Friday, July 18, 2014

Interview with Christian Author Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Thank you for joining us on the Barn Door Book Loft. Is there a story behind Shake Down?
Not a personal story, no, but the heroine, Janice, is introduced in my book Frame Up that released last December. In Frame Up, Janice was the heroine’s best friend and a secondary character, but it soon became obvious that she had some pretty intense secrets of her own. In Shake Down we find out the scary and dramatic nature of those secrets.

Question: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
As mentioned in my bio, I read what I like to write—stories about danger, adventure, and faith. Romantic suspense fits wonderfully into that category. A couple of books along those lines that have especially tripped my trigger in recent months are The Restoration by Wanda Dyson (supernatural romantic suspense—good vs. evil in the unseen, as well as the seen, realm) and Mucky Streak, Christy Barritt’s newest installment in the Squeaky Clean mystery series.

I also like gritty, heartwrenchers about characters who stand up and selflessly do the hard thing—the right thing—in the face of opposition and ultimately make a huge impact. One of my recent reads along that line is Nancy Rue’s The Reluctant Prophet about an ordinary pew-sitter who one day feels like God tells her to go buy a motorcycle. She ends up in a motorcycle gang (in the good sense) that starts rescuing women from the mean streets and discipling them in safe homes.

Question: Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Probably Janice. Her backstory is so awful—unimaginable to most of us. I enjoyed writing her as a character to be admired, not pitied. She was something of a mystery to be plumbed, even for me. I actually didn’t know until toward the end of the first draft how her story would ultimately dovetail with the discovered diary of an ancestress and what impact the choices of her forebear would have on the modern-day woman—or upon her and Shane as a couple. My readers will have to tell me if I’ve drawn the threads together effectively.

Question: If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Contemporary praise and worship. I honestly don’t get what’s attractive in secular music. Music without anointing doesn’t appeal to me. Correspondingly, I live a pretty separated life. It’s not that I don’t mingle with people from all sorts of backgrounds and with a wide variety of beliefs, but in my inner life, God is never far from my thoughts.

So many activities that lots of people crave are blah to me. I would choose attending a Christian conference over lolling on a tropical beach for my vacation activity any day. Weird, huh? I know that some near and dear members of my extended family think so. Not that I would mind the tropical beach, but it’s not a priority destination for me.

Question: Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
Thailand, but not to vacation. My husband and I have been on numerous mission trips to that country, as well as other places in Asia. We are close friends with career missionaries who live over there. Starting this fall, my husband and I will be wintering in the north of Thailand for 4 – 5 months. We will help them in ministry, as well as in more earthy projects like construction and landscaping, on a property they are developing to serve as a retreat center for indigenous ministers throughout Asia.

Question: What is your strangest habit?
Not sure everyone would call this my strangest habit, but I’m not going to take a poll. Hah! But this is the idea that the question brought to my mind.

I’m a barefoot princess all year round—indoors and at home anyway. Not dumb enough to risk frostbite outside in the winter in Minnesota and must abide by the dress code at work (thought I sometimes sneak my shoes off under my desk.) Footwear is often the first thing I shed when I walk through the door at home.

I despise high heels as instruments of infernal torture. When I must wear shoes, I’m in flats. I’m going to break down and wear low heels for my son’s wedding coming up, but when the ceremony is over and the party starts I’ll exchange the heels for blingy flip-flops with my glittery dress.

My feet must be free! This is one aspect where I will fit in well in Thailand. In homes and churches one leaves one’s shoes on the step outside.

Question: Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  

My life verses are II Timothy 2: 24 – 25. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth . . .

Those verses make particular sense as my husband and I are called to minister in a pervasively Buddhist country. The cultural and mental strongholds there are powerful, but the way of Christ is not to charge about bellowing judgment and condemnation, but gently ministering, speaking the truth, and demonstrating the supernatural love of God.

Last Question :When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

My next book is a novella in a two-novella anthology entitled Count Down to Danger, set to release from Love Inspired Romantic Suspense this coming New Year’s holiday. The novella is entitled New Year’s Target and features a cop (heroine) and a lawyer (hero) with an extensive past history in grade school and high school—not as friends or old flames—but as bitter enemies. Now they have to learn how to work together to stop a killer who seems to have a vendetta against them both. 


To buy Shake Down, go here:

Or ask your local library to order it in for you!


Jill is giving away a copy of Shake Down. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. It's not too late to go back and comment on past posts.


5 comments:

Donna Reimel Robinson said...

Jill, I certainly admire you and your husband spending time with missionaries in Thailand. That must be a spiritually-enriching experience! God bless you as you serve Him!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read your book Shake Down. Please enter me in the contest. Joyce Guard
uardje13@htomail.com

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in reading your book, "Shake Down." Thank you for entering me into the contest. Joyce Guard
guardje13@hotmail.com

Charity Lyman said...

Please enter me!! A big fan of Jill Nelson here:) Thanks!

cjajsmommy said...

Thank you for the great interview and letting us get a glimpse of who you are. Would love to read this book. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com
Deb R.

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