Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Jill Weatherholt

Good morning dear reader. It is so good to be back. I had the best vacation, but I must confess that I missed you guys. I’m happy to be visiting with you and the lovely Jill Weatherholt this morning. Jill is offering a book giveaway, (US only), so don’t forget to leave a comment.


Good morning, Jill. Tell us about yourself.

HQ HeadshotI work a full-time job with the City of Charlotte, so I’m a weekend warrior writer. I do manage to get some words written during the week, but the real writing happens over the weekend. But, I’d never be able to do all that I do, if it weren’t for my real-life hero, Derek. From the beginning, he’s been my number one supporter, beta reader and brainstorming partner. He’s there when I have those meltdown moments, and he’s a great cook, too.

Growing up, my best friend and I used to exchange multi-page notes, detailing the events of our day. I recall one such note being over twenty single-spaced typed pages! Yes, on a typewriter. Fast forward, forty-something years and the note writing was replaced with short stories, journaling, and then ultimately writing books.

I’d never planned on being a published author, but sometimes God gives us a special gift that takes us completely by surprise. My path to publication was fast and somewhat painless. At times, I’ve felt guilty, especially when I see writers who’ve received countless rejections and have shed many tears, but I know this is what God wants for me, so I’m simply following His lead.

The statement, “I’d never planned on being a published author” made me think of the following scripture.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).

If we merely follow His lead, our plans are sure to change. Yes? Let’s talk about Jill Weatherholt, the writer.


coffee-2306471_1920Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story? 

My current release and second Harlequin Love Inspired book, A Father for Bella, came about in 2012 while participating in the National Novel Writing Month, better known as NANOWRIMO. I’m a huge fan of this competition, as my first book, Second Chance Romance, was also a NANOWRIMO project. Each book was merely a rough and incomplete draft, but I met the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days and learned a great deal about myself.

The idea for A Father for Bella was sparked after hearing a news report about a woman who’d lost her firefighter husband in a fire. Once I mapped out my heroine’s backstory, I knew I wanted the setting to be a fictional town in my favorite part of Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley. Although I’m now living in North Carolina, I grew up in Virginia, and for me, that will always be home.

I travel through North Carolina and Virginia several times a year. Both are beautiful! Next question…

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my family. In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with dementia. Spending as much time as I can with her is a priority. My father is her full-time caregiver, so I like to give him a break, whenever possible.

Golfing is another thing I like to do. Derek and I both enjoy playing. In fact, I was the one who got him hooked on the game when we first started dating. Although we don’t play as much as we used to, we live on a golf course, so when the urge strikes, we don’t have to go far. In the evenings, before our friendly Jeopardy competition, we both enjoy working jigsaw puzzles. We always have a puzzle going on opposite ends of the dining room table. We listen to music, talk and brainstorm story ideas…it’s my favorite time of the day. Of course, during the warmer seasons, I love to watch our hummingbirds.

I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, Jill. I know dementia can be hard on a family. Praying for you all. Jigsaw puzzles and hummingbirds are favorites of mine too.

Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

Since I’m easily distracted, disconnecting from the internet and phone is a must when I write. Several years ago, I purchased an Alphasmart Neo from eBay. It’s a portable word processor that can be taken on the go. Since the product is no longer manufactured, it was the best $25 I’ve ever spent.

I totally understand the distraction thing. So many distractions. We definitely have to guard our writing time. 😉


stones-451329_1920Final question. This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

Growing up, my Mamaw always started her day reading, The Upper Room devotional and then her Bible. My grandfather, a Methodist minister, died young while preaching a sermon. In the years that followed, my grandmother remained strong in her faith and trusted God for everything. I’ve followed in her footsteps, and I do my best to make God first. I don’t just start my mornings with Him; He’s with me every minute of the day. If He wasn’t, I don’t think I’d be able to get out of bed in the morning.

I agree with you, Jill. I don’t know what I’d do without Him. Thank you so much for sharing with us on Women of Faith and Fiction.

Click to Tweet: “I’d never planned on being a published #author, but sometimes God gives us a special gift that takes us completely by surprise.” ~ @JillWeatherholt via @GailJohnson87 #WomenofFaithandFiction

Book Blurb

For Gail's BlogWhen single mom Faith Brennan discovers the Virginia Inn she grew up in is for sale, she’s determined to make a bid. Even if that means going head-to-head with handsome real estate broker Joshua Carlson. But competing with Joshua would be a lot easier if Faith’s young daughter wasn’t growing so attached to him…and if Faith could stop picturing running the Inn with Joshua by her side.



Author Bio

By day, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., she now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, but her heart belongs to Virginia. She holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University. She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard. Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control.

You can find Jill on the web at JillWeatherholt.com
or on Facebook @jillweatherholtauthor

35 thoughts on “Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Jill Weatherholt

  1. What a lovely interview and the backstory of how her novel progressed from a thought to completion is intriguing. Another job well done, Gail!

