Author Spotlight: Dave & Neta Jackson


Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from the last Author Spotlight giveaway is MALLORY FRY! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Welcome Dave & Neta Jackson, authors of Pound Foolish, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of their book.

 D&N HeadshotWhat is the smartest writing advice you ever got?


What was your biggest break?

Dave: When Bethany Publishers caught our vision for a “bookshelf” of historical fiction about great Christian heroes and gave us a contract for 12 youth novels—which eventually grew to a bookshelf of 40 novels!

Neta: When Integrity Publishers jumped on the Yada Yada Prayer Group novel idea—my first adult novel (even though I’d been writing children’s books and non-fiction and articles for years). It was only going to be one novel—but has grown into four series and 20 novels . . .

I’m inspired by…

Dave: Other authors, like James Lee Burke, whose writing is some of the most poetic and picturesque I’ve ever read. Also Michael Connelly who I consider a plot master. And my wife Neta, who’s a character maven.

Neta: The sisters in my Bible study prayer group for the past 17 years—like a drawer full of mismatched socks from different racial and cultural and church backgrounds. Each one is a gift and they have inspired many of my characters.

My great adventure has been…

Dave: The times when I sense God guiding me when I’m writing something.

Neta: Going through life with my husband Dave for 48 years now. Never a dull moment! From year one, we got involved in a black church, then the anti-war and civil rights movements, Christian communal living, racial reconciliation, a trip to China to teach ex-pat kids writing seminars, raising two kids and a Cambodian foster daughter, being faced with a beloved family member “coming out” and suddenly all the smug easy answers weren’t so easy or helpful anymore . . . and through it all, seeing God mature and steady my man, and on my part, not only feeling safe and loved but challenged by my husband “to be all I can be” as a writer, speaker, woman of God. Wow, what an adventure!

The one thing I hope to discover is…

Dave: How to market our books better! Given how much readers enjoy our books, I know there have to be untapped markets (readers!) out there!

Neta: How to slow down the pace of pressure and deadlines as we head into our 70s, and still be able to write what’s on my heart.

If I could go anywhere, it would be…

Dave: Back to China. (We spent a month there, but it just whetted my appetite.)

Neta: For fun, to Australia or New Zealand. For spiritual challenge, to Malawi, Africa, to visit our pastor friends Felix and Towela Nyika—or anywhere else in Africa.

If you have only…an hour…

Dave: I’d watch a good movie—oops that would take at least an hour and a half or two.

Neta: Sit in our Sky Chair swing in the yard with a good book and a mug of tea.

Describe yourself in one word:

Dave: Happy/Content

Neta: Positive (“cup half full” type of person)

Describe your spouse in one word (We threw this one in!):

Dave: (Neta is . . .) Other-focused
Neta: (Dave is . . .) Integrity

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

Dave: Our laptop computers! They have all our life work on them!

Neta: My cat Shadow. And our photo albums if time. (Since Dave already got the laptops ha ha)

What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?

Dave: Getting a six-book contract . . . and then losing it.

Neta: Hearing my first line read at the Christy Awards telling me I’d won.

What drives you to succeed?

Dave: Desire to keep working at what God has called me to do.

Neta: Depends on one’s definition of “success.” Don’t particularly want to be rich and famous. I want God to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” because I’ve focused on what’s important, not expedient.

Best Surprise:Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 10.44.12 AM

Dave: When our second baby turned out to be a girl!

Neta: My 65th birthday—a surprise party cooked up by Dave and my Bible study sisters. Biggest surprise that night: my older sister and her hubby came all the way from North Carolina! Most fun at the party: a song by The Tempations sung for me by my crazy Bible study sisters!!! (“The way you do the things you do”).

Best Saturday Afternoon Read:

We’ll tell you if we ever get to read on a Saturday afternoon!

Best Forgotten Custom:

Dave: Reading aloud to the family at the table after dinner.

Neta: Sunday noon dinner. Popcorn and hot chocolate in the evening.

Best Way to Break a Sweat:

Dave: Working in my vegetable garden.

Neta: Going for a bike ride along Lake Michigan or in the forest preserve.

