Welcome, Jill. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
In my stories, I love to demonstrate how the Lord can and does make the bitter into sweet and turn wounds into strengths. In my characters I illustrate how attitudes and choices determine whether rough patches, or even tragedies, either refine and improve character or twist and destroy it. The enemy of our souls sends bad things into our lives with the latter purpose. Those who look up and make the Lord their high tower find their inner lives soaring above their circumstances, which are inevitably temporary.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I had a call from my agent a few days ago. Love Inspired Suspense is contracting me for two more books. I don’t yet know when they release.
The first of the two, tentatively titled Shadow of Suspicion, features as the hero a secondary character from Betrayal on the Border—David Greene, a man suspected of murdering his girlfriend. The trouble is, even David doesn’t know for sure he’s innocent. Back when it happened he was a heathen with an attitude and a drinking problem. He was found passed out cold beside the dead body and no recollection of events.
The tragedy threw him into the arms of the Lord, but unless he can prove his innocence to himself and to a public that has already judged him, he might as well graduate to heaven for all the life he’ll be able to enjoy. His determination to uncover the truth endangers himself, as well as a woman he is growing to love and her young daughter.
Then the following book features a secondary character from Shadow of Suspicion, a beautiful but troubled woman seeking to overcome a dark and sad family heritage. I’m excited to write about the setting on
My readers and I will have lots of fun with rumors of buried treasure and
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
It would be awesome to spend time chatting with Matt Redman or Darlene Zschech—to learn about going deeper in worship with someone who is called and anointed in that area. I long for greater purity and power in my worship. I realize worship is more than singing and music; it’s a lifestyle, but there is something about music that ushers us deeper into the presence of the Lord.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
It’s a toss-up between Katherine Hepburn and C. S. Lewis. I have great admiration for Katherine Hepburn as an artist in her field, as well as a woman of dignity and strength. She carried on powerfully in her profession well into her senior years. I’d like to hear from her what fueled her passion.
As far as C. S. Lewis, his writing—both fiction and non-fiction—has been an inspiration to me from my youth to this day. He and J. R. R. Tolkein were great friends, and Tolkein has been an influence on my desire to become a writer since I was in grade school. The two of them and some other writers formed a group at
called the Inklings. If I could attend one of their meetings as a mouse in the
corner, I’d be overjoyed! Perhaps they carry on the meetings in heaven. Oh,
goodie! I hadn’t thought of that until now.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Oh, my! I could paper the walls of my living room with my rejection letters before I started getting a few acceptances. Those early ones weren’t for novels. Not hardly! And they seldom came with any more pay than a few copies of the publication in which my work appeared. This is normal.
My dream to become a published novelist was born in my heart when I was in the sixth grade, but I was 46 before the dream came true. In between then and now, the dream was born and died several grizzly deaths, until finally my “fullness of time” came. When doing speaking engagements about my writing, I tell folks that if God can bring a dream to pass for this nobody in particular from nowhere special, He can and will do it for you!
Hang in there. Grow in your craft. Schmooze with fellow writers and people in the publication world. Be tickled with the small things—a published devotion, an article, a poem perhaps—on your way to that first cherished book contract.
Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
I had a great time writing this story about my ex-Army Ranger heroine and her investigative reporter hero. Here’s Betrayal on the Border in a capsule:
Former army communications specialist Maddie Jerrard may not remember the details of the deadly mission on the Texas-Mexico border, but she knows one thing. She's not the one responsible for the massive ambush that left only her and investigative journalist Chris Mason alive. Maddie is sure the culprit must be the only other survivor—Chris. Yet with suspicion—and danger—targeting them both, and a killer on their trail, partnering up is the only solution. But as Maddie and Chris get closer to uncovering the truth, they'll have to trust each other to make it through alive.
Please give us the first page of the Betrayal on the Border.
If that off-white chunk of clay was craftsman's putty, Maddie Jameson would eat her tool belt. What was C-4 explosive compound doing on the kitchen table in this unit at Morningside Apartments? A chill rippled her insides.
Not everyone would recognize the remnants from the construction of a pipe bomb. To the untrained eye, the dab of C-4 could be mistaken for putty and the bits of wire and lengths of sawed-off pipe merely scraps from a handyman project. But then, not many apartment-maintenance workers were ex-army rangers with Maddie's skill set—or a history that meant she must keep her head down and her eyes peeled.
Those who hunted her were relentless and ruthless, and she was damaged prey. She needed to see them coming before they got to her.
Not that she ever knew exactly what hired assassin would be after her. She could bump into one on the street and not know it until he tried to take her out. Everyone was a suspect. If only she could figure out why she was marked for death. Had she seen something the night of the attack a year ago on the
If so, her head injury had erased it from her memory.
Was she the target of the bomb these Morningside tenants had been making? If the three attempts on her life within the past year were any clue, she'd be an idiot to think otherwise. Where was the bomb planted? Her caretaker's apartment on the premises? Maddie's mouth went dry. There could be collateral damage. Dozens of people—including children—lived in this building, and a bomb didn't care who it destroyed.
Dear God, please don't let innocent families be hurt because of me.
I love your writing. I can hardly wait for my book to come. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can visit me on the web at: www.jillelizabethnelson.com or look me up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JillElizabethNelson.Author or Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JillElizNelson. I love to hear from readers.
Thank you, Jill, for the insightful interview.
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Betrayal on the Border (Love Inspired Suspense) - Kindle
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