Jill Eileen Smith is the author of Sarai, Rebekah, and Rachel of the Wives of the Patriarchs series and best-selling author of the Wives of King David series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She can often be found reading, testing new recipes, grabbing lunch with friends, or snuggling Tiger, her little writing buddy who chews her fingers as she works. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan. She loves hearing from her readers.
Welcome to The Engrafted Word Jill Eileen Smith! It’s wonderful to have you here!
Savanna: Of all the places you’ve traveled to for researching your novels, what has been your favorite location to visit so far and why?
Jill: Israel, without question! I had done a lot of book research on the history, life and times, geography, topography, archeological evidence, and more, but it wasn’t until I actually saw the wilderness and some of the ancient ruins that I could envision the past more clearly. God provided a way to visit this favorite ancient land the year before Michal released, which could not have been more perfect timing.
Jill: My favorite part of every book is typing “the end!” First drafts are not easy, but Rachel was not as hard to write as some have been. I think her story was easier because there is more about Jacob, Rachel, and Leah in Scripture. The trouble was, the only thing that we see as a constant between the two sisters is their fighting over the right to sleep with their husband and their competition to have babies. That made for some difficult writing because I did not want to keep writing the same birthing scenes for twelve boys! So despite the amount of material, the story writing was still a challenge.
Probably my favorite scene, however, came when Jacob wrestled with God. I think if we are honest, most of us have times where we wrestle with God’s will, His choices, His timing in our lives and more. Envisioning Jacob’s struggle mirrored many of my own.
Savanna: That certainly was one of my favorite parts of the story. In all your studying and researching for your novels, can you name a Biblical figure – besides Jesus, of course! 🙂 – who you would have liked to meet?
Jill: There are too many to name, but David would have to win first dibs. His story has fascinated me since my children were small, and of all of the people of Scripture I’ve researched, his story is the one I know best.
Savanna: David’s story is dear to my heart as well. What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?
Jill: That changes as often as my favorite Bible verse changes. I love Hebrews, Luke, 2 Peter, and Revelation (though I love the whole of Scripture, so when I say I love them, I just love reading them more often.) In the Old Testament I love 1 and 2 Samuel, Ruth, and Genesis, but right now I’m even enjoying Judges. And weird as it may sound, I like Deuteronomy and reading genealogies, despite all of the hard-to-pronounce names because if you research enough, sometimes you find a familial connection that opens up a story in a way you didn’t dream. So…I really have loads of favorites. I suppose the most comforting of all is the Psalms. And Proverbs is such a great daily read – such wisdom and common sense to be found if we just look for it.
Jill: I am in the middle of two new series right now. The next full-length series is Brides of the Promised Land. Rahab is on my editor’s desk. Deborah is in research stage. The e-novella series is Loves of King Solomon. The Desert Princess releases in e-book only format August 5, 2014. Hers is the story of Solomon’s first wife Naamah. The second book (as yet untitled) is about Abishag and is still in progress.
Savanna: How exciting! Thanks so much for stopping by to chat today, Jill. It’s great to have you here! How can readers connect with you?
Jill: Thanks for having me!
Readers can find me on my website: http://www.jilleileensmith.com/
Jill is celebrating her new release by giving away two amazing packages full of rich Biblical history! You have 4 days left to enter in this great giveaway!
Have you read Biblical fiction before? What is your favorite thing about this genre? Any questions for Jill?