Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jill Nelson Introduces Desiree Jacobs

Jill Nelson shares information about her heroine with us.

What's her name?

Desiree Jacobs

Why did you pick that name?

I wanted something melodic that was a bit off the beaten path and yet not strange or hard to pronounce.Give us a brief description of how she looks.

She’s a petite dynamo with shoulder-length sable hair and hazel eyes. For facial features, think a miniature Gina Davis with the high cheekbones and full lips.

Is there anything unusual about her appearance?

Her appearance isn’t unusual, but her occupation is. She’s quite physically fit because she’s a legal cat burglar. Ah, I see the furrowed brows. How is this possible?

Desi is the CEO of her family business, HJ Securities, a museum security company that serves world-famous museums, governments, and the wealthy the world over. She regularly performs and succeeds at sanctioned heists, though no one can know about the unsanctioned ones. Some consider her the best cat burglar in the world.

Who does she love? Why?

She loves the man that started out as her arch-nemesis, Special Agent Anthony Lucano of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ironically, considering his risky occupation, one of their greatest bones of contention is his fears for her safety because of her impulsive and daring nature.

Desi also loves her father, the man who raised her alone after the accidental death of her mother when she was an infant. Hiram, the founder of HJ Securities, is murdered at the very beginning of Reluctant Burglar, book one in the To Catch a Thief series, so mentioning that isn’t a spoiler. However, his memory haunts Desi throughout the series on multiple levels.

And she loves her best friend and premier employee, Maxine Webb. Max is a West Texas ranch gal with fly-away red hair, an accent you could cut with a knife, and a genius for electronics that leads to all sorts of interesting gadgets.

Does this person love her?

They all love her more than their own lives. Hiram proved it literally. Tell us about her family.

Oops, see above! I could add, though, that the Jacobs are pretty alone in the world. With her father gone, Desi becomes an orphan in a profound sense. Reluctant Runaway, book two in the To Catch a Thief series, deals with the generational consequences of choices for good or ill and contains a few surprises along the line of family ties.

Where is she from?

Desi’s hometown is Boston , Massachusetts . She was born and raised there; however, her business takes her all over the world. Reluctant Burglar is set primarily in Boston , and some in Italy , but subsequent books take readers to Washington , DC , Albuquerque , NM , and Mexico .

Does her hometown affect her behavior, thoughts and attitude?

Her international upbringing tempers any tendency toward regionalism, though I suspect she has that unique Boston accent.

What does she want out of life?

She wants to honor God in her lifestyle, honor her father’s memory by prospering in the business he left to her, and enjoy a future full of love with the man she’s passionate about. Naturally, all hell tries to sabotage these goals.Did you write more than one story about her?

Reluctant Burglar released in September 2006, Reluctant Runaway in March 2007, and Reluctant Smuggler is due out in January 2008. Desi and Tony are the central characters in all three. Each is a complete caper that can stand alone, but to follow character and relationship development, it’s nice to start with book one. Book excerpts, a video trailer, a monthly contest for free books, and purchase information are on my web site:

How would she describe you?

Ooh, great question!

I’m the benevolent dictator who dreamed her up—literally.

I woke up in the wee hours one morning all tense from a dream where I saw a woman in black sneak into an estate. She took a painting off the wall and replaced it with an identical painting. Oddly enough, I knew that she had stolen the forgery and put the genuine back. I also knew that, if she were caught, disaster would follow for many, not just herself. The dream was so vivid, I began to play with it in my waking mind, asking two particular questions.

What career would this woman have to give her cat burglar skills without making her a crook? Museum security expert became my answer.

What dire predicament must she be in to cause her to do something so bizarre? The answer became the plot for Reluctant Burglar.

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