Meet B.J. Hoff
A direct descendant of Irish ancestors who came to America before the Revolutionary War, B.J. bases her historical fiction on the experiences of Irish immigrants who settled in America. "I simply have a heart for Ireland and the Irish," she says, "and, I believe, a call to write about them." To enhance the realism of her stories, she spends countless hours conducting research, delving into journals, diaries, and other resources associated with the periods in which her novels are set. Her literary detective work is critical to the telling of the tale, but has another important benefit as well. "Researching these people and the events of their lives—and writing their stories—went a long way in deepening my own faith and brought new meaning to how crucial it is that I trust God in every circumstance."
B.J.’s stories are character driven, and it’s obvious that she cares a great deal about the people who populate her books. "Each of my characters is special to me; you work with these ‘people’ for months, sometimes years, so they become incredibly real." Jack Kane, the maverick newspaperman in Cloth of Heaven; Annie Delaney, the spunky Belfast orphan in the Emerald Ballad series; Roman St. Clare, the wounded Civil War photographer from Winds of Graystone Manor; Bethany Cole, one of the first female doctors in America from the American Anthem series; and others are remarkably real to her readers as well, who eagerly snap up each new novel as soon as it rolls off the press. Affectionately titled "The Storyteller" by her fans, B.J. is grateful for the warm response her writing receives. "One of the things I really enjoy about writing fiction is learning who my readers’ favorite characters turn out to be . . . and why."
The awards B. J. has received over the years are a testament to her popularity, as well as to the consummate artistry of her writing. The five-volume Emerald Ballad series includes a Gold Medallion Award finalist, three Excellence in Media Silver Angel awards, and a recipient of Christianity Today’s 1994 Critics Choice Book Award for Fiction.
B.J. and her husband are the parents of two daughters and make their home in Ohio.
Updated June 2003.