Jill Sanders is a New York Times bestselling author now, but she didn’t always know that becoming a writer was in her future. On an average day, Jill (while still in her PJ’s) gets to live the dream. She works from home, oftentimes with a beautiful ocean view and crisp glass of wine on hand. Sounds great right? Idyllic?
Getting to this point has taken hard work and dedication, and a lot of detours along the way. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Jill struggled from an early age to fit in with her peers. She stood out, quite literally. She was a taller than an average kid at school thanks to her Scandinavian background, and on the shorter side at home. As one of seven kids, (no that’s not a typo), that’s significant. Until her last year in high school, Jill believed she was dumb. She has dyslexia and ADHD, not a common diagnosis back then. Suffering from test anxiety and struggling to focus in class got her placed in a “Special Ed” class, and subsequently bullied. Jill wasn’t able to escape the stigma of her learning disabilities until she moved away from her hometown after high school. Sitting still in class was near impossible. Jill’s mind would wander elsewhere, busy day-dreaming about all of the stories she wanted to bring to life. (And aren’t we happy she has finally embraced this?) Teacher after teacher eluded that school wasn’t something she would ever be good at since she lacked the discipline and will power to focus in class.
When you think about an author, what do you assume? A lifelong love of the written word? Wrong. Special Ed class had headsets to accompany books, so she experienced more being read to than reading for herself. Jill didn’t read her first book from cover to cover until she was 15, and what a great feeling that was to experience a book without those headsets squawking in her ears. What did Jill want to be when she grew up? One of her dreams was to become a wonderful wife and mother someday. She didn’t give much thought to other dreams, believing she wouldn’t be capable. Then finally, she had a few teachers realize she had a ton of untapped potential who encouraged her to expand her dreams to include additional aspirations.
Jill has lived across the country with her husband, two sons, and beloved pets. She has enjoyed exciting and varied careers prior to realizing her childhood dream of becoming an author. Life is truly a journey, so hang on and enjoy the ride. Most importantly, no matter what, never give up on your dreams.
Written by Essie Reynolds