Jill G. Hall: Write With the Heart, Not the Head

Novelist Jill G. Hall shares what prompted her most recent novel (The Green Lace Corset), what surprised her in the writing process, her top tip for other writers, and more!
Publish date:

Jill G. Hall is the author of a dual-timeline trilogy about women searching for their place in the world connected by vintage finds. The first of the series The Black Velvet Coat, was an International Book Award Finalist, and the second The Silver Shoes, was a Distinguished Favorite in the NYC Big Book Awards. The Green Lace Corset, the third in the series was recently released. 


(Women's fiction or romance? The differences and why they matter.)

Hall facilitates a Zoom drop-in group for San Diego Writers, Ink that leads writers through intuitive writing practices. On her blog, Crealivity, she shares her poetry and musings about the art of practicing a creative lifestyle. Learn more at www.jillghall.com.

In this post, Hall shares what prompted her most recent novel, what surprised her in the writing process, her top tip for other writers, and more!


Historical Fiction

Whether history is a backdrop to your story or the focus of the story itself, this workshop will provide you with the tools to find the facts you need, organize the data in a functional manner, and merge that data seamlessly into your novel.

Click to continue.


Name: Jill G. Hall
Title: The Green Lace Corset
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release date: October 13, 2020
Genre: Women's Fiction/Historical Fiction
Previous titles: The Black Velvet Coat; The Silver Shoes

Elevator pitch for the book: A modern-day artist buys a vintage corset in a resale boutique, which leads to a chain of events that forces her to make the biggest decision of her life. More than a century earlier, a young woman, the original owner of the green lace corset, is kidnapped by a handsome robber and taken by train to Arizona's Wild West. Both women find the strength to overcome their fears and discover the true meaning of family—with a little push from a green lace corset.


IndieBound | Amazon

(Writer's Digest uses affiliate links.)

What prompted you to write this book?

In a workshop several years ago the prompt you are riding in a train was given. Pen to paper, I started writing and quickly fell into a train's rhythm. At the end of the allotted 20 minutes, I had recorded an entire Wild West romantic tale with a beginning, middle, and end. 

(Find an incredible list of writing prompts.)

I couldn't wait to get home and type it up. It was too long to be a flash fiction piece and needed a lot more length and details for it to be a short story. At the time, I was in the midst of finishing my second novel, The Silver Shoes, for publication, so I put the train piece away in a folder but kept thinking about it.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication?

It took several years. I was wrapped up in promoting The Silver Shoes, but the amorous characters from the train were persistent and started to appear on my writing practice pages. I tracked down the original draft and kept going. 


At some point, the present-day artist character from my other two dual-timeline novels ended up on the pages buying a green lace corset, and I realized this was much more than a short story but another whole book as part of a trilogy.

Were there any surprises in the publishing process for this title?

My biggest surprise was the book cover design. My publisher, She Writes Press, encourages authors to collaborate in the book cover process. For my other two novels, I had shipped actual items to the designer, and she photographed them for the cover art. 

(The anatomy of a book cover.)

For this novel, I had a historic costume designer create a corset for me, and that's what's on the cover. It fits me and I'll have fun wearing it to my book events, even the virtual ones.

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

I had to determine what Wild West town the train might have taken the couple to. Through my research I discovered in 1885 the train had a stop in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

I was thrilled, because I had gone to school there and it actually played a prominent role in my first novel, The Black Velvet Coat. This allowed me to write about that town during the Wild West era, the nearby nature, and tie it back in with my first novel.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

I hope readers realize that life can be complicated and not all paths will go where you think they'll lead and that there are all kinds of love and family.

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

I suggest aspiring authors develop a daily writing practice routine and try to write with their hearts, not their heads.

Drawing the Line for Withholding Secrets in Young Adult and Middle-Grade Novels

Drawing the Line for Withholding Secrets in Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels

Middle-grade and young adult author Ren Koppel Torres shares the top tips for how you can keep secrets from your characters and readers.

Payal Doshi: On Letting Rejection Bring You Clarity

Payal Doshi: On Letting Rejection Bring You Clarity

Middle-grade author Payal Doshi discusses the sometimes-disheartening process of querying a novel and how she used rejection to fuel her passion for writing.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Writer’s Digest Conference Announcements and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce that our 2021 Annual Conference will be virtual, registration is open for our 2021 in-person Novel Conference, and more!

Rajani LaRocca: On Letting Your Synopsis Guide Your Writing

Rajani LaRocca: On Letting Your Synopsis Guide Your Writing

In this article, middle-grade author Rajani LaRocca discusses how the synopsis for her newest release, Much Ado About Baseball, guided her writing process.

From Script

Adding Your Personal Connection to Your Stories and Building Your Brand As a Writer (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, Script’s Editor Sadie Dean interviews Dickinson creator/showrunner/EP Alena Smith, learn how to divide and conquer as screenwriter in the business and creating fruitful relationships. Plus, a brand new Script Talk video interview with writer/director/actress Djaka Souaré about her journey as a mentor and mentee in the WOCUnite and #StartWith8Hollywood mentorship programs.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Penfyr: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn penfyr, a Welsh tercet form.

Editorial Road-Mapping: Start Your Self-Editing Process Here

Editorial Road-Mapping: Start Your Self-Editing Process Here

Editorial road-mapping begins with a challenge of willpower and ends with a battle-plan for transforming your manuscript into the book you dreamed it could be. Let editor Kris Spisak give you that map!

6 Tips for Writing a Summer Romance Novel

6 Tips for Writing a Summer Romance Novel

Summer. Three whole months of bright sunsets and glittering water and endless possibility. Here are 6 tips from romance writer Rachael Lippincott for capturing a tiny bit of that magic in the pages of your next summer romance novel.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Running Empty

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Running Empty

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, consider what happens when resources begin to run low or out.