Thursday, July 6, 2023


I want to thank Jill Piscitello for taking the time for this interview!


Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.


A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.


When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

At 8 years old, I was introduced to Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary and couldn’t read their pages fast enough. Soon after, I wondered about the possibility of becoming an author. By twelve, I was writing short chapter books.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

In middle school, I discovered the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal and several series by V.C. Andrews. This led to a wide variety of authors and genres in high school including Emily Bronte, Maeve Binchy, Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, John Grisham, and Stephen King (to name a few). 

Every one of these gifted authors influenced me. Regardless of genre, each crafted mesmerizing stories that were impossible to put down.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?


Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

People watching and interesting settings provide an endless supply of writing ideas. 

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

When starting a new story, characters dictate the first few chapters. However, I eventually need to stop and write an outline. 

The outline remains a work in progress throughout the first draft.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

I usually imagine specific facial features when picturing characters.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation. What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Choosing a book to read depends on my mood in any given moment. Sometimes, I’m looking for something light and at other moments something grittier. 

I also enjoy relaxing with online jigsaw puzzles.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

Right now, I’m enjoying books by Elin Hilderbrand, Liane Moriarty, Kristin Hannah, Jennifer Weiner, Ellery Adams, Anne R. Tan, Colleen Hoover, and Nancy J. Cohen.

What are your favorite books by others?

I loved The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Truthfully, I could keep rattling off titles.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

A Sour Note is set in Hampton, NH. My family has spent decades of summers visiting Hampton Beach. 

I hope this book delivers a glimmer of the joy we’ve had over the years.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

When writing romance, I write in multiple POV. 

My cozy mystery series is written in single POV.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

The internet is the most useful tool for research. However, it’s important to fact check before committing to using a source.

Do you write under a pen name? Also, do you write under more than one name?

I write using my real name.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

My first two books were sweet, holiday romances, but my heart belongs to cozy mysteries, I’m so excited to release the first in a series. 

Cozies allow for an element of sweet romance while taking readers on a rollercoaster ride of clues, red herrings, and eccentric characters.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing. Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I just celebrated my twenty-fifth anniversary with my husband and have two children in college. Well, I guess they’re not really children anymore. 

We have three cats who are showered with heaping doses of love and attention around the clock.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

I haven’t met an author yet who hasn't experienced some form of self-doubt at multiple points in their career. Push through the smog and keep writing.

How do you deal with and process negative book reviews?

You have to take the good with the bad. Constructive criticism can prove quite useful. 

It’s important to not take things personally and to learn from other people’s perspectives.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Once a manuscript is complete, it’s difficult to let it go into the hands of an editor. Not a single page or line is ever perfect enough for another pair of human eyes. 

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

I need a quiet room free of interruptions. My phone and all alerts must be muted. I also need an old-school notebook handy.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

When writing, it’s easy for me to forget to eat. But I’m a sucker for chewy candy such as Swedish Fish, Spice Drops, and Twizzlers.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose? And why?

I’d love to spend a day with Stephen King. He churns out one riveting book after another like no one else. I imagine his brain is always running at full speed.

What is your schedule like when you are writing? Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

My go-tos are water, dandelion tea, and something sweet.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

I need silence and don’t listen to music when writing.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

A cat is always on my lap. Fortunately, they usually stay off the keyboard.

What is your kryptonite as a writer? What totally puts you off your game?

Frequent interruptions and distractions impact the writing process.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Not yet.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

Will I sound like a total nerd if I say a book I’ve been itching to read?


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for today's interview! Wishing you a wonderful summer.