Did you write stories when you were growing up? at school? Or at home as a hobby? As a young child, or as a teenager, or both?
I wrote my first story when I was four. I decided I wanted to write about a donkey, so I sat down and wrote a one-page story. I entered my first writing contest in first grade and won! I am so thankful that my teachers in elementary school gave us creative writing assignments because I thrived on those. I always wanted to write the most creative story to blow the socks off my teachers. I took creative writing classes in middle school and high school and loved them, but did not enjoy writing the book reports and essays I had to write for other classes.
When you were a child did you ever have moments when you decided that you were going to be a writer when you grew up?
I fantasized about being a nurse and writing on the side. I dreamed of working on a pediatric floor and my published books would be scattered throughout the entire pediatrics floor so the sick kids could read them and be happy. This partially came true. I did indeed become a nurse and then a nurse anesthetist. I’m not on the pediatrics floor but a few of my books are available there for kids to read.
Do you write every day and do you have set hours that you work? Where do you write?
Because I work part time as a nurse anesthetist, I don’t write every day. I carve out time each week to write or those days would become filled with other activities. I love my writing days and try to be as productive on those days as possible.
I usually write in my fabulous little office that I share with my husband. We each have our own desks and mine is a hutch desk. I love it and have made it completely me. I’m not particularly neat when I work and tend to let things scatter but when I’m finished, I close the doors on my desk and hide it all. My husband loves that. On beautiful days I’ll take my computer out to our screened in porch to enjoy the breeze and sounds of nature when I write.
Do you ever experience writers block? How do you break it?
I only have a limited amount of time to write each week and can’t waste those minutes with writers block. On the days that I’m not writing, I’m working out in my mind or jotting notes of writing ideas, so that I can use my writing time to its fullest. When a block creeps in, I’ll go for a run to work through it.
I find inspiration from my surroundings, things I hear, people I see, quirky animals I encounter, thoughts that occur when I run. One Night in Bethlehem was inspired by something I heard in a sermon at church one day.
What gave you the idea for your very first book?
My first writing idea was such a God thing. I was happily going about my business working part time and raising my one and three- year old girls when a fire erupted inside me prompting me to write, and write for publication. I searched for a topic for two weeks until the idea of a Children’s Devotional hit me as I was reading my own devotional that day. I didn’t realize there were already a gazillion Children’s Devotionals out there. But, I felt like that’s what I needed to write. I wrote how I felt most comfortable writing – in rhyme.
Do you work on more than one book at a time?
I definatelyl work on more than one book at a time. I usually have several manuscripts in various forms at one time. I may be writing a children’s story or two, preparing a proposal to send off for another story, and perhaps working on marketing/publicity for another.
Are you signed exclusively with a publisher?
I am not signed exclusively with one publisher. I am free to send to other publishers and have had contracts with several but the one that has published my last four books has been amazing.
Is there anything about yourself that you’d like to share – hobbies, where you were born, special talents other than writing/illustrating.
As I mentioned earlier I run during a writers block. But, I run without a writers block as well. I love running and have run for nearly 30 years. It’s my stress relief, my form of fitness, my channel for creative inspiration, my solitude, my God time, my time for working through issues, to soak in nature, to push myself, to escape, to regroup, unwind, breathe deep, and find myself again. I also enjoy golfing, hiking with my family and cheering for my kids at their sporting events.
Jill Roman Lord is an author of ten children’s books, a free-lance writer and a nurse anesthetist. Her latest book, One Night in Bethlehem was just released for Christmas 2011! She also has a series of three books published by Candy Cane Press, If Jesus Came to Visit Me, If Jesus Walked Beside Me, and If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart. These three books are available in both board books and hard cover. She has three children, one in college, one in high school and one in middle school. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, her two children still at home and her Golden Retriever Puppy, Poppie. Jillromanlord.com
You may purchase Jill Roman Lord’s books on Amazon.