Introducing author Jill Eisnaugle. She is multi-talented with a collection of poetry as well as a novel and contributions to various other publications. Thank you so much Jill for sharing with us!
Jill Eisnaugle is the author of three collections of poetry: Coastal Whispers, Under Amber Skies, and Beside Still Waters and one children’s book, Simon The Snowman. Ivy Dreams is her first novel. In addition to books that Jill has written—and as a tribute to her father’s past career— her work has aired more than a dozen times on radio stations across the country. Ms. Eisnaugle’s writing has also been printed in Today’s Caregiver magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Hallmark Cards and by various US newspapers. Born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Jackson County, Ohio until the age of 11, Jill now calls Galveston County, Texas, where she resides with her family and pets, home. A 2008 Story Institute contest winner, Jill enjoys swimming, fishing, gardening, and helping others through volunteer work or charitable donations made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Genre: Sports Fiction
Social Media connections: http://www.facebook.com/ivydreams
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Where to buy: Lulu.com (now), Amazon.com (soon)
“Jill Eisnaugle’s first novel ‘IVY DREAMS’ is very well written and much more than a baseball story. It is a beautiful tale that weaves life’s fouls and curveballs flawlessly with perfect games and home runs.”
Other Work: The poetry books: Coastal Whispers, Under Amber Skies, and Beside Still Waters and the children’s book, Simon the Snowman. I’ve also been published by Chicken Soup for the Soul and Hallmark Cards in two of their books.
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
It is the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Chicago’s Historic Wrigley Field. With two on and two out and the Cubs trailing award-winning veteran pitcher, Leon Chapman and his Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs’ and their fans’ dreams of ending the ballclub’s century-plus old championship drought rests on the shoulders of a GIRL? Will 42-year-old Kim Reedeaux become each Cub fan’s shining heroine or sinister villainess? Will her archenemy Leon Chapman take the lightning from the overcast October sky and steal the Cubs’ thunder or will he drown in tears of defeat as he watches his former team live their moment? Follow the twists and turns, hardships and triumphs that have led the Cubs’ ponytail-wearing shortstop to the opportunity of a lifetime!
1 When did you first start writing? I wrote my first short story when I was 8. I wrote my first poem at 14. I began writing “Ivy Dreams” at the age of 25.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? When I was younger, I had aspirations of becoming a nurse, but once the poetry bug bit me at 14 and two major events in my life happened afterwards, the course of my future was set.
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?
I mix it up. I have written poetry since 1994 and have written over 2,000 poems since then. I am most fond of non-fiction short stories or realistic fiction.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?
The inspiration for “Ivy Dreams” was three-fold. One, I have been a life-long, long-suffering Chicago Cubs baseball fan. Secondly, I am a small town Daddy’s girl and lastly, my life has known its own fair share of adversity and dreams. So, I guess to say the novel loosely resembles my life would be pretty accurate.
5 What has your publishing experience been like?
I caught somewhat of a break, 8 years ago, by chance, with media in Houston and from the confidence I built for myself from that platform, I have taken chances more willingly and dared to dream big. It never hurts to have Houston media, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Hallmark on the writing resume. But, like everyone else, I started at the bottom and clawed my way forward, catching little breaks here and there that combined have led to not so little breaks. Luck plays a huge role in the success of any writer too. Overall, I cannot complain about my publishing experience. Over the past decade, I have built a rather large following for my writing and therefore, I have found success.
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? It depends on my mood. Sometimes, I write in the quiet. Other times, I listen to music. A decade ago, I wrote Coastal Whispers around fetching sandwiches, Cokes, and packages of crackers for my Dad, during his latter days.
7 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
In Ivy Dreams, many of the places are real locations; some are fictionalized towns that had a ring to them in my mind. As far as character names go, some are first names based on friends, some are just what happened to run through my head at the time.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why?
In Ivy Dreams, my favourite character is Kim Reedeaux. She is a fighter. She is strong-willed, a dreamer, a sweet girl with big dreams and a survivor in many ways, but more than that, she still puts her family at the forefront of her mind and heart. That means a lot to me.
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
I learned a lot about baseball rules and history as it pertains to women. It was very interesting to learn how long women have been around the sport in some capacity.
10 How did you/do you market your work?
With the past knowledge that the market for poetry is not the best for sales, I did not market as aggressively as I plan to market the novel. For the novel, I have lined up newspaper interviews, a social media campaign, other interviews, seeking reviews for the book, etc.
11 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
Ivy Dreams was 7 years in the writing process, with ups and downs, personal triumphs and tragedies in the process. Therefore, seeing the published book for the first time really was emotional for me. My father was alive for the writing of the first few chapters (He has been gone nearly 5 years). Friendships that were at the start have faded, new friendships that have come about through the writing process remain, successes that were few then are special now, etc. In many ways, this novel has brought with it such a sense of fulfilment and peace – especially when considering my life’s adversity in the past 16 months.
12 Favorite authors? Jason F. Wright, R.L. Stine, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and I’d be remised to not mention, Jack Canfield of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” fame.
13 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? I took an 18 month break from writing Ivy Dreams due to life happenings and a severe case of writer’s block. In this instance, a personal challenge in my life, threw me back into writing this novel as an escape and motivated me so much that I was able to pound out the final 7 chapters (and 30,000 words) in a little over 3 weeks. In other instances of writer’s block over the years, I have taken a walk, surrounded myself with nature and sometimes stared at a blank page for hours, just until a word formed.
14 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
When the book is the written, the hard part begins. Writing is the easy part; marketing is work. You cannot sit back and expect anyone to do your marketing for you. You are your book’s best marketing mouth and your work is of utmost importance if you want your book to be successful. More than that, however, do not give up. Writing is a worthy field, even if it is a field where luck definitely strikes those who become wealthy doing it. If you approach your writing saying, “I’m the next Stephenie Meyer or Stephen King,” you may be, but you might just set yourself up for disappointment too. If you approach your writing – as I do – from the standpoint of “If I do this, I may inspire someone but I will definitely leave something behind when I’m gone to prove I was here,” then you may just find that your writing career is rewarding and fulfilling.
15 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it?
I have a new children’s book in the works about a child’s curiosity with regards to a goldfish. I am also working on a second novel about the life of a stray dog longing for a forever family.