Golden Heart Spotlight – G. Jillian Stone

When Jillian was a little mongoose, she loved crayons. She drew with crayons. Wrote with crayons––she even melted them together and made her own colors: burnt sienna and cornflower swirl. But she grew up conflicted. Should she aspire to artist or writer?

She solved the problem by becoming an advertising creative. And her career did seem to take off, winning many national awards including the Clio and the New York Art Director’s Club Gold. What more could she ask for? Create her own world? Become goddess of her own universe? Yes!

So, she began to write fiction. She wrote and wrote and learned to do a lot of rewriting, until she finished her first manuscript. Then she wrote another. Last July, she completed her third novel, THE YARD MAN, which finaled in a number of regional RWA contests as well as the Golden Heart. She has recently finished a companion novel, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK.

Jill lives in Southern California Wine Country. Her son has currently moved back home and returned to graduate school. (An excellent use of one’s time when unemployed.) She has a dog named Terrible Margaret (Maggie) and a horse named Bronson, who also lives with her (in the barn, anyway).

To learn more about Jillian, visit her at:
Facebook: G Jillian Stone

Gillian’s 2010 Golden Heart manuscript is THE YARD MAN, which finaled in the Romantic Suspense category:

Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever as Zeno Augustus Kennedy. Brilliant, troubled, and wildly uninhibited in the bedchamber, he is an enigma of the first order. Having lost his mistress, killed in a horrific blast perpetrated by Irish dynamiters, Zeno has struggled for years to forgive himself for not preventing the bomb attack. Just as the memory of his explosive past begins to ease, the young widow Cassandra St. Cloud moves in next door.

After six months of marriage and nearly three years of mourning, Cassandra is more than ready to purge off her widow’s weeds and begin life anew. An artist by temperament as well as training, she is not only eager to paint again but entertains the idea of a romantic escapade, something discreet but rather daring. Having an amorous and famous detective for a neighbor proves to be more than tempting, especially when her affaire with Mr. Kennedy catapults them both into a perilous adventure.

I asked Jillian to tell us a little about herself. Here’s what she had to say:

1.  How long have you been writing?
As an advertising creative I have written ad copy for years, but as a serious fiction writer about four years.

2. Did you always want to be an author or is this something you fell into later in life?
I always wanted to be a storyteller. I originally thought the logical progression of my career would move from advertising creative to commercial film production to features. But I am very happy with the turn I made four year ago, to novel writing.

3. What do you do in your other life?
I work as a freelance advertising creative, which gives me the flexible kind of schedule I need to pursue fiction writing.

4. Who are your favorite authors?
Phillip K. Dick for his androids. Lewis Carroll for Wonderland, Diana Gabaldon for Jamie Fraser, J. M. Barrie for Peter, Loretta Chase for Sebastian, Frank Herbert for spice pilots and sandworms. Can I mention filmmakers? Hitchcock, Coppola, Coen Brothers, Guillermo del Toro, Tim Burton. I enjoy storytellers who incorporate a sense of darkness poignancy and play in their writing. And huge imagination!

5. Do you have an agent?
Been close to signing once, and another agent, who has rejected me twice, continues to leave a door open. Since I write cross-genre, I may have to get offered a publishing contract first, then find an agent to represent me!

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Living in Quebec City, Canada or Dunkeld, Scotland writing a new series of eccentric, historical/paranormal/suspense novels.

And now, in Jillian’s own words…


Every morning, still in pajamas, with coffee mug in hand, I wake up my computer to check e-mail. This is always a thrill, as New York is three hours ahead, and I have query letters out. I ready my index finger above the delete key, punch through a number of advertisements––and yes, I admit, I often trash my own cousin Dick’s daily e-greetings, without opening them.

Dickey likes to send/forward chain e-mail greetings to everyone in his universe of cyber friends. I’m sure you have received one of these. They often have cartoon drawings in them or funny jokes. Dick makes sure I know they are funny because he tells me so at the start of every e-mail by using a little animated emoticon. Sometimes these chain letters are made up of fantasy billboards or bumper stickers, which often involve Viagra jokes and loads of cornball sexual innuendo, or they can be political and offensive in nature––you know the ones. Anyway, these e-greetings circulate all over the internet. I hesitate to use the word viral, because I refuse to forward any of them……..except…….for this one e-greeting I happened to open and read the other day.

This one actually had some relevance to my daily writerly workload. When the e-mail came, I had received two requests for a new manuscript, one from a contest judge and one from a QL, which caused a week of furious edits/rewrites. Arrrgggh!!! Generally, one of the last things I do, is take a look at how I have used the senses––sound, sight, smell, taste, touch. Which brings me back around to the humorous (?) e-mail of the day. In a way, this odd little piece of prose reinforced the importance of using all the senses. Here is the unedited, (dreadful amount of tell) unexpurgated version, compliments of my cousin Dick:

A new Supermarket opened in Elk Grove, California. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the distant sound of thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh cut hay.

