's first two novels --- THE CHEERLEADER and JULY 7th --- were published on the same day, and she hasn't slowed down ever since. She's the author of five New York Times
Notable Books, as well as short stories that have been anthologized in numerous literary journals. Her latest novel, LIFE AFTER LIFE
(now available in paperback), is about the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirement facility in Fulton, North Carolina. As their lives become intertwined through their present circumstances, their pasts and, in some cases, their deaths, a bigger picture begins to develop --- one that celebrates the beauty and wisdom of later life. Here, in her Holiday Author Blog, Jill makes another interesting connection between past and present. She traces her love of writing and storytelling back to a Christmas gift she received when she was seven years old: Danny O'Day, a ventriloquist dummy.