Congratulations to the winner of the Author Spotlight giveaway of On Lone Star Trail, Leanna Morris. Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

Welcome Jill Eileen Smith, author of The Prophetess, to Author Spotlight! Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release.

Jill Eileen Smith Publicity Photo3Introduce us to you as an author: When did you get bit with the writing bug? How would you describe your writing style?

I wrote poetry in my teens, but didn’t really jump headfirst into the writer’s ocean until I was in my late twenties, early thirties. I wanted to read a novel on King David’s life and couldn’t find one, so I began to write the book I wanted to read. That eventually became the Wives of King David series.

My writing style is somewhat serious with touches of dry humor. Our family loves dry humor and it comes to me rather naturally now after spending most of my life around my men.

Tell us about your new release:

The Prophetess, Deborah’s Story – is the story of Israel’s only female judge. She lived during the early period of the judges, a time when “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” She also lived at a time of terrorism, which we know from her victory song in Judges 5. One line of her song says, “When new gods were chosen, war was in the gates.” God sent judgment in the form of the harassment and oppression from Israel’s neighbors when Israel did not keep their eyes on the One True God.

How can readers connect with you online?

My website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

In February, 2016, I have a new release – The Prophetess, Deborah’s Story, book 2 in the Daughters of the Promised Land series. I’m nearing the end of writing the 3rd book in the series – a story about Ruth, and also working on a novella about the Queen of Sheba for my Loves of King Solomon series.

After you started writing seriously, how long was it before you were published?

Twenty years. In the meantime, I homeschooled three sons, and taught piano lessons, all while living with years of writing rejections. I’m grateful God answered when He did though as I now have a career I love to fill my empty nest. (Of course, the cat helps with that empty nest thing too!)

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?

Sometimes it is coffee, sometimes black tea. I also use doTerra essential oils to set the mood in my office – some fragrances can be so uplifting! Sometimes taking a walk or riding my bike or just listening to worship music helps a lot. Sunshine and taking breaks with my hubby are great for letting the creative juices rest so I can return to the work refreshed.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first-draft reader?

American Christian Fiction Writers conferences and various writing groups. These two things have directly contributed to my growth as a writer and allowed me to meet editors and agents to bring me to where I am today.

Do you prefer reading physical books or e-readers?

Both. I really like the physical book, but when I travel, I love my Kindle. I can fit so much on an e-reader and it’s lightweight. My only complaint is the battery life, so I have to remember to keep wifi turned off. But physical books are like old friends. I’ll never outgrow the enjoyment they bring.

Why do you write?BPG_The Prophetess

I believe it’s the work God has called me to do. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God has chosen in advance work for us to do. As His child, that applies to me, and I believe He has called me to this moment to write the type of books I write. I want to fulfill the work He has for me.

What are you best known for … writing or otherwise?

Writing biblical fiction, I guess. Otherwise, a wife and a mom to three grown sons and two daughters-in-law – and one soon-to-be grandchild. Personal and public lives intersect and overlap but I try to keep them somewhat separate.

What book have you reread the most?

Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes, hands down favorite. I reread that book every Christmas for years. I read it first at age 16—and that story brought the Bible to life for me. The last time I read it was four years ago when my dad died. It was comforting and still moved me.

Mara, Daughter of the Nile – It’s a YA novel set in ancient Egypt. I’ve read that one at least three times.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – I’ve read that one twice and read her Mark of the Lion series twice as well.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – I’m on my second time through it.

What book is on the top of your TBR pile?

90 Days of God’s Goodness by Randy Alcorn – and I’m actually in process of reading it. I waiting on a book to read for endorsement as my next novel.

Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?

Absolutely! After reading several that hurt too much, I stopped reading them. I will read some that my publisher sends to me, but reviews tend to either inflate egos or cause pain. I prefer to avoid both.

How do you solve a grammar dilemma?

Rewrite the sentence. ☺

What’s your favorite writing snack?


Can a person make a living as a writer?

Some can. It really depends on how well that writer’s particular books sell and no one has ever figured out how to make a bestseller. Publishers would bottle that knowledge and sell it if they could, but it seems to be hit and miss. Word of mouth will help an author if it leads people to buy their book. I would say, don’t quit your day job.

Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In-between?

Introvert with the ability to be outgoing if the need calls for it, but I’m drained by day’s end and need down time and tim


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