Meet Zillah Williams, Editor/Author

It's my great pleasure to introduce to you Zillah Williams.  Zillah is our wonderful editor, a real gem and a dear soul!  I'm sure you'll enjoy reading more about her, how communication plays a role in her life and her words of wisdom. 1. Please tell us a little about yourself. I was born in England and came to Australia as a teenager. Always having had a liking for books and reading, I chose librarianship as a career. My love of books turned into a desire to create my own and I’ve written, and have had published, five books for teenagers. Other things I enjoy are researching my family history, watching a good TV drama and looking in the windows of pet shops! 2. What is a typical day in the life of Zillah Williams? Well, things change over the years, but these days a typical program is fitting in working at the computer between the usual cooking and household activities. Besides that, the day might include sitting at a microphone recording material for my husband who produces audio programs for our local radio station for the print handicapped and for Christian Blind Mission in Melbourne, Victoria. If I have an editing job to do, it occupies a large chunk of my day.  And, at present, I’m engaged in writing a romance/mystery novel. I also write letters to the papers to express my opinions. 3. I love hearing people’s testimony! Please share how you came to know the Lord and how important The Great Commission is to a believer. It was when I was first at school in Australia that I made a conscious decision to become a Christian. I was thirteen year of age and had attended a convent school before coming to Australia. I had always believed in God, Jesus Christ and the Bible, but it was when an Australian school friend pinned me down, as it were, and got me to read a copy of the booklet, The Reason Why that I made the definite decision. I still remember saying to myself, “It’ll be hard, but I’ll do it.”! Well – that doesn’t sound very “spiritual” does it, but it was a beginning. 4. How many years have you been married and how important has effective communication been in your marriage? My husband and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We didn’t come into marriage with well-developed communication skills. What really helped us was: x *  A men’s retreat which my husband attended. It was led by a friend of his, Gordon, who had begun a ministry to men. Gordon sought to help men get their priorities straight and to put God first in their lives; then their wives. Their work was to take last place. Many men, including my husband, were greatly blessed by Gordon’s ministry. Relationships were healed. x *  A Marriage Encounter Weekend. We wouldn’t have gone to this except for the fact that we were invited by an old school friend of mine who, together with her husband, was organizing this particular weekend. The leaders of this Marriage Encounter opened their lives to those attending; problems were brought out into the open and my husband and I were among those who were freed-up to share things with each other which we’d not shared before. (We were shocked when one man there told the group that he had never regarded his marriage as being a permanent relationship. I’m sure that was something he had never, until then, communicated to his wife!). x *  Being baptized with the Holy Spirit. This new dimension in our lives with God made a tremendous difference to our ability to communicate because, I think, God was now in our relationship in a way He hadn’t been before. 5. Share with us your greatest blessings and challenges you have had as a parent. One of the things we discovered, as parents, was that, even though teens might appear to resent being forbidden to do something with friends which we thought could be harmful, they would later confess to being relieved we’d said “no”. 6. What is your favorite scripture and share what God is communicating to you personally through it. It’s impossible to choose, but a Scripture that is very important to me right now is Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” It’s important to me because here Jesus is explaining how we can communicate with God. 7. You have a unique ministry/business.  How important is effective communication for you as you go about your daily activities? Well, as I said, I do some freelance editing work. I have found that authors appreciate being informed when I suggest changes to their manuscripts. They like to know my reasons for the changes I suggest, though obvious spelling errors don’t need any explanation.  I enjoy getting to know the authors, communicating with them, and putting them at their ease. One problem – well, not really a problem – I have found in being a proofreader is that it bothers me when I find an error on someone’s website! Recently, I found several “typos” on the website of a newly established overseas clothing company. I contacted the owner and said that I didn’t want to offend but asked if she would like me to let her know where the errors were. She was most appreciative, saying that spelling was not her strong point. I think I’ve made a friend in this instance, and have since bought an item of clothing from her. 8. What forms of communication do you use in your ministry/business?  Which one is your favorite and why? I use emails to communicate because most of my work has been for people at a distance, and emails are so convenient.  They are also easier to read than my writing! 9. What are the challenges in communicating in other ways? Although emails are a convenient method of communication, they can be open to misinterpretation. Nothing can quite make up for person-to-person communication involving tone of voice and the opportunity to immediately question something you don’t quite understand. And yet, some people (and I’m one of them) can communicate better by writing than by speaking. I do so admire people who can hold ideas in their heads, and speak “on their feet” – presenting points in logical sequence – with no “ums” and “ahs”. 10. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice about a misunderstanding you had in the past, what would you tell yourself? So hard to answer. I have learned that things which seem right at the time can have unexpected results which could cause distress to others. I think I’d advise myself to carefully consider all possible ramifications of the action I want to take; to ask trusted friends what I should do; and to settle it with God that it is right. There’s a lot of truth in the adage: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. 11. How can we learn more about you and your business/ministry? I belong to The Christian PEN (The Christian Proofreaders and Editors’ Network) and I have a modest website of my own where I advertise a book which I compiled and edited: Healing is a Way of Life I’m the kind of person who likes to fill a supporting role. I prefer working on assignment to publishers or other editors and am an editor for the Australian self-publishing company Love of Books I’ve also worked for JoJo 12. Any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with today? Having started my Christian walk with the idea that it was up to me to “do it”, I have learned that I was wrong. I can’t “do it” but I don’t have to. God’s love, undeserved and unearned, takes care of every detail. Communication can be unspoken. Words in themselves don’t always communicate, do they? Poor Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady told her suitor, Freddy: “Never do I ever want to hear another word. There isn't one I haven't heard. Here we are together in what ought to be a dream; Say one more word and I'll scream!” And I’ve always been impressed by what Paul said to the Christians in Rome – that God’s invisible nature, His power and deity, can be clearly understood – that is, communicated – by the things He has made – by Creation itself. X If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss one and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: for even MORE communication fun, FREE gifts, Book of the Month Club and exclusive excerpts and offers we don’t share with ANYONE else but our subscribers! X


  • jojosblog

    You can be biased all you want, Heather. She IS a lovely lady!

  • Heather Williams

    What a lovely lady!!

    I might be a little biased, as she is my mother……


  • jojosblog

    Thanks, Carla! Yes, Cindy, she’s a treasure!

  • Cindy Holman

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful editor with us, JoJo – she seems like a honey!

  • Carla

    I’m so glad you have such a wonderful editor. Great interview!

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