Jean Gill

Biography

I love hearing from readers so feel free to mail me at jean.gill@wanadoo.fr with comments or questions. You'll find a mix of my work, along with fun trivia about books, at www.jeangill.com If you read one of my books, I'd really appreciate you taking the time to leave a review - thank you.

I'm a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with a very big white dog, a Nikon D700 and a man. I taught English in Wales for many years and my claim to fame is that I was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Carmarthenshire. I'm mother or stepmother to five children so life has been pretty hectic.

I've published all kinds of books, both with conventional publishers and self-published. You'll find everything under my name from prize-winning poetry and novels, military history, translated books on dog training, to a cookery book on goat cheese. My work with top dog-trainer Michel Hasbrouck has taken me deep into the world of dogs with problems, and inspired one of my novels. With Scottish parents, an English birthplace and French residence, I can usually support the winning team on most sporting occasions.

My photo portfolio is at www.istockphoto.com/jeangill and I blog at www.jeangill.blogspot.com I sometimes accept guest bloggers so get in touch.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was a soldier and the longest we stayed in any one place was 2.5 years. I lived in Berlin, Hong Kong and different parts of England, always the outsider. I explored this lack of roots in my autobiography 'How Blue is my Valley' as well as the ways in which Wales became my adopted home, followed by a love affair with the south of France, where I now live. Perhaps it's because in compensation for my childhood that places are so important in my books and are real places, usually ones I know intimately.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote a tedious novel in school when I was 11 called 'Jill's Stables'. If I'd finished my work before the other children, I was allowed to continue with my masterpiece, which ran to several chapters. The teacher's only comment, preserved in red ink, was 'This would be better with more illustrations'.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jean Gill online


Where to buy in print


Books

Bladesong
By Jean Gill
Series: Troubadours, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 101,420. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2013. Category: Fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
Historical thriller/romance Book2 of The Troubadours Series but stands alone 1151 – the Holy Land during a fragile peace. Estela, the troubadour, following the destiny of her beautiful voice, and Dragonetz, her passionate knight; divided by the times they love in and fighting to be together.
Song at Dawn
By Jean Gill
Series: Troubadours, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 109,520. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2011. Category: Fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
Winner of Global Ebooks award for Best Historical Literary Fiction (medieval category) 1150 in Provence, where love and marriage are as divided as Christian and Muslim. 'Believable, page-turning and memorable' - S.P.Review
Crystal Balls
By Jean Gill
Series: Jamie and Ryan, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,330. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2011. Category: Fiction
Jamie’s Mum is hooked on fortune-tellers and running into debt, so she and her friend Ryan decide to investigate the psychic world but instead of rescuing her mother, Jamie is drawn into a supernatural world herself, where a warrior princess is doomed to revisit a medieval battlefield until she finds what she's seeking. Will friendship be strong enough to bring Jamie back from the shadows?
Faithful through Hard Times
By Jean Gill
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 71,440. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2011. Category: Nonfiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
This is not a WW2 memoir. It is a riveting reconstruction from an eye-witness account written at the time in a secret diary, a diary too dangerous to show anyone and too precious to destroy. The true story of four years, 3 million bombs, one small island out-facing the might of the German and Italian airforces - and one young Scotsman who didn't want to be there.
San Fairy Anne
By Jean Gill
Series: Llanelli Saga, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 96,960. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2011. Category: Fiction
Volume 2 of the Llanelli saga. One year is nothing; one year changes everything. Jump? Don’t jump? One year’s job swap in another country – who wouldn’t jump at it? Neil discovers the French ‘education of the senses’ in Alsace while his swap partner Anne tracks down a family secret in south Wales. Both of them find more than they bargained for and have tough choices to make.
With Double Blade
By Jean Gill
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,970. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2011. Category: Fiction
poetry; makes you feel you're caught on barbed wire and yet makes you smile about it; very funny A delicious book full of the unexpected. Highly emotive contents. Writing Magazine
From Bedtime On
By Jean Gill
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,470. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2011. Category: Fiction
poetry; a wide range of subjects including adultery, divorce and motherhood;strong, fresh vivid poems Jean Gill’s spiky humour makes you feel as if she’s caught you on barbed wire and yet makes you smile about it – Mike Sharpe, Haverfordwest Journalist
How Blue is my Valley
By Jean Gill
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 66,530. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2011. Category: Nonfiction
The true scents of Provence? Lavender, thyme and septic tank. There are hundreds of interesting things you can do in a bath but washing dishes is not one of them, nor what writer Jean Gill had in mind when she swopped her Welsh Valley for a French one. Discover the real Provence
Someone To Look Up To
By Jean Gill
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 60,040. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2011. Category: Fiction
It's a dog's life in the south of France. From puppyhood, Sirius the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has been trying to understand his humans and train them with kindness. How this led to divorce he has no idea. Through all his trials, even in an animal shelter, Sirius doggedly keeps the faith. One day, his human will come.
On the Other Hand
By Jean Gill
Series: Jamie and Ryan, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 30,590. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2011. Category: Fiction
A mix of gripping story with fascinating facts on left-handedness.Everyone should think left-handed - or so 14 year old Jamie thought when she tied her hand behind her back for a day-long protest in school, against persecution of left-handers over the centuries. When her friend Ryan faces bullying at its most deadly, their research into prejudice takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.
Snake on Saturdays
By Jean Gill
Series: Llanelli Saga, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 89,640. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2011. Category: Fiction
Helen Tanner lives alone and likes it that way. She runs her own business, spends her evenings out with friends, and tries to think as little as possible about the tragedy she has left behind. Until, that is, a dark-haired vet walks into her life. Her first unpromising encounter with Welsh vet Dai Evans turns into a tumultuous affair which brings about irrevocable changes for both of them
4.5 Years
By Jean Gill
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 24,210. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2011. Category: Nonfiction
The true story of a young Scottish soldier stranded in France during WW2 and sent to a Prisoner-of-War camp. With his forced companions, he fought his own war to stay alive and keep his humanity,in a world where one egg is an illegal treasure, where knives are hidden and get used, where Jewish prisoners are glimpsed and, inexplicably, disappear. This book is a tribute to the human spirit.

