Up Close With: Jyn Hall

Meet the wonderful writers and patrons behind LWS.

Lauren McMenemy
London Writers’ Salon

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Don’t be fooled by the super serious look on this face: this week’s featured member also describes herself “the little woodstove that warms the cabin”. Yes, Jyn (J.) Hall is a SoCal gal so effused of the sun that her gentle tones and warm welcomes have very much brightened the writers hour rooms since she started volunteering as a host in late 2022. A former actress turned screenplay and sketch writer turned honer of kidlit, Jyn feels if she doesn’t get all her ideas out on paper, her head might explode. Same, J, same.

Jyn Hall

  • Location? “SoCal gal living in Atlanta, y’all!”
  • On her age, she says: “I have anniversaries of my 23rd birthday. So this is my year, baby — 23 in ’23! And next year, there’s a solar eclipse on my 23rd birthday!”
  • Actress, kid lit writer, and one of our newest Writers’ Hour hosts!

What do you write, in general?

As an actress on (permanent?) hiatus, my writing started with screenplays and comedic sketches. In the past few years, I’ve turned my attention to kidlit — mostly picture books, but also a novel.

What are you working on right now?

Of my 25 picture book drafts, I am currently querying two. The first is a quiet, lyrical, heartfelt story about a grandfather, his granddaughter, and a mountain they need to climb. The other is an environmental activism biography about two young sisters who are changing their island and the world. Three other picture books are being polished to query agents. And I am revising a first messy draft of my magical realism, portal, middle grade novel.

Where and when do you write?

A majority of my writing happens in my study, where I am right now. It’s peaceful here with a clock softly ticking and my window overlooking our yard with its trees, creek, birds, and deer. But that other little bit of writing happens anywhere and everywhere.

I’m not a morning person (At. All.). But getting up for a morning LWS Writers’ Hour, even if I stumble to the computer in PJs and a messy bun with a steaming mug of coffee, is a productive way to start my day. I’m a creative night owl, but if I write after dinner, it gets my mind swirling with inspiration and I’ll have a hard time sleeping.

How do you write?

I write mostly on my laptop. Scrivener is my new love. But ideas come when they want, so I will grab the nearest thing: my phone, scraps of paper, or even my hand (see — how perfect am I to write kidlit?!).

Why do you write?

Pure and simple: I’m captivated by stories. My mom loves to tell how when I was four years old, I asked her to teach me to read. She replied I was starting pre-school soon and would learn then. When she picked me up after the first day of school, I dissolved into tears. She asked me what was wrong. In between sobs, I got out, “I. Didn’t. Learn. How. To. Read.” She bought me several readers and I taught myself to read. And then to write soon after. My mom always thought I would be a writer. But life took me down a different path and my storytelling became a professional acting career. The pandemic (and my health) caused me to follow another branch in the road and get back to writing.

Also, it’s possible that if I didn’t get all these ideas out on paper (or my hand), my head might explode. Better safe than sorry.

What inspires your creativity?

Nature, stunning photos or art, downtime to let my mind wander, brainstorming — alone or with others, StoryStorm (each January), my quirky ND brain.

This photo that inspires Jyn is by her favourite nature adventure photographer, Daniel Kordan.

What’s your favourite book?

Noooooo. I don’t play favourites. I love you all, my sweets. I mean, some more than others, of course. Wait, this is off the record, right?

What’s the best advice you’ve received about creativity?

I am created by a Creator to create. (The Artist’s Way, anyone?)

What’s the one thing you would tell other/aspiring writers?

By all means create, create, create. But maybe don’t quit your day job just yet.

Also, if you want to write stories, you may need to, at times, consume less of others’ stories to have the time to write your own stories.

That was two things. Sorry. Feel free to read only one of them. Too late? I said I was sorry…

How can we discover more about you and your work?

I’m all over the socials: @jynhall. Twitter is more writerly things.

Also, I have a disaster of a website, if you’re a rubber-necker and want to see something truly horrific: jynhall.com. My excuse is that I am transitioning from an actress website to an author website. But even before, it was still pretty much a hot mess. Wait, Lauren, this is still off the record, right? (Ed: mwah ha ha ha ha…)

How many deer can you spot in Jyn’s writing view?

✍️ Write with Jyn and hundreds of other writers each weekday at Writers’ Hour (it’s free).

Connect with fellow writers and build a successful, creative career with London Writers’ Salon.

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Lauren McMenemy
London Writers’ Salon

Weird girl in the corner | Gothic & Folk Horror Writer | Writing Coach | Trainer & Facilitator | Mental Health Advocate | wherelaurenwrites.com | 👻🧛‍♀️🔮😈