Character interview

Check out my character interview on Patti Fiala’s blog today. I interviewed my 62 year old heroine, Violet Woods, from Breakfast for Two

. http://www.pjfiala.com/blog/jill-haymaker-is-talking-breakfast-for-two/

Jill Haymaker is talking Breakfast for Two : PJ Fiala
Romance author writing steamy love stories specializing in bikers, veterans, charity, etc. Little angst, lot of love.
pjfiala.com
  • Jill L. Phipps

Why Write?

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Last night I plopped down on my couch to watch some TV. The Olympics were on for the 12th straight night, along with¬†lots of reruns on most of the other stations who acknowledge that their viewers were watching the Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and especially Track and Field, but I was tired of watching it all evening, every evening. So I started flipping through higher numbered channels, some I didn’t even know existed. That’s when I came to the BYU channel. Who know universities had channels? Now I’m not from Utah nor am I Mormon, so I assumed it would have little to interest me. I looked at my watch-6:56. I flipped to the channel because it had a movie starting at 7:00. I’d give it a try and guessed that by 7:10, I’d be back watching the Olympics.

Well, the movie was entitled, The Letter Writer. It was about an elderly man in a nursing home who flipped through an old worn out phone book every day and picked names at random and wrote letters to those people. Kinda creepy, huh? Except in this case it wasn’t. This dying man wrote letters of affirmation and hope. Letters to total strangers telling them to follow their dreams, that life would get better, and that he believed in them. Each one a little different, but with the same positive message. The only return address was a pen name he made up for the purpose of the letters only. Then he’d stamp them and shuffle down to the front desk to place them in the mail. In the movie, a high school girl who¬†everything was going wrong for ( and I mean everything!) got one of his letters and since her life was such a train wreck she set out to try and discover who sent the letter. I wont tell you what happens because if you like truly heartwarming movies and ever run across this one, you should watch it.

Anyway, as a writer this movie really spoke to me. This man wrote for two reasons: writing was his passion, and he wanted to use that passion make a difference in people’s lives. He received no money or recognition¬†for what he did.

Its easy to get caught up in the fame and fortune part of writing.¬†I know I need to at least make enough money doing it to continue spending my time and energy on writing. But in the end, isn’t following your passion and making a difference what life is all about? I know it is for me. I hope it is for you, too, whatever your passion is.

In case you were wondering, I watched the entire movie and still¬†got to turn back and see “the world’s fastest man” win yet another race before my evening ended.

Good people and Happy Endings

LoveI write romances because I love happy endings. That’s one of the criteria to be a romance novel there has to be a happily ever after. Why do I like this so much? Well, I’ve always been an optimistic person,¬†but at my day job I’m a divorce attorney. Yep. Not many happy endings in my line of work, rather I see on a daily basis love that once existed turn to bitterness and even hate. It’s sad and wrong. So I escape and write romances where happy endings do exist. Where people are loving and not hateful.

Sometimes in the real world we can lose sight of that. Especially with some of the things that have happened in our country and the world in recent days. We could start believing that there is more bad than good, more sadness than happiness. I watched in horror as the Orlando shootings rocked our country. But then, a week later I had the privilege to be an adult leader for a mission trip to San Francisco with an amazing group of 21 high school aged kids. These kids gave up 10 days of their summer vacation to travel long hours to work with the homeless population in a big city. I was overcome with pride each and every day as I watched their compassion, caring, and hard work. They were truly making our country a better place by their actions.

Then this week, once again, horror unfolded in our country. This time with the seemingly unnecessary shootings of two black men by police and then the unthinkable¬†massacre of police officers in Dallas. What is our world coming to? I asked. So much tragedy and killing. Where were the good people? Then I got my answer once again. My daughter is an ER doctor at Parkland hospital in Dallas. These amazing doctors¬†were¬†tasked with¬†helping¬†save¬†slain police officers, many of whom were their personal friends and colleagues. Some who¬† didn’t make it. But then in the midst of tragedy, good people once again showed up. On Friday their ER was inundated by the good people of the Dallas area, total strangers bringing food-packages of candy, cookies, tacos, donuts, pizza, all to express their support and gratitude. They even received 200 sandwiches from the Orlando hospital who had dealt with their own¬†shooting a few weeks earlier.

There’s good in this world if we look for it. Good people will prevail over evil ones. And I’ll always believe in happy endings.

 

 

Love is being there

It was a pretty uneventful Mother’s Day for me this year. My son did cook me a nice dinner, but the fact that my two grown daughters both now live out of state and were not here to celebrate was sad. The cold wet weather outside didn’t help my mood. I sat and reflected on all of my years as a mother. (This was my thirty sixth). As a single mother of three children money was often tight and I wasn’t able to always buy my kids the fancy things they wanted. Despite my shortcomings, they have all turned into amazing and successful adults. People often ask me how I raised such wonderful kids.¬† I think the secret is just being there–for all their events and activities. Letting them know day by day that you support them in everything they do. That you are their biggest fan. That they are stars! This was really brought home to me this Mother’s Day, when I got the Facebook post from my youngest, now an Emergency Room doctor in a big city. Along with the several cute pictures of her and I throughout the years this picture was attached. mother's day notes

You see through all those years, I always managed to stick a little note in my kids backpack or athletic bag the day of a big game or meet. Just to let them know I loved them and would be there cheering them on. As you can see they were written on little sticky notes of scraps of paper. It didn’t matter, it let them know I cared.¬† I had no idea my daughter had hung on to them for all these years. It was a great Mother’s day just knowing the love that is there, no matter what the distance in miles separate us. I love being a Mom!

Summer of Love Contest

In just a few more days, May 1-7 you will be able to enter the 2016 Summer of Love contest for a chance to win one of two grand prizes of a book a week for the entire summer, other prizes of a single romance, and daily giveaway prizes. Don’t forget to enter. Sign up for my newletter at the top of this page for an extra entry.summer of love 2016