Friday, June 22, 2007

Serials and Scenarios - Jill E. Nelson Runs Off

Jill Elizabeth Nelson takes time away from her life of crime to answer some questions.

Pick one…..Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be negative or positive.

Pink iguana. They’re cute, and to my surprise, pink is actually a good color for me. Besides, I’ve often wondered what the world would look like being that small and living so close to the ground. They eat leafy greens, fruits, and uncooked veggies, so I’d probably lose weight and be amazingly healthy. Also, I’d get to bask in the sun a lot.

What makes you feel alive?

Laughter. Something that’s genuinely funny without being crude, or gross, or mean. When I get to laughing so hard I can barely breathe, I start to sound like Muttley from those old Dastardly and Muttley cartoons. My family rolls their eyes and goes, “Here comes Muttley!” Then they laugh AT me, not WITH me. That’s fun, too.

Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

Book: The Bible (duh!) and several novels from my To Be Read pile, which currently includes The Novelist by Angela Hunt and Full Tilt by Creston Mapes, among others.
Music: Whisper to the Wild Waters by Maire Brennan, Unveiled by Jean Watson, Odyssey by David Meece, and Overtaken by the Christ for the Nations worship team (You said this is a LONG trip. )
CDs: scripture teaching by Keith Moore
Person: My wonderful husband
Food: Dill pickle chips and sunflower seeds (not chocolate—yeah, I know that makes my femininity suspect, but I’m just a salty gal. Ask my wonderful husband!)

Favorite season and why?

Indian summer. In Minnesota, that means gorgeous colors on the trees and blue skies and balmy temperatures to enjoy them with. Oh, and few bugs because there’s already been a freeze.

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

A few months ago someone said they had to re-read my debut novel, Reluctant Burglar, because they couldn’t stand the wait until the release of Reluctant Runaway. She told me my book was destined to become dog-eared. I tell you, I sniffled out loud, because it is a rare compliment of the highest order to have someone RE-READ your book.


Pick a Genre - Describe a kiss….Suspense

From the man’s POV: Tony grasped her shoulders. “First off. Never—” he shook her—“and I mean never—” he shook her once more—“make yourself a target again.” He wrapped her so close he didn’t know if either of them could breathe. But breathing wasn’t important. Not at the moment. He lowered his head and his mouth trapped hers. (This is from Reluctant Burglar.)

From the woman’s POV: She grinned up at him, and he joined their lips. Gentle exploration deepened. She twined one arm around his neck, fingers playing in his springy hair. The other went around his back. His hands caressed her ribs, the side of one leg. A melting sensation flowed through her veins. (This is from Reluctant Runaway. And yes, this is a CBA novel. You’ll just have to read the book to find out where I go with this and why it has the blessing of my editor.)

Pick one of the “story starters” below and give us a sample of your voice.

Swirling leaves, riding the chill wind, danced up Leisel's airline hostess skirt.

The leaves weren’t the only things stirred by the breeze, which now carried the cloying scent of death.

If only she’d gone straight home from the airport instead of stopping at Tyler Park to clear her head. Why had she thought a walk in the fresh air would do her good? As if she didn’t have enough trouble, she’d found a dead body, for crying out loud.

Her throat burned, and she swallowed, hands fisting in the pockets of her cardigan. And why had she gotten carried away with the Christian duty drilled into her from childhood and called the cops and actually waited around for them? But she’d kept thinking about the poor man’s family, so she hadn’t done the smart thing, and now she was going to be in big trouble with—

“Miss?” A plain-clothes officer beckoned from the swarm of police and crime scene personnel buzzing around the shallow gulley where it lay.

He. Leisel forced her feet to move toward the officer. Not long ago, the body down there had been a living, breathing man. From the blond hair untouched by gray and the well-worn jeans, probably a student from the nearby university campus. But now it—he—was . . . Don’t think. Just answer questions and get out of here.

“Yes, Detective.” She stopped in front of the bushy-browed man.

Both brows went up and then snapped down as he studied a note pad where he’d already recorded her brief statement. He lifted his gaze to hers, blue eyes flat and cold. “You said you didn’t touch the body and only approached to within a few feet of it. Is that correct?”

Leisel stifled a sharp laugh. So the police called him it, too. Not inappropriate, after all, for a lump of clay minus the soul. “That’s right. I had no reason to check for a pulse. Not with the smell and the blood and the flies. . .” Stomach rolling, she stared at the toes of her loafers.

A big hand squeezed her shoulder. Leisel looked up. The detective’s blue eyes had softened.

“We’ve got your contact information if we have any more questions,” he said. “Let me round up a uniform to escort you to your car.”

Leisel shook her head. “Not necessary. I came here for a walk, and right now, that’s exactly what I need to do.”

“Suit yourself.” The officer shut his note pad, his gaze moving past her to activity beyond.

Hugging herself, Leisel hurried away up the path and didn’t look back. Bryce would kill her if she drew any more attention from the authorities. There was too much at stake—for both of them. Kill her? Bad turn of phrase, but he’d sure murder her with his eyes, his voice. She’d been a fool ever to let that man back into her life. But she was in too deep now. No way out.

Happy weekend, Dregites... Thanks a bunch, Jill.