I contacted Jill Elizabeth Nelson a while back because of her fiction books and I just knew she'd be an interesting interview. She sent me some information and this fun and cute photo as a kid, and then came my first computer crash. Her book, Reluctant Runaway, was released in March 2007, but it has not been until now that I recovered this interview.
Jill writes suspense, and her background and rich internal world of imagination caused her to reach beyond what she has experienced. Being a PK (Pastor's Kid) Jill moved around a lot as a kid--at least five small towns in Minnesota and South Dakota, and add to that being an introvert with an active imagination(and wanting to be either a horse or a writer)--well, it adds up into a great recipe for a good, inspirational fiction writer.
Let's see the things that shaped Jill into the author she is today:
Become a horse. Seriously, I had fantasies of actually being a horse. If I absolutely had to stay human, I wanted to be a writer . . . which I am now.
Inviting Jesus Christ to be my Savior at Bible Camp in seventh grade. The peace and specialness of that moment lingers in my memory.
That time-frame also turned into one of my strangest memories, because I became extremely ill right afterward. The camp personnel took me to the doctor, where I received a massive dose of penicillin, which I reacted to quite badly. I don’t remember being scared. Partly because for many hours I drifted in and out of consciousness in my bunk at the camp, while everyone went about their business and didn’t realize I was having an allergic reaction. Frankly, I didn’t even know what I was experiencing at the time. Looking back, I see that but for the grace of God, I could have died. The enemy tried to kill me; God wouldn’t let him.
Winning the local grade-school spelling bee
Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:
Making friends. I was an introvert, and as I look back, pretty self-centered. Not a promising combination for social success.
My First Job:
Detasseling corn. Yuck!
Sunflower seeds. I ate them constantly—book in one hand, seeds going into my mouth and shells coming out with the other. I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty picture. LOL
Favorite Outfit as a Child:
I can’t remember one. I wasn’t very clothes conscious. I’m more responsible that way now, because I have to maintain a certain standard for my day job and author appearances, but I’m still no fashionista.
Favorite Childhood Play Time Activity:
Barbie dolls or anything to do with horses—toy ones or imaginary. I didn’t have a real one and couldn’t understand why dad said I couldn’t keep one in the garage. Unreasonable man!
Favorite Childhood Movie:
Favorite Childhood Book:
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander was a close contender.
I still love both of these books.
It was a toss-up between Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise and Tarzan. Go figure!
Anything you would like to add that readers might be interested in knowing about you as a child or how your childhood may have influenced your writing as an adult?:
My immersion in books in lieu of friends, and my intense internal world of the imagination certainly boded well for a writing career. I’m still that way to a degree, though husband, children, and day job keep me grounded in reality.
Oh, except for those voices I hear in my head. (LOL.)
I made the mistake of telling my mom and siblings that my characters “talk to me.” Now they tease me all the time about “hearing voices.”
Check out Jill's web site for updates, appearances, contests and general suspenseful notions:
Reluctant Burglar – A defiant museum security expert and a determined FBI agent clash over stolen art on the trail of murderous thieves, who have a more terrible agenda than either of them can imagine. (Multnomah Publishers)
Reluctant Runaway – A daring museum security expert and a courageous FBI agent hunt a killer cult to find a missing mom, protect her infant son, and recover stolen ancient Indian artifacts.(Multnomah Publishers)
Here’s the link to watch a book trailer: http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com/tcatbooks.shtml
Also, check Jill's entries on the We CAN blog.
If you like Reluctant Burglar and Reluctant Runaway, be sure to check out the next one:
Reluctant Smuggler, January 2008
Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season...fulfill your ministry. II Timothy 4: 2a and 5b.
Crystal, I'm so glad you're featuring Jill. She not only rocks as a writer, but after meeting her at the ACFW conference I'm pretty sure she rocks as a person. LOL. She was so nice and I absolutely love her books. Can't wait for the next one.
Thanks so much, Sabrina. I'm blushing now. I so enjoyed meeting you and hugging you at the conference. Thanks for all you do to promote Christian fiction. You definitely rock!
Thank you so much, Crystal, for featuring me on your lovely and entertaining blog. So fun to read about people's differing childhoods. This is a great idea!
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