. My mom is definitely my sweetheart reader. She reads without judgment and tells me the things she loves and doesn’t tear it apart too much. Once I’ve finished the rough draft and gotten some distance, then I invite in the hardcore betas. And Sarah.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

-Diet Pepsi
Most importantly, my daughter has to be asleep or in a different room.

That helps, yeah. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I wish I could write like Jandy Nelson, the author of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. It’s like poetry shines from her fingertips and into the computer. It’s magic. THAT is a super power.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: prevention, designated, and tomato sauce.

On Spaghetti Wednesday, I designated my best friend to oversee the prevention of tomato sauce in the region of my Super Cute top.

Excellent sentence! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

Ooh, I kind of did this with the beta readers question. Well, all the people I said before, plus my husband and my baby. And the Pepsi company, of course.

That's okay. I'm sure there can't be enough appreciation in the world. And finally, where can people find you online?

E-mail: jillewheeler (at)
Twitter: jwheelerwrites

Jill, thank you so much for letting us get to know you and your book. Please let us know when it's available! I wish you lots of success.


Gina said...

Whoa, there's a combination...Diet Pepsi (yeah, more of a Diet Coke fan here) and Reese's...hopefully that wasn't breakfast! ^_^ A Buffy fan? YAY! The storyline on SLIDE...I can definitely see why she freaked out....and it sounds like something I'd love to read! Great work on the writing test...LOL. Best of luck on that novel!

Thanks for another great spotlight Dorothy! ^_^

Laura Sibson said...

I love when my worlds collide. Just keeping up to date on the awesome blog when I saw the mention of Jandy, an alum of the MFA program I just started!

Great interview. Thanks Dorothy for continuing to put these out. Thanks Jill for sharing your experience and your very intriguing pitch!

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Jill, you are awesome. And thanks for the mention! I feel loved. :)

I can't wait for SLIDE to hit the shelves--it's an amazing story with such compelling characters. I know everyone who picks it up will devour it.

Daisy Hickman said...

Sounds like a fun book! Another YA author I love to follow, C. Lee McKenzie. Your creative spirits are truly compelling! Jill, I'll try to drop by your blog soon. I'm at @ Sunny Room Studio: a creative, sunny space for kindred spirits. Welcome!
And all best luck w/your book.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you interrupted your Diet Coke and Reese's snack for this interview, Jill. SLIDE sounds interesting. :)