Jill Hedgecock

I have been writing fiction for more than eleven years and have developed my writing skills and discipline through writing classes, conferences and workshops.  I belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and am an active member of Mount Diablo California Writer’s Club (CWC) where I was a guest speaker on writing essays in December 2005.  I have judged the essays for the CWC young adult contest for the last two years.  I am a founding member of the Avid Reader’s Book Club, serving as chairman for over six years.

Dogs, dogs, dogs.  I love writing about them and all animals.  An essay, “Time for Mandy”, about choosing to provide chemotherapy on my beloved Australian Shepherd took first place in the Inland Empire California Writer’s Club writing contest in 2005.  A shortened version of this story appeared in the Real Life section of the Contra Costa Times on September 8, 2007.   “The Bird Dog” was published in the spring 2005 issue of Bark magazine and in Urban Animal, an Australian press.  “Like Candles on a Christmas Tree” appeared in Companion Parrot Quarterly.   I also took first place in the Inland Empire branch of the California Writer’s Club short story contest in 2007 for a Hawaiian fiction piece, “If it Weren’t for the Horse.”  My short story, Key to Life, took second place in the 2006 Inland Empire Branch of California Writer’s Club (CWC) contest.   My writing was also awarded first place in the adult nonfiction category of the 2004 Kay Snow Contest with my piece “Round.”

Who would have thought a tiny insect would catapult me into writing a historical fiction novel?  What began with an interest in the devastating impacts of the mosquito on Hawaiian birds soon transformed into a passionate interest in ancient Polynesian culture.  Work-related travel to Hawaii afforded me opportunities to glimpse the artifacts of a dwindling culture in the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, visit ancient heiau temples, and spend hours in public libraries.  What I discovered was not only the typical story of the white man’s corruption of an ancient Hawaiian society, but a much more complex series of events culminating in the decline of a rich and fascinating culture whose story I wanted to tell.   And, thus, I embarked on the journey of writing Seven Little Eyes, my first novel.  My second book is a young adult novel, Between Shadow’s Eyes, about a teen girl trying to make it on her own after her father dies whose life becomes complicated after she adopts a dog that can see ghosts.  I loved these characters so much that I am now writing a sequel entitled From Shadow’s Perspective.

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