Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday's Girl

Hi there! I’m Jillian Cantor, and I live in Arizona with my husband, two young sons, and three neurotic cats. In addition to being a writer, I’m also a stay-at-home mom. That means I spend most of the day watching The Wiggles, sweeping up cheerios (They are rampant, and they end up EVERYWHERE!!), and playing Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, or whatever game my older son invents on any particular day. Often we must also include his imaginary friends in the games, which I have to admit, makes me just a little proud that he is already inventing characters!

I read a lot as a child. My mom used to keep notebooks for me, listing every book I read, and I was constantly filling them up. My mom would also take my sister and me to the library once a week in the summer, and by the end of the summer, I’d have read every single young adult book in the two libraries nearest my house. During the school year, we got Book-It pizza slips from Pizza Hut for reading four books in a month. One year, I had a teacher who gave me a slip for every four books I read in a month, so when I read my 15-20 books, I ended up with four or five free pizzas each month. Luckily, I had a very good metabolism back then!

I still read a lot today – though not nearly as much as I did back then. I spend most of my free time writing or exercising (Having two babies in less than three years necessitates this, and I still do really enjoy pizza!). Plus, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a little sidetracked with good (and bad) TV. My guilty pleasure is reality TV. Sometimes I think I’m fighting a bit of an addiction. I enjoy the good stuff like American Idol and Project Runway, of course, but I’ve also been known to watch some of the, um, other stuff, like Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood and High School Musical: Get in the Picture.

The first time I ever wrote fiction, I was in fourth grade. My humanities teacher, Mrs. “I” assigned us to write a story every week. My favorite one was about a set of twins whose mother decided to keep a secret from only one of them. What was the other twin to do: tell her sister or listen to her mother?

But it was a sign of things to come, because I love writing stories about sisters! I think maybe that’s because one of the most influential relationships in my life has been with my own sister, Rachel, who is three-years younger than me. As kids we fought all the time, over everything, My grandmother always used to tell us that when we grew up we’d be so happy to have each other, and I never believed her. But it turns out, she was right. We’ve actually grown to be really good friends. And though we live 3000 miles away we talk on the phone almost every day because. . . we want to!

My book, The September Sisters will be out on February 24th, 2009 from Laura Geringer Books (An imprint of HarperCollins). It's the story of what happens to an older sibling after her younger sister disappears, and it's a novel of loss, survival, mystery, first love, and of course, sisterhood. Here’s the jacket description:

Abigail Reed and her younger sister Becky are always at each others throats. Their mother calls them The September Sisters, because their birthdays are only a day apart and pretends that they’re best friends. But really, they delight in making each other miserable. Then Becky disappears in the middle of the night, and a torn gold chain with a sapphire heart charm is the only clue to the mystery of her kidnapping. Abby struggles to cope with her own feelings of guilt and loss as she tries to keep her family together. When her world is at its bleakest, Abby meets a new neighbor, Tommy, who is dealing with his own loss, and the two of them discover that love can bloom, even when it's surrounded by thorns. This exquisitely written first novel illustrates life as it truly is—filled with fear and danger, hope and love, comfort and uncertainty.

I’m so looking forward to being the Thursday Novel Girl and to writing and reading with the other five fabulous ladies! If you want to know more about me, I hope you’ll stop by My Website, or visit my Myspace page.

Till next week,


Maureen Lipinski said...

Book it! YES. What was it about those personal pizzas from Pizza Hut? They were like crack for children.

Unfortunately, my Tivo is also filled with episodes of Tori and Dean. So addicting and so stupid all at the same time.

Tracy Madison said...

Great post, Jillian! I remember Book-It, but more with my older kids than myself, lol. And I love the twin secret story, what a great idea. I'm so excited to be a part of this brilliant group of women. Yay!

Lesley Livingston said...

We really do kinda rock, don't we?

Yay for 3 neurotic cats!

And - how did I miss out on this childhood pizza/literacy bribery? Was this strictly a US thing? Dang!

Jillian Cantor said...

Thanks for the comments, girls!

I am also super excited to be a part of this brilliant group.

Maureen, at least you can say your Tivo is filled with episodes. Mine isn't because I watched them. All of them. On their original air dates! Hey, Tori did write a book. Maybe she'd wanna blog with us. Ha!

I don't know if book-it was only a US thing. Hmmm. Probably it was. So sorry you missed out. Those personal pan pizzas were amazing. . .

Lisa Patton said...

Hi Jillian, I love your post and I'm looking so forward to reading September Sisters! I come from a family of four girls so I'm sure I'll love every word of it!

Jillian Cantor said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Four girls -- now that is good book material :-)