Jill has graciously offered one of her books to a lucky reader so be sure to follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to be included. This giveaway is part of Book Blog Carnival
Jill Eileen Smith has been writing for over twenty years. Her experience includes articles and one published novel, although she has several under contract. Her research on David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel. She says "Put succinctly, I’m a wife, mom, novelist, cat owner, aspiring Bible scholar, lover of history, musician, dark chocolate connoisseur, and first and foremost a follower of Jesus. "
I have to confess, I am not one who really reads the Old Testament very often. I know I am missing some great wisdom. I love that there are authors out their like Smith who are tackling the retelling of these stories. I know after reading this and Havah by Tosca Lee and Michal it has led me to delve into the Old Testament.
What is your novel about?
The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege-but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister. As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the young handsome harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father's mercy in the prison that is King Saul's palace. Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separate from him forever?
What do you want your readers to take away from your novel?
I want readers to see Michal as a woman who learned the hard way that our lives are in God’s hands, that He loves us even when we think everything is going wrong and everyone is out to get us. I pray her story gives hope to women who live with challenging circumstances and wonder if they’ll make it through. Most of all, I want my readers to see that each one of us has to come to God in complete surrender of our wills to His. Peace with Him won’t happen apart from repentance.
Beside salvation, what is the best gift you have ever received?
My husband and my children.
Who is the most important influence in your life besides God?
My husband and my children – I know it’s the same answer as above, but my guys shape my world. I thank God for them.
Let’s pretend money is not a factor, if you could go anywhere is the world where would you go?
I would go back to Israel and live there for a while. I would explore from Dan to Beersheba (the Bible’s way of saying the whole land God promised to the people of Israel.) I would learn the Hebrew language and spend time on an archaeological dig and walk where Jesus and David and Abraham walked, but only if my husband were with me and we had a great tour guide. (It would be no fun alone.) Such a trip would be amazing!
What book are you reading now? What books are found lying around your home?
I’m finishing Ginny (Virginia) Smith’s Stuck in the Middle. Enjoyable story – poignant and touching moments with some great insight. Reminds me of some of the things I’ve experienced.
What books can you find around my house? LOL! There are book shelves in every room in my house – minus the bathrooms. We have shelves of reference books, commentaries, Bible encyclopedias and dictionaries, books on writing and on theological issues, books on web and graphic design, health issues, and tons of fiction – mostly Christian fiction. Books I have recently read and loved are: My Sister Dilly by Maureen Lang, The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen, and Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee.
What is your favorite children’s book?
The series Stories Jesus Told by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen – especially The Little Gate. They’re out of print but I’ve saved my copies for grandchildren someday. LOVE the artwork and the writing is great too!
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Getting the first draft down.
What do you find most rewarding?
Polishing each scene, rereading it over and over again until it flows smoothly.
Tell us a little about your road to publication?
The short version is that it was a 20-year journey with a lot of dips in the road. Rejection in any form hurts, but I was just stubborn enough to keep going, keep trying, until about six months before my first sale. I almost quit. I was truly at the end of all I could do and wasn’t sure I could continue. My prayers put it all in God’s hands with some specific requests for direction. God met those requests and answered beyond what I had imagined.
What are you working on next?
Bathsheba’s story is in the works. Abigail is on my editor’s desk. When I finish The Wives of King David, I will begin work on The Wives of the Patriarchs – first planned book is about Sarai.
What would you like your readers to say about your writing?
Well, I hope they like it! Positive comments are always welcome! J
What is your favorite verse from the Bible? Why?
My favorite verse changes periodically. I have way too many favorites to pick one and stick to it. It really depends on my need at the time. God’s Word is my greatest comfort.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write what you love, not what you know. Learn the craft well because competition is steep. Don’t write strictly in the hopes of being published. And surrender your desires for success of any kind to the Lord. His will is not ours, His timing is perfect, and we will be happiest when we’re walking with Him wherever He leads.
Where can readers find you on the Web? http://www.jilleileensmith.com/ or http://www.thewivesofkingdavid.com/
If you would like to win a copy of Michal by Jill Eileen Smith be sure to leave a comment and answer the silly daily question: Name three places you would like to travel to. I would love to go to Ireland, Alaska and Australia. At least that's what I think today.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4):
1st extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
3rd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (writebyfaith) and tweet about the contest.
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• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, March 18th, 2008
• Winner will be chosen at random