I had the privilege of interviewing Jill Nelson about Reluctant Runaway. You can read my previous post to see my review of this oh-so-excellent story! Enjoy this interview and then check out my special offer at the end. Here’s what Jill had to say…

What’s your favorite scene in Reluctant Runaway?

I have a lot of favorite scenes in this one, but I’d have to say right up there toward the top is Desi and Tony on a motorcycle trying to outrun a semi bent on turning them into roadkill! For a fun teaser on the plot of Runaway, go to http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com/tcatbooks.shtml. I’ve posted a book trailer at the top of the page. Click and enjoy!

What was the funnest part about writing Reluctant Runaway?

Visiting Albuquerque and watching the reactions when I answered people’s question about why I was there. Eyes got big and faces lit up when I said I was researching a novel in their city. Albuquerque is beautiful and set in the picturesque topography of a mountain desert. Those words seem contradictory, but the high desert climate and vegetation, as well as the clash of three cultures (Anglo, Hispanic, and Indian), make this an intriguing setting for a work of fiction. On my web site blog page, I have a couple of entries about my Adventures in Albuquerque, including an entertaining experience interviewing an FBI media liaison. Here’s the URL for the first of those entries: http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com/2006/06/adventures-in-albuquerque.shtml.

How do you do your research for the To Catch a Thief series?

Each book has a different setting, which means I spend a lot of time reading about the new place Desi and Tony will face their next life and death situation. I also interview people who live there so I can catch the unique flavor of each locale. If possible, I visit the area myself. Recently, a fan from Albuquerque emailed me to say I hit her city spot on. She had a hard time believing I didn’t live there. That’s great news to an author!

My bookshelves are groaning with tomes on the FBI, art theft, securities, and ethnicities and cultures, as well as stacks of printouts gleaned from the Internet. I also interview experts on various aspects of the stories—law enforcement personnel, pilots, computer gurus, etc.

Research is one of my favorite parts of writing. I learn so much cool stuff. Way more than I can put into a book. I’ve turned my information on art theft and the FBI crimes against cultural property program into a talk I do for libraries and civic groups called Art Snatchers and Thief Catchers. For more information: http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com/speaker.shtml.

When might we expect to see Book 3 in this series?

Reluctant Smuggler releases in January of 2008. Desi and Tony head south of the border pitted against an ultra-violent gang involved in antiquities theft, drug trafficking, and the slave trade. Fans of the series should find this one particularly gratifying as far as a long-awaited event, but don’t expect me to pull it off in the usual fashion. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. LOL

Finish this line: Writing a novel is…

…like wrestling with the Angel of God until the story becomes substance on the page.

If you were a famous work of art, what would you be and why?

waterlilies.jpgWater Lilies by Claude Monet. The painting is bright and inviting and fluid and conveys a winsome mystique. One web site says “the vibrant color palette encapsulates the atmospheric beauty of the impossible.” I identify with that concept in my particular art form–writing. Live the eternal adventure! That’s my tagline for whatever tale springs from my imagination.

Do you care to dish about any future projects?

I’ve got a half dozen or so ideas for fresh romantic suspense stories running past my editor at Multnomah. We’re working on narrowing down the options. When we do, then I can say more about what’s next.

What’s currently on your nightstand to read?

I just finished reading a string of wonderful mystery and romantic suspense books—Sharon Dunn’s Death of a Garage Sale Newbie (great start to a series), Brandt Dodson’s Seventy Times Seven, and Ramona Richards’ A Murder Among Friends. I tend to read a lot in these related genres for obvious reasons. However, Cathy Marie Hake’s lovely historical romance, Bittersweet, awaits me next. Beyond that, I’ve got another groaning bookshelf of TBR (to-be-read) books. My motto? Never be without a good book!

Any parting words?

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, you can be an active supporter of faith-based fiction. First of all, vote with your dollars on the kind of reading material you appreciate. Next, let your local libraries and bookstores know about authors they should stock. Reader feedback counts a lot. Then don’t hesitate to send fan-mail (electronic or snail mail) to your favorite writers and their publishers. Don’t forget that last part. Let the publishers know who you want to see more books from. Again, reader feedback counts oodles and bunches.

**Are you ready to read Reluctant Runaway? You have a couple of options…Run to your local bookstore and buy yourself a copy OR leave me a comment here in the next week and I’ll choose one of you to win a free copy. Now, you can’t beat that can you?