Interview with Jill Bowers, Author of the Immortal Writers Series

Jill Bowers is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She’s the author of the popular Immortal Writers series, which is a five book young adult fantasy series. You can learn more about Jill’s books at her author website, immortalauthor.com.

Jill is a lover of all things literature and music. She is one of two composers-in-residence for the Westminster Handbell Choirs in Logan, Utah, and plays many instruments. She’s an alum of Salt Lake Comic Con, Fyrecon, and MisCon. She has a beloved long-haired dachshund who enjoys walks and snacks, much like Jill herself.

Thank you for joining us today, Jill. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m glad to be here. My name’s Jill, and I’m a young adult fantasy author. I love Netflix, Comic Con, music, and books. I’m an avid reader and I love to spend my time cuddled up with my dog in my TARDIS quilt reading.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I’ve always had the writing bug. I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I knew how to put my letters into words and sentences.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

For one thing, I enjoy reading young adult books, so it’s natural for me to be writing them. Mostly, though, young adults have to face a lot of problems in life, and I want to help them. I include real-life issues in all of my books, because I think literature and art are both great ways to encourage people to hold on.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love the fast pace of a YA book. I enjoy connecting with young adults; I often go to schools to teach classes and do assemblies, and I absolutely love it. My greatest challenge with writing for young adults is knowing what slang to use. I grew up in the “tubular” days, and people don’t say that now.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Immortal Writers is about an author whose words and stories become so powerful that she gains immortality and her characters come to life. She has to learn to use magic and slay dragons in time to save the world from the villain she created.

The entire series (book 2, Immortal Creators, comes out in fall 2018) follows authors who are in similar situations. If you like reading, you’ll love this series because you get to see your favorite authors (like Shakespeare, Tolkien, Poe, Hughes, Hemingway, Austen, and many more) as characters interacting throughout the series. If you’re not familiar with these authors, it’s a great way to be introduced to them.

What inspired you to write it?

One day I was really angry because I thought my life was so dull. I wanted magic to be real. I wanted to slay dragons and fight monsters and be a hero. But then I started thinking about what the consequences would be if all of my favorite stories came to life; it would be chaotic. The rest of the series grew from there.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

You can purchase a copy at Barnes & Noble and from Amazon.

What is up next for you?

First and foremost, I’m finishing the Immortal Writers series. Next, I have a middle grade fantasy that I’m wrapping up about a gnome and a magic garden, and then another series of young adult books, this time in high fantasy.

Do you have anything else to add?

Happy reading!

Thank you for spending time with us today, Jill. We wish you much success.

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The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

 

With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun.

As Coke and Pepsi dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action.

File Size: 2732 KB
Print Length: 309 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (January 25, 2011)
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
ASIN: B004HD62O4

 

Order here!

Coming in February: Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Halfmann tells the powerful story of Lily Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman who “believed the path to freedom was through education.” Ladd’s rich, naturalistic acrylic-and-pencil images depict Granderson’s upbringing in Kentucky, where she learned to read and write in secret, then shared her knowledge with other children. As an enslaved adult in Mississippi, Granderson risked punishment by holding night classes in an empty cabin: “Landowners feared that if the enslaved could read, they would discover that some northerners wanted slavery abolished.” After the school is discovered, Granderson is shocked to learn that she won’t be punished (Halfmann speculates about why she might have escaped punishment in an afterword) and reopens her school, teaching as a free woman for many more years. The painful but uplifting narrative may spark readers’ curiosity about other enslaved individuals whose stories have not yet been told.

Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

Pre-order from Amazon or other online retailers.

You Know What? By Carol Gordon Ekster

You Know What? by Carol Gordon Ekster is a delightful bedtime story that will be treasured by kids and moms alike.

Oliver knows it’s bedtime, but he’s had a busy day and wants to tell mommy all about it.

This is not the first book by Ekster that I’ve read, and I doubt it will be my last. As a former elementary school teacher, she is in tune with what resonates with young people. Oliver continues to toss out the same question to his mommy as he gets ready for bedtime. His tired, yet patient, mommy keeps on listening and encouraging him along the way. It’s a very sweet concept. I also truly enjoyed the artwork of Nynke Mare Talsma. Vibrant blues, greens, yellows, and reds catch your eye as you move page by page through this charming story. I hope we will see more collaborations between these two talented people.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Lexile Measure: 340
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis (September 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605372781
ISBN-13: 978-1605372785

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

STORYSTORM 2018 Update

 

In case you forgot, STORYSTORM, founded by Tara Lazar is taking place this month. In the past, I’ve posted my ideas here. I’m trying something different this year and simply keeping a spreadsheet of my ideas and posting updates at the blog.

Today makes 12 days that we are into this annual event. Believe it or not, I’ve managed to come up with 12 ideas already. I’m struggling, because tired brains don’t think well. Some of the ideas I will probably end up tossing when I get around to reviewing them. The nice thing is that each day a different guest blogger is featured at Tara’s blog to give us a healthy dose of inspiration.

Are you participating in STORYSTORM? Any other events you plan to participate in this year?

This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido van Genechten

This Book is Full of Monsters is a silly and adorable story written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten.

Young readers are warned from the beginning and given a list of things they need if they dare to open the front cover of this book that is filled with small, stinky, loud, gross, sleepy and sometimes scary monsters. This book is a fun interactive experience that kids will enjoy. They might even be in for a surprise or two. With van Genechten’s superb artwork and such a zany story, youngsters will be going back to this one time and again.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis; Pop edition (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373605
ISBN-13: 978-1605373607

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

STORYSTORM 2018 Update

 

In case you forgot, STORYSTORM, founded by Tara Lazar is taking place this month. In the past, I’ve posted my ideas here. I’m trying something different this year and simply keeping a spreadsheet of my ideas and posting updates at the blog.

We are six days into STORYSTORM and I have six ideas on the spreadsheet–all mysteries of one kind or another. I’m excited about this annual event because it has given me countless ideas and led to a published book. one under contract, and one I am going to be querying agents with. I also have several picture books finished or in the editing stage. Here’s hoping I can keep up this pace and stay on track.

Are you participating this year? If so, how’s it going so far?