What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Forgiveness, reconciliation, and grace.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Rebekah just released in January/February 2013. It is book two in the Wives of the Patriarchs series. Book three about Rachel and Leah will not release until 2014, and I don’t have a release date for the Loves of King Solomon e-book series.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Beth Moore. We both love to study the Bible, and I’ve learned a lot from her Bible studies. I think it would be fun to compare notes about David and the Patriarchs and anything else we might have poured ourselves into learning.
Or … a Messianic Jewish rabbi who is an avid student of the Scriptures. I would enjoy listening to his perspective on things I see with Gentile Christian eyes.
Our church is large with a diverse congregation, so one of our pastors is a Messianic Jew. He holds the messianic services. I do enjoy talking to him. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Only one? King David, for sure, as I’ve spent years studying his life. But I can’t wait to meet all of the men and women I’ve already “met” and written about from Scripture. I look forward to hearing them tell their stories as they really happened.
Oh, and I think I would add Mary, Jesus’ mother near the top, because I have always loved Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes, and I wonder how Mary really felt in those days when she carried and raised Jesus on earth.
That was the first biblical novel I ever read, too. I loved it. How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Keep writing. Keep studying the craft. Rejections don’t always come because the work isn’t good. Sometimes an editor just can’t accept any more books that year – they may have met their quota. But sometimes a rejection means we need to keep learning and growing in the craft. So keep writing. Listen to good critique partners, attend conferences, take classes, read how-to books, but most of all, write what you love. When you learn to evoke emotion in your reader, you will have reached a place where people will want to read your work. Strive to reach that place deep within yourself and pour those emotions into the story. But don’t overdo them. Less is often better than more, and subtlety is often a writer’s most powerful tool.
Don’t quit unless God leads you to do so.
I love your cover. Tell us about the featured book.
Can love heal the rift between two souls?
When her beloved father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Though she should be married by now, it’s clear that Laban is dragging his feet, waiting for a higher bride-price to line his pockets. When she is given a chance to leave her home to marry Isaac, a cousin she has never even seen, Rebekah’s hope for the future is restored. Little does she know what a wondrous and heart-wrenching journey she is beginning.
As Rebekah experiences the joy of young love and the bitterness of misunderstanding and betrayal, her resolve will be tested. When the rift between her and Isaac grows so wide it is surely too great to be mended, can she trust the God of Isaac’s father Abraham to bridge the gap?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Light flickered from clay oil lamps in every corner of Bethuel’s bedchamber, the effort valiant but feeble, useless to dispel the gloom. Attendants hurried in and out, the hum of their whispers mixing with the sounds of their movements as they refilled a water jar here, wrung out a cool cloth there, and adjusted blankets, fussing, fearing . . .
Rebekah stood to the side, unable to take her eyes from the form of her father lying prone on the raised wooden bed, his head engulfed in soft cushions and layered with cloths meant to bring his fever down. But his clear moments had been few, his words strained as though he were speaking through stretched and cracking parchment.
Tears filled her eyes, and she pulled the cloak tighter about her, desperate to subdue the shaking. Not now, Abba. Please, do not leave me.
She heard voices in the hall outside the room and swiped at the unwanted tears. Though the time for mourning was almost upon them, she did not want her grief put on public display. Not yet. Not while there was still a chance her father might recover.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jilleileensmithTwitter: https://twitter.com/JillEileenSmith
Thank you, Jill, for spending this time with us today.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Rebekah: A Novel (Wives of the Patriarchs) - paperback
Rebekah (Wives of the Patriarchs Book #2): A Novel - Kindle
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