Monday, August 28, 2006

Author Intro: Jill Nelson

See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Jill Nelson:
I wrote my first novel in the sixth grade—never published, and the world is grateful. But I never stopped writing after that. My publishing credits range from newspaper and magazine articles to poetry to essays and short stories. Reluctant Burglar is my debut novel, book one in a romantic suspense series for Multnomah Publishers.

My husband and I reached our 25th wedding anniversary on August 15. I can’t say “celebrated” yet, because we didn’t do much, but the kids have something in the works, and Doug (my husband) keeps making noises about Hawaii this winter. I sure wouldn’t mind ducking out of a Minnesota winter for warm, sandy beaches. We have four children—two boys, two girls—and all but our youngest, a senior this year, are out of the nest.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book.

I like to think Reluctant Burglar is a gourmet blend of intrigue, humor, romance, and pathos. The main female protagonist is smart and sassy Desiree Jacobs, a museum and private art collection security expert—also a first class cat burglar. You’ll have to read the book to find out why that’s a good thing. Tony Lucano is the lead FBI agent investigating a ruthless art theft ring operating out of Boston, Desiree’s home stomping grounds. She’s a suspect, oh, yeah! But is she guilty? He can’t decide, and his job would be a whole lot easier if he wasn’t attracted to her.

You can read more about the series, including an excerpt from Burglar, at my web site: Go to my To Catch a Thief Books page. I’m also running a contest for a signed copy on my Stealth and Wealth page.

See Ya On The Net: What would you like readers to take away from your book?

No matter how tough the situation, God always provides a way out—but usually not the way you expect. Also, be God-reliant, not self-reliant.

See Ya On The Net: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?

One night I woke up, my whole body tense, after dreaming that a woman had sneaked into a home in the middle of the night to return a genuine painting that had been stolen and replaced by a clever forgery. I knew little about her except that she was an expert at what she did, and if she were caught, disaster would follow. My imagination began to play with that nugget. I love stories where people risk much to do the right thing, and I feel sick whenever I hear of art or antiquities desecrated or stolen. Putting these elements together into a tale of intrigue—with a sassy heroine and an intense hero—came easily. I believe that capturing the imagination with a gripping story makes a most effective vehicle to convey thought-provoking realities.

See Ya On The Net: What makes your writing style unique?

I write characters you’d love to meet and put them in pulse-pounding situations you’d hate to be in. No angst-ridden anti-heros for me. I’m not that literary. Readers tell me Desi’s off-beat voice is one of the most engaging things about the book. Tony’s no-nonsense style, tempered with a big heart, also steals the show at times. God is also a character who subtly permeates the story. I like to think I write suspense with more meat on its bones than just a slick plot.

See Ya On The Net: What is the hardest part about writing for you?

Writing. Just kidding. Research is a breeze, but sometimes squeezing those words onto the page just the way you want them can be a challenge. I’m always learning and growing. Plot can be a bear to tame, too, when you’ve got multiple threads going, and you need to tie them together.

See Ya On The Net: How did you stay motivated to finish the book?

Great question. Finishing a manuscript is absolutely key to moving from wannabe to real writer. Sounds elementary, but there are probably a gazillion half-written novels out there, rotting in desk drawers.

Reluctant Burglar was the third manuscript I finished in a four-year span of time. The thing that grabbed me about that story and kept me going was my love of the characters. They were in such deliciously awful situations, I had to keep writing until I got them out—or not.

See Ya On The Net: What do you do to make time for yourself?

What’s that? There isn’t any when I’m nearing deadline, but usually I’m able to juggle family, day job, and writing. Not without occasional sacrifice, mind you, (sorry, mom/wife can’t watch a movie with you tonight, etc.) but my family is very supportive. I’m blessed!

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

Kaleidescope Eyes by Karen Ball—a great blend of suspense and romance. The main characters sizzle together, and they have unique jobs that are integral to the story. Throw in a daring dog and a cute kid, how can you lose?

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, web site)

I love reader mail! E-mail me at My wetBsite is Be sure to enter the contest on my Stealth and Wealth page. And from my Contact page, you can e-mail me or sign up for my newsletter. I’m putting together a loot bag that one newsletter subscriber will win as soon as my subscription base doubles from where it is now. We’re talking cool loot like art prints, books, DVDs, and edible treats.

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