Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Mysteries for MG Readers: Author Interview with Jill Chapman

You’ve now published two MG books in your Bomb Squad series, but what made you decide to start writing the first one? Will there be more books in this series?
The Bomb Squad began with a writing prompt but soon morphed into something entirely different! Bryan, his three friends, and his dog Max find adventure everywhere. The idea is to give children exciting, family-friendly books that portray true friendships. The Bomb Squad has the boys solving a mystery in their neighborhood. 

Off the Grid is book two of the series. Bryan and his friends go camping, and the rain causes all kinds of challenges. The third book in the series, Seaside SOS, will be released in the fall of 2024. The boys take off with their families for a Florida vacation. They discover a mystery and are determined to solve it before they must return home.

Your publisher is Elk Lake Publishing. How many publishers did you pitch to before you were approved by them. 
I belonged to a fabulous writer’s group called Serious Writer. They provided an opportunity to pitch directly to agents and publishers in an event they hosted. I pitched The Bomb Squad to Deb Haggerty from Elk Lake Publishing, and she asked to see the manuscript. Before that, I had pitched to a few agents, but the manuscript wasn’t ready. Both agents gave me great critiques and some excellent advice. Elk Lake Publishing is a traditional, royalty-paying, print-on-demand publisher. I feel blessed to work with the wonderful people there

What do you know now about publishing you wished you had known sooner?
Like most writers, I wanted to know all the answers before I began. I’ve learned that professionalism doesn’t mean you have to know it all. If you have a weakness, there are people who can help you. 

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
Don’t let fear keep you from putting your work out there for others to see. I know it’s hard! The other advice is not to compare yourself to others. Comparison steals your joy! Be yourself and realize your journey won’t look like anyone else. 

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
Write as often as you can. Get it out of your brain and on paper. The writing process is layers and layers of work. For me, anyway. Writing, editing, rewriting, whining, and writing some more. The biggest enemy of writing is the desire to be perfect the first time out.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me some
Seaside SOS is book three of The Bomb Squad series. This manuscript is in the editing phase with Elk Lake Publishing at this time. Tentative release will be in the fall of 2024.

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Jill's writing, here are some links to get you started.


And here's a bonus for my readers: Here's a free eBook giveaway. It will only be available for a short time, so download it today.


  1. Thanks, Chris, for the great interview. I do more whining than writing I think. Hopefully, I'll stop the whining and get my MG mystery sequel written in the first half of this year.

  2. You just need to make it a commitment and write at least 500 words a day. If you go over, you still need to do 500+ the next day.