Bathsheba, Wives of King David Series #3Bathsheba, Wives of King David Series #3
Jill Eileen Smith
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Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king's wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps--and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David's charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God--and David--forever?
     

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jill smithJill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, ranging from articles and short stories to reviews and blogs. Her writing has won prizes in several writing contests. In addition to homeschooling her three sons, Smith has taught piano and enjoyed scrapbooking. She lives with her family in Southeastern Michigan.

Favorite Verse: Mark 12:29-31 -"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

 


 

What generated your interest and passion for the Wives of King David series?
 
The idea started as a Bible study many years ago on King David’s life. When that study finished, I wanted to read a novel about him, one that took me there, to experience the story and see it as it unfolded. I looked for such a novel but could not find one that satisfied, so I decided to write the book I wanted to read. My first attempts will thankfully, never see print, but the idea was planted and grew to what the series is today.

Are you a history major?  Have you been to Israel?
 
I am not a history major, but I do a lot of historical research. I have been to Israel. We had a wonderful trip there in 2008.

How did you come up with the concept for how the events occurred between Bathsheba and David?

First, I had to understand who David, Bathsheba, and Uriah were, what motivated them to do what they did. That only comes through prayer and research. I actually wrote the first forty thousand words of Bathsheba and had to scrap them because I didn’t start in the right place, and I didn’t know Bathsheba or Uriah well enough. Writing the story let me dig deeper into their character, and the ideas that sprang from that were just from my imagination.

Do you have a favorite character in Bathsheba? Why?

That’s a tough one! I guess it would be Bathsheba herself because I learned to really empathize with her. I have never lived her experience, but I could imagine how she must have felt.

How much research did Bathsheba take?
 
That’s hard to gauge because I have been studying David’s life on and off for years. I spent seven years after that Bible study doing more research than I had for the study, and continually double check myself, going back to things I’ve read before. I have a list of books and websites I’ve used on The Wives of King David website (http://www.thewivesofkingdavid.com). Each book has a different list with links to where they can be found under Bonus Features.

 

What was the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing Bathsheba?

I had never quite understood why Uriah was so adamantly against King David’s suggestion to go home and sleep with his wife. Some have suggested that he was warned by servants or someone else not to go home and that Uriah knew their secret and wasn’t about to cover up what they’d done. I didn’t quite like that interpretation because it makes Uriah sound deceptive and unforgiving.

The question was answered when I learned that for a guy in the military, Uriah’s behavior was not unusual at all. Uriah was keeping a code of conduct that David himself had instituted. Men at war did not involve themselves in such personal affairs because it could obscure their focus. Uriah was one of David’s elite captains, and it made perfect sense why he would speak to David as he did, and why he would not obey a suggestion that went against military protocol. Learning that fact gave me a whole new perspective on Uriah, and I felt like I finally understood him.

How many books will be in the Wives of King David series?

Three. Bathsheba is the third and final book in the series.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
Trying to mix daily life, which has its own challenges, along with juggling writing, research, editing, blogging, social media, and marketing. Facing glowing and/or critical reviews can be either ego-inflating on the one hand or spirit-crushing on the other, if I let it. Neither extreme is good for me. I remind myself often that I’m nobody special! I appreciate every single reader who takes the time to read my work.


What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Getting to do what I love! I love the Bible and the stories of the people God has immortalized there. To have an added reason to study it for work purposes has many rewards.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I’m a long-time member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Without them I would not be published. I met my critique partners and agent, and subsequently, my editor through ACFW, and have made many lasting friendships with fellow authors.

What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?

Read. I am never without a book in the “currently reading” stage. I have a huge to-be-read stack and I try to mix up the variety, reading in many genres and both fiction and non-fiction – sometimes I have two or more books going at once. Good stories inspire me and I’m always trying to figure out how to evoke emotion in my own work.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Yes. I turned in Sarai, Book 1 in The Wives of the Patriarchs series a few months ago. It is “in house” getting ready to release probably February 2012. I am currently working on Book 2 about Isaac and Rebekah, and book 3 will cover Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. After that, I am contracted for The Brides of the Promised Land series, which is a four-book series on Rahab, Deborah, Ruth, and Hannah.

 

What message would you like your readers to take from Bathsheba?

I want them to come away with the wonder of God’s great love (Psalm 107:43 NIV ©1984) and realize that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. There is redemption and forgiveness in Him.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Read for pleasure, take a walk, ride my bike, go for a massage, watch movies with my husband or go out to dinner, have coffee with a friend, travel. Being with my family brings me the greatest joy and is the best way I relax. I love the way they make me laugh!

 


 
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