    I also enjoyed reading the conversation between you and our friend Robbye. I never realized how much we had in common. My husband retired at the Pentagon too (and it floored me that I was honored with nearly as many certificates as his supportive wife as he did!

    Jill, I know you will see great success with your new novel. Great title and I hope it becomes a Hallmark movie. 🙂 Blessings back.

  2. Thank you for this, Jill you are such an encouragement to me. I am a writer at heart, and I needed the reminder that God can do whatever He wants, however He wants, I just need to trust Him. Yes, I got all that from the interview.

    • Sorry I missed your comment. I’m so happy that my words have encouraged you. Keep writing, my friend. God will open doors for you if you keep pressing forward and trusting Him. Wishing you the very best!

  3. Hi Gail and Jill. Thanks for the fun interview! I love meeting new authors. Jeopardy and jigsaw puzzles are some of my favorites too. The storyline of this book sounds great. I always enjoy reading LI books.

  4. Jill, I used to live in Charlotte. Later I lived in a suburb of Charlotte, Pineville. (I also had a 6-month temp job in Virginia Beach!) My youngest has lived in several cities in VA and is currently living in Alexandria-VA is a beautiful area!
    I’m sorry to hear about your mom, dementia and Alzheimer are insidious diseases.
    Gail, thank you for this post, I enjoyed learning more about Jil!
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a book!!! Good luck to everyone!
    Blessings to you both!

    • Hi Robbye! My parents aren’t too far from Pineville. When I was a year old, we moved from West Virginia to Alexandria, Virginia. It really was a wonderful place to grow up. Thank you for your kind words about my mother. I appreciate you stopping by to visit. xo

      • Hi, Jill!
        That is neat about your parents.
        I would imagine Alexandria would be a wonderful place to grow up, it is so pretty.
        My parents lived in St, Albans, and my brother in Kanawha, WV when my dad had 2 restaurants there.
        You are welcome, and I am so sorry you, your mom, dad and family are having to deal with it. Praying for all of you!
        xo ❤

        • Hi! We lived in Alexandria the first year and then moved to Fairfax and then Vienna. Being so close to DC and all of the sites was nice. My father worked his career at the Pentagon and worked a couple summers there while in college. So you’re family has WV ties, too? We might be related, Robbye! LOL! My grandmother lived in Charleston and then in a tiny town called Ivydale. I’m very familiar with the Kanawha River. Thank you for your prayers. ❤

          • How neat, my husband was assigned to the Pentagon (claim service) through Ft. Meade. We were there for nearly 4 years (after having served 20+ years at Ft. Bragg.) I loved the area, but not the cost of living, LOL!
            Jill, my family moved a LOT, 60 times before I was 16, and my dad wasn’t military. I always said my family had gypsy in them!! We stayed in one place the three years between when I was 16 and 19. Then, LOL, I married a career military man. However, we didn’t come close to moving that many times while he was in service!
            Anyway, not to bore you, just thought it interesting that we’ve had several similar experiences.
            Blessings and prayers for you and your family.

            • Oh my word! I can’t imagine moving 60 times, Robbye! My father wasn’t military either. He spent the majority of his career at the Pentagon and a few at Ft. Belvoir. He was the deputy director for civilian personnel for the Army. Fortunately, he was offered an early-out retirement at 56, so he and my mother did a lot of traveling before she got ill. Now I might be boring you…LOL! Thanks for sharing your backstory. I love to hear people’s background. ❤

              • Wow, your father had a very responsible and prestigious position!
                I am familiar with Ft. Belvoir, we were there for a week in 1988. We were able to do a lot of sight-seeing during that time, too.
                How nice that he and your mom were able to enjoy themselves for a while before she became ill. I’m sure your father treasures those times.
                You’re not boring me-I love hearing about other’s lives, too. Thank you for being willing to share!

  5. Glad to have you in the Charlotte area, Jill! And my mom was from Richmond, so I’ve spent time in VA too. So sorry about your mom’s health.

    That verse in Isaiah is one of my favorites, Gail. It always reminds me of who God is and I am not. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Sandra! I love Charlotte, but Virginia will always be home to me. I appreciate your kind words about my mother. It’s been a difficult journey, but I’m so thankful my parents live close so I’m able to help my father. Being a full-time caregiver takes its toll on their health. Thank you for stopping by today! xo

  6. Love this post, Jill and Gail. It’s like hanging out with two dear friends over a cup of coffee.

    I keep telling Ernie that when he finally retires (I’m beginning to think that’s NEVER going to happen), he’s taking over the cooking. He’s so creative and can whip up something delicious without a recipe and using whatever’s on hand.

    Have a fabulous day, ladies! Try to stay cool. 💕

    • Good morning, Tori. I hear you on the cooking! I’m looking forward to retirement too. I plan to stay cool in the pool today. Have a blessed day. Thank you for stopping by, dear friend.

    • Hi Tori! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Meeting you on my writing journey has certainly been one of the highlights! I appreciate all of your support and encouragement. When it comes to cooking, Derek is just like Ernie. They’re magicians! ❤

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