In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks and brauts.

In the liquor department, the fresh, clean, crisp smell of tapped Miller Lite.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The bakery department features the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread & cookies.

I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.

17 comments to “Golden Heart Spotlight – G. Jillian Stone”

  1. Clarissa Southwick
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:03 am · Link

    Great story, Jill. I love your writing. I just know you’re going to find an agent and publisher soon. See you at Nationals.

  2. Gillian Layne
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:21 am · Link

    I love it! I delete “chain” emails that threaten to ruin my life if I don’t respond or make me feel as though I’m the most worthless person in the world, etc, etc. But I always feel a twinge of guilt–what if it’s real? What if? Yeah, I’d probably buy that bridge in Brooklyn… 😉

    Can’t wait to see you at Nationals!

  3. Donnell
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:27 am · Link

    First I love that you were once a little mongoose, so what does that make you now, besides adorable. What a cute picture of you. The blurb on your story reads fantastic. If an agent is paying attention to what readers want, this series sell. 😉 See you at National

  4. G. Jillian Stone
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:31 am · Link

    😆 I think this is the little creature my cousin Dick uses!
    Thanks Gail. Here’s hoping we all have a book sale in our near future!

  5. Jen McAndrews
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:38 am · Link

    oh my gosh — very funny email, Jill! Thanks so much for sharing. Maybe this is what it takes to remind me to include more sensory info in my own writing – provided I keep all references to toilet paper to a minimum 😉

  6. Angi Morgan
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:44 am · Link

    Very cute !! My CPs and I had this conversation the other day…when do heros and heroines EVER go to the bathroom? And who cares. They should ALL have bladders the size of elephants.


  7. Maureen McGowan
    July 20th, 2010 at 9:03 am · Link

    Great post, Jillian. I cannot wait to meet you!

  8. AJ
    July 20th, 2010 at 9:06 am · Link

    😛 Thanks for sharing, Jill. And I have to agree with Donnell, this series WILL sell. The characters are fresh, the voice unique. Have a smashing time at Nationals! 😆

  9. Mary Lawrence
    July 20th, 2010 at 11:23 am · Link

    I wouldn’t put this past the Whole Grocer in Portland I sometimes frequent.
    I was always curious about your title– The Yardman. I couldn’t imagine what it could be in reference to. Now I know. Sounds intriguing, I love Scottish based stories –see you in Orlando!

  10. Lynda Bailey
    July 20th, 2010 at 11:41 am · Link

    That was a funny ha-ha, Jillian, as my daddy used to say. 🙂 I wouldn’t buy TP there either.
    Can’t wait to meet ya!

  11. J. Keely Thrall
    July 20th, 2010 at 12:14 pm · Link

    LOL! Jillian – that was a great pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon. Your book sounds muy excellente y caliente and I hope it makes it to the bookshelves soon as Zeno sounds like the kind of guy I’d like to meet between the covers…of a book, naturally.

    From one middle name user to another, nicely done!

  12. Lizbeth Selvig
    July 20th, 2010 at 12:14 pm · Link

    Very funny Jill, thanks for sharing it. I, too, love that you were a little mongoose. I love mongooses (mongeese?) We are overburdened with garter snakes at/in my house. I’ve asked for a mongoose every Christmas for ten years, but they aren’t importable as far as I know.

    I can’t wait to meet us all in Orlando–we have quite a bunch and I can’t imagine us not having the most hilarious of times! Not long now–just a few days really. Good luck with your wonderful-sounding book(s).

  13. B. A. Binns
    July 20th, 2010 at 2:20 pm · Link

    You have a horse? How I envy you. I mean, when’s the last time I heard of a Mongoose owning a Horse?

    You’re delightfully funny and I don’t blame you for ignoring the toilet paper aisle in that store.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando.

  14. Abigail Sharpe
    July 20th, 2010 at 6:36 pm · Link

    OMG Jillian, that was funny. I was thinking how lovely it would be to have scents in the supermarket – I mean, more so than the natural scent of things – and then the punchline! HA!!

  15. Nan Dixon
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:05 pm · Link

    Great Post Gillian! And I love the joke.

    As I read your excerpt, I realized I judged Phaeton in a contest. Wow – this writing world is really small.

    Congratulations on your successes. Looking forward to meeting you in Florida.

  16. Erica O'Rourke
    July 21st, 2010 at 7:35 am · Link

    What a good cousin! He keeps in touch AND gives you blog material!
    YARD MAN sounds phenomenal, Jillian — fresh and dark and intriguing…I’m certain you’ll be getting the call soon!

  17. Elisa Beatty
    July 22nd, 2010 at 10:03 am · Link

    Hi, Jillian! So sorry I missed this on Tuesday–I was crammed into a tiny little airplane seat all day getting to the East Coast.

    I’ve LOVED Phaeton Black so far, and can’t wait to see it in print…which it will be once it hits the right editor. Fabulous book!

    Can’t wait to see you in Orlando!


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