Jill (Gillian) McDonald-Constable
Jill would like to thank Cheryl and Livia for taking a chance on her. As the first UK writer signed by Prairie Rose, she is looking forward to a long and productive partnership with them, and hopes you enjoy her first book with them, ‘Saint or Sinner’. Her author name with Prairie Rose is Gil McDonald, which is only half of her real name! She is actually Gillian McDonald-Constable, but you try fitting that on the spine of a book!
Born in Liverpool, Jill has the quirky sense of humour peculiar to that area, and sometimes it gets her into trouble! She often opens her mouth and puts her big foot right in it! It is that odd sense of humour which has kept her going through some dark times. Many people have said things like ‘You always seem so cheerful’. She tries!
The writing bug began in her early teens, when she had a long poem about the Vietnam War in a local paper. When she saw that in print, she was hooked, and knew she was going to be a writer and have her name on books one day. And she tried. For many years she sent articles, poems and short stories, (even novels) to a variety of places. Articles, and poems, were printed in magazines and anthologies, but they never gave her the satisfaction which she knew would come from having a novel published. So, she kept on writing.
As a youngster, Jill was an avid viewer of Westerns on television, and there were a lot of them about! She also went to the cinema each week, to watch Westerns, but strangely, never read any. Her other great hobby was horse riding, which she did from the age of about four, and recently went back to it after a long break. She likes to put quite a lot of equine details into her work, after all, what good is a cowboy without a horse! All her life she has had a keen interest in the Native Americans, and has many books and artefacts. She is surprised that the idea of writing Westerns didn’t occur to her much earlier.
Jill has worked in a variety of jobs, including, shop work, factory and farm work, farms and pet shops, she has been a window dresser, Further Education tutor, and dog beautician. She has run her own smallholding, and animal sanctuary, and been surrounded by animals of many kinds all her life. She now has two lovely, but crazy, Miniature Schnauzer ‘girls’, Poppy and Pepper, who will insist on helping with the writing! Returning to education as a mature student, Jill gained a Counselling Certificate, a B.A. (Hon’s) in Cultural Studies, and later a Masters in Writing Studies.
In 2011, Jill woke one morning, from a vivid dream, with a title, and story playing out in her head like a film. She wrote it within six months, and sent it off to the only Western publisher she knew of here in England, Robert Hale, London. With just a few small ‘tweaks’ it was published in June of 2012. Her second Western came out in October 2012. At last she had her name on real books, (although her author name with Hale is Amos Carr). Both of her Hale Westerns, ‘The Ghosts of Poynter’ and ‘Crazy Man Cade’, are going to world-wide large print this year.
When Jill told her family she was going to be published at last, her mother asked about the book, then, she went pale. Jill’s maternal grandfather, who had died before she was old enough to know what he was reading, had only ever read Westerns, there were no other books in the house! Jill’s second Western for Hale, came to her in exactly the same way, and now, she can’t help thinking that perhaps Grandad Harold ‘gave’ her those stories. If so, does that make her a ‘ghost writer’! She really likes that idea (there’s that Scouse sense of humour again!) Around the same time, there were a few other strange and interesting things which happened in her life, including finding out that her husband, Chris, was descended from a Chippewa Indian Chief! So from having an interest in Indians, she found out she was married to one! Writing Westerns was meant to be! Sadly, Jill’s husband Chris, passed away in March 2013, but her daughter, son in law, and two lovely grandchildren, live close by, and she sees them each week.
Hale don’t really like too much Romance in their Westerns, but Jill thinks she is a natural Romance writer, as it did creep in to both of them. She has fallen a little bit in love with each of her heroes, and hopes you do also. ‘Saint or Sinner’ is one in which she did try to hold back on the Romance, but hey, guess what, there it is again! Shucks! Guess she’s stuck with the hearts and flowers! She really hopes you like her work.
Never having visited USA, Jill has to rely on her memories and tv re-runs of those old films, and her research materials, to try and get the correct information in her books. She looks forward to readers contacting her, to let her know what they think of her work. (politely please!)
If you’d like to find out more about the series of strange, and spooky, circumstances which led to Jill becoming a ‘real’ author at last, after many years of trying, please go to her website - www.womanwholeads.webs.com
She is also on Twitter as – jillmcdc and on Facebook and LinkedIn as – Jill McDonald-Constable, and has an author page on Amazon under the author name Amos Carr