Christmas is right around the corner and I couldn’t be happier! It’s my favorite time of year for several reasons, the biggest one being that I get to read Christmas-themed books! This year, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know author Jill Piscitello. She’s an amazing person and I adore her newly released book entitled “Homemakers’ Christmas!” Here’s what Jill had to say about her sweet, holiday romance…
(Q) Tell us about your current project. What was the inspiration behind it and how long did it take you to complete?
“Homemakers’ Christmas” was a work in progress for several years. Originally, it had absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. “Homemakers” is a play on words. You won’t find the apron wearing lovelies reminiscent of once popular sitcoms in this story. After hitting a wall and finding myself unable to finish the first draft, I put it aside. The summer of 2019, inspiration struck once more and I revamped the entire story.
The overall arching themes are hope, ambition, kindness, and community. Like many, I make financial donations to various organizations throughout the year. However, I’m fascinated by those who go above and beyond in their mission to help others. Through research, I discovered true stories about foster parents opening their homes to the foster child’s biological mother, residential programs that allow women to stay for up to a year while they rebuild their lives and embrace their self-worth, and transitional housing options that allow women to stay for up to two years as they attend classes related to parenting, counselling, financial planning, healthy relationships, and job skills.
(Q) How many hours a day do you put into writing and learning about your craft? Do you have any books or movies that you’d recommend to aspiring writers?
Time spent writing varies. I’m a mother, wife, and teacher. During the school year, that limits me to weeknights and weekends. The juggle is real! But it’s worth it. I recommend “Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies” by Leslie Wainger for fellow romance writers. It’s an easy read with some tried and true tips.
(Q) Do you write based on particular themes, or does the story come to you first and then you incorporate important issues as you go?
Ideas often spark from seemingly out of nowhere. In the beginning, I simply write. An outline may not be developed until after several chapters have been completed. I often know how the story will end before I write the first line.
(Q) When you were growing up, which authors inspired you and what was your favorite book?
I’m a child of the 80’s who read anything and everything written by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. On repeat! Middle school meant stacks of books from the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal and every series written by V.C. Andrews were in rotation. During my late teens, I was introduced to Maeve Binchy and Barbara Taylor Bradford. “A Woman of Substance” remains one of my favorite books of all time.
(Q) Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
I am unabashedly addicted to reading and often do not have less than three books going at once. Currently, I am dividing my time between two novels that I am reading for review. Prior to starting those, I was in the middle of “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, had just finished “Shopaholic to the Stars” by Sophie Kinsella, and had “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen waiting in the wings. A potpourri of genres! These books will be on hold for the foreseeable future as I focus my attention on a growing list of advanced copies that I can’t wait to read.
(Q) Jill, I can totally relate about reading more than one book at a time, and I love that you say “the juggle is real!” Yes, indeed! Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts with the readers! Do you have any future projects in the works that you’d like to share?
(A) I’m currently working on a sequel to “Homemakers’ Christmas” and am finishing up the first draft of a cozy mystery.
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Jill Piscitello is a teacher with a passion for writing and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.
A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, traveling, and going on light hikes. Jill loves to try out new restaurants, but if truth be told, she will order a chicken Caesar salad wrap whenever possible.
Readers, to keep up with Jill and all her adventures, follow her on social media links…