Jacquelin Thomas

Jacquelin Thomas
The Prodigal Husband

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
August 12, 2002

1. Who is Jacquelin Thomas?

I am a woman stepping out of her comfort zone. I have always had a problem with shyness and writing was my outlet. Now with promoting my books, I have forced to overcome it. I still get nervous during book signings but it's getting easier. I am a wife and a proud mother of three children.

2. What inspired you to write the novel "The Prodigal Husband?"

I wanted to write a story about a woman who truly placed her marriage in God's hand and about a man who felt he'd been abandoned by God. It was also inspired by the Biblical tale of the prodigal son.

3. How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since I was sixteen. My third grade teacher disagrees, however. She said she saw my creative talent then. I wrote my first real story at sixteen--I murdered my ex-boyfriend on paper. He'd just broken up with me and I wanted revenge. I've been published since 1997 and sold the first full-length novel I wrote.

4. How many books have you written?

To date, I've written 20 books and 2 novellas. I've sold 17 books and the 2 novellas.

5. How did you come about the plot for "The Prodigal Husband?"

Some readers have voiced that Tori seemed unreal--please bear in mind that if I made her fleshy, per se--there really wouldn't have been much of a story. I wanted to write about a woman who truly believed with prayer and determination, she could save her marriage. She is the type woman I would hope to be if I were ever faced with that situation. Remember, I killed a boyfriend on paper.

With Jake, I wanted to show a man who didn't trust God enough to give Him control over his life. He felt he was the one in total control. Like the story of the prodigal son, Jake had returned home and received forgiveness, but the situation had changed and could not be changed back to its original status. The consequences could not be averted.

6. How did you come about the title for "The Prodigal Husband?"

This story is really centered around Jake. One lesson he needed to learn was that decisions we make in this life often carry consequences that may not be able to be changed. If we cause harm to others we should ask forgiveness and try to make it up to them. Nevertheless, some things cannot be changed. The other lesson is that the people with whom we associate can have a great impact on what happens in our lives. While we should have love and compassion for all people, we should be careful about the friends with whom we choose to spend our spare time. Their values and standards may strongly influence our own decisions, and this will mold our character and values.

7. How did you come about Jake, Tori and Sheila characters?

When the idea for this story was born, Jake and Tori came along with it. The character of Sheila was suggested by my editor. My original character was unnamed and only had a bit part in the story. Sheila was a wonderful addition and really came to life as I worked on the project.

8. How did you come about Charlene and Shepard character?

Like Jake and Tori, Charlene and Shepard just seemed to fit. I created them when I first fleshed out the story. I wanted two brothers who were close but had opposing views when it came to the woman who seduced Jake. With Charlene, I wanted a confidante for Tori. Charlene and Shepard just seemed to be a perfect fit, so I made them a couple.

9. How did you come about Aunt Kate and Gwendolyn Madison characters?

I wanted to round out the characters with two very strong and opinionated women--one with a gentle spirit and another with attitude.

10. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

I like to write from morning to noon in a quiet room (usually my office) and after taking a lunch break, I like to edit for the rest of the afternoon. I tend to end my work hours around four or five unless I'm on a tight deadline.

11. Why did you choose to write Christian Fiction?

I started my career writing romance because I grew up reading the genre and have a true love for romance. However, God was leading me in a different direction and so, I answered the call on my heart. As for romance, I have two more coming out but am now just planning to do inspirational fiction. Because of the romantic in me--there will be elements of the genre in my books.

12. What message would you like readers to receive from reading "The Prodigal Husband?"

I have to say thanks for the support. I truly appreciate it. I've heard from many readers about the discussions that The Prodigal Husband has aroused. It is my hope that this story has truly been a blessing to everyone.