Today we hve an interview with Nancy Jill Thames. Thank you Nancy for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.
Q. Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
A. In my non-writing life I live in my imagination. Since my husband retired and moved us to a small town in central Texas there isn’t a whole lot to do or places to go. For fun I listen to music and dance around the house or do chores. Our four children live all over the place so our traveling consists of visits to them or meeting for a reunion in San Diego. The church we belong to has over 3000 members so there is always something going on if we want to be involved. So far my husband and I have joined the senior choir which ministers to the elderly once a month in nursing homes or assisted-living. I used to write stories about destinations my husband and I enjoyed on business trips. Now YouTube has replaced that need. I also just read an article about an author getting inspiration from obituaries. Not a bad idea!
Q. Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.
A. For fun I listen to music every day or play the piano, mostly praise songs. Personal satisfaction for me comes through creativity whether it’s writing, cooking, or gardening.
Q. Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
A. Publishing a book is impossible to do by yourself. I depend on my husband to do the first reading, a creative writing teacher to read my proof, beta readers to offer input, my proofreader who also does all of my formatting, and my cover designer. After I tell my designer the setting, plot and offer image suggestions she creates sample covers until I’m satisfied.
Q. Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
A. “Museums Can Be Murder” will be book 11 in the series. The Christmas holidays get a morbid start when Jillian Bradley’s niece Kaitlyn Romero discovers the body of her boss where she works at the Metropolitan Museum of art. An envelope containing rare illustrations of Charles Dickens work is missing, and Detective Mickey Wells must humbly rely on Jillian’s help to solve the crime. The case goes international when the vendor of the illustrations is murdered and linked to possible fraud. As in previous books Jillians Yorkie companion Teddy helps solve the case by discovering an important clue. Afternoon tea and romance included!
Q. What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
A. When I wrote my first book “Murder in Half Moon Bay” I had no particular message. By the second book “The Ghost Orchid Murder” I could not stop the message of the gospel from coming through on the pages. With subsequent books I made it a point to include my heroine’s personal faith at least once, and included the message of salvation if the opportunity presented itself in the story. Christians have commented how much they appreciate the gospel message in my books and those who read it who are not believers hopefully will glimpse how a person of faith lives day by day no matter what the situation.
Q. Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.
A. When I first started to write I remember going to the local library to hear a guest author speak on writing the cozy mystery. I bought one of her books which she signed and I still have to this day. In it she said, “Good luck with your writing.” Years later I was included in a cookbook with Camille Minichino and several anthologies called “Happy Homicides” for which I count a great honor. Being associated with her made me feel like a real author.
Q. What is the best thing about being an author?
A. The best thing about being an author in my case is leaving a legacy of books based on the wonderful life God has given me filled with blessings in fiction form.
Q. Describe a Typical Day for You.
A. A typical day for me begins whenever my eyes open and I feel like getting out of bed. I allow myself two cups of leisurely coffee in the morning interspersed with social media, chatting with my husband, doing a few chores and contemplating whether to write or not.
My husband plays golf three afternoons a week during which I listen to Pandora, read, work jigsaw puzzle’s or Suduko, and bake. Sundays and Tuesdays are times for outings. Saturdays are for doing absolutely nothing or anything we feel like – watching movies, playing Rumikube, or working outside in the garden.
In the evenings we watch movies, drink decaf and have dessert, then head for bed usually early.
Q. Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?
A. Aside from Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Murder She Wrote mysteries I tend to read historical fiction, best sellers, or books recommended to me by my granddaughters or daughter, all voracious reader’s. If I like a book I will re-read it many times.
I don’t enjoy reading the same genre I write because I never want to copy ideas even inadvertently.
Q. What is something that readers would be surprised to know about you?
A. Readers may find it interesting to know that my background is in music, not writing. I hold a degree in voice, have been a church music director, and taught piano pedagogy. I will say that writing has given me a true appreciation for English majors.
Q. Pose a question for our readers to answer…
A. Have you ever wanted to write a book? If so, what would the book be about?
Thank you so much for the interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
About the Author:
Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood storyteller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she’s always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, she published her first mystery “Murder in Half Moon Bay,” introducing the well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley and clue-sniffing Yorkie “Teddy.” When not plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas, California, and Georgia finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand, or having afternoon tea with friends. She lives with her husband in Texas and is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) CenTex Chapter.