Monday, May 30, 2016

Never, Ever Give Up! by Jean Ann Williams

This Memorial Day, your hostesses here at Seriously Write are so grateful to those who have sacrificed for our country. Thank you! Today we have some encouragement from debut author Jean Ann Williams. If you're in a season of trying to decide whether to keep writingread on! ~ Annette

Never, Ever Give up!
by Jean Ann Williams

Never, ever give up!

I’d like to elaborate on this and tell my writer story.

Twenty-two years ago, I was in a car accident and became bedridden because of my injuries. I was normally an active person, but people had to help me get up and walk. By week two, I made myself baby-step to the front door and back, a whole ten yards. By the end of two months, I was very blue. I called my daughter and told her I was suffering from boredom and in too much pain.

She said to me, “Mom, you’ve always wanted to become an author. Write a book.”

Of course.

I had my husband take me to the library, and he carried out a stack of how-to books on the craft of writing. By then, I was able to recline on the sofa, instead of flat on my back. I couldn’t see the TV for the three-foot high stack of books on my coffee table. This suited me just fine.

One year later, I’d published a couple of articles. I was hooked on publishing.

Just Claire was conceived from a quickening of an idea, and with my pantster brain, I began to write not knowing where the plot would go. This is one of the reasons Just Claire took almost nineteen years to become published. I didn’t know how to write a book, and I didn’t know where the story would take me. The good news? Just Claire was my learning-how-to-write-a-novel story.

At year ten of the creation of Just Claire, my critique group said to trash the manuscript. 

My heart trembled within me. I couldn’t quit on a story I felt would later help tweens and young adults.

I quit my critique group. Not because of their consensus about Just Claire. No. It was because they had given me tons of wonderful ideas about how to make my story better. I needed alone time to figure out what to keep and what to discard. I wrote, rewrote. Edited and re-edited. At year eighteen of creating Just Claire, I took the plunge and hired a freelancer to give a line-by-line edit. This was the best business decision I could have made.

Within a year, Clean Reads Publishing accepted the manuscript. The publisher allowed me to keep the title and on January 1, 2016, Just Claire moved into the world like a baby born.

I never, ever gave up!

Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams
One mother damaged. One family tested. One daughter determined to find her place.

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hid the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.

With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.


Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, Just Claire is her first book. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and she writes regularly on Putting on the New blog and her own blog. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.

Learn more at these sites:

Read the first chapter of Just Claire here.
See the trailer for Just Claire:
Downloads available at Amazon: