Our Interview today is with Jill Overstreet Twigg. Thanks Jill for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.
Question #1 What is the best thing about being an author?
I love seeing and hearing the reactions of my readers to one of my books. I have received emails and letters telling me how they were uplifted and encouraged and waiting for the next one.
Question #2 What are some of the challenges of being an author?
A big challenge for me is to set time aside and write every single day. It’s hard when you are around family that you don’t see often and you want to spend as much time with them as you can. I try and pick one day a week and do nothing but write the whole entire day.
Question #3 Describe a Typical Day for You.
A typical day for me is to get up around 6:30 and take my walk and pray, workout some scenes and plan out my day. If I know it’s not going to be a writing day, I will divide my time between reading and what has to be done like cleaning or a project. I will read a chapter then set my clock to race against it to get back to my book of the moment. That way I can divide my time between doing what I love to do and what I have to do. Can you tell I like to play games?
Question #4 What genre(s) do you write? And why or how did you chose them?
I write Christian Romance/mystery. Who doesn’t like a good love story? I like to write stories that I enjoy reading myself. They have to be clean. I would definitely want to bring honor and glory to the Lord with my writing.
Question #5 Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?
I do read Christian romance. It has that heartwarming feel as if you just watched a Hallmark movie. Some of the secular stories just have unnecessary scenes that really don’t add to the storyline.
Question #6 What is something that readers would be surprised to know about you?
Maybe that I live in a barn and a bat comes in to visit me each night. I may have to name him soon, because I think he thinks he’s a pet.
Question #7 When and how did the writing bug bite you?
Five years ago my husband moved us to Louisiana so he could work and study for his captain’s license which left me some alone time to the tune of 6-8 weeks at times. It was really just a test to see if I could write. I wasn’t even sure I would turn it in anywhere. I had written a screenplay many years ago and had acquired an agent that was interested, so I thought I would try my hand at a novel. Writing detail and people’s thoughts were a challenge. I was used to just writing dialogue.
Question #8 When you write, do you plot everything out or not? Why does that work for you?
I have an idea of the plot from beginning to end, so I just have to write details in between. I’m pretty spontaneous. I may get an idea for a scene while I’m driving, walking or sitting in the doctor’s office. My first book, I wrote a whole scene on a plane writing about the plane experience.
Question #9 What is the best thing a reader or reviewer has ever said about you?
I had an email from a reader that stated she felt that God was speaking to her through many areas of my book, at a time when she needed it. The book was full of hope and encouragement for those going through life with uncertainty. That God will be with you no matter what and He is in control. And to trust Him. My books had enough intrigue to keep the reader guessing till the end, had Bible verses to help you along life’s journey and the joy and love that no one can fulfill fully except the Lord. It was very encouraging.
Question #10 What is the worst thing a reader or reviewer ever said about you? How did you handle that?
That my first book was the worst she had read that year so far. I have to tell you my heart dropped. But I was reminded that not everyone is going to love my books or even like them. She didn’t give a very famous author a good rating either, so I shouldn’t take it to heart too much. I had a purpose and that was to entertain and to uplift. And from the encouragement of my readers, I had accomplished so much more. I was encouraged as they were. I felt that if I could bless just one person, I had reached my goal.
Question #11 If you could go to one place and write, where would it be and why?
I went to a scrapbooking retreat a few years ago and at the place where we ate our meals, they had a porch on the back of the building that faced a huge pond which early in the morning mirrored the trees on the other side. I could have sat in those rockers and wrote all weekend. It was just beautiful and peaceful. I find that I draw in scenes during restful spots like that.
Question #12 If you could have one experience back to do over again, what would it be and why?
I wish I could have been home with my girls while they were in high school. Even though they turned out to be wonderful ladies, I felt that I should have been home for them in the evenings. The drawback of owning your own Pizza shop.
Question #13 Who do you consider a mentor in your life? What did that person teach you?
I met a wonderful person in Louisiana named Gayle Feibel. She encouraged me to write. She was always ready to answer any biblical questions I had. I didn’t go to church until I could drive myself when I was sixteen. So I didn’t really have a mentor in that aspect growing up. But I went to discipleship classes, learned to memorize and was off and running. But it wasn’t until later that I got more deep into the Word and Gayle helped me a lot. I could also say that my husband was an inspiration. I saw a difference in him after we had moved and it encouraged me to step up my game, so to speak and study more.
Question #14 Is writing your only job? If not, tell us a little about your “day” job.
Since moving to La, writing is my only job, my hobby as my husband calls it. He works a schedule that allows him 2-4 weeks off. So we are able to jump in the truck and go. That has been a blessing.
Question #15 If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
My last job was a billing manager. I can throw a mean pizza having owned a pizza parlor Twiggy’s. My daughter is an Occupational therapist assistant and that sounds like a lot of fun. There are so many possibilities.
Question #16 What is your favorite verse in the Bible? Why?
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. I have used that verse many many times in my life and it works.
Question #17 What is your favorite quote? Why?
What goes around, comes around. I just believe it whether its used for bad situations or good ones.
Question #18 What is your favorite book? Why?
Finding Hope by Brenda Coulter. It got right to my heart and made me not just cry, but sob. I LOVED it!
