Welcome to the website of Hilary Jane Jones, author and poet: here you will find details about my writing and the landscapes, people (and animals) who inspire it.
I am blessed to live in the magical Shropshire countryside, and I enjoy all aspects of my writing, from the personal development books that helped many people (myself included) to make positive, life-changing decisions, to the full colour books that blend poetry, prose and pictures into visual verse and magical tales which captivate adults and children alike.
For those who want to know a bit more …..
I am a Shropshire Lass, born and bred: I spent the first 21 years of my life growing up in the glorious Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton. From an early age I was totally inspired by the wild and beautiful landscape and fascinated by the many myths and legends that surrounded the Shropshire Hills: I loved to hear tales of Wild Edric, Caractacus, and ancient ghosts and spirits: I have even encountered the odd ghost or two myself, including one who taps people on the shoulder, opens doors and comes to sit on my bed ……
I beat thousands of other entries to win the Sunday Express Children’s Christmas Story Competition when I was just 14, then went on to win prizes and commendations for other short stories and for my poetry.
I worked for 25 years in the financial services industry, and sadly let my creative writing take a back seat. I became a partner in a personal development and behavioural training business: out of this came my first published book in 1999, ‘Choosing a Better Life’ (co-written with business partner, the late Frank Gilbert) about achieving the right balance in your life. Ten publishers and six agents all wanted the book, which was flattering. I was subsequently commissioned to write another book in the same genre, ‘Personal Progress Through Positive Thinking’ (also co-written with Frank Gilbert).
I flirted with e-book publishing to bring my short personal development book ‘Happy New You’ to the market (but mainly to see how easy – or otherwise – it actually is to produce an e-book). This spurred me on to continue with my writing, to be true to myself, and return to the world of fiction and poetry that I so loved.
Alongside my writing I now work part-time at the fantastic independent bookshop, Burway Books in Church Stretton. It was whilst working here that I met Peter Andrew Jones, the internationally renowned Science Fiction and Fantasy artist. Peter knew I spent hours walking the Shropshire Hills and asked if I’d be interested in writing some text to go with a book he was planning on the Stiperstones, a wild and magical part of Shropshire steeped in history, myths and legends. I subsequently wrote the poetry and prose for his limited edition hand-made book, ‘Paintings of the Stiperstones‘.
This was seen by a local photographer, Tracey Swain, who asked me if I was interested in collaborating with her on a book that brought photographic images and poetry together. This led to the formation of Briar Ridge Books, which now publishes our beautiful visual verse books: ‘The Journey‘ trilogy: (‘The Wicked Wood’, ‘The Faerie Glen’, ‘The Crystal Lake’), and ‘Shirelands’.
When I am not writing or walking my two dogs I also enjoy gardening, eating out and reading: my favourite authors include Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Keats, Longfellow, Phil Rickman and Patrick Gale. My music tastes reflect growing up in the ’70s and ’80s: Elton John, Roxy Music, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Meat Loaf. I am an avid Shrewsbury Town and Liverpool fan.
I am on Twitter as @HilsJones1 and also tweet with fellow dog-lovers all over the world as @charley_beagle Charley and his companion Boot have far more followers than me! You can follow our walks and adventures on my Blog with the Dogs