This has always been my favourite part of having a blog on my website – featuring other authors. In some ways it is self-indulgence, a way to learn more about writing through the dedication of others to the idea of storytelling. I also learn a lot about myself as a reader. More and more I find it less the genre that appeals and instead, more the unique approach by the author. Expanding my own responses expands my understanding, or at least I hope so.
This post we meet Jillian Webster whose own life is as interesting as her first novel The Weight of a Thousand Oceans (The Forgotten Ones, Book One). Sometimes it takes courage to find courage. I found this reflected in the strong female character in the book and am looking forward to how Jillian will further the character’s acceptance of her fears in order to progress to a better and braver place.
Let Jillian tell you about Jillian in her own words.
I have always been a bit of a restless soul. It wasn’t until I arrived on the shores of New Zealand that I found a life I truly loved. It was effortless, like being reunited with a long-lost love. I didn’t know a soul in the country and was only supposed to stay six months. It was my final stop on another epic backpacking adventure. I never left.
That was nearly seven years ago. Since then, I have fallen head-over-heels in love with my life on this tiny cluster of islands in the middle of nowhere. I have become a permanent resident and have met my husband. We bought our dream home, adopted our dog from the SPCA, got married, and have traveled the world together, and have published my first two books and am now working on my third.
Before New Zealand
I was born in Michigan in 1984, where I was brought up in a small town as a Jehovah’s Witness. After spending the majority of my youth struggling to conform with the religious sect, I finally chose to leave the church for good at nineteen years old. The Jehovah’s Witnesses warned me that I would never find the life I was looking for, and then shunned (disfellowshipped) me from the church and half my family, including my mother.
This began an insatiable love affair with writing, soul-searching and traveling. At the age of twenty-six, I put everything I owned in storage, quit my job, and traveled across the globe on my own in search of a life where I belonged. Not having found it, I returned home six months later, brokenhearted. After spending a few years struggling to secure my roots in Michigan, I turned around at twenty-nine and hit the road again in search of a life where I belonged.
The journey I took was chronicled in my first book, a coming-of-age travel memoir called Scared to Life, published in 2015. The Weight of a Thousand Oceans (The Forgotten Ones, Book One) is my second book, my first work of fiction, published June of 2020. The idea came to me out of nowhere, after reading a quote by Warsan Shire where she writes about laying an atlas in her lap, whispering, “Where does it hurt?” The earth responds, “Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.”
Since then, The Forgotten Ones trilogy has taken on a life of its own. Originally meant to be a single book told from the perspective of our children’s children after the world is destroyed from global warming, the story has now turned into a fantastical trilogy about the contemporary story of Mother Nature.
Life in New Zealand
Needless to say, I am having, the time of my life writing the series. The second book of my trilogy will be out next year, 2021. The third book is due in 2022. I have been documenting my adventures as an author, expat, fur-baby Mom and yogi on my Instagram profile, @authorjillianwebster. Further information, including updates on my novels, as well as photos and reviews, can also be found on my website jillianwebster.com
Until next time
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