Nancy Jill Thames, Author (with Romeo)
I’m just an ordinary homemaker with a vivid imagination who has a tremendous belief in the power of positive thinking. I’ve also been a Believer since the age of eight and feel it’s the sole reason for the blessed life I lead. My degree is in music from The University of Texas at Austin and I actually use it playing the piano for my church. I’m married to a wonderful man who has pampered me for almost 44 years. He takes me with him on business trips so I’m able to enjoy staying in lovely resorts. We’ve raised four children and have six lovely grandchildren. My friends call me the “Queen of Afternoon Tea”because I love serving it to people.
How long have you been an author?I’ve actually only been an author for less than two years now.
What genre? Is it part of a series?
I only write mysteries, so far. Yes, it is part of “The Jillian Bradley Mystery Series.” Book 5 “Pacific Beach” will be launched very soon.Wow!You’ve been busy! Is writing your primary focus or do you divide your time between your work as an author and another career?
Wow! You’ve been busy! Is writing your primary focus or do you divide your time between your work as an author and another career?
I know how difficult that can be. With so much on your plate, how do you find time for yourself? What do you do to relax?
I put myself on a to-do-list. I take time on Sunday to worship and rest. But I still go to choir practice at 4:30 pm so Sunday is still a busy day. My husband and I watch a movie after dinner every night and play Rummikub for breaks during the day.
It seems to be working for you. When you do buckle down to write, do you follow a set writing schedule or do you just write when you feel inspired?
I usually get all my chores finished before I start working, or at least on a list. I write for 45 minutes and then take a break, doing a chore or moving about. I also take time to blink my eyes so they don’t dry out staring at the computer screen for so long.
The call to write comes at odd times. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with pen in hand in the wee hours of the morning. Aside from occasional bouts of sleep deprivation, I’ve found my fellow writers to be a wonderfully supportive group. Do you agree?
Absolutely! Occasionally I become discouraged, but when I think of all my author friends who are experiencing the same feelings, I snap out of the mood right away. It’s great motivation.
Feeling that you are not alone as a writer makes all the difference. I believe it is so important that we support one another. Is there anything you do that would be considered‘paying it forward’ to help other authors?
I do author interviews once a week calling them ‘Celebrity Authors’ for encouragement. I feel the interviews help promote their work. I also contribute to my writers group whenever I’m asked to share my publishing experience.
Those are terrific gestures of support that I know are appreciated. I was honored when you interviewed me. It is particularly important that we nurture fledgling authors. Do you have any advice for novices? Is there a ‘how to’ writing book you feel is a ‘must have’ for every writer? Any memberships or courses/workshops you recommend?
I would suggest beginning with some front money to pay for copy editing. Besides a good story, paying readers deserve error-free books. Find a copy editor you can afford and one who likes your genre. Everything else in this business can be learned.
There are so many good ‘how to’ books out there that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Since I believe authors should have their own writing style, I think I like Stephen King’s approach best: Just write how you talk and then hire someone to do the editing. As for myself, I checked out a book at the library entitled “How to Write a Damn Good Mystery” by James N. Frey. I had only written 12 chapters of my first novel and had no idea where it was going, but after reading his book, I was able to figure out what to do in order to finish it.
The only courses and workshops I’ve attended were for my writer’s guild. The workshops were very hands on and I learned a great deal. Some were from guild members and others were from local authors.
My first editor, a personal friend of mine from church by the name of Donna Montgomery, told me she might have skimmed parts of the manuscript because she got so caught up in the story that she couldn’t put it down. She told me I had the makings of a successful author, and this was coming from an editor of all types of genres with over 30 years of experience. She instilled belief in me, and I reach back when I’m discouraged and remember what she said.
My books are available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon.com. The links are on the slideshow at: http://www.nancy-jill.blogspot.com. You can get to my “Queen of Afternoon Tea” Blog from the site or go directly to http://www.nancyjillthames.wordpress.com.
I believe it’s always a good idea to look back at where you’ve been to see how far you’ve come. Looking to the future, I plan to write at least three more books in the series before I am finished. “Waiting for Santa,” is due out October 2012 and “The Ruby of Siam,” is due out April 2013. The eighth book is still in the early stages.
I can’t wait to read your series. Readers, check below for links to all of Nancy Jill’s mysteries and be on the look-out for “Waiting for Santa” and “The Ruby of Siam”. Nancy Jill, Thank you so much for stopping in today.
Scarlett, I want to thank you again for the interview. It’s been a pleasure!
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