11 Feb 2015

Interview with Chick Lit Author Jillianne Hamilton

Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
It may be for the best that my dreams don’t inspire my writing. Otherwise, my work would be a lot more surreal. Lots of me being chased by dinosaurs. Last night I dreamt that, because of me having Crohn’s Disease, I had to have my legs amputated. They promised me cool bionic prosthetic legs but they just handed me a pair of crutches and sent me on my way.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
Like most writers, I’ve been writing my whole life. My mom says I’ve been writing since before I knew how to write. It depends how you define “published.” I had a monthly music review column called “The Limelight” in my junior high newspaper. I studied Journalism in college, did two newspaper internships so I was published in both of those. My first appearance in a book was in 2013. A local writing group put together an anthology of their work. My submission was an essay about living life as a short(ish) person and heightism. (I’m 4 ft. 9 and a half, for the record.)

What is it about 'chick lit' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
Chick lit just combines two of my favorite things: humor and stories told from a woman’s point of view. I also read a lot of memoirs (especially if they’re funny), historical non-fiction, a lot of books about writing and publishing and since doing research for my book, a fair bit of true crime. I’m getting into comics these days too.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Sure! Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire is the first in a series of novels about a professional burglar. In this book, we get to know her world and the various people who she works with as part of her job. Things get a little messy when she sleeps with her roommate, a cute waiter named Nate. Right after, she is assigned a job in Scotland with a partner she doesn’t know. Her partner, Rhys, turns out to be a handsome, cheeky Scottish pain in the butt for Molly. This book is a combination of chick lit, action and comedy.

What inspired you to write it?
I was looking for a book that fulfilled three requirements: female protagonist, funny and action/adventure. I couldn’t find anything at the time so I decided to write one myself. I’ve always been fascinated by characters in media who fit the “bad girl” title. I wanted to create a likeable character that did bad things on a regular basis. Molly is a criminal but her crimes don’t physically hurt anyone.

Who designs your covers?

I design my covers. Under most circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend people design their own covers. (There are a lot of bad covers out there.) After I studied Journalism in college, I studied Multimedia and now I’m a graphic designer in my 9-5 life.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Oh maaaan. Matt Bomer could play Rhys, as long as he could do a Scottish accent. Zachary Quinto could play Molly’s roommate (but he’s likely a touch too old). Maybe someone like Blake Lively could play Molly’s best friend (and accountant) Ruby. As for Molly… that’s really hard. Maybe Samaire Armstrong. Ooh, maybe Amber Tamblyn or Carey Mulligan. Chloe Grace Moritz would be fantastic but she’s a bit too young.

What's your favourite 'chick lit' book that made it to the big screen?

I’m a sucker for the Bridget Jones’ Diary movie. I’ve also seen The Devil Wears Prada an embarrassing number of times. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly? Perfection.

What were the last two books you read?

Science… for Her! by Megan Amram (hilarious, if you’re into satire) and Dispatches from the Dating Zone by KT Valentine (very funny and sassy).

Name one female author you think deserves to be better known.
Louise Rennison. I’ve re-read the Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging series so many times, even as an adult. Rennison taught me books can be funny.

Where do you write?
Usually at my corner desk on my iMac in my bedroom. I swear, I will have an office one day. ONE DAY!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I played a gender-swapped Max (Maxine) Bialystock (Nathan Lane’s character) in a two-person version of The Producers in high school. I still know all the lyrics to “Betrayed.” I also share a birthday with Nathan Lane.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
photo credit: david_shankbone via photopin cc
Amy Poehler. ;P

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
I live in Prince Edward Island, the setting of Anne of Green Gables. I was a big fan of Anne as a child and ended up moving to PEI for school. I met a guy and ended up staying here.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I intend to write a few sequels for Molly Miranda (and at least one prequel). I have an idea for another chick lit novel kicking around in my brain but it’s gotta stay put for a while.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
I want to take my mom to Toronto or New York and see The Phantom of the Opera.

Name one of your all time favourite songs.
“Marching Bands of Manhattan” by Death Cab For Cutie, especially the line “I live like a hermit in my own head.”

What do you listen to whilst writing?

A playlist of instrumentals. The soundtracks to “Small Apartments,” “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network” are perfect for that.

Who (or what) did you want to be when you were a kid?
A writer. haha I also wanted to be an actress, an artist and a palaeontologist.

Find Jillian on Twitter or her Website.

If you'd like to win an ecopy of Jillian's book, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, leave a comment below and a winner will be chosen in a week or so!

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