Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview with Nancy Jill Thames

Debbie: Tell us a little about yourself.
Nancy Jill:  My dad was in the Air Force so we traveled and moved around a lot. I lived in places like Casablanca, Morocco, Valdosta, GA and Las Vegas, Nevada, which gave me a sense of adventure. I'm just an average housewife who loves to entertain, or used to. When the kids started to leave the nest, I decided to finish a book I'd started writing years ago, "Murder in Half Moon Bay" and do a series - just for kicks. I needed a creative outlet. I have a degree in music and love playing classical piano but one can't play piano all day! My faith in God has led me all my life and He's been so faithful. Traveling with my husband on his business trips gives me the ideas to base my books on.

Debbie: Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
Nancy Jill: Book 1 "Murder in Half Moon Bay" was written as a personal challenge to prove I could write a story like Agatha Christy or Donald Bain ("Murder She Wrote"). Once I saw I could actually do it I decided to write seven more stories centering around Jillian the feisty garden columnist, her clue sniffing Yorkie, and garden club friends. Now I'm on book 10! The books are stand alone, but I like readers to start with Book 1 to see how Jillian began her sleuthing career.

Debbie: Why did you choose this particular genre?
Nancy Jill: Romance bores me, I don't care much for fantasy, dystopian, or Sce-Fi and I love the ability to include fine art, afternoon tea and pet capers in my stories.

Debbie: What was your journey to publication like?
Nancy Jill: I blogged the first 12 chapters of "Murder in Half Moon Bay" as a lark, generated some interest with a Bay Area rag and decided to self-publish through CreateSpace. I stumbled upon Kindle eBooks and published there, made a ton of errors, got  bad reviews for writing about my faith without a disclaimer, which I immediately remedied, and started to sell books. Every article, post, or blog relating to becoming a successful author I devoured. But the best thing I did was to join writing groups in my area.

Debbie: What are a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?
Nancy Jill: Loved "Snow Falling on Cedars," "The Poisonwood Bible," and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. I'll read best sellers if they aren't too raunchy. I just finished a memoir by Jemima Pett called "White Water Landings."

Debbie: What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside?
Nancy Jill: Book 10 "Murder at the Empress Hotel" is set in the beautiful city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, where a bitter legal and political conflict over fishing rights and the love of one woman turns deadly with the murder of a young attorney. The mystery draws Jillian and Teddy into yet another adventure.

Debbie: What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
Nancy Jill: Write a good book. Get lots of feedback. Write a few more books. Hire an awesome editor, proofer, and cover artist.

Debbie: Do you have any books or websites that helped you wit
h your writing that you could share with us?
Nancy Jill: I only read one book on writing "How to write a D... Good Mystery" by James Frey. I checked it out of the library after writing 12 chapters!

Debbie: Is there anything you'd like to tell us we haven't covered?
Nancy Jill: I like what J K Rowling said about writing - "I write what I like to read." It's a good reminder.

Debbie: Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
Nancy Jill: I'd love to: ...enter the world of Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie companion Teddy, where afternoon tea is served and murderers are brought to justice. Amazon Author Central:  Books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.

by Deborah Malone
Deborah Malone's first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer's category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2011 and 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine "Georgia Backroads" since 2001. She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson, as well as the "Christian Communicator." She is a member of the Georgia Writer's Association, Advanced Writers and Speaker's Association and the American Christian Fiction Writers.


  1. Thank you for sharing, Deborah! Learn more about another author to check out.

  2. Nancy Jill thank you so much for being a guest on our blog.
    Debbie Malone

  3. Loved this interview! Nancy Jill is an imaginative writer who loves people and writes a good story.