I had the pleasure of getting to know Jennifer Williamson who is a Canadian writer. When asking Jennifer about her life, background, and previous writing experiences she directed me to an interview on the Malahat reviews website. Here I learned that she is a former Archeologist and it led me to some curiosity about the things she writes about. She then directed me to a personal journal called “The Peripatetic Pen”. Reading this informed me of all her travels and I was curious about how learning about the culture in places like France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, and Spain influenced her writing. Below is an interview Jennifer and I had over the phone:
On the Malahat reviews website, your interviewer mentioned that you were an Archeologist. Is that still a career for you or did you give it up to write?
I used to be an Archeologist, but after I got married and had I family I went back to school and got my Ed degree. I quit working full time five to six years ago and now I sub so that I can focus more on writing.
On your blog “The Peripatetic Pen” I noticed that you’ve had lots of travelling experiences. Did travelling help you to focus on writing? How did it help in the long run?
I started blogging when I went on a long hike through Israel and I intended to continue the blog but when I got home life sort of got in the way. I would love to start blogging again, but right now I have a novel waiting to be published. Traveling helped me to come up with the plot for my novel. My husband and I went on a road trip through the states and we came up with this plot along the way. I started writing it in the November novel writing month and I just couldn’t stop. I ended up writing around 900 pages which I cut down to 700 and made into two books. It’s a fun and adventurous story kind of based on soul retrieval. I’m really excited to publish it.
Throughout our interview you’ve mentioned that life gets in the way sometimes. What challenges you the most when writing?
I think organizing my time and putting writing as a priority is my biggest challenge. I struggle with that because there’s a lot of other things going on and sometimes I feel selfish that I just want to write. I wouldn’t mind joining an active writing group. That might inspire me further, so if anyone has a writing group that needs more members they could always contact me.
Why did you join the Writers Guild of Alberta?
Mostly for support with other writers. I know that they have a lot of speakers and run workshops, but I haven’t really used the Writers Guild as much as I could. There is a lot of resources that I haven’t taken advantage of yet but its good to know that you belong to a community. I appreciate them and all the work that they do.
It was exciting getting to know Jennifer and learning about her life experiences. Jennifer is inspiring in the way that she has overcome so many challenges while still managing to do what she loves, and that is to write! I’ve learned that life doesn’t always go as planned, as said by Jennifer “it gets in the way sometimes.” However, as long as we continue to find time for the things we love, life will be enjoyable.