Where else would I want to go on a cold winter morning? Today my author directs me to Waimea Bay in Oahu. Hawaii, baby! Watching the waves roll in, enjoying the warmth, the cold drinks, the sun, the sand, the water. What else could make this day perfect.
Ah, what else, an interview.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I am Jill S. Behe, divorced mother of three grown sons, a grandmother, a writer, an author. I wouldn’t call myself fascinating, but I am unique, and that uniqueness makes me fascinating.
I left my hometown in 1978, enlisted in the Army, and proceeded to have a long adventure. Thirty-odd years later, I moved back to PA. The me I am today was honed over those years I was gone. (Most of the residents here have never left the area, ever. So for me to leave, and then come back … that right there makes me different.) And the phrase ‘You can never go home again’ is true. I could return, but the town, the memories, the people are not/will never be, the same as when I left. Life happened, to everyone. I’ve had more life experiences, have seen more states, countries, and oceans than I would have had I stayed.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
Well, I already revealed I was an Army veteran. Maybe that my first to sons were born in Hawaii?
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
Oh, I had aspirations of becoming an oceanographer, a paramedic (I think they’re called EMT’s now), and a private eye. Ultimately, I began jotting down stories about people with those careers, and found that I could be all of them, without having to go to college.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
That’s a hard one. Nora Roberts, Agatha Christie; too many to choose from. Just to be in the same space, to rub elbows with them. I’d want to know how they felt when their first book was published and they held it their hands, saw their name on the cover. How did their family and friends react? Were they treated any differently? I’d just like to have a normal conversation with them about anything and everything.
Mossy Creek and Freezer Burn are fast fun reads that drop you into the heart of a small town with some murder and mayhem going on. Becoming friends with the title character, Maggie Mercer.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
I’m not sure I have a process, other than I get a vision, or a scene, and start writing. Once or twice I’ve written an outline, but for the most part, I find them too confining. (Yes, as the creator of whatever universe I’m working in, I have absolute control over what happens). Still I’d rather ‘wing it’. I do internet searches for some subjects. Other times I call local shops, police departments, veterinarians, etc.
My characters develop with more exposure. By that I mean, the more of the story I write, the more their personalities and idiosyncrasies emerge. They evolve and become more real to me as the story goes along, and in that respect I can be more accurate in my portrayal of them.
I have no specific writing schedule, as of this interview at least. I do try to write every day, some for longer periods than others. Writing is like exercise. The more you write (exercise the brain) the better the prose that flows out of the mind and onto the page, and also prevents the creative juices from drying up.
Write what intrigues you. Write what you like to read. I’ve heard those same phrases over and over, but they would be the advice I’d give. Does it grab your attention? If so, great. Expand what’s there. If you need to create a timeline, or outline to keep track of things, go for it.
If not, why not? What would it take for that idea to come to life, to mature and grow into a brilliant story?
In each case above, let the story tell itself. Don’t try to hold it back, or turn a corner it doesn’t want to turn. Write it all, until it’s done. Then go back and perform major surgery. If it doesn’t move the story, cut it. Be ruthless, but don’t over improve it.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Profitez de votre journée. Enjoy your day. Every day is special, unique, amazing. We’ve never experienced today before. We can only live in the moments we’re given. We should be grateful for everyone we get to have. Tomorrow is yet to come. We can’t worry about something we have no control over. And yesterday can’t be changed. So, enjoy today. Enjoy YOUR day.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
No, I’m not going to stop writing. Currently, the third book in the Maggie Mercer Mystery trilogy (Dog Days) is taking up all my time. It’s due for release sometime the middle of 2016. Once that’s out of the way, I have a few unfinished stories to put the final touches on, and a finished novel that could use a good editing.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
My Website: https://therebelwriter.wordpress.com
I also have an author page on Facebook: Jill S. Behe, Author
Tour giveaway: (2) $25 amazon gift cards