Friday, October 1, 2010
"The rumors (in a community) that fly" ... can certainly be fascinating enough to write a book! That's what Jill tells us.
JN: My faith has everything to do with everything in my life. I don’t separate my relationship with God from my dealings in the world. I’m one of His ambassadors on planet Earth. Writing, to me, is a calling and a ministry, and I intend to pursue it with the excellence that only He can supply. God loves people, and my books are intended to bless the people He loves.
SKC: You stay busy doing one thing during the day then writing at night. What do you do when you get off track how do you get back ON track?
JN: Everyone has a unique approach to writing. Some people like to whip out a first draft and then go back and fill in the details. Others write volumes and then go back and trim. The approach that works for me is to reread and edit at least a chapter, if not more, before I arrive at where I left off the night before. That process gets me back into the story and results in a “first draft” that has actually been edited several times, which saves on the revisions later.
SKC: How often do you visit other authors’ blogs, and what do you learn from going about the web? Do you ever get distracted by the web?
JN: To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a blog reader. I barely have time to read a book for pleasure now and then. This voracious reader has become a voracious writer! The web can become a distraction, that’s for sure. Information and entertainment is so readily available. Even research can lead to time-consuming rabbit trails. Staying on task and focused is a challenge I’m sure most writers face.
SKC: Every writer goes through some particular trial when it comes to their craft. And I know you’re buried in mysteries. What is one that gets to you the most and how do you deal with it?
JN: Since I’m not a detailed advance plotter, I occasionally paint myself into a corner, plot-wise. I hit my knees in those moments and somehow fresh inspiration faithfully comes—often offering a terrific twist I never would have discovered any other way.
SKC: What do you think is one of the most important things you have learned so far in your years of living about life since becoming a published writer?
JN: Don’t stress about promotion. What little dab I can do to get my work out there, I do as faithfully as I can, but the Lord is my main promoter. He opens doors that no one else can access. I have so much on my plate with family, church, and a full time job, besides writing books. It doesn’t pay to stress over something over which I have such minimal control. Word of mouth is the best advertisement anyway; and that should happen naturally if I keep putting out books that capture people’s hearts.
SDC: You have some books now out of print. I do as well. Have you ever considered bringing those back for the joy of your readers, and if so will you rewrite or will you try to sell them, as is?
JN: I sure have thought about it. When rights revert to me, I hope to revise and reissue. Technology is making this option more and more possible and affordable to authors. And yes, I would do some rewriting. I hope I never stop growing as a writer so that I can look back and see how previous works can be improved.
SDC: Tell us that one scripture that keeps you going each day. And then, since you are so kind to offer a copy of your book to one of our viewers, what is one of the first questions you would want to ask one of the viewers here that involves something mysterious that you could perhaps make use of in a future story?
JN: Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Phil. 4: 4 – 5) This scripture is in my preset postscript at the bottom of my emails. Fabulous nuggets of advice for any and every situation. I have Philippians 4: 4 – 8 committed to memory and mentally recite those verses often. Such a comfort!
Hmmm. Now a question that involves a mystery. Let me lay some groundwork first. The mind is often a mysterious creature. Our spirits are created anew in the image of God when we receive Jesus as our Savior, but the mind must be RE-newed. Here lies the battlefield—how we think, which in turn directly affects our emotions, which ultimately leads to actions based on how we think and feel. So let me ask you, and perhaps your answers will help me devise a plot to a new story: What fatal flaw in thinking may have led to outrageous crimes like the workplace and campus shootings that have so horrified us in recent years? How can a Christian writer portray such a character accurately and yet compassionately?
SDC: Wow! Those are great questions to reflect upon and ponder for future comments. Thanks. It has been a pleasure having you here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Jill. Tell us more about the book you are donating. And also, where can all of us find you and your books on the web?
JN: Here’s a taste to whet your appetite for Legacy of Lies:
Secrets Buried Deep!