Question #19 What other hobbies do you have?
I love to read, go to garage sales and make greeting cards. Pinterest definitely feels like a hobby to me. I love making the different things I’ve pinned whether recipes or crafts.
Question #20 What is your workspace like? Clean or chaos?
It’s only my computer, a comfortable chair and possibly a notebook that I’ve written in while not at home, so it is clean. However, if I had a desk that I always used, there’s no telling . . .
Question #21 How did you break into writing?
It was an accident really. I had a story in my head and it was a test to myself to see if I could put it on paper. I’d written about 74,000 words and figured I was done. I didn’t tell anyone that I’d sent it in, so that if no one was interested in it, I wouldn’t feel like a failure. I received a call two weeks later for my first book.
Question #22 Where can people find you on the Internet?
facebook- https://www.facebook.com/jill.o.twigg?fref=ts for my first book The Dublin Destiny.
I am working on another website which will have Bound by Fate.
Question #23 What advice do you have for other authors?
Never give up on following your dream. I researched a lot of authors and blogs and read, read, read, so you get a feel of how other authors are writing and different tips.
Question #24 Tell us about your book.
Bound by Fate is the story of a young wife who after leaving a baby boutique finds her husband murdered in the car. Later she learns that he anticipated his demise and left her clues to possibly solve his murder and discover more than she may have bargained for. She gets help from an unlikely hero who discovers that she may be in more trouble than she realizes. The story has a small hometown feel. The people draw you in and the mystery keeps you glued to the pages.
Question #25 Tell us about the characters in your book.
Jessie is an orphan who was never fostered out. She grew up a loner and married the first guy that was interested in her. Drake ran away from home when he was 14 and was emancipated at 16. He renovated a barn to live in and put himself through medical school. Ruby, Drake’s “adopted” mom taught him the love of Jesus. Delane is quirky and Ruby’s best friend since childhood. You can always find her in a hat of some kind. She speaks her mind and doesn’t necessarily have tact. (She will be a stronger presence in the next book) Monica is a deaf young girl who Jessie befriends and mentors. Bailey is a college buddy of Drake’s who is a U.S. Marshall. (He will be a main character in the next book)
Question #26 Do you include your own life in your books? Why or why not?
I do have some situations that have been intertwined in the storyline. We play a scavenger hunt game at Christmas and that was what gave me the idea for the clues to the murder for this book. I have a friend name Delane and she did make a particular hat that’s mentioned in the book.
Question #27 What is special to you about this book?
I think just the way the story came together. It felt just like a glove. I had characters named after my friends. There’s a strong message of relying on God to get you through situations and to never, ever doubt that He’s taking care of it.
Question #28 What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope readers take away that again, God is always in control, no matter what. You just need to trust Him, because He is in the impossible business. He’s got this. And that authors don’t need to put garbage in their stories to have a really great book.
Question #29 What’s your favorite “treat”?
On a really hot day, I can knock down a 7-11 Slurpee like nobody’s business. Other than that, me and mint chocolate Oreos have a great relationship.
Question #30 Morning or night, which is the best and why?
I’m a night owl. If I can get my normal stuff done during the day, I can write till wee hours of the morning.
Question #31 Favorite season and why?
Just moving to NY from FL and Louisiana, I’m able to see the trees change into beautiful colors in the Fall. There all kinds of Apple and autumn festivals around as well.
Question #32 Favorite sport and why?
Love football. I think because I had a boyfriend that talked football a lot and I figured if I was going to understand what he was saying that I needed to do some research. I memorized all the NFL teams and their quarterbacks when I was in high school. It was something that I could watch with my dad and I’ve been to many professional games and one college game.
Question #33 Least favorite household or yard chore?
I don’t like to vacuum. I have to lug the cleaner out of the closet, switch the attachments to get the baseboards and it gives me the chills when the hose scrapes on a tight carpet or floor. I can’t vacuum the car. I have to use duct tape.
Question #34 Least favorite thing to do?
I hate to get up in front of people to do anything, even if it’s people I know well. I can’t take attention on me. I am not able to eat at a restaurant by myself. Can you tell where my self confidence is? Something I am definitely working on.
Question #35 Favorite thing to do?
I love doing girl things with my daughters. Shopping, lunch, pedi’s, movies etc. We have a good time.
Question #36 You have a whole day to go anywhere and do anything. What would that be and why?
Usually on my birthday I plan a “me” day. I get a massage, maybe have lunch with a friend, finish Christmas shopping and go to the movies. I finish out the evening with dinner with my family.
About the Author:
Born in Kansas as an Air Force brat, Jill has lived in Germany and Okinawa as well as six states. She now resides in a New York barn and in Florida with her daughters and eight grandchildren as well as her husband Bruce, a merchant marine in the Gulf of Mexico out of Louisiana. When not writing she is spending time with family and friends. Jill enjoys making greeting cards, movies and collecting books for her library. She has a great love for the Lord and women’s bible studies. She is looking forward to her new release of the first book in the Chandler trilogy, “Bound By Fate.”
Twitter Handle @jilltwigg
FaceBook Page https://www.facebook.com/jill.o.twigg?fref=ts