By Elizabeth Gracen:
Jillian McWhirter has been in my life for a very long time. We are both from the South, and we are both former beauty queens who moved to the big city to study acting and start our careers, meeting up again on the West Coast to become part of the entertainment industry for many years now. She is chock-full of talent, chutzpah, and goodwill. We've always stayed friends, and I'm glad for that. Flapper Press is so happy to welcome Jillian to our writing team!
Please Meet Jillian McWhirter!
Elizabeth Gracen: Jill, we have known each other for a very long time and have seen so many changes in each other’s lives. Did you ever think you would be living in California with a kid going off to college? I know that way back in the early 80s when I saw you at the Miss Mississippi pageant (with me smiling like a crazy Barbie doll in the audience), I had no idea we would be here! Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Jill McWhirter: Actually, I never thought I would have a kid and be living in Los Angeles!! And now my daughter is heading to college! Of course, as far away from me as she can! : ) Liz, you and I have always had a unique friendship! From the day I saw you in the audience watching me practice for the Miss Mississippi beauty pageant! You just shined, and still do! I was on the stage thinking, what the heck am I doing here? But I kept going, and then years later you and I lived in the same apartment building in New York! That is a small world! I would say the arts kept us together.
EG: You are quite a prolific screenwriter, and your husband is a writer/producer. What’s it like having two writers in the house?
JM: I love it! Jeff Konvitz wrote the number-one book The Sentinel, which is now being moved into the remake film world. I also found a book he wrote 20 years ago in the closet and asked him why it was in the closet. He said it broke his heart, and he set it aside. Clint Eastwood was working with Jeff on creating a film and the deal fell through. Jeff has now finished the book, and we will see where it goes. But, you never know unless you try! Jeff and I also have two film scripts we wrote together, and it is the most amazing experience. To be creative with my husband in an altered life is kinda fun.
EG: Tell me about the work you have been doing in the past couple of years with law enforcement and health and safety information.
JM: We work hand in hand with law enforcement personnel. They give us book ideas, and I write them. Then they use the books in their community to teach on different subjects, such as drugs, frauds, making the right choices, pretty much any topic they need. Law enforcement holds a special place in my heart because they still work with their community, although they have no budget for material. That’s where our business, Community Partners Group, steps in. Law enforcement agencies receive the books from us for free!
EG: You’re a southern girl who hasn’t lived in the South for a long time. What do you miss most about living there?
JM: Now, that is an interesting question. My job with Community Partners Group takes me back to the South about once a month, so I get a good douse of my people. I love the way they help each other, the way they say the truth, and of course the way they cook!
EG: I know that the stories that you are going to write for Flapper Press will be varied, but can you tell us what we can expect in the coming months?
JM: I love to tell inspirational stories through unique words. Stories that are different, but reach a common ground, and of course share a little light and a little fun!
Raised in Mississippi, Jillian McWhirter moved to Paris and New York to pursue modeling before moving to Los Angeles to start her film and television career. She has written numerous feature film scripts and has published over thirty educational books that are used by health and safety organizations all over the United States.
Read Jillian's first post to Flapper Press here.