Hi, Everyone! My name is Jill Osborne, and I love great stories. I’ve been reading and writing them as long as I can remember. I’ve also been living the best story ever, because it’s the one that our creative God planned just for me. Each chapter of my story has included a loving family, amazing friends, crazy adventure, and lately, authoring books for pre-teens! I guess that makes sense, since I’ve been working in children’s and youth ministry for almost thirty years, and kids inspire me with their unlimited potential to make a positive difference in our world.
When I am out and about meeting kids, speaking, talking and sharing about Riley Mae and the Good News Shoes, I am often asked questions about who I am. So here are some answers to everything (and more) that you have ever wanted to know about Jill Osborne!
Are you married? Do you have kids?
Yes, I’ve been married to my husband, Mike, for thirty-six years. That makes us seem old, but somehow, we’re not. It’s a miracle. We have two grown children. Our daughter is married and has two little girls, ages 8 and 5. My son and his wife live only two hours away from us, and they have a seventeen-month-old daughter.
What kind of jobs have you had?
Over the years, I have worked many jobs in order to help buy food, diapers, softball cleats, trumpets, graphing calculators and other surprising things that kids need while they are growing up. I’ve been a teller at a bank, a classroom aid, a computer lab teacher at an elementary school, a mail sorter at the post office, a library assistant, an after-school study center supervisor, and a children’s pastor.
What is your favorite job?
I also worked as a gift store clerk at Six Flags Magic Mountain when I was a teenager, which was the best job I ever had because it was there that I met my future husband!
Have you always been a writer?
I have always been a writer. I’ve written plays, skits, tributes for people and special occasions, articles for the high school yearbook and local paper. I’ve recently written numerous skits for youth groups and Sunday morning drama teams, curriculum for children’s ministry (for my own use), countless articles for our church newsletter, and a short blog about taking a sabbatical in a motor home. The Riley Mae Good News Shoes Series is my first published work.
What are your hobbies?
My main hobbies are reading, writing, and running. Notice I didn’t say reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. If I had my choice, I would never do a math problem again as long as I live. I once said I would never be a runner too, but when my metabolism slowed way down due to all that sitting while reading and writing, I had to do something drastic! So I bought the cushiest running shoes I could find and I jogged for thirty seconds, during which time I thought I would die. I’m happy to say that I stuck with it, and now I run 10ks and half-marathons throughout the year. During my runs, I enjoy lots of prayer time, and that’s also the time when I come up with plot ideas for my books.
I highly enjoy the outdoors, and anything I can do out there. I like to hike, swim, kayak, ski, play golf, camp, and just sit outside. My favorite places to be include rivers, lakes, pine trees and mountains. The three most adventurous things I have ever done are to climb to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, go on a Class IV whitewater rafting trip, and take an 11-mile hike past a grizzly momma and her cubs on the Glacier National Park Highline trail. I would love to go on mission trips outside the country as long as I could figure out how not to sleep on the ground.
What do you think about housework?
I’m not particularly domestic. While I love a clean house, I would rather go for a walk than do laundry or dust. I would love to cook if I could be like those cooking show hosts who have all the recipe ingredients bought, cleaned and chopped up for them in little bowls. And someone else cleans up the kitchen afterwards.
What is your favorite food?
I do bake pretty well. My favorite food is a big, chocolate brownie. This is why I bake. My favorite food to eat while writing is peanut M&M’s. I eat one for every page that I write. Well, maybe I eat more than that.
Why do you love working with kids?
I love working with kids, because kids never take themselves too seriously. They are eager to try new things, and they learn so fast. I’m amazed at their ability to be super deep thinkers one minute and then to be incredibly silly the next. They also naturally understand the depth of God’s love for them, which makes them so willing and able to love Him back. It’s no wonder that Jesus said that we must become like little children if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God.
What else do you want to know? I love getting to know you! Just leave a comment or send me an email!