Best Style Icon:

Dave: What is a style icon?

Neta: Ditto.

Best Time-Waster:

Dave: Going to a Cubs game with my son and grandsons.

Neta: Playing with my new kitten, Shadow. (You said “best” time waster. The “biggest” time waster is Facebook.)

Best Indulgence:

Dave: My homemade black raspberry jam.

Neta: A loooong backrub.

Best Advice:

Dave: “Your kids need your presence more than your presents.”—Jesse Jackson

Neta: “Use your minutes.” My Dad’s favorite motto as a school principal.


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Neat interview. Loved your answers. May God bless your writing career . Would love to win your book.

  2. Robin Bunting says:

    Oh my goodness, what a great interview. We discovered the Jackson writing team when we were homeschooling our daughter and used their biographies. What a blessing they were to our school. The Yada Yada books are totally wonderful. Have really enjoyed them. Would really like to have a copy of their new book. Thank you so very much for this interview.

  3. angela chesnut says:

    would love to win.

  4. Sharon Holweger says:

    great interview, I have read all of the yada yada books I can find and am anxiously waiting for the new one. the stories just pull me in like I am right there with the people. I would love to win a copy of the new one

  5. Debbie Rhoades says:

    Y’all are truly great people, and I loved reading your interview. God bless and keep you.

  6. Frances Cavallo says:

    It was really great to learn about the authors! It makes you want to read the book more! And makes it more interesting! I would absolutely be so blessed to win this book! God Bless You and Good Luck to Everyone! Have a Blessed Day!

  7. Merry Z says:

    What a fun interview! Dave and Neta are a wonderful, creative couple.

  8. Pat Thompson says:

    I enjoyed reading your interview. For a while, I thought you were answering separately until the comment was made that the other took the #1 answer. My parents were trained to go to China as missionaries, but the door closed to the U.S. the year they were supposed to leave. I have often wondered what my life would have been like there. I love some of your same places. I would love to read this book.

  9. Tammy Griffin says:

    Lovely interview. Love your books and would like to read Pound Foolish.

  10. Connie Saunders says:

    It is nice to read of the love and respect that these two talented authors have for each other. Thanks for sharing!

  11. What an inspirational interview. I believe many of us feel a superior influence as we attempt to write a story that has a message. Congratulations on one of the best writing teams in the business!

  12. Andrea Sgroi says:


  13. Carol Grieb says:

    I love the Yada Yada books! Great interview.

  14. Gail Hollingsworth says:

    Have read all the Yada Yada books and donated them to my church library so others could enjoy them. Would love to win this newest one.

  15. Thanks so much, Suzanne, for giving us a chance to connect with the readers of your blog! The interview was fun and reading the comments was great too! We’re ready to send that book to your winner as soon as you let us know!
    –Dave & Neta (& Shadow, our new kitty)

  16. Dee Cameron says:

    I’m an avid reader and would absolutely love to win your book.

  17. Pam K. says:

    I’ve read a lot of Neta’s books and really like the way the characters reappear in the different series. The first two books in The Windy City series are really good so I’d love to win Pound Foolish. Thanks for the chance!

  18. Vivian Vereeke says:

    I really enjoyed the interview. I have heard so many wonderful things about the Yada Yada books, I have been meaning to start reading them. I want to start with the first book, but I haven’t figured out which one that is yet! 🙂 I would love to win this new book.

  19. Cindy Hipolito says:

    I enjoyed reading the interview with Neta and her husband Dave. It is so rare to find couples who have managed to maintain and value a marriage as long as they have. Congratulations! I have never read any of their novels but am looking forward to doing so in the future. I also would be thrilled to win one of the novels that is being given away currently. Thanks again and happy holidays.

  20. Cindi Altman says:

    Interesting interview. I’m in the middle of reading the Yada Yada Prayer Group series and love it.
    This latest book looks quite interesting. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  21. Renee says:

    I enjoyed the interview. Looking forward to reading the book.

  22. I enjoyed the interview. My daughter has read some of their books. I’d love to win a copy of their new book. Thanks for a chance.

  23. Susan says:

    What a great interview. I would love to win the book.