1. What was your motivation in becoming an author and writer? What did you do before you were a writer?
I write because I love it, and even periods of my life where I’ve tried not to write, I always come back to it. If there was anything else I was really good at and truly loved, I’d probably be doing that instead because life as an author isn’t always easy and it’s often uncertain. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve had other jobs at the same time – I’ve taught college and tutored, but I always considered myself doing those things so I could be a writer. Now I write full time.
2. What motivated or inspired you to write “In Another Time?
I went to speak to a Holocaust survivor’s group about my last book, The Lost Letter, and the survivors in the group shared their stories with me. One woman explained how her family lived in Germany as Hitler came to power, and her parents refused to leave because they were Germans themselves. It was their country too. This really resonated with me, and I wanted to explore what it might feel like to actually live in Germany in that time, before anyone knew how bad things would eventually get.
3. How did you go about researching the history?
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has an amazing website and I used that a lot, especially to trace the events and timeline of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. I also read In the Garden of Beastsby Erik Larson, which paints a stunning picture of Berlin around the time period I was setting my novel.
4. What are your goals for readers to take away after reading?
First and foremost I always hope that reading is an enjoyable experience. As a reader I’m always searching for that book I just can’t put down, and I would love it if readers feel that way about my book.
5. What are your feelings of time travel?
I love books, movie, and shows, about time travel, and always love thinking about the what-if possibilities. A lot of time travel stories focus on going back in time, but I liked exploring what might happen if you could go forward in time, which is what Einstein posited in 1935.
6. What is a typical day in the life of Jillian Cantor?
I get up around 6 and get my kids ready for school and out the door. After I drop them off, I eat breakfast, have a cup of coffee or two and catch up on email/social media. I try to start writing by about 9 and write until noon or so. Then I either exercise or have lunch, or both. In the afternoon I revise what I’ve written in the morning, or keep writing if I haven’t hit my goal for the day yet, or work on publicity, or read books I need to read for endorsements or research. Then I pick up my kids, make dinner, watch some TV or read a book and go to bed.
7. What are your hobbies or things you do in your downtime?
I love to read, of course! I also love hiking, going to musicals, and playing mahjong with my friends.
8. What can you tell us of any new writing projects that you might have? I have two projects I’m working on at the moment, but I haven’t sold either one to a publisher yet so I hesitate to say too much specifically. I’m working on another historical novel, with a strong woman main character. And I’m also working on a contemporary young adult novel love story that’s a little bit lighter than my historical novels.
9. What are your favorite genres of books that you like to read?
I love reading historical fiction. But I also love reading books outside the space where I write: romance, psychological thrillers and YA.
10. What advice can you give to someone that wants to be a writer? The best advice I’ve ever received is very simply “butt in chair.” In other words, just sit down and do the work every day. You can always find a reason not to write, and I think the hardest part is often sitting down each day and getting words on the page.
11. How would you like the readers to connect with you?
I have a contact form on my website and I try to respond to all the emails that I get through there: https://www.jilliancantor.com/contact/You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram @jilliancantor.