Jean Gill’s tag cloud

adventure    alabama    aldous huxley    alsace    america    animal    animal shelter    autobiography    black    black rights    child abuse    community    contemporary    country life    courage    crossover    crossover school    crusades    crusades fict    crystal balls    diary    dog    dog problems    dog training    drama    dreams    emmigration    emotional    endurance    evocative    fact    facts    family    family story    fantasy    feminist    fiction    france    free verse    freemasons    french culture    french life    friendship    funny    gay    germany    grief    guilt    guns    heartwarming    hero    heroism    heterosexual    historical    historical 1200s    historical action    historical crusades    history    homosexual    horoscopes    human rights    humoruus    humour    huxley    identity    immigrant    inspiring    internet safety    internet security    job swap    journalism    knights    ladies    lefthanded    lefthander    literary    literature    loss    love    love story    malta    masons    medieval    medieval adventure    memoir    military    military action    military history    modern    motherhood    moving house    multicutural    murder    nationality    nonfiction    novel    paranormal    philosophy    place    poem    poems    poetry    pow    prejudice    prisoner    prisoner of war    provence    pyrenean mountain dog    rebuilding life    relationships    rhyming    role model    romance    romance historical    romantic    rural    saga    satire    satirical    school story friendship friends    scottish    set forms    sharp    shelter    siege    siege of malta    soldier    starting again    starting over    story    strong    supernatural    survival    tearjerker    teen    thirties    tragedy    travel    troubadours    true story    uk    urban    wales    war    welsh    welsh culture    women    womens    womens fiction    womens issues    world war2    writing    ww2    young adult   

Smashwords book reviews by Jean Gill

  • Bravo's Veil on Dec. 19, 2011
    star star star star star
    A classic spy/thriller set mostly in WW2 England, with modern-day investigation to untangle the mystery of what really happened to a young boy evacuated from London to Cornwall.The story development is superb, moving expertly between different times and viewpoints, and teasing the reader with enough clues and mysteries to keep me turning those pages. The ending is satisfying and answers most of the questions raised by the twists of the plot. Period detail is exact and absorbing, from every 'Ruddy' and 'cheerio' in the dialogue to old-fashioned spy codes and surveillance methods. Was there hacking before computers and mobile phones? You bet! Croucher brings the characters to life, especially the young evacuee Paul, the sexy female billeting officer/spy Judith and the dog Jiggs. I love this dog! He is the best incarnation of every child's dream dog since George's Timmy in 'The Famous Five' The motif of 'Bravo's veil' is beautifully woven into the plot and the passages where we discover the nature of Bravo's veil are beautifully written, with an unexpected poetry and philosophy, that lingers in the imagination. Highly recommended.
  • Born of Water on March 30, 2013
    star star star star
    Enjoyable fantasy suitable for young adult audience Four young adults travel by boat, by camel and on foot, to evade the Curse, a winged beast that kills users of forbidden magic and those who use magic outside the rules of ‘the Church’, which is composed of four orders of Elementals. I very much liked the notion of Elemental magic. Niri’s power over water is used imaginatively in the various adventures throughout the journey, and control of air makes for an exciting battle versus the Curse. The story is well-developed and I was genuinely interested in what would happen next. The fantasy world is easy to visualise, with landscapes common to the genre, ranging from tree-dwellings to desert. There are often details that lift the description above the usual; the four temples are well-created and struck me as different. Details of the sea journeys are especially convincing and you get the feeling that this author really knows about ships and sailing. Of course it helps the journey to have a naiad, Niri, changing the tide from time to time. The main characters are under 20 (if you don’t count the tree-being Darag, who is considered young in his own community) and they are full of angst over boyfriend/girlfriend possibilities and over brother/sister arguments and little jealousies. Romance is innocent and starry-eyed, although the cultural difficulties of falling in love with a tree-person add some welcome dilemmas. I think a young adult reader would identify more with these emotions than I did; I find brother Ty’s possessive attitude to sister Lavinia highly irritating. There are times when I would like to remind the group that they are on a mission and that they are wasting time on petty sulks – but that is a reflection on my jaded 57 years. I do think there are way too many significant looks and gestures, and that cutting three-quarters of these out completely would improve the pace without losing any of the emotion. The reader doesn’t need every blink and hand movement described.