Friday, August 9, 2013

How It All Began

By Nancy Jill Thames

"Ann Fieldman" Serving Afternoon Tea
In 2001 Murder in Half Moon Bay was my very first attempt at writing a book. I love murder mysteries but was burned out with the authors I had been reading, so I decided to write a mystery of my own. The timing was not conducive to complete my story, due to raising a second family born to us in later years, until October 2009. The Half Moon Bay Review showed an interest in my blog featuring chapters from the manuscript I'd begun as a way to finish the book, and wanted to do an interview. I agreed, wrote the final chapters and published the book as an indie author in June of 2010. Since that time, I have written six additional books in the series, with more on the way.
Club Lounge Fare at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

My inspiration for Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie companion came from staying at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay where my husband and I were attending an off-site board meeting for his company. I began taking notes of the surroundings and used my imagination to create a protagonist that might be a guest at a gardening conference.

I used my husband's name Ted (he wanted to be a character) for her little dog, Teddy, since she would be a widow. Walter, the young valet and later detective character, was a combination of a valet at the Ritz-Carlton and a nursery delivery man unloading his plants at a WalMart where I shopped. 

Jillian's Garden Club Having Lunch
The Original Garden Club
Jillian's friends from her Garden Club help solve the mysteries in several of the books. The Garden Club actually still exists to this day. We meet occasionally for - you guessed it - afternoon tea!  The photo on the left shows me at a heavier weight, thus the attention to portions in my books! Inspiration for the characters are "Nicole King" sitting on my right, "Dominique Summers" on Nicole's right,  and  "Ann Fieldman" sitting on the end of the bench. (Not their real names of course!)
As I continued to travel with my husband, I found more settings to write about and continue to dream up scenarios for Jillian and Teddy to solve mysteries. Writing is a new journey for me, but it's turning out to be a rewarding one.

Have a great weekend!

See you in my books!
 ~Nancy Jill 
Mystery novelist Nancy Jill Thames began publishing Christian fiction in 2010. The author of six books in the Jillian Bradley series, she is an award winning blogger and is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller’s List, this in addition to winning first place for her chocolate cream pie.

When she isn’t plotting her next book, she spends time with her six grandchildren, tags along with her husband on business trips, and plays classical piano for her own personal enjoyment. She is an active member of the Leander Writers' Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW CenTex Chapter, and supports the Central Texas SPCA with a portion of her book sales. CONTACT INFORMATION

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  1. Nancy, loved reading the story behind the story. Thanks for sharing what led you to write your mystery series. (And it's so cool that your husband wanted you to use his name--even though it belongs to a diminutive furry character:)

    1. Thank you, Linda. My husband also gets jealous when I write about suitors in the series - too funny!

      ~Nancy